Saturday, August 11, 2012


Monmouth Park Barn Notes for Friday, August 10, 2012


WINE PRINCESS IN THE MONMOUTH OAKS

On the day after her sire joins her dam in the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame, Wine Princess will try to enhance her family’s reputation by notching her first stakes race as well as her first graded event.

The chestnut 3-year-old filly is a daughter of Azeri, who was enshrined in 2010, and is by Ghostzapper, a member of the 2012 class installed on Friday morning in Saratoga Springs, New York.


“She’s got the pedigree,” said trainer Steve Margolis, who shipped her from Churchill Downs to compete in the Grade 3 $100,000 Monmouth Oaks on Saturday. “And she looks the part. She has a beautiful way of going.”

Azeri was arguably the most brilliant female runner of her generation, winning the Eclipse Award as Older Female in 2002, 2003 and 2004 along with Horse of the Year honors in 2004. That same year, Ghostzapper beat her in the Breeders’ Cup Classic during an undefeated campaign that saw him also take the Grade 3 Iselin Handicap at Monmouth on the way to Horse of the Year honors.

Wine Princess, a $475,000 purchase by Becky Winemiller at the 2010 Keeneland September Yearling Sale, could become the first stakes winner produced by Azeri.

“I’ve had her from the beginning and we’ve taken our time with her. This filly has been gradually improving with each race,” said Margolis, who won the 2003 Breeders’ Cup Sprint with Cajun Beat.

Wine Princess, unraced as a 2-year-old, has two wins and a second from four starts and comes into the Monmouth Oaks after scoring in a non-winners of one other than at Churchill last time out on June 29. In her last work in Kentucky, she fired a bullet of 1:00 flat for five furlongs and the breeze was the fastest of 30 horses at the same distance.

“She won on Oaks day (in a maiden special weight) and then I ran her back on the turf,” said Margolis. “She prefers the dirt. This will be her first time going two turns, but we’re looking forward to this race.”

Wine Princess, who is certainly bred to handle the distance, drew the rail and Proud Pearl, a full sister to 2008 3-year-old Filly Champion Proud Spell, will break just to her outside. Defy Gravity, Final Escrow, Serena’s Song Stakes winner Morrow Cove, and the graded stakes placed Jemima’s Pearl complete the field.


HENRY CARROLL HOMEBRED CONTESTS THE COLLEEN

Her name is Trish’s Wish, but the 2-year-old daughter of Naught Naught by Smoke Glacken could just as easily be called Family Affair.

“I named her after my wife, Patricia,” said trainer Henry Carroll, who also bred the filly in Virginia and owns her. “I trained the mom and the dad and bred two stakes winners, Rockin or Ready and Smokey Fellow, by him.”

Carroll is a longtime New Jersey-based horseman who caught lightening in a bottle with the blazingly fast Smoke Glacken. The multiple graded stakes winner won 10 of 14 starts, including the Tyro Stakes and Grade 2 Sapling Stakes in 1996, on the way to winning the 1997 Eclipse Award as champion Sprinter.

Smoke Glacken’s daughter will attempt to win her first stakes race when she goes postward in Sunday’s Colleen Stakes for juvenile fillies at 5 furlongs on the grass.

“When I bought the mare, I thought she had some turf pedigree,” Carroll said of Naught Naught, who ran four times at Monmouth. “I ran her on the dirt and she could not stand up on it. I put her on the turf in her fourth start and she fractured her sesamoid (bone) so I had to retire her. She is a half-sister to Celtic Melody, who was a grade one winner and a multiple graded stakes winner in New York.”

The Colleen will be Trish’s Wish second start, following her maiden win by five lengths on the main track here on June 16. Some of the others in the field of 11 have both stakes and turf experience.

“This is a pretty competitive race, but you never know with two-year-olds. Strange things have happened,” said Carroll, the son of noted New England horseman Bill Carroll. “I don’t like to ship them when they’re that young. I’d rather just put the bridle on and lead them over (to the paddock). Staying at home is an advantage. It’s been a long time between races and she needs to run. This filly has a really good mind and we’re going to give it our best shot.”

There is no question that Smoke Glacken is close to Carroll’s heart and Trish’s Wish is as well.

“I don’t have a barn full of them. I’ve just got this one,” he said. “I plan to take really good care of her.”


SHORE CHEF CRAB CAKE COOK-OFF NEXT WEEKEND

The annual Shore Chef Crab Cook-Off returns to Monmouth on August 18-19. The must-attend event features fare from the Shore’s finest seafood restaurants and is one of the track’s most popular promotions. Check monmouthpark.com for details.


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