Friday, September 30, 2011

Monmouth Park Barn Notes for Thursday, September 29, 2011


The Peter Walder-trained Force Freeze entered Monmouth Park’s Teddy Drone Stakes on Haskell Day as a virtual unknown, having run his previous 13 races in Dubai.

But after running six furlongs in 1:07 3/5 and beating last year’s Cigar Mile winner Jersey Town by four lengths, the 6-year-old instantly became a candidate for the $1.5 million Breeders’ Cup Sprint on Saturday, Nov. 5.

This Saturday, Force Freeze will attempt to earn his way to the Breeders’ Cup by capturing Belmont Park’s Grade 1, $350,000 Vosburgh.

“I would say he’d have to hit the board for us to head to the Breeders’ Cup,” Walder said. “Maybe if he ran a troubled fourth we’d think about it.”

While Walder could not have been happier about Force Freeze’s most recent four-furlong work in :47 flat, the conditioner wasn’t thrilled with his charge’s rail draw.

“I was hoping for any kind of outside post,” Walder said. “Of course, he drew the rail. I think he has enough tactical speed to get good position.

“We shipped him up to Belmont on Saturday to gallop over the track and then he worked on Sunday. He worked unbelievable. Paco [jockey Lopez] was on him and absolutely loved how he went.”

Force Freeze faces no easy task in Saturday’s Vosburgh as he takes on the likes of reigning Champion Sprinter Big Drama and morning-line favorite Trappe Shot, last year’s Haskell runner-up.

“It definitely is a salty bunch,” Walder said. “Barring something unforeseen, I wouldn’t be surprised if every horse comes out of this race and goes to the Breeders’ Cup.”


Breathless Storm, the Kiaran McLaughlin-trained winner of the Jersey Derby on Haskell Day, will head to Hawthorne Race Course on Saturday, October 15 for the $200,000 Hawthorne Derby (G3), assistant trainer Andrew St. Lawrence said.

The 3-year-old son of Storm Cat who won a pair of races this summer at Monmouth Park was scheduled to run in last Saturday’s Kent Stakes (G3) at Delaware before that event was rained off the turf.

“The Kent was Plan A before the weather came,” St. Lawrence said. “Now it looks like Plan B is the Hawthorne Derby. The Jamaica [at Belmont on Oct. 8] is out there but that’s a Grade 1 for $250,000 and the race at Hawthorne is a Grade 3 for $200,000.”

Before shipping to Monmouth Park for the summer, Breathless Storm kicked off his 2011 campaign - following three 2010 races in England - with a fourth-place finish in an allowance race at Gulfstream Park. The second-place finisher in that event was none other than eventual Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom.

“He’s a neat horse to have in the barn,” St. Lawrence said. “He’s been improving with each and every race and that race in the Jersey Derby was really eye-opening.”


Monmouth Park will host it’s first-ever Breeders’ Cup Party and Exclusive Handicapping Seminar on Saturday, November 5.

The event will take place in Monmouth Park’s luxurious Turf Club and for $40 will include Clubhouse admission, valet parking, official track program, lunch buffet, raffle prizes, and an exclusive Breeders’ Cup handicapping seminar and tip sheet from Monmouth Park’s own Brad Thomas.

For more information on the Breeders’ Cup Party & Handicapping Seminar, log-on to or email Brian Skirka at .

Live racing continues at Monmouth Park until Sunday, Nov. 6.

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