Thursday, June 19, 2008
Monmouth Park Barn Notes for Wednesday, June 18, 2008
DISTANCE SUITS SUMPTUOUS IN SATURDAY’S DEARLY PRECIOUS; WILL GRASS BE MANNINGTON’S CLAIM TO FAME IN FOWLER?
OCEANPORT, N.J. * Sumptuous will be back at her best distance in Saturday’s $70,000 Dearly Precious Stakes * Mannington gets to try the grass for the first time in Saturday’s $60,000 Anderson Fowler Stakes.
SUMPTUOUS LOOKS SET FOR TOP EFFORT IN DEARLY PRECIOUS
Edward P. Evans’s Sumptuous, a fast-closing second last out in the Just Smashing Stakes at five and a half furlongs, gets another sixteenth of a mile to work with Saturday when she tries 3-year-old fillies again in the $70,000 Dearly Precious Stakes at six furlongs.
The daughter of Hennessy has two career wins in eight starts, and both have come at the Dearly Precious distance. She broke her maiden at the Meadowlands last year, one race after running third at five and a half furlongs. She chalked up her second lifetime win on March 29 over the inner track at Aqueduct.
“She got blocked and had to come around the field in that last start,” said Anthony Sciametta Jr., who is trainer Todd Pletcher’s assistant at Monmouth. “I think she should have won. But she always tries.”
Sumptuous was with Sciametta at the start of her career last year, and then spent the winter in New York. She was tried twice around two turns at Aqueduct, finishing second in an allowance,
and then third in the Busanda Stakes. She returned to Monmouth in early May.
She has settled nicely into her role of a closing sprinter, and Saturday’s distance should be just right.
“She trains all right,” Sciametta said of the modest breezes Sumptuous has turned in on June 8 (half-mile in :52 flat) and June 17 (half in :52 4/5) to get ready for this. “But we’ve found she does better when we take it easy on her between races.”
Jose Lezcano, who was aboard for the first time in the Just Smashing, gets the call again for Saturday’s Dearly Precious Stakes.
Saturday’s stakes is named for the filly who won the 1975 Sorority Stakes at Monmouth for trainer Steve DiMauro and went on to win an Eclipse Award as champion 2-year-old filly that season.
MANNINGTON GETS A CHANCE TO TRY TURF IN ANDERSON FOWLER
Mannington, a 3-year-old colt by Delaware Township, has won four of 12 lifetime starts, all on dirt. This Saturday, though, he gets a chance to try the turf in the $60,000 Anderson Fowler Stakes at five and a half furlongs.
“I’ve wanted to try him on the grass ever since we got him,” said trainer Terri Pompay. Now that he’s won his ‘a-other-than’ condition, the Fowler is the place to try it.”
Mannington comes off a fourth-place finish in the Rumson Stakes, run on a muddy racetrack. In his stakes debut, he was bumped around at the start, and spent the entire race down on the deep rail, spinning his wheels.
“He ran okay considering he had a rough start and was down on the inside the whole way,” Pompay said.
Mannington has been a positive addition to the barn ever since Pompay claimed him for $32,000 on behalf of My Purple Haze Stable on Dec. 19 last year. Since then, the Florida-bred colt has won himself out, earning more than $66,000 on three victories in five starts. He’s moved up from the claiming ranks to win an allowance race here on May 11, and the Rumson and now the Fowler are logical steps in his development.
“He won his allowance race against older horses,” Pompay said. “He’d have to meet older, hard-knocking horses in the two-other-than allowance races. It’s sometimes easier to run him in a stakes against straight 3-year-olds.
“This race fits him, especially since I want to see how he does on the grass,” the trainer said. “And if it comes off the turf, that would be great, too.”
And Mannington has brightened up life at Barn 24 since his arrival in May.
“He’s just a wonderful horse to be around,” Pompay said. “He’s such a character that everybody in the barn just loves him. It was a great claim in a lot of ways.”
Daniel Centeno, who was aboard in his two Monmouth races, has the call again on Saturday.
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