OCEANPORT, N.J. * Vote Early, a ship-in from Churchill Downs, will try to run down the speed in Sunday’s $70,000 Blue Sparkler Stakes * Trainer Gregg Sacco has D’Wild Affair set for a top try in the $60,000 Anderson Fowler Stakes * Sunday is “Dollar Day” at Monmouth, with prices rolled back to a buck for admission, programs, hot dogs, pretzels and more.
VOTE EARLY AN INVADER TO WATCH IN SUNDAY’S BLUE SPARKLER
Sunday’s $70,000 Blue Sparkler Stakes for fillies and mares will be a fast affair. There are at least three dedicated speedsters entered in the six-furlong event, including My Sister Sue, who won last year’s edition of the Blue Sparkler; Pure Disco, who is usually intent on setting the pace, and Casino Transaction who won the Red Cross Stakes last out in wire-to-wire fashion.
The 5-year-old daughter of More Than Ready arrived Friday at Monmouth after a van ride from the trainer’s base at Churchill Downs. Margolis also shipped in Friday and will give Pedro Cotto Jr. a leg up Sunday.
Vote Early, one of the 20 horses Margolis trains for Richard, Bertram and Elaine Klein, was beaten just a head in a six-furlong allowance race at Churchill Downs last out on May 7.
“She ran a huge race there,” Margolis said. “She came from off the pace and got the lead in the stretch, and the other horse (Adrhythm) just nailed her. That horse came back to win a stakes in her next start, so that makes our filly look good.
“It looks like there’s a lot of speed in Sunday’s race, and we should have a good pace to run at,” the trainer said. “She shipped really well and she galloped over the Monmouth track this morning, so she looks set for a good effort.”
Margolis, who had a division stabled at Monmouth last summer, said he’s keeping his entire string in Louisville this year, but he’ll be shipping to points north, south, east and west, including Monmouth and Saratoga.
“We’ll be doing a lot of traveling. And with the price of shipping now, I’d better be sure I’m going into spots I can win,” he said with a smile.
SACCO READY FOR ANYTHING IN ANDERSON FOWLER STAKES
Trainer Gregg Sacco entered two 3-year-old colts in the $60,000 Anderson Fowler Stakes, which was originally scheduled for Saturday, but will now be run as the eighth race on Sunday’s program.
The Fowler is slated for five and a half furlongs on the grass, but Sacco is ready for whatever comes with the team of Red Oak Stable’s Sheer Faith and Silly Goose Racing Stable’s D’Wild Affair.
Sheer Faith, a son of Family Calling, is still a maiden since he was disqualified after he finished first in a race at Atlantic City in April. The colt put in a huge late run to get up by a head after five furlongs on turf in :57 1/5, but had his number taken down for interference at the three-eighths pole.
“He was DQ’d, but since he finished first, he’s a winner,” Sacco said. “It was a good effort for his first start.”
David Cohen, who rode in the Aycee event, has the call again.
The versatile half of the entry is D’Wild Affair, who has won on the main track and placed on the grass in his eight-race career.
“If it stays on the grass,” Sacco said, “D’Wild Affair will be fine. But if it comes off the grass, the race looks like it will be between us and John Tammaro’s colt (Rough Road Ahead), and we have an edge at five and a half furlongs.”
D’Wild Affair is an Ontario-bred by D’Wildcat * Forbidden Love, by Mt. Livermore. He won for fun on the main track here on May 11, beating up on an allowance field by more than eight lengths. In his previous race, he turned in a good effort over the Atlantic City grass, finishing second at five furlongs.
Last out, the Canadian-bred returned to his native land for the Bold Ruckus Stakes at Woodbine. He stalked the early pace, but tired from his efforts over the deep turf course and finished sixth.
Jose Lezcano, who was aboard in the allowance score here in May, gets the call again Sunday.
SUNDAY IS ‘DOLLAR DAY’ FOR MONMOUTH PARK FANS
Monmouth turns back the clock on Sunday with a “Dollar Day” promotion that features prices from the good old days.
On Sunday, grandstand admission will be $1, and the program will also cost $1. Hot dogs, sodas, small Daily Racing Forms, simulcast programs and pretzels also have $1 price tags.
Sunday also brings regular Family Fun Day activities, with pony rides, face painters, clowns and an inflatable bounce house.
Live music will be provided “On the Green” by the Cats on a Smooth Surface band.