OCEANPORT, N.J. * Rough Road Ahead will use Saturday’s $60,000 Anderson Fowler Stakes on the turf as a prep for the $150,000 Long Branch Stakes on the main track on July 12 * Monmouth’s popular Dawn Patrol backstretch tours will start on Friday, June 27.
ROUGH ROAD AHEAD LOOKS FOR SMOOTH TRIP IN LONG BRANCH PREP
Rough Road Ahead looks like he’s inherited the family trait of versatility, and that legacy will be put to the test in the next month if all goes according to plan.
And the Long Branch, Monmouth’s major prep for the $1 million Haskell Invitational (G1 on Aug. 3), will be another test of genetics. In that mile and a sixteenth, Rough Road Ahead will be trying to emulate his uncle, the Roseland Farm homebred Thistyranthasclass, who won the race in 2000 and went on to finish fifth in the Haskell after stumbling badly at the start. Thistyranthasclass, by Regal Classic * Waltzing Empress, by Tyrant, is a full brother to Teenage Queen.
The strong family ties are a direct result of the breeding theories of John Bowers Jr., who owns Roseland Farm in Colts Neck, N.J. Bowers has long used his good racemares as broodmares, sending them to the right stallions, and thereby perpetuating all the right family traits.
Rough Road Ahead is the latest in the long line to carry the colors. The chestnut colt broke his maiden at first asking here last year, winning at five furlongs. He finished second going long on turf at Laurel, and last fall won the New Jersey Futurity.
This year, he won a sprint here in May, and then finished a very game second to Indy Joe in the Rumson Stakes on the main track. Now he tries five and a half furlongs on the grass in Saturday’s Fowler.
“He’s very versatile,” said trainer John Tammaro 3rd. “If you’ve got a horse that can run, he can run on any surface. And this colt can run.”
Tammaro said he’s using the Fowler as a Long Branch prep because of the timing.
“We wanted a race for him before we stretch him out again,” said Tammaro, “and this fits perfectly. He’ll be fine on the grass. In fact, he’s got a real turf foot, for whatever that’s worth.”
Like other members of his family, Rough Road Ahead is just starting to mature in the middle of his 3-year-old year, and Tammaro feels the colt’s best is still ahead.
“As a 2-year-old, he wasn’t yet what he was cut out to be.” The trainer said. “He’s just going to get better as he gets older, because the whole family has been that way.”
Tammaro gave Rough Road Ahead an extended breeze last week (seven furlongs in a solid 1:26 3/5) and feels the colt is up to the challenges ahead.
“I’m very pleased with the way he’s training and the way he’s developing,” Tammaro said.
DAWN PATROL TOURS SET TO START ON FRIDAY, JUNE 27
Monmouth Park’s popular Dawn Patrol tours of the stable area will begin on Friday, June 27, and will be held every Friday and Saturday thereafter through August 30. The tours are free of charge, and guests are treated to complimentary juice, coffee and pastries.
Dawn Patrol takes guests on a tram tour through the Monmouth Park stable area for a glimpse into the everyday life of Thoroughbreds and the people who care for them. The tour also includes a visit to the jockeys’ room on the frontside.
The Friday Dawn Patrol starts at 7 a.m., and the Saturday tours begin at 8 a.m.
Reservations are required fort he Dawn Patrol tours, and can be made by calling 732-571-5542, or by stopping in the Media Relations office in the Administration Building at the track.