OCEANPORT, N.J. * Talkin About Love, a graded stakes winner last year, will be looking for her first win of the year in Saturday’s Goldfinch Handicap * Don’t Stop Dreamin, a former claimer, moves up to stakes company in Saturday’s Klassy Briefcase on the turf * The “Fagedaboudit Gang” had a weekend to remember.
Talkin About Love was a sensation here last season when she became the first New Jersey-bred to win the Grade 3 Monmouth Oaks. This year, she’s giving breeder-owner-trainer Kevin Sleeter fits with a third and a second in two starts.
“I want to get her to win again,” Sleeter said. “She’s got to get back to where she was last year.”
To that end, the 4-year-old filly by Not for Love will drop back to a sprint Saturday when she takes on state-breds again in the $60,000 Goldfinch Handicap at six furlongs.
Talkin About Love is coming off a second to Open Skies in the Spruce Fir Handicap at a mile and 70 yards on June 28 when she carried highweight of 125 pounds. In her first start of the season, the Open Mind ‘Cap on May 26, she was third behind Heckuva Good Time and Pure Disco at six furlongs, again with 125 pounds.
The filly has not won since the Monmouth Oaks last Aug. 12, and Sleeter wants to give her a chance to regain some confidence.
“She’s better going long, but she’s won sprinting,” he said. “My main goal is the Lady’s Secret Stakes (mile and a sixteenth on Haskell Day, Aug. 3). I can’t sit on her that long, so the Goldfinch looked like the best spot for a prep. And hopefully a win.”
DON’T STOP DREAMIN EARNS BERTH IN KLASSY BRIEFCASE STAKES
Ever since December of 2006, Don’t Stop Dreamin has been one of those claims trainers hope to make every time they drop a slip in the box. And on Saturday, the 4-year-old filly will get a chance to enter rare territory when she makes her first stakes start in the $60,000 Klassy Briefcase Stakes at five and a half furlongs on the turf.
Eddie Broome took the daughter of West Acre * Precise Storm, by Storm Creek, for $25,000 at Calder on Dec. 6, 2006, and ever since she’s been the dream claim.
Running in Broome’s colors, Don’t Stop Dreamin has won seven races and earned nearly $180,000. Last season, she did all her running on the dirt here, winning two claiming events. Broome moved her to a bottom-level allowance at the Meadowlands, and Don’t Stop Dreamin passed that test with flying colors.
Broome put the filly on grass the end of last season in Florida, and Don’t Stop Dreamin appears to love the green, with a record of 2-1-1 in five turf starts. In her last two turf tries at Monmouth, both at five and a half furlongs, the Florida-bred was second by a nose to Czarina’s Girl, and then won an allowance going away.
Her only poor races this year have come in off-the-turf events at Gulfstream Park during the winter.
“She liked the turf as soon as I tried her there,” Broome said. “In fact, since she went on the grass she doesn’t like dirt any more.
“That’s okay, though,” Broome said. “As long as she keeps running like she does on the grass.”
WEEKEND TO REMEMBER FOR ‘FAGEDABOUDIT’ GANG
First there was Fagedaboudit Sal. Then came Fagedaboudit Gal. Now there’s Fagedaboudit Pal. Has Salvatore Racing Stable gone over the top? Fagedaboutit!
The racing stable owned by Salvatore Tringola, who named all the horses, came into the spotlight last weekend when “Sal,” the 6-year-old New Jersey-bred by Yarrow Brae, led every step at 39-1 to win the Bob Harding Stakes in his first turf start on Saturday, and “Gal,” a 3-year-old Unbridled filly, broke her maiden on turf at 12-1 on Sunday.
“Sal” has run well against New Jersey-breds in the past, winning the Bernie Dowd and Lincroft handicaps here last year. But the Harding was an open event, and marked his turf debut. Even the owner was skeptical.
“Sal called me on Friday and asked if I was drinking when I made the entry,” said trainer Luis Carvajal Jr. with a smile. “He said we were in over our heads, and he wanted me to scratch the horse.
“I told him that the horse had some turf pedigree and was doing really well. I figured he would like the turf course really firm. I knew he was going to the front from the start, and they would have to catch him.
“Sal said he thought I was crazy, but go ahead,” Carvajal said. “And it worked out great.”
“Gal,” still a maiden after 10 starts, apparently caught the winning stable vibes Saturday night because on Sunday, she came out rolling in a mile and a sixteenth maiden claimer on the grass and led every step.
But Carvajal will have to wait a while to complete the triple. “Pal,” a 2-year-old colt by Tree, bucked shins after his first career start here on May 18. He’ll be back by mid-August, though, so pay attention.