By Mike Rosen for Knightsbridge Bloodstock
The 36th running of the $100,000 Grade III Betfair Pegasus Stakes headlines Monmouth Park’s Father’s Day card this Sunday, June 18. This is the 8th season that the fixture for 3 year olds will be held at Monmouth in June. Before 2010 Monmouth’s sister track, The Meadowlands, conducted the Pegasus as a handicap in September.
Monmouth Park is one of our favorite tracks to visit. The capacious grandstand was built in 1946 and is traditionally decked out with thousands of bright geraniums. Horses are saddled in a pleasant enclosure beneath the shade of enormous beech trees. There are plenty of watering holes for patrons and on race days, New Jersey Transit runs a train to a stop on the backside. The Jersey Shore weather, moderated by the nearby ocean breeze, is fine all summer long.
A recent highlight at “The Shore’s Greatest Stretch” was American Pharoah’s appearance and easy victory in the 2015 Haskell in front of 60,000 fans. Several thousand more, pictured below, came on the Friday before the race to catch a glimpse of the Triple Crown winner gallop around the oval in preparation.
Nevertheless, Monmouth is beset with a superfecta of troubles; declining attendance and handle, fewer race days, dwindling purses and short fields. The slide is usually attributed to the competition from nearby racinos in New York, Pennsylvania and Delaware and their slots parlor fueled purses. Still, Monmouth manages to present a quality Stakes schedule for the summer so we must now return our attention to the 5 runners enrolled in the 8.5 furlong dirt contest.
Heading the field is undefeated Timeline, a chestnut colt by Hard Spun out of Azorina by Empire Maker. Azorina is a great-granddaughter of Broodmare of the Year Courtly Dee and one finds a long roster of wonderful stakes winners and superior producers, including Arch and Althea, in that consummate family.
In Timeline’s most recent outing, the Grade 3 Peter Pan at 9 furlongs on May 13, he sat just off the the pace for a mile before kicking clear in the stretch for a 3 length score. That stakes debut followed an ever widening 13 length victory in an Optional N1x Allowance at Aqueduct.
Eclipse Award winning trainer Chad Brown legs up Eclipse Award winning jockey Javier Castellano on Timeline. If all goes to plan Sunday, Timeline will forthwith be included in everyone’s lists of top 3 year olds colts.
Honor the Fleet seems an honest and talented horse and may contend for the place or show. After saving ground both turns in the Sir Barton S. at Pimlico on May 20, he merely raced evenly down the lane.
Talk Logistics has faced the toughest foes this year, having tackled Graded Stakes at Gulfstream, but has little to show for it but much dirt in his face.
Rounding out the field are 2 Florida-breds, Greek Prince and Glory Stars, neither of whom have yet produced a speed figure sufficient to contend in Grade 2 stakes.
The complete field and their connections are:
Pegasus Stakes, Grade 3, Eight and One-Half Furlongs, 3 year olds
Monmouth Park, Race #10, June 18, 5:20 EDT
1 Greek Prince
- Jockey / Nik Juarez
- Trainer / Georgia D. Andreadakis
- Owner / Georgia D. Andreadakis
- Breeder / John A. DeVault & Sue S. DeVault
- Jockey / Javier Castellano
- Trainer / Chad Brown
- Owner / Woodford Racing LLC
- Breeder / Alexander Groves Matz, LLC
3 Glory Stars
- Jockey / Mychel Sanchez
- Trainer / Michael Moore
- Owner / James A. Shannon, Jr.
- Breeder / Dee-Ellen Cook
4 Honor the Fleet
- Jockey / Joe Bravo
- Trainer / Louis Albertrani
- Owner / Frank V. Demarco
- Breeder / Gainesway Thoroughbreds
5 Talk Logistics
- Jockey / Paco Lopez
- Trainer / Edward Plesa, Jr.
- Owner / Hardway Stables
- Breeder / Ocala Stud & Edward West
Mike Rosen covers Horse Racing around the world for for Knightsbridge Bloodstock
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