Two-Year-Olds Take to the Turf in Monday's 3rd Race

Sunday, October 27, 2013

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Monday’s Meadowlands card sports a solid six contests, with one of the more interesting races set as race three, a starter allowance for 2-year-olds sprinting on the grass.  While there’s always excitement with the youngsters starting out their careers, Monday’s event adds just a little bit more as over half the field will be trying the turf for the first time.

One runner, who has turf experience, has something none of her competitors can boast – a win at the Meadowlands.  That runner is Thundering Gale, who was claimed out of a winning maiden score over the Big M lawn on Oct. 14.

“She’s out of a graded stakes winning mare and she looked up to the breeding,” said trainer Kathy Mongeon, who now trains Thundering Gale for owners Rising Sun Stable and T.J. O’Connor.  “Everything just looked right so we decided to take shot.”

Prior to her maiden win, Thundering Gale had two tries on the Saratoga main track, both times entered for a $75,000 claiming price, where she finished sixth and seventh.  She was then sent to the Meadowlands for her turf debut at a mile and 70 yards, scoring by a widening six lengths for a $20k tag.

“We were certainly impressed with her maiden win,” Mongeon said.  “She got in some trouble around the turn and was still able to draw away.  That was a two-turn race and on Monday we go back to one turn.  She’s a filly that’s on the engine the whole way, so we’ll just let her break and see what she wants to do.  Ideally, I’d like to be right behind the speed, but we’ll see what happens.”

That speed is likely to come from Hot Squeeze, a George Weaver-trainee, who’s been installed the 9-5 favorite by oddsmaker Brad Thomas.  Like Thundering Gale, Hot Squeeze is a filly taking on the boys in Monday’s 3rd race. 

Monday’s first race post is set for 2:15 p.m., with gates opening at 11:30 a.m.  The all-turf Monmouth-at-Meadowlands meet runs through Saturday, Nov. 2.