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29,292 On-Track To See Albano Dominate In Pegasus Stakes; Largest Ever Father's Day Crowd Wagers Over $1 Million

Sunday, June 15, 2014

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Brereton C. Jones’s Albano moved for the lead around the far turn and expanded his margin of victory to 6 ½ lengths as he powered to an impressive victory in the $150,000 Pegasus Stakes before a record Father’s Day crowd of 29,262, who wagered nearly $1.1 million on Monmouth Park’s 12-race program.

“It was impossible to escape the buzz throughout the facility,” said Bob Kulina, president of Darby Development LLC, operators of Monmouth Park Racetrack.  “It was an enthusiastic crowd that came early and stayed late.  The racing product today was outstanding, and our handle certainly reflected it.

            “Father’s Day has traditionally been our second busiest day, only to the Haskell (July 27 this year).  We’ve been fortunate to build this day into a great event that the fans have truly embraced.”   

            Albano, who was making his first start since the March 29th Louisiana Derby (G2), raced well off the early pace of :22 4/5 for the first quarter mile and :46 2/5 for the half set by Ring Weekend.  Entering the far turn both Encryption and Albano moved after the leader with a three-wide Albano going best of all. The winner stepped the mile and a sixteenth over a fast main track in 1:44 flat.   

As the 13-10 favorite in the field of five 3-year-olds, Albano returned $4.60, $2.80 and $2.40.  Encryption completed the $17.20 exacta and paid $3.60 and $3.  It was another 6 ¼ lengths back to Lynx, who paid $3.40 to show.  Wildcatpleasures checked in fourth with 7-5 second choice Ring Weekend, who was eased through the stretch, rounding out the field.

            “We had no plan,” said winning trainer J. Larry Jones, “He (jockey Kerwin Clark) played it the way it came up.  It sure looked awful good.

            “The Haskell is our game plan, but we’ll see how it goes.  This horse races pretty good fresh, so if we come to the Haskell this was his prep.  We’ve had quite a bit of success at Monmouth, so that’s certainly the race we’re looking at.”

            Centerpiece of the Monmouth Park meeting, the $1 million Grade 1 William Hill Haskell Invitational is set for Sunday, July 27.

            A homebred colt by Istan from the Fortunate Prospect mare Pocho’s Dream Girl, Albano has won three of his seven lifetime starts, good for earnings of $308,100.

            “He’s been training really well,” said winning rider Kerwin Clark.  “Larry (trainer Jones) had him really ready for this race.  I knew they were going really quick early, because my horse has a lot of natural speed and we couldn’t keep up.  Once I called upon him around the turn, he really answered the question and pulled away impressively.”

            In the day’s undercard stakes, Silent Appeal took command out of the gate and cruised under the wire an impressive three-length winner of the $60,000 Dan Horn Handicap, going the flat mile on firm turf in 1:35 2/5.

            With Eddie Castro in the irons, Silent Appeal topped a $51.60 exacta and paid $10.60, $5.80 and $4, while carrying highweight of 122 pounds.  Jax Maxx checked in second, paying $5 and $3.  It was a nose back to post-time favorite Chunnel, who paid $2.60 to show.

            The Claudio Gonzalez-trained Silent Appeal, a 6-year-old gelding by Hook and Ladder out of the Peaks and Valleys mare Hana J, has won two of his three 2014 starts.

            Live racing continues at Monmouth Park on Friday, June 20 – gates open 11:30 a.m., first post 12:50 p.m.  As always the racetrack is open seven days a week for simulcasting from across the country and around the globe.

 


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