On Saturday and Sunday New Jersey-breds will take center stage, first in the
$60,000 John J. Reilly Handicap for horses three and older at six furlongs on
the main track and then in Sunday’s $60,000 Open Mind Handicap for fillies and
mares three and up at the same distance and on the same surface.
Trainer Greg Sacco comes into both stakes
with a strong hand as he sends out Voodoo Charm and Silent Appeal, a
supplemental nomination, for the Reilly, and comes back the next day with Ima
Jersey Girl and Cee The Country in the Open Mind.
“Voodoo Charm worked dynamite the other day.
He went for five furlongs in a minute,” Sacco said. “He could make his presence
felt in the last part of the race.”
The four-year-old colt, who is by Grade 1
winner Devil His Due out of the Beau Genius mare Carly Pooh and is a Pot o Gold
Stables homebred, who won four races on this track last year, including the New
Jersey Breeders Handicap.
“In the Open Mind I’m going to run both and
I feel that both have a chance,” Sacco said. “Cee The Country is quicker out of
the gate and Ima Jersey Girl will settle in a sprint and then come rolling. Both
have a trio of works since their last races and they are ready to
Owned and bred by John Brunetti’s Red Oak
Stable, Ima Jersey Girl won four races at Monmouth last year as a three-year-old
and all five of her 12 lifetime wins have come at this track. Last out she was
third against open company at Parx in the two-turn Sleigh Ride Stakes in
Cee The Country, owned by River Ridge
Stables and bred by Mildred Fleming, is also a multiple winner here and was
fourth when she ran in the Who Did it and Run Stakes on the Meadowlands turf
course in her last start on May 4.
Sacco said he also plans to run Freud’s
Honour, the 2011 champion New Jersey-bred three-year-old male, in the Grade 2
$200,000 Monmouth Stakes on June 10.
“He’s good to go in the big one. His last
race (a fourth-place finish in an optional claiming allowance on May 20) was a
tightener and he needed that,” said Sacco. “The Monmouth is a going to be a
tough race. He’s got to have his running shoes on.”
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