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Barn Notes

The Hunk Looks Good For Saturday Stakes

Posted Friday, Aug 3, 2012

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In 13 career efforts The Hunk has only run on the grass and at the distance once, but his trainer is hoping that that the 5-year-old horse’s sire will help get him to the finish line first in Saturday’s $60,000 My Frenchman Stakes.

            “He’s by Speightstown and he gets some good turf sprinters,” said Ben Perkins, Jr., who saddled The Hunk when he won the John J. Reilly Handicap for New Jersey-breds on the Monmouth Park main strip two races back.

            Speightstown was the 2004 Breeders’ Cup Sprint winner and the champion Sprinter that same year. As for past Breeders’ Cup winners, The Hunk and his rivals will find themselves lining up in the gate for the 5 ½ furlong turf race with one. Chamberlain Bridge, who captured the 2010 Turf Sprint and then failed to defend his title on Breeders’ Cup day last year, will make his second start of 2012 in the overnight stakes.

            The Hunk has been working well of late on the Monmouth turf course.

“We also worked him at Palm Meadows on the turf a couple of times last winter with plans to run him down there (at Gulfstream Park) but then had to give him some time off,” Perkins said of the New Farm homebred. “If you look at the chart from that race he had on the turf (when he finished fourth in a 5 furlong dash on the grass at Gulfstream in February 2011) he jumped a shadow at the three-eighths pole.”

            Since then, The Hunk has been running at six furlongs and Perkins thinks that shortening up a little will be to his benefit. Nevertheless, he didn’t get an ideal post position when he drew the rail. 

             “I don’t love the draw,” he said. “When you come out of the one-hole, there is a sharp bend (in the course) so you have to be forwardly placed. Hopefully, he can keep his position and not be shuffled back.”

            Just Chillin Boss, a winner of his last two races which were both at 5 ½ furlongs on the Monmouth turf, will break next to The Hunk as he steps up from first level allowance race conditions. He’s got early speed but there’s a lot of pace in the race.

            “This is a tough race, a very tough race,” said Ramon Moya, who trains the 4-year-old son of Sweetsouthernsaint for Mid-Atlantic Tbred Inverstments. “Let’s hope he gives us a big effort and runs big. He needs to against this field. He likes the turf here. In his last race, he went the half-mile in forty-three. We hope he can do better than that.”

            Ju Jitsu Jax, the 2011 winner of the My Frenchman, Hewitts, Christiesborntorun, Triple E, Southern Region, and Mississippi Man complete the field.


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