Barn Notes

Jemima's Pearl Hopes To Shine In The Monmouth Oaks

Posted Thursday, Aug 9, 2012

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She’ll be making her first start since the Grade 1 $1 million Kentucky Oaks as well as her initial effort for a new barn, and trainer Bret Calhoun expects that he’s found a gem of a spot for Jemima’s Pearl in Saturday’s Grade 3 $100,000 Monmouth Oaks.

            The Kentucky-bred 3-year-old daughter of Distorted Humor was saddled by Bob Baffert in her three 2012 starts, which include a third place finish in the Grade 2 Fantasy Stakes at Oaklawn Park last April. She was one of two fillies owned by Gillian Campbell, R Group Management and Greenwood Lodge Farm who ran in the Kentucky Oaks and Calhoun trained the other, the fourth place finisher Summer Applause.

            Calhoun recently got the call that Jemima’s Pearl was headed his way.

            “The owners decided to send her where she’d have a few more opportunities,” Calhoun explained. “They sent her here with this race in mind. I’ve only had her for a couple of weeks. She was flown from Southern California to my barn in Lexington and then was vanned here just recently.”

            Jemima’s Pearl, who had five races in Ireland as a Juvenile, has been training in Southern California and over the synthetic track at Del Mar of late, but she has taken to her new surroundings. She tuned up for the Monmouth Oaks with a bullet three-furlong breeze of :35.60 over the track last Sunday .

            “I was a little worried about the climate change. She was sweating when she got here but she has acclimated very well and has a lot of energy,” said Calhoun. “She’s only had that one work over the track but I look forward to her running a good race on Saturday.”

            Jemima’s Pearl drew the outside post in the six-horse field for the 1 1/6 miles race on the main track and picks up the services of leading rider Elvis Trujillo. Wine Princess, Proud Perak, Defy Gravity, Final Escrow and Morrow Cove are her competition.

            Last time out on July 15, Morrow Cove was an impressive 4 ¾ length winner of the $75,000 Serena’s Song Stakes and now she comes back looking for her first graded stakes win.

            “Hopefully, she can duplicate that last performance,” said Anthony Sciametta, the assistant to trainer Todd Pletcher. “She’s been training great and breezed good (also on Aug. 5). She’s an easy keeper. She’s very well behaved and she likes to train.”


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