Hermosillo, the reigning New Jersey-bred
Horse of the Year and champion Handicap Horse, returns to square off against
state-bred company on Saturday when he defends his title in the $75,000 Charles
Hesse III Handicap. The stakes is the featured race of 10 to be run as part of
the New Jersey Thoroughbred Festival at Monmouth Park.
may share his name with the capital of the Sonora
region of Mexico, but he is
a true son of the Garden
State. Bred by Monmouth
based trainer Eddie Broome and owned by Kenwood racing LLC, the 8-year-old
gelding has made 39 of his 65 starts at Monmouth and eight of his 11 wins were
on this track. During his 2011 fall campaign, he racked up three consecutive
victories here and the highlight was the Hesse.
While he’s only made three starts
in 2012, all at Monmouth, he ran a very game second against open company on a
sloppy track last time out on August 10.
“He hasn’t run much this year and he takes his
time between races now. He has his little things that catch up with him and we
have to back off, but I was able to train him up to this race,” said trainer Stephen
DiMauro. “As an eight-year-old, you’re not sure if he’s lost a step or not.
This race will show us, I guess. He tries hard every time and hopefully, he’ll
run his best race.”
The 1 1/16 mile handicap on the main track is
named in honor of the late Charles Hesse III, who owned and operated Char-Mari
Stable with his wife, Marianne. Mr. Hesse’s father built the original Monmouth Park racing strip in 1946.
has been assigned top weight of 120 pounds in the field of 11 and he’ll get a
rematch with Goombada Guska, who finished second last year in the Hesse while racing for Turtle Bird Stable and trainer
Steve Asmussen. In Goombada Guska’s last race he was claimed for $15,000 by
Patricia Farro for Juve Stab.
“He’s training good. We got a nice
two-minute lick into him the other day,” said Mike Farro, the assistant to his
wife. “We’re going to put the blinkers back on him for this race because he
wore them when he was racing good before. He’s ready to go.”
Benny or Local will also contest
the Hesse but it would be folly to assume that
the principals of Jersey Shore Racing Stable named their homebred for their trainer
Ben Perkins, Jr.
“Local day-trippers to the Jersey Shore
are called ‘Bennys’”, said Perkins while explaining some local culture. “The
name comes from the New Jersey Transit line, where the baggage handlers on the
train would slap a sticker on the luggage that read BENNY and they’d check off
the destination. Benny stands for Bayonne-Elizabeth-Newark-New York. So when you
were on the train, you were going there or coming here.”
The New Jersey Thoroughbred
Festival will be renewed for the 10th time and the day will
celebrate the best of the state-bred racing program. The special events include
an appearance by the Perkins-trained Joey P., one of the most popular horses to
race at Monmouth Park and the earner of more than $1
million before his retirement. Three stakes races on the 10-race card for New
Jersey-breds only and the induction of the inaugural class into the New
Jersey-bred Hall of Fame are part of the day.
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