Trainer Ben Perkins has lots to look forward to in the
coming days and weeks. While he is set
to saddle Final Forest in Saturday’s $60,000 John J.
Reilly Handicap, the trainer hopes to have much more in store as the summer
season quickly approaches.
in the barn nearing a return is The Hunk, winner of last year’s Reilly
hoping to have him back in for this year’s race, but he just wasn’t ready,”
Perkins said. “He needs one or two more
breezes. With these older horses, you
just let them tell you when they’re ready and take it from there.”
who’s won six of his 16 lifetime starts, hasn’t raced since the DeFrancis Dash
at Laurel last
October. The 6-year-old horse breezed
four furlongs at Monmouth on May 27, going :48 flat, fifth fastest of 88 on the
Spelled, who captured last year’s Grade 3 Jersey Shore Stakes at Monmouth, is
also nearing a return, having last raced to a victory in the Gallant Bob at
Parx on Sept. 22.
close,” Perkins said. “He had a really
nice breeze the other day, so we’ll be looking for a spot for him soon. Maybe the Mr. Prospector Stakes (here on July
there’s the undefeated Rainbow Heir, who won here on May 12, going six furlongs
in a snappy 1:08 2/5.
he’s something special,” Perkins said. “We’ll
probably go right to the Jersey
Shore with him (Grade 3
here on July 4).”
Heir will look to give Perkins his third win in the Jersey Shore. The trainer won it in 1995 with Fort Stockton,
when the race was still contested at Atlantic City Racecourse, and last year
with Well Spelled.