Barn Notes

Mongeon's Claim Paying Big Dividends So Far

Posted Saturday, Jun 1, 2013

 

 

A little past 5 p.m. this Sunday, Kathy Mongeon will know just how big a bargain she got when she claimed Don’s Peach for $6,250 at Gulfstream Park in February. 

            She already knows the 5-year-old mare was a steal at the price, but after the running of the $60,000 Open Mind Handicap for New Jersey-bred fillies and mares, she may have one of the best bargains of all time in her barn. 

            Don’s Peach, who broke her maiden at Monmouth in 2011 and has four seconds here in her career, raced for a $7,500 claiming tag at Parx last fall, and then won for a $10,000 tag at Gulfstream in January. When she was dropped in for $6,250 a month later, Mongeon decided to take a chance and claim the mare. 

            “She was a New Jersey-bred, and she had won at Monmouth, so I was willing to take a chance with her,” Mongeon said. “Since she came into my program, she has just blossomed. Her coat is black and shiny, and she’s a happy horse.” 

            After six weeks in Mongeon’s care, Don’s Peach was sent out in a starter handicap at Gulfstream. She ran a big race, had the lead briefly and was a clear second behind the hard-knocking Capitalism at Risk. 

            The mare arrived at Monmouth in late April with the Mongeon string and proceeded to turn in two sharp breezes. Those works led to her being sent off the 11-10 favorite in a state-bred “non-winners of one other than” allowance race here on May 18. Don’s Peach just toyed with her foes (the chart comment reads “wrapped up late”) en route to a two and a quarter-length win.  

Those two races put Mongeon on the plus side of her investment. Now Don’s Peach returns in the Open Mind – her first try ever in a stakes race – and she’s likely to be one of the favorites in the six-furlong event. 

            “She’s been doing so well here I decided to give her a chance,” Mongeon said. “Some of the other fillies in the stake are coming off layoffs, so that should help. And Elba, who was fourth behind us that last race, came back to win an allowance race here last week.” 

            Paco Lopez, battling for leadership among Monmouth jockeys, returns in the irons Sunday as Don’s Peach gets in the handicap with 116 pounds.  

            Geeky Gorgeous, who hasn’t raced since last September, is the highweight at 125 pounds. Little Stitch, sixth in the Red Cross Stakes in her 2013 debut, carries 121. 

 


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