A slew of fresh faces will
meet-up with the Monmouth
Park regulars when the
2014 season opens this Saturday, all to be greeted by a lucrative incentive
program to complement the already rich stakes and daily purse distribution for
the 57-day meet.
Among the new trainers calling the Monmouth Park
backstretch their home this summer are David Jacobson, Wayne Catalano, Hugh
McMahon, Christopher Grove and Team Gaudet.
“We’re all smiles,” said Bob Kulina, president of Darby
Development LLC, operators of Monmouth
Park. “To see the influx of new faces and the high
level of interest in Monmouth
Park is a sure sign that
we’re on the right track.”
Among those returning to Monmouth
Park in 2014 are Eddie Plesa and his
Classic-placed runner Itsmyluckyday, as well as Gregg Sacco, who last year led
all trainers in number of starters in the Garden State. They will be joined by previous leading
trainers J. Willard Thompson, John Tammaro III, Danny Lopez, Ben Perkins Jr., Tim Hills,
Kelly John Breen, Todd Pletcher, Bruce Alexander, Jane Cibelli and Jorge
Navarro. And of course the Monmouth
stalwarts: Jason Servis, John Mazza,
Terri Pompay, Eddie Broome, Patricia Farro, Buddy Carlesimo, Steve DiMauro,
Luis Carvajal, Charlie Harvatt, Joe Orseno, Joe Pierce, Chuck Spina, Tony
Wilson, Manny Berrios, Ed Barney, Tim Kelly, Kathy Mongeon, Skip Einhorn and
the course of Monmouth’s 2014 summer meet a trainer will receive a $300 bonus
for every non-state-bred starter regardless of surface.
owners will receive a minimum of $700 for every non-state-bred dirt starter and
a minimum of $500 for every open turf runner.
New Jersey breds will continue to be eligible for a 40% purse
bonus when running against open company.
Over in the jockey’s quarters, re-joining the Monmouth Park riding colony are Eddie Castro and
Julian Pimentel. Castro, who last rode
regularly at the Jersey
Shore in 2010, was thrice
runner-up in the standings (2007 – 2009).
A native of Panama, Castro
is a two-time winner of Monmouth
Park’s United Nations
Stakes, having piloted Presious Passion in 2008 and Teaks North in 2011.
Pimentel was last seen as a Monmouth regular back in
2004, finishing fifth in the standings.
Having spent the better part of the last decade in Maryland, Pimentel returns to Monmouth,
where he enjoyed stakes success in the Oceanport and Sapling.
Returning for the 2014 season will be last year’s
champion Paco Lopez, who has two Monmouth titles to his credit. Also returning are Haskell winner Chris
DeCarlo as well as top 10 riders from last year Gabriel Saez, Pedro Cotto Jr.,
Angel Serpa, Jose Ferrer and Victor Santiago.
“I love coming to Monmouth Park,”
said Lopez, who was top rider here in 2010 and last year. “New Jersey
is a great place to be and I’ve been very fortunate and lucky at Monmouth Park.
I hope that luck continues this year.”
Jockey Gabriel Saez, who spent his first season at
Monmouth in 2013, echoed Lopez’s remarks.
“Monmouth Park is fantastic,” said Saez, a 26-year-old native
of Panama. “I had a great time here last year and hope
to build off the success I enjoyed in 2013.”
Set to join the Monmouth regulars are newcomers Abel
Castellano, Trevor McCarthy and bug-boy Nik Juarez.
The 2014 Monmouth
Park meet runs from
Saturday, May 10 through Sunday, Sept. 28.