Chance Encounter Tries for Hat Trick for Calhoun

Saturday, September 29, 2012

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Since being transferred to Bret Calhoun’s care, Chance Encounter has done everything right and on Sunday, the 3-year-old filly shoots for her third consecutive victory to remain undefeated at Monmouth Park as she continues to climb through her conditions.

            “This is a good race for her,” said Tom Morgan, the assistant to Calhoun. “I think she’s up to the task. This is the next logical step for her.”

            On the strength of impressive wins in a maiden special weight and a race for non-winners of one-other than here in July and August by a combined almost six lengths, Chance Encounter figures to go postward as one of the favorites in the $34,000 allowance/optional claimer for fillies and mares who are non-winners of two-other-than at six furlongs on the main track.

            But before she was sent to Calhoun, the winner’s circle was foreign territory. After losing her first three races at Calder Race Course last year, owners Gary and Mary West sent her to Calhoun. When the filly returned to the races from a 10-month layoff, she beat older horses in each of her triumphs.

            “We wanted to stretch her out and would have liked to try her at two turns, but there wasn’t a race for her here and we prefer to run her out of her own stall. She likes the track here and runs very well on it,” said Morgan.

            This is the first year that Calhoun has stabled at Monmouth for the meet and he has done well, winning 12 of 47 starts for a percentage of 26%. Calhoun, who won the My Frenchman Stakes here in August with 2010 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint champion Chamberlain Bridge, currently ranks 18th  in North America with 127 wins from 563 starts and earnings of $4,057,750.

            Geeky Gorgeous, who has won three of her last four starts which include a 5 ¾ length victory on New Jersey Thoroughbred Festival Day, steps back out into open company for this race. Natalie Victoria, the 15 ¼ length runaway winner of an allowance race at Suffolk Downs on September 18, makes her first appearance at Monmouth.