Breen to Send Trio of Runners for Iselin Bin

Saturday, August 16, 2014

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This Sunday marks the 79th running of the Grade 3 Philip H. Iselin Stakes, one of the highlights of Monmouth Park’s summer racing season. Originally known as the Monmouth Handicap, the Iselin was first contested in 1884, and renamed in honor of the former president and chairman of the board of Monmouth Park in 1986. Pants On Fire, Bern Identity, and Vegas No Show will travel the mile and one eighth along Monmouth’s main track for trainer Kelly Breen in the hopes of capturing a large chunk of the $150,000 purse.

“We’ve got a few chances in this one,” said Breen. “I think my best shot is Pants On Fire. He came out of his last race good. The other horses are doing fine.”

A 6-year-old horse by Jump Start out of the Cape Town mare Cabo de Noche, Pants On Fire is a multiple graded stakes winner including the 2013 renewals of both the Monmouth Cup (G2) and the Ack Ack Handicap (G3) at Churchill Downs. Most recently, Pants on Fire ran in the 2014 Monmouth Cup (G2) and posted a strong third place finish to fellow Iselin runner Valid in his first race back in America after a trip to Japan.

“He didn’t run that well in Japan,” said Breen, “but we’re happy that he got back here and ran a good race in his first race back in the States. We’re going to try to move forward off of that performance.”

As for his other runners, Bern Identity is coming off of an impressive 4 ¼ length victory in the My Frenchman Stakes at Monmouth Park on Aug. 2, his first race since Jan. 2013, while Vegas No Show placed sixth alongside Pants On Fire in the Monmouth Cup (G2).   

The trio will face tough competition in the Iselin, namely in the Marcus Vitali trained Valid who is the 5-2 morning line favorite. At 3-1, Pants On Fire is second choice on the line with fellow stakes winner Integrity third choice at 7-2. Bern Identity and Vegas No Show are 6-1 and 8-1 on the line, respectively.

As for strategy Breen will be playing it by ear with his trio saying, “We still have to come up with a game plan and see how the track is playing.”

The Iselin will go as race 10 on Sunday’s 11-race card.