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Fuzzy Muzzle, Stiffed, Chubble Maker Win Saturday Stakes; New Jersey-Breds Take Center Stage At Annual Festival

Saturday, September 12, 2015

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The best runners bred in the Garden State took to the track Saturday as Fuzzy Muzzle, Stiffed and Chubble Maker all recorded stakes victories at Monmouth Park’s annual New Jersey Thoroughbred Festival.

            Jockey Vicente Gudiel, a 28-year-old apprentice from Guatemala, enjoyed a banner J-bred Day, booting home a pair of stakes winner, capped by Fuzzy Muzzle’s impressive win in the $60,000 Charles Hesse III Handicap.

            Trained by Jason Servis, Fuzzy Muzzle sat off the early pace before coming with a sweeping rally around the turn and posting a 4 ¼ length score, going the mile and a sixteenth over a fast main track in 1:45 flat.  Fuzzy Muzzle paid $12.60, $5.60 and $3.60.  No More Music completed the $55 exacta and returned $4.20 and $3.20.  It was another three lengths back to Gadget Man, who paid $4.20 to show.

            “He went long on the grass before and did quite well,” said Servis.  “He’s been going good and feeling good.  The owners are always patient with him and allow him to tell us when he’s ready.  We’ll look for a turf race at the Meadowlands for his next start and then give him the winter off.”

            In the colors of Rock Talk Farm, Fuzzy Muzzle won his first of four starts this year and fourth lifetime.  The 6-year-old gelding by Closing Argument from the Victory Gallop mare Hope’s Folly has now banked $160,283.

            In the $60,000 Jersey Girl Handicap, Stiffed sat off the speed of her two other rivals, before mounting a three-wide bid at the top of the stretch and drawing off to a length and a quarter score.  Trained by John Mazza, Stiffed paid $2.60 as the odds-on choice in the field that scratched down to just three runners.

            “I didn’t want to get too far back, but they were going so slow up front I was right up behind them,” said winning jockey Gabriel Saez.  “I sat a good stalking trip and when we got to the 3/8ths pole it was time to go.  She’s so good.  I pretty much hand rode her the whole way.  I kept on top of her in the stretch just to keep her focused and to maintain our momentum.”

            A 4-year-old filly by Stephen Got Even from the Silver Deputy mare High Noon Nellie, Stiffed recorded her third win of the season after stepping the mile and a sixteenth in the Jersey Girl Handicap in 1:45 2/5.  She has banked $229,225 for owner Holly Crest Farm.

            Chubble Maker, a half-brother to multiple stakes winner Geeky Gorgeous, was the first stakes winner on the 10-race card, drawing clear to post just better than a length win in the $60,000 New Jersey Breeders Handicap.

            Owned, trained and bred by Daniel J. Lopez, Chubble Maker made his stakes debut a winning one after sitting off the early pace and coming with a strong rally in the lane, stopping the timer in 1:10 flat for six furlongs.  The winner returned $21.20, $7, $4.40 across the board and topped a $100.60 exacta.  Rainbow Heir, winner of last year’s New Jersey Breeders Handicap, paid $5.40 and $4.  It was another two lengths back to Saucy Don, who paid $4 to show.

            “The trainer told me to take back off the speed and save something for the stretch,” said winning jockey Vicente Gudiel, who began his career last December in Chicago.  “That’s exactly what I did.  Once I got him in the clear in the stretch he really took off.”

            Saturday’s win marked the first stakes win for Chubble Maker’s father, Hey Chub.  A 4-year-old colt, Chubble Maker sports a record of 4-0-3 from seven starts, good for earnings of $125,682.

            Live racing continues at Monmouth Park on Sunday, Sept. 13 – gates open 11:30 a.m., first post 12:50 p.m.