News & Barn notes

Eight Entered For Saturday’s $100,000 Long Branch Stakes As Monmouth’s 78th Season Gets Underway With 10-Race Card

May 09, 2023

Eight 3-year-olds – two trained by Butch Reid – were entered for Saturday’s $100,000 Long Branch Stakes, the feature race on the opening day program for Monmouth Park’s 78th season of Thoroughbred racing.

A total of 90 horses (not counting five alternates) were entered for the 10 races following Tuesday’s draw.

The 87th running of the Long Branch Stakes, contested at a mile and 70 yards, will go as race eight. First race post time is 12:40 for Saturdays, Sundays and holiday Monday cards. When Friday racing gets underway in June first race post time for those days will be 2 p.m.

Didinger, a Kentucky-bred son of Bolt d’Oro, heads the Reid-trained duo, coming in off a victory in an allowance optional claimer at Parx on March 27 in his seasonal debut. Reid has also entered Ninetyprcentmaddie, a Pennsylvania-bred son of Weigelia who has four wins and two seconds from eight career starts.

The Long Branch Stakes field from the rail out consists of Slip Mahoney, No Confession, Coffeewithchris, Howgreatisnate, Didinger, Offaly Cool, Ninetyprcentmaddie and Hayes Strike.

Slip Mahoney, trained by Brad Cox, was a trouble-filled sixth in the Grade 2 Wood Memorial in his most recent start. Hayes Strike, trained by Ken McPeek, is just 2-for-10 lifetime but was third in the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes and second in the Grade 3 Street Sense, both last year. He was seventh in his most recent start – the Grade 1 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes.

Monmouth Park’s 51-day meet will feature 48 stakes races worth more than $7.7 million. Ten are graded stakes. The Grade 1, $1 million Haskell Stakes again serves as the headliner for the summer on July 22. The Grade 1 United Nations will also be contested that day.