News & Barn notes

John Servis’ Duo Set To Go For Jersey Shore

June 23, 2017



            Trainer John Servis will send a pair of 3-year-olds to the gate Saturday to take on five rivals in the $60,000 Jersey Shore Stakes at six furlongs on the Monmouth Park main track.

            Even Thunder exits the Chick Lang Stakes on the Preakness undercard where he finished eighth behind multiple stakes winner Recruiting Ready.

            The gelding by Even the Score out of the Thunder Gulch mare Strikes of Thunder was a multiple stakes winner as a 2-year-old finishing his 2016 campaign with back-to-back wins in the Shakopee Juvenile Stakes at Canterbury Park and the Kings Swan Stakes at Aqueduct.

            “He’s been doing really well,” said Servis, who conditions the horse for DJ Stable LLC. “I expect him to be close to the early pace from the break.”

            Even Thunder has worked twice since his start in the Chick Lang. His most recent breeze came on June 18 when he went four furlongs in :49 2/5 over a muddy main track at Parx.

            Jose Ferrer will get the call for the first time aboard Even Thunder on Saturday.

            Breaking just to his outside will be the other John Servis runner, Alex Again, who comes in off a second place finish against optional claiming rivals at Parx on May 27.

            His lone start in stakes company came two back when he led up the backstretch before being passed in the homestretch, finishing second behind graded stakes placed Bonus Points in the Parx Derby.

            “He’s another one that’s been doing good,” said Servis. “He wasn’t finishing as well as we would of liked in his last two route races. His last sprint race was really impressive so we decided to drop him back to one turn.”

            Owned by Cash is King LLC, the son of Afleet Alex out of the Montbrook mare Cachinnated has won twice, both in sprints at Parx. He broke his maiden at second asking in October as well as taking down optional claiming company on April 11.

            Two other stakes winners will take their spots in the gate versus Servis’s pair on Saturday. Proforma, out of the Michael Stidham barn, won the Sugar Bowl Stakes as a two-year-old at Fair Grounds and Derek’s Smile, for Kelly Breen, was victorious in the Texas Glitter Stakes on the turf at Gulfstream Park.

            The Jersey Shore Stakes is set to run as race 10 on Saturday’s 11-race card. Gates open at 11:30 a.m. with first post scheduled for 12:50 p.m.      


            Monmouth Park will once again host the Wine and Chocolate Festival this Saturday and Sunday, where patrons will be able to sample and purchase delicious wines from New Jersey’s best wineries and please their sweet tooth with many different chocolate treats, all while enjoying a day at the races.

Multiple packages are available all weekend. For $10, patrons will receive a wristband for unlimited access to wine sampling from vintners such as Cava Winery, DiMatteo Vineyards, Monroeville Vineyard, Plagido’s Winery, Sharrott Winery and more. For $7, visitors will be able sample an assortment of chocolates from Broad Street Dough Co., Gourmet Creations, Nothing Bundt Cookies, The Dessert Bar, Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory and Goodway Bakery among others. For those who want both wine and chocolate, they can have the bundle package for just $15.

            People will also be able to enjoy live music Saturday from the Nine Deez Night and The Larry Stevens Band on Sunday. Sunday will also be Family Fun Day featuring pony rides, face painters and bounce house.

            Gates open at 11:30 a.m., with event festivities beginning at 12 noon and first post at 12:50 p.m. for both days.


            Tickets are selling fast for the 50th edition of the Haskell Invitational, to be renewed on Sunday, July 30.

Clubhouse sections start at $25, while Grandstand seats range from $20-$25. For the Grandstand balcony, seat prices go from $13-$18. A complete Grandstand or Clubhouse box ranges from $100-$200 depending on the number of people.

Individual Picnic tables within the closed-off areas will be available to reserve. Tables trackside will cost $175 while tables in the rear will be $150.

Admission on Haskell Day, which is not included in the reserved seat price, is $8 for the Grandstand and $10 for the Clubhouse. For seniors aged 55 and up Grandstand admission is $4 and Clubhouse admission will cost $5.     

 Haskell tickets can be purchased by calling 732-571-5563, or by visiting the reserved seat booth (2nd floor of the Grandstand) on any live racing day. In addition, fans can pre-purchase Haskell seats directly through   

            The Haskell is part of the Breeder’s Cup Challenge Series: Win & You’re In with the victor earning an automatic berth to the $6 million Classic.


            Monmouth’s popular Dawn Patrol program, which gives fans a look into racing life behind the scenes, is set to start up this Saturday, June 24 and run all the way through Aug. 20

            This year, Dawn Patrol will be held on Saturdays and Sundays, starting at 8 a.m. The free morning tour consists of a tram ride through the Monmouth Park stable area during workout hours, a close-up look at the starting gate, a tour of the jockey’s room, which is usually off-limits to the public, and a running commentary on racetrack life by hostess Laurie Lane. Learn about the life of Thoroughbred race horses including training programs and equipment, feed programs and a variety of other topics.

            Reservations are required and can be made by call 732-571-5542.