News & Barn notes

Monmouth-Loving Chublicious Returns to the Jersey Shore Monday

May 28, 2017


 Monmouth Park regular Chublicious is back at the Jersey Shore to take on nine rivals in Monday’s Memorial Day feature at six furlongs.  The $51,200 allowance event for New Jersey breds will see Chublicious, the 5-2 favorite, break from the outside post in the dirt sprint.  

            “He’s been eating and training really well here,” said Jorge Navarro, who’s been Monmouth’s top trainer the past four seasons. “He hasn’t missed a beat since coming back to our barn.”

            The 6-year-old gelding by Hey Chub out of the Arch mare Sassy Broad has worked three times since his return to the Monmouth backstretch. His most recent came on May 20, when he went five furlongs in 1:01 4/5, third fastest of the 14 horses that went the distance that day.

            His last outing came on Jan. 14 in the Fire Plug Stakes at Laurel Park, where he sat fifth down the backstretch before showing his usual late closing kick to grab second behind Grade 3 winner Imperial Hint.

            Owned by David Gruskos, Chublicious went a perfect 3-for-3 over the Monmouth Park main track last year, all stakes wins: John J. Reilly Handicap, Mr. Prospector Stakes and the New Jersey Breeders Handicap. Antonio Gallardo was aboard for all three wins and will get the call again on Monday.

            In his career, the 2016 New Jersey bred champion older male and sprinter has run 10 times at Monmouth, hitting the board in each of them with a 7-2-1 record including breaking his maiden over the track in his second try.

            “I don’t think the outside post will really affect him,” said Navarro. “There seems to be plenty of pace in the race. He will probably sit right off of it.”

            To get to the wire first on Monday, he will have to get by three other New Jersey bred stakes winners, two of which have won the same race as Chublicious in prior years. Chubble Maker, who also is by Hey Chub, took the 2015 New Jersey Breeders Handicap and Saucy Don got the victory in the 2015 John J. Reilly Handicap.

            Monday’s New Jersey bred allowance event will be race 8 on a 9-race holiday card. It will also be the final day of the Jersey Shore Food Truck Festival. Gates open at 11:30 a.m. with first post scheduled for 12:50 p.m.