News & Barn notes


August 11, 2017

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Teresa Z will look for her first win at Monmouth Park and in graded stakes company when she loads into the gate with eight other 3-year-old fillies in the Grade 3, $100,000 Monmouth Oaks going a mile and a sixteenth.

            The daughter of Smart Strike out of the A.P. Indy mare With Flying Colors is coming off a four length victory against allowance company where she sat mid-pack through the first half of the mile event before unleashing a nice turn of foot on the far turn and pulling away late.

            Teresa Z broke her maiden in her fourth career start and since has hit the board in each of her past six starts. Her lone stakes appearance came on June 15 at Delaware Park in the Light Hearted Stakes where she finished third behind Elate, who went on to finish second in the Grade 1 Coaching Club American Oaks behind Abel Tasman.

            The $635,000 yearling purchase at the Keeneland September Sale has run once over the Monmouth dirt, finishing second against allowance optional claiming rivals on May 20. Nik Juarez was aboard that day and will get the call once more in the Oaks.

            Owned by St. Elias Stable, Teresa Z has worked once in preparation for Saturday. That work came on Aug. 6 when she went six furlongs in 1:13 1/5 over a fast Monmouth main track.

            “She came out of the last race really well and we wanted to give her a shot in this spot,” said Anthony Margotta Jr. “Her last breeze was just maintenance, but it was one of the best breezes she’s had. We’re hoping there is enough speed up front where she can make her one good run.”

            Teresa Z will break from post 5 in a field that features four fillies exiting runs in graded stakes events including morning-line favorite (5/2) Overture, for Bill Mott, who took the Grade 3 Indiana Derby in wire-to-wire fashion, and Larry Jones-trainee Proud and Fearless, who just missed in the Grade 3 Delaware Oaks, finishing second by a half-length.

            The Monmouth Oaks will 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.