Archive for May 2014

Itsmyluckyday Wins Majestic Light Stakes

Itsmyluckyday cruised to a widely expected victory Saturday in the $74,500 Majestic Light Stakes at
Monmouth Park.

The win, the second straight of the 4-year-old’s comeback, has trainer Eddie Plesa Jr. thinking the
colt might now be ready to tackle the big boys in the Grade 1, $1.25 million Metropolitan Handicap
on the Belmont Stakes undercard June 7.

“He’s supposed to be a top horse, and I think he’s going to show that he is,” Plesa said. “I’m looking forward to the day that we can run against Palace Malice and those type horses, so he can prove if he’s good enough or he’s not. We have to find out. I don’t know if the two-week turnaround is a little bit quick for him. I’ll have to see what it looks like, talk it over with the ownership, and see what we decide.”

Itsmyluckyday cruised to victory Saturday in the Majestic Light Stakes at Monmouth ParkThe Majestic Light was Itsmyluckyday’s return to Monmouth for the first time since suffering a
pelvic fracture here last summer in the Pegasus Stakes.

The injury healed through rest, not surgery, but it wiped out the second half of a promising 3-
year-old season in which he ran second in the Florida Derby and the Preakness.

Itsmyluckyday came back in March, finishing fourth to Palace Malice in the Gulfstream Park
Handicap. He easily won his next two against modest company, and now Plesa is looking to up the

If the Met Mile is deemed too close, the Grade 3 Salvator Mile here July 6 is under consideration.

Itsmyluckyday was eager from the start of the Majestic Light. He quickly sprung into action,
prompting the pace set by Spa City Fever.

For stretches of the race, Itsmyluckyday appeared to toy with the competition. He briefly engaged
Spa City Fever down the backstretch and while Code West ranged up on his outside flank. The brief three-way duel quickly dissolved when Paco Lopez gave the signal on the final turn.

“I just let him run his race,” Lopez said. “When I let him go, I knew I had a lot of horse. He was
really comfortable.”

Itsmyluckyday easily scooted clear, coasting home to a 1 1/4-length win over Code West in 1:41.66
for the one mile, 70 yards on the fast track.

“He had everything under control, and Paco geared him down the last sixteenth of a mile,” Plesa
said. “The margin could have been greater than it was, but that wasn’t what it was about. It was
about getting another race into him against a competitive field of horses. He passed this test with
flying colors as far as I’m concerned.”

Itsmyluckyday paid $2.60 to win.

Spa City Fever was third, followed by Golden Itiz and Behemoth.

Lopez, who set the Monmouth record with seven wins one week ago, had four wins on the card.
The Majestic Light unfolded before a crowd of 10,248 lured by the start of the holiday weekend and
the return of the popular Food Truck Festival.

Rain arrived late in the day, falling gently as the horses paraded to post for the Majestic Light.
** The four turf races were switched to the main track.
** Trainer Derek Ryan said his unbeaten 3-year-old sprinter, Meadowood, could wind up in the

Grade 2 Woody Stephens Stakes at seven furlongs on the Belmont Stakes undercard.

“We’ll take a look to see who’s in it,” he said. “The distance certainly won’t bother him.” Meadowood improved to 3 for 3 last weekend with a three-length victory in the $100,000 Chick Lang Stakes on the Preakness undercard.

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Paco Lopez set Monmouth Park jockey record by winning 7 races!

Jockey Paco Lopez booted home a Monmouth Park record seven winners May 17, although the $103,000 Red Bank Stakes (gr. IIIT) eluded him when Hard Enough scored a 9-1 upset on the turf.

Jockey Paco Lopez celebrates 7 wins on the dayPeace Sign Stable’s Hard Enough moved into contention three-wide around the far turn for jockey Eddie Castro before grabbing the lead approaching the eighth pole and holding off the late-charging Winning Cause by three-quarters of length Saturday. Lopez finished third aboard 5-2 favorite Slim Shadey, beaten by 2 1/2 lengths.

Hard Enough covered the mile over good turf in 1:36.68 and paid $20.40, $8.60 and $4.20. Winning Cause completed the $81.20 exacta and returned $4.80 and $2.80. Slim Shady paid $3 to show. Following were Rose Brier, Two Notch Road, Midnight Cello, and School House.

“I spoke with Eddie (Castro) before the race and he rode him perfectly,” said winning trainer Bobby Dibona. “I
knew there were speed horses in there, so I told him if they go, just get him to relax, and that’s how it worked

“He showed good versatility and what we saw today was what I’ve been teaching him to do. We’ll take it one thing
at a time, but we’re looking at the Monmouth Stakes (gr. IIT) here for his next start.”
The $200,000 Monmouth Stakes, contested at 1 1/8 miles, is June 8.

A 4-year-old colt by Hard Spun out of the Mr. Greeley mare Grecian Wings, Hard Enough has won six of his 20
career starts, including the Jersey Derby and the Restoration Stakes on the Monmouth lawn last summer. The
chestnut colt boosted his lifetime bankroll to $247,050.

The winner tracked the pacesetters Two Notch Road and Slim Shadey into the stretch and rallied three wide,
overtaking Slim Shadey and then digging in as Winning Cause made his move. Fractions for the race were :23.56,
:47.42, and 1:11.71.

Hard Enough was bred in Virginia by Larry Johnson.

Lopez, a 28-year-old native of Veracruz, Mexico, kicked off his record-setting day by piloting odds-on favorite
Ground Force ($3.60) in the first. He then won the third race atop Mary N’ Ellen ($3.80), the fifth with
Speightscity ($4), the sixth with Rainbow at Midnite ($4.80), the seventh with Precious Mem ($6), the 10th with
More Than a Party ($6.80), and the finale atop Tycoon Cat ($5.40).

“I’m really excited to have broken the record,” said Lopez. “It was a great day and I’m fortunate to have ridden so many nice horses.”

The previous record of six wins on a card was set by Walter Blum on June 9, 1961 and equaled by Chris Antley
(July 30, 1984), Julie Krone (Aug. 19, 1987), Joe Bravo (Aug. 31, 1994, May 18, 2002, Sept. 18, 2005, and
Sept. 4, 2006), Jose Lezcano (June 22, 2008) and Eddie Castro (June 21, 2009).

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“Ribo Bobo” wins the Decathlon @ Monmouth Park

Ribo Bobo was the determined winner of the $79,000 Decathlon Stakes, the opening day feature on Saturday at Monmouth Park.

Paco Lopez guides Ribo Bobo to his 10th win in his last 12 starts in the opening day feature, the Decathlon StakesIt was yet another victory for the 6-year-old Ribo Bobo, claimed by trainer Jason Servis for a modest $6,250. He is 10 for 12 since the final barn change.

Servis and the Mr Amore Stable took Ribo Bobo out of a winning effort for $8,000 early in 2013 at Gulfstream Park. They ran him and won for $6,250, but lost the horse on a claim.

When the new connections wheeled the horse back for the same price, Servis stepped in again. And Ribo Bobo hasn’t seen a claiming tag since.

“The second time we went back in for him, it was a six-way shake,” Servis said. “We got lucky to get him back. I may never get another horse like this.”

Servis said the next target might be the Summit of Speed at Calder on July 5.

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As usual, Ribo Bobo flashed good early speed. Breaking from the outside in the eight-horse field, Ribo Bobo was quickly joined by Joe Tess. Those two raced in tandem through vigorous fractions of 21.72 and 44.03 seconds on an overcast afternoon over a rain-softened track.

Ribo Bobo drifted wide turning for home but remained firmly in control through the lane with Paco Lopez aboard. He won by 1 1/2 lengths over a game Joe Tess.

Be Bullish got third followed by He Can Run, Partyallnightlong, Candyman E, Javerre, and Zealevo.

The time was 1:09.26 for six furlongs on the track labeled fast. Ribo Bobo paid $5 to win as the 3-2 favorite of the crowd of 10,168. Rain held off for most of the day, cutting loose two races before the feature for a half-hour downpour.

The brief shower didn’t dampen the start of the new season.

“It’s a nice opening day,” said president Bob Kulina. “It should get even better because the forecast is gorgeous for Mother’s Day. We’re hoping for a very solid opening weekend.”

Opening day was a blend of the old and the new. Joe Bravo, the 13-time Monmouth riding champion now based in New York, returned to boot home three winners, including a sweep of the early double.

David Jacobson, stabled at Monmouth for the first time, made his presence felt immediately. He claimed Solemnly Swear, the second race winner, for $50,000 and got his first win of the meet with Go Appeal in the ninth.

“He runs a lot of horses, claims a lot of horses,” Kulina said of Jacobson. “I think that just strengthens the product. There are some other new names, when they settle in, will create some better wagering events for us this season.”

The two scheduled turf races were rained off onto the main track.

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