Jump racing moves to the Jersey Shore and beautiful Monmouth Park on Friday with a $35,000 ratings handicap featuring a well-matched field of 10 and an oversubscribed $30,000 maiden hurdle.
The 2 1/16-mile maiden hurdle will kick off the card at the historic Oceanport track with a 1:15 p.m. post time, and the ratings handicap at 2 3/8 miles will be the third race at approximately 2:10 p.m.
Carrying the ratings handicap’s 158-pound highweight are Sonny Via’s Hinterland and Carrington Holdings’ Boss Man. Trained by Jack Fisher, Hinterland finished second in the Fair Hill Races’ Valentine Handicap on May 25. Michael Mitchell, currently leading the jockey standings, has the mount.
Boss Man made his 2019 debut in the Iroquois Steeplechase’s Marcellus Frost Champion Hurdle, and he appeared a bit overeager in the early phases of the novice stakes before tiring to finish seventh. A Saratoga Race Course allowance winner last summer, Boss Man won Belmont Park’s William Entenmann Memorial Novice Stakes in September.
Trainer Arch Kingsley Jr. named Barry Foley to a return engagement aboard the Florida-bred from the late George Steinbrenner’s Kinsman Stable breeding operation.
Sharing a 156-pound assignment are Virginia Lazenby’s Help From Heaven and Rosbrian Farm’s Veneer of Charm. Trained by Kate Dalton, Help From Heaven finished a close second in the Marcellus Frost after leading at the final fence. Ross Geraghty will ride.
Veneer of Charm is looking for his first victory since arriving from Ireland last the fall. He most recently finished eighth in the Queen’s Cup MPC ’Chase on April 27. Gerard Galligan will ride for trainer Ricky Hendriks, who also entered his Indigo Heart, fifth in the Valentine Memorial. Archie Macauley will ride Indigo Heart.
Making his first start of the year will be Irv Naylor’s Elucidation, a two-time winner over hurdles last fall. Trainer Cyril Murphy named Graham Watters to ride the Irish-bred, who carries 154 pounds.
Owner-trainer Kathy Neilson tapped Sean McDermott for a return engagement on Soluble, a winner at the Aiken Spring meet who has finished second in his three subsequent starts. The German-bred will carry 152 pounds.
At 151 pounds is Mason Hardaway Lampton’s Maccabee, who won an Aiken Spring maiden claimer by disqualification and most recently has scored ratings handicap victories at Foxfield Spring and the Radnor Hunt Cup. Trained by Lilith Boucher, Maccabee again will be ridden by Richard Boucher.
Completing the field are Robert A. Kinsley’s Aardwolf at 148 pounds and Turks Head Turf’s Brooklyn Speights at 143. Aardwolf has finished sixth in his U.S. starts, most recently in the Queen’s Cup ratings handicap, and Jack Doyle will ride the Cape Cross gelding for trainer Elizabeth Voss.
Brooklyn Speights won a Fair Hill maiden claiming hurdle for trainer Fenneka Bentley and will be ridden by Thomas Garner.
Here is the field for the $35,000 Monmouth Park ratings handicap in post-position order. The horses’ National Steeplechase Association ratings, which determine their weight assignments, are in parentheses at the end of their profiles.
Aardwolf. 2014 dk. b. or br. g., Cape Cross (Ire)—Desert Gazelle, by Smart Strike. Owner: Robert A. Kinsley. Trainer: Elizabeth Voss. Jockey: Jack Doyle. Breeder: Darley (Ky.). 2019 record: 1-0-0-0, $900. 2018 NSA record: 1-0-0-0, $900. Finished sixth in 2019 Queen’s Cup ratings handicap. Showed little interest in U.S. debut at 2018 Charleston meet and finished sixth. Had successful run in modest-level allowance hurdles in England. Final overseas start was third in Worcester allowance hurdle. (115)
Brooklyn Speights. 2013 b. g., Big Brown—Stars and Speights, by Speightstown. Owner: Turks Head Turf. Trainer: Kenneka Bentley. Jockey: Thomas Garner. Breeder: Paul Pompa Jr. (N.Y.) 2019 record: 4-1-1-0, $18,200. 2018 record: 11-0-2-2, $18,990. Broke through for maiden-claiming victory at 2019 Radnor meet. Good second in similar race at Middleburg Spring. (110)
Maccabee. 2013 b. g., Street Hero—Sawgrass Express, by Roman Diplomat. Owner: Mason Hardaway Lampton. Trainer: Lilith Boucher. Jockey: Richard Boucher. Breeder: Hartwell Farm (Ky.). 2019 record: 4-3-0-0, $42,000. 2018 record: 7-1-0-1, $15,041. Scored back-to-back ratings handicap wins at 2019 Foxfield Spring and Radnor meets. Won Aiken Spring maiden claimer on a disqualification and then finished seventh in The Cup Runneth Over ratings handicap. (118)
Hinterland (Fr). 2008 b. g., Poliglote (GB)—Queen’s Place, by Diamond Prospect. Owner: Harold A. “Sonny” Via Jr. Trainer: Jack Fisher. Jockey: Michael Mitchell. Breeder: Eric Aubree and Christian Bresson (Fr). 2019 record: 3-0-1-0, $12,950. 2018 record: 4-0-1-0, $63,750. 2017 record: 2-0-1-0, $36,000. Finished second in 2019 Valentine Handicap after fourth in Virginia Gold Cup’s David Semmes Memorial (Gr. 2) and fifth in Carolina Cup. Finished closing second in Belmont Park’s 2018 Lonesome Glory Handicap (Gr. 1), then was fourth in Far Hills’ Grand National (Gr. 1). (125)
Veneer of Charm (Ire). 2014 b. g., Fast Company (Ire)—Nova Tor (Ire), by Trans Island (GB). Owner: Rosbrian Farm. Trainer: Ricky Hendriks. Jockey: Gerard Galligan. Breeder: P. Burns (Ire). 2019 record: 1-0-0-0, 0. 2018 NSA record: 2-0-0-0, $6,750. Opened 2019 with eighth in Queen’s Cup MPC ’Chase. Finished sixth in Far Hills’ 2018 Foxbrook Champion Hurdle division, then was fifth in Aflac Supreme Hurdle at Steeplechase at Callaway. Scored 33-1 upset victory in 2018 Cheltenham Festival handicap hurdle but failed to retain that form and finished well-beaten sixth in an allowance hurdle in his final overseas start. (123)
Soluble (Ger). 2012 b. g., Galileo (Ire)—So Squally (Ger), by Monsun. Owner-trainer: Kathy Neilson. Jockey: Sean McDermott. Breeder: Stiftung Gestut Fahrof (Ger). 2019 record: 4-1-3-0, $32,400. 2018 record: 3-0-1-0, $5,100. Won maiden victory at 2019 Aiken Spring and then had three consecutive second-place finishes. (119)
Elucidation (Ire). 2014 b. g., Oasis Dream (GB)—Mimalia, by Silver Hawk. Owner: Irvin S. Naylor. Trainer: Cyril Murphy. Jockey: Graham Watters. Breeder: Niarchos Family (Ire). 2019 record: No starts. 2018 record: 3-2-0-0, $45,000. Showed promise in fall of 2018 with maiden hurdle win at Shawan Downs and allowance hurdle victory at International Gold Cup. (121)
Help From Heaven. 2012 ch. g., Divine Park—Harlan Helper, by Friends Lake. Owner: Virginia Lazenby Racing Stable. Trainer: Kate Dalton. Jockey: Ross Geraghty. Breeders: Brereton C. Jones and Jimmy Blanton (Ky.) 2019 record: 2-0-1-1, $21,000. 2018 record: No starts. 2017 record: No starts. Just beaten when second in Iroquois Steeplechase’s Marcellus Frost Champion Hurdle for nocvices. Finished third in Queen’s Cup ratings handicap, his first start in more than 2½ years. Won Saratoga allowance hurdle in August 2016 and went to sidelines. Two-time winner on flat in Louisiana. (123)
Boss Man. 2010 ch. g., English Channel—Jenny Joy, by Acceptable. Owner: Carrington Holdings. Trainer: Arch Kingsley Jr. Jockey: Barry Foley. Breeder: Kinsman Farm (Fla.) 2019 record: 1-0-0-0, $0. 2018 NSA record: 7-3-0-1, $113,250. In first 2019 start, was eager early in Iroquois Steeplechase’s Marcellus Frost Champion Hurdle and finished seventh. Finished fourth in 2018 Aflac Supreme hurdle after being pulled up in Far Hills Foxbrook Champion Hurdle division. Won Belmont Park’s William Entenmann Memorial Novice Stakes after third in Michael G. Walsh Novice Stakes at Saratoga. Won Saratoga allowance hurdle by front-running 2 1/4 lengths. Graduate of Jason Servis’ flat training operation scored his maiden victory over fences at the 2018 Queen’s Cup. (125)
Indigo Heart. 2010 b. g., Heart of the Storm—Ink Marq, by Marquetry. Owner: Morningstar Farm. Trainer: Ricky Hendriks. Jockey: Archie Macauley. Breeder: Finishline Farms, a Division of Hanover Meadows (Ky.). 2019 record: 4-2-0-0, $27,100. 2018 NSA record: 5-1-1-0, $12,600. 2017 NSA record: 5-1-2-0, $15,300. Opened 2019 with clear-cut victory at Aiken Spring, then finished fourth in Queen’s Cup ratings handicap. Won soggy Willowdale allowance before fifth in Fair Hill’s Valentine Handicap. Broke through for allowance victory at 2018 Shawan Downs meet. (118)