Jump racing moves to the Jersey shore and beautiful Monmouth Park today 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.
Camden-based 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 in Camden 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 Camden’s Lilith Boucher, Maccabee again will be ridden by her husband, 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.