Monmouth Park to open thoroughbred season on Saturday

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OCEANPORT, N.J. — Monmouth Park will open its thoroughbred meet on Saturday with an 11-race card that features the $75,000 Decathlon Stakes.

More than 100 horses were entered for the races, with the Decathlon for 3-year-olds and up drawing a field of eight, including last year’s winner A.P. Indian.

A.P. Indian has raced just three times since winning the Decathlon at odds of 2-1. His last outing was Oct. 2 at Keeneland in the Grade 3 Phoenix, finishing fifth to Runhappy.

The morning-line favorite is trainer David Jacobson’s Seeking the Sherif, who has won both his starts this year and earned $54,000.

Delta Bluesman also should attract attention, coming off a front-running win in a six-furlong allowance race at Gulfstream last month in 1:08.80. The 6-year-old is a two-time winner over this track.

The stakes schedule for the meet is led by the $1 million Haskell Invitational on July 31. Other major stakes include the $300,000 United Nations on July 4th weekend.

Lady Eli ends skid with win in Grade 1 Gamely at Santa Anita

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ARCADIA, Calif. — Lady Eli won the $300,000 Gamely Stakes for fillies and mares by a half-length at Santa Anita, ending a two-race skid as the heavy 3-5 favorite.

Ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr., Lady Eli ran 1 1/8 miles on turf in 1:45.29 on Saturday.

Goodyearforroses was second, followed by Avenge, Mokat and Pretty Girl.

Lady Eli paid $3.20, $2.20 and $2.10. All but $18,388 of the total show pool of $315,505 was wagered on her in the Grade 1 race.

The 5-year-old dark brown mare has eight wins in 11 career starts and has never finished worse than second for New York-based trainer Chad Brown, who won the Preakness with Cloud Computing last weekend.

Lady Eli was coming off two close losses: by a nose in the Jenny Wiley Stakes at Keeneland in April and by a head in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf last November.

Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming to skip Belmont Stakes

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NEW YORK — Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming will skip the Belmont Stakes next month after finishing eighth in the Preakness.

Trainer Todd Pletcher says the 3-year-old colt will be pointed toward either the $600,000 Jim Dandy at Saratoga on July 29 or the $1 million Haskell Invitational at Monmouth on July 30, according to the Daily Racing Form.

Trainer Chad Brown says he will wait until after the Memorial Day weekend to announce where Preakness winner Cloud Computing will run next. However, it appears unlikely he will run in the Belmont.

The Belmont field is limited to 16 starters. Besides Classic Empire, who came in second at the Preakness Stakes, other horses expected to run are Conquest Mo Money, Japan-based Epicharis, Gormley, Irap, J Boys Echo, Lookin At Lee, Meantime, Multiple, Patch, Senior Investment, Tapwrit, True Timber and Twisted Tom. Other possibilities are Irish War Cry and Hollywood Handsome.