Hard Enough Draws Fence for Saturday's Grade 3 Red Bank

Thursday, May 15, 2014

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            With two stakes victories over this course already, Hard Enough will likely prove tough yet again on Monmouth grass when he breaks from post one underneath jockey Eddie Castro in Saturday’s Red Bank Stakes, first of 17 graded events this season at Monmouth Park.

            “He’s coming in fresh and doing great,” said Bobby Dibona, who conditions Hard Enough for Peace Sign Stable.  “He’s a hard trying horse, a really good horse.  He’s certainly proven to be a very good claim.”

            That claim came on Feb. 6, 2013 at Gulfstream when the current connections paid $50,000 for the colt by Hard Spun.
            “We claimed him out of a dirt race knowing we wanted to run him on turf,” Dibona said.  “Obviously it’s worked out.”

            Since the acquisition, Hard Enough has raced 12 times, winning four of them, including Monmouth’s Jersey Derby and Restoration Stakes last summer.  Saturday’s one-mile Red Bank will be his first start in Oceanport since last August.

            “We know he likes the course, that’s always a plus,” Dibona said.  “We’re looking to get him to go longer and this is the first step in that plan.  If all goes well we’ll look to the Monmouth Stakes (Grade 2, June 8 at a mile and an eighth) and then the U.N. (Grade 1, July 6 at one mile and three-eighths).  We think he’s that caliber horse and deserves a shot in a race like that.

            “But first things first, let’s see what happens Saturday.”

            A full field of 13 have entered Saturday’s 40th running of the Red Bank, including three for main track only.  Oddsmaker Brad Thomas has installed Chamois from the Christophe Clement barn as the 3-1 morning line favorite.