The aptly-named My Adonis looked
stunning on the morning before his first time in the starting gate at Monmouth Park this season and trainer Kelly John
Breen pronounced him fit and ready for Sunday’s $100,000 Long Branch Stakes.
The Long Branch, to be contested at
one-mile-and-a-sixteenth over the main track, is the final prep race for the $1
million Haskell at one-mile-and-an-eighth here on July 29. My Adonis could be in perfect position to get
back to his winning ways this Sunday.
“We’re hoping it’s a nice spot for
him,” Breen said. “There’s enough pace in the race to set it up for him and
we’re leaving it up to Elvis (Trujillo).
The race is in his hands.”
Monmouth’s leading rider certainly
knows George and Lori Hall’s colt well as Trujillo
has ridden him in every one of his 11 previous starts except his last. Ramon
Dominguez was aboard when My Adonis last ran in the Grade 1 Belmont.
In addition to having his regular rider back,
My Adonis has home field advantage as he has been stabled here since the start
of the meet and raced well over the strip as a juvenile. In four starts on the
track in 2011, he notched his first win and then had three seconds. This year,
he followed the Triple Crown trail and hooked mighty tough competitors while
running at Gulfstream
Park and Aqueduct in the
Grade 3 Holy Bull Stakes, the Grade 3 Gotham Stakes, and the Grade 1 Wood
Memorial before missing the Kentucky Derby as the first also-eligible.
Kentucky-bred son of Pleasantly Perfect and the Elusive Quality mare Silent
Justice takes on Window Boy, Phil Dancer, Forward March, Done Talking, Good
Morning Diva and Macho Macho in the Long Branch.
Morning Diva was the beaten favorite in the Grade 3 $100,000 Pegasus, the other
local prep race for the Haskell, but the trouble he encountered last out on
June 17 compromised any chance he had of crossing under the wire first.
certainly was not the best of trips,” said trainer Tim Hills.
“He got stuck inside and along the rail. We’re learning some of his
idiosyncrasies and his best race is when he’s in the stalking position, and
stalking from the outside. This time, I think he’s going to be right there at
the end. He’s an honest horse and he shows up every time.”
Derby winner Done Talking, who ran in the Kentucky Derby two starts back and
then came up empty in his first try on the grass in the $100,000 JW Murphy
Stakes at Pimlico two weeks later, should draw considerable interest. The
Skeedattle Stable homebred has been firing bullets in the mornings at Laurel
Park and regular rider Sheldon Russell will be aboard.
who has demonstrated a versatile running style while winning two of his
lifetime starts, has been sent by trainer Steve Asmussen from Churchill Downs
and has been made the 5-2 morning line favorite.
The top two
finishers in the Long Branch
traditionally have been invited to the Haskell, the meet’s premier event. Kentucky
Derby and Preakness Stakes runner up Bodemeister and Derby third place finisher Dullahan already
have been committed to the Haskell and Belmont Stakes winner Union Rags is highly
probable for this year’s 45th edition of the race.