Barn Notes

Fire Alarm Is Ready For The Restoration Stakes

Posted Friday, Aug 17, 2012



            While perusing the past performances for Sunday’s $60,000 Restoration Stakes at Monmouth Park, owner/trainer Dennis Manning was of the opinion that the Bret Calhoun-trained Fire Alarm would prove tough competition for the six other 3-year-olds in the field.

The connections of Fire Alarm, who was a solid second to the graded-stakes-winning Howe Great in the Jersey Derby here last time out, supported Manning’s assessment of the 1 1/8-mile test over the turf course.

            “Fire Alarm came out of that last race very good and he’s been training good,” said Tom Morgan, the assistant to Calhoun. “We really think the extra distance will help him. We’ve been looking for a race that was a mile-and-an-eighth or a mile-and-a-quarter for him, but there was nothing else in the range of $60,000 to $75,000 and a small stakes for him. This race came up, and it fits perfectly for him.”

            Owners Gary and Mary West had hoped that Fire Alarm would chase the Triple Crown trail this year, but his performance in the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby on April 1 doused that dream. The son of Fusiachi Pegasus from the Tiznow mare Sweet Beat showed nothing and was a badly beaten ninth. Calhoun then decided to give Fire Alarm some time off and the see if he would fare better on the grass.

            He took well to it, finishing fourth behind Malibu Way, Heavy Breathing and Manning’s horse, Crafty Unicorn, in the $60,000 Lamplighter Stakes on May 26. Then before the Jersey Derby, Fire Alarm was gelded.

“He’s a maturing horse who’s steadily gotten better, especially since we gelded him,” said Morgan. “I don’t think he’s shown his true potential. We really like him.”

Manning is also fond of his horse, who has only competed against stakes company in his four lifetime starts and has always finished in the money.

“I paid $20,000 (as a 2-year-old) for him and he’s already earned over $80,000,” Manning said. “So far, he’s been a pretty good investment.”

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