Barn Notes

Saturday's Red Bank Kicks Off Graded Stakes Schedule

Posted Friday, May 17, 2013

Monmouth Park’s slate of graded stakes races gets off to a rousing start on Saturday with a full field entered in the $100,000 Red Bank Stakes (Grade 3) at one mile on the turf course. 

            This 39th running of the Red Bank drew 13 entrants, including 2011 Belmont Stakes winner Ruler On Ice, who is in as “main-track only” and likely to be scratched because the race is almost certain to be run on the grass. 

            Topping the 12 entered in the main body of the race is Live Oak Plantation’s Za Approval, who won the Appleton Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream in March for trainer Christophe Clement and is the 3-l morning line choice with Joe Bravo aboard looking for his fourth victory in the Red Bank. 

            But the race is truly a wide-open betting event, as evidenced by Brad Thomas’s morning line, that makes three horses co-second choices at 6-1 – Finale, Tune Me In and Monument Hill. 

            Patricia Generazio’s Tune Me In was the king of the Monmouth turf course last year when he won the Oceanport Stakes (G3) in July and the Cliff Hanger (G3) in September for trainer Bruce Alexander. 

            The 6-year-old son of Concorde’s Tune would likely have been favored if not for the fact that he hasn’t run since December, and has only been in serious training for a month. 

            “He just got here on April 17,” said Alexander, “and 30 days is not a lot of time to get ready for a race like this. But he’s a good horse, and he’s good here. He’s run well fresh in the past.” 

            Tune Me In gets a new rider in Gabriel Saez for the Red Bank as he tries to shake off the cobwebs for this highly competitive event. 

            “He came back last year in the McSorley (June 10) after being out all winter, and he ran well,” Alexander said. “He was third in a fast sprint (five and a half furlongs in 1:00 4/5) behind a horse (Varsity) who ran well the whole year, so it was a good effort. 

            “He is up against it a bit in the Red Bank,” the trainer said, “but he’s a very good horse with a solid record on the Monmouth turf. Good horses can overcome bad conditions.” 

            Tune Me In has a 5-4-3 record in 13 starts on the Monmouth grass, and his only off-the-board showing was a fifth the first time he ever ran here, in May of 2010. His record at one mile is impressive as well, as he’s won four of eight with two seconds. 



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