Barn Notes

The Hunk, Well Spelled, Rainbow Heir Ready for Summer Campaigns

Posted Thursday, May 30, 2013



Trainer Ben Perkins has lots to look forward to in the coming days and weeks.  While he is set to saddle Final Forest in Saturday’s $60,000 John J. Reilly Handicap, the trainer hopes to have much more in store as the summer season quickly approaches.

            Among those in the barn nearing a return is The Hunk, winner of last year’s Reilly Handicap.

            “We were hoping to have him back in for this year’s race, but he just wasn’t ready,” Perkins said.  “He needs one or two more breezes.  With these older horses, you just let them tell you when they’re ready and take it from there.”

            The Hunk, who’s won six of his 16 lifetime starts, hasn’t raced since the DeFrancis Dash at Laurel last October.  The 6-year-old horse breezed four furlongs at Monmouth on May 27, going :48 flat, fifth fastest of 88 on the work tab.

            Well Spelled, who captured last year’s Grade 3 Jersey Shore Stakes at Monmouth, is also nearing a return, having last raced to a victory in the Gallant Bob at Parx on Sept. 22.

            “He’s close,” Perkins said.  “He had a really nice breeze the other day, so we’ll be looking for a spot for him soon.  Maybe the Mr. Prospector Stakes (here on July 7).”

            And then there’s the undefeated Rainbow Heir, who won here on May 12, going six furlongs in a snappy 1:08 2/5.

            “I think he’s something special,” Perkins said.  “We’ll probably go right to the Jersey Shore with him (Grade 3 here on July 4).”

            Rainbow Heir will look to give Perkins his third win in the Jersey Shore.  The trainer won it in 1995 with Fort Stockton, when the race was still contested at Atlantic City Racecourse, and last year with Well Spelled.


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