Trainer J. Willard Thompson will saddle a trio of fillies on
Saturday’s card as Monmouth Park celebrates the 11th annual New Jersey
Thoroughbred Festival with a 10-race program dedicated to the best runners bred
in the Garden State.
who’s been a staple on the Monmouth
Park backstretch for
decades, will kick off his day in the second race with the pair of Morning
Miracle and Pinot Grigio.
both training great,” said Thompson, a five-time training champion at
Monmouth. “Morning Miracle impressed me
with her win last out and Pinot Grigio has been running well all year.”
A winner of
two of her four starts, Morning Miracle almost never saw the races.
born dead,” Thompson said. “One of the
people attending the foaling began doing CPR on her trying to get her heart
started and breathing into her nostril.
Within 15 minutes she was breathing.
Her name surely fits and she’s been a good runner.”
Miracle and jockey Gabriel Saez will break from the rail in the six furlong event,
an allowance/optional claimer which carries a purse of $50,000.
stablemate, Pinot Grigio has drawn post six with 13-time Monmouth riding
champion Joe Bravo in the irons. She’s
won two of her seven starts here this year and has finished in the money in six
of those outings.
later Bravo will once again be getting a leg up from Thompson, this time aboard
Precious Mem, who exits a runner-up finish at this level last out.
great this year,” said Thompson. “A
filly that really tries hard.”
she’ll break from the five hole in the ‘a other than’ condition which has a
purse of $47,500 on the line.
Later in the day will be three
stakes events with the Jersey Girl Handicap, New Jersey Breeders Handicap and
Charles Hesse III Handicap all carrying a purse of $60,000.
glad I have three in for the card,” said Thompson of Festival Day. “This is one of those days I look forward to
all year and it’s a great opportunity to see New Jersey at its best.”