Monmouth Park Report


Feel That Fire took charge right from the break, leading all the way Sunday to win the $76,350 Blue Sparkler Stakes for fillies and mares at Monmouth Park.

A 4-year-old homebred for the Red Oak Farm, Feel That Fire earned her first stakes win, improving to 3 for 7 overall.

Jose Valdivia Jr. was aboard as Feel That Fire left the gate running. Leading by open lengths down the backstretch and around the turn, Feel That Fire had company in deep stretch as D’wild Ride made a determined late run.

D’wild Ride pulled up to the leader’s flanks, but got no closer.

“She did it all on her own,” Valdivia said. “When that other horse came up along side of her, she just drew away and kicked on.”

Feel That Fire, the 2-1 favorite, held on for a three-quarter-length victory in 1:09.37 for the six furlongs.

It was the third start at the meet for Feel That Fire. She lost all chance with a stumble at the start of the Red Cross Stakes in late May. She followed with a solid second in a second-level allowance behind Stormandaprayer from the Todd Pletcher barn.

“It was a super performance,” trainer Greg Sacco said. “It was a matter of her getting fit. The first stakes, she stumbled and really didn’t get much out of that race. The last race, we ran into a very fast filly of Todd’s. D’wild Ride is a very nice mare, and we’re happy to beat her today.”

Bronx City Girl finished third, and her rider, Joe Bravo, claimed foul against Feel That Fire and D’wild Ride. His filly had to check shortly after the break, but the stewards, after a brief review, dismissed the objection.

by Mike Farrell

Summer Soiree rolls in Boiling Springs

SUMMER SOIREE (War Front) was all alone in the stretch of Saturday's $155,000 Boiling Springs S. (G3) at Monmouth Park, recording a convincing 8 1/2-length victory in her turf debut. Making her second start for Team Valor International and Graham Motion, the three-year-old filly notched her second graded stakes win and improved her overall record to 10-4-0-3, $221,680.

After weakening to 10th as the pacesetter in the Kentucky Oaks (G1), Summer Soiree was overlooked as the 9-2 third choice in the nine-horse Boiling Springs and was forwardly placed from the start, racing a length back of the front-running Salary Drive (Mizzen Mast) through an opening quarter-mile in :24 1/5. She easily moved to the fore on the backstretch, passing the half-length point in :48 2/5 with a half-length advantage, and dominated the rest of the way.

The versatile filly was two lengths up after completing three-quarters in 1:12, and she kicked on the afterburners in the stretch, widening the lead to four lengths with a sixteenth of a mile remaining. Jockey Gabriel Saez was like a statue as she continued to draw off from her nearest rival in the latter stages, and Summer Soiree finished 1 1/16 miles in 1:42 4/5 on the good turf.

'I wanted to sit off a couple of horses early on and see how she relaxes,' said Saez, who has been aboard in every one of Summer Soiree's starts. 'After the first quarter-mile I put her in the clear and she wanted to go to the front. I wasn't going to fight her, just let her go on with it. She's something special.'
Summer Soiree, who has now won three of her last four starts, was in complete control turning for home (Ryan Denver/Equi-Photo)

'She's a real handful around the barn in the morning,' Motion said. 'When I saw her move to the lead early, I was a little worried, but I guess for no reason. I was happy to see her relax. Having sat off horses early on is going to help her a lot down the road.'

The winner paid $9.40, $6 and $5.20. The battle for the place was far more compelling, with My Sunshine Gal (West Acre) edging fellow late runner Hessonite (Freud) by a head. The runner-up was off at 11-1 and the third-placer at 9-1. It was a half-length back to the 14-1 Salary Drive in fourth, and 5-2 Artisanal (More Than Ready), Oak Marsh (First Samurai), Janicellaine (Ire) (Beat Hollow [GB]), Annabel Lee (J Town) and 5-2 favorite Pontenuovo (Fr) (Green Tune) came next under the wire.

War Prospector (War Front) was scratched, and main-track only contestants Coco Ecolo (Johannesburg) and R Gypsy Gold (Bernardini) remained in the barn.

Previously trained by Larry and Cindy Jones, Summer Soiree needed four starts before breaking her maiden by 6 1/4 lengths on the main track at Delaware Park last August. She followed that effort with a non-threatening third in the Blue Hen S. and completed her juvenile season with a third in an allowance/optional claiming event.

The bay lass began her sophomore campaign with a smashing 9 3/4-length score over entry-level allowance rivals at Oaklawn Park and then made a seamless transition to synthetics, winning the Bourbonette S. (G3) on Turfway Park's Polytrack by a 10 3/4-length margin. She was sold to new connections following the latter, and rebounded impressively from her aforementioned Kentucky Oaks setback on Saturday.

The Kentucky-bred was consigned twice by breeders Brereton and Bret Jones, first RNAing for $70,000 as a Keeneland November weanling, then for $72,000 as a Fasig-Tipton Kentucky July yearling. Summer Soiree is the first stakes scorer out of the winning Mazel Tov (Mazel Trick), who is also responsible for the unraced juvenile colt Very Lucky (Istan). Mazel Tov is herself a half-sister to dual Grade 3 victress Mil Kilates (Gold Alert), who was third in the 1997 Ruffian H. (G1).

This is the same female family as Peruvian champion and Group 1 winner India Brava (Fast Gold); Indian Horse of the Year Running Flame (Ind) (Steinbeck); and, most notably, back-to-back Eclipse Award heroine Shuvee (Nashua), who beat the boys in consecutive runnings of the Jockey Club Gold Cup.

On the New Jersey worktab

Dual Group 1 vixen BUBBLY JANE (Brz) (Yagli), unraced since placing third in the 2010 Sheepshead Bay S. (G2), breezed five furlongs in 1:02 3/5 over the fast dirt at Monmouth Park on Sunday.

Grade 2 victor ELDAAFER (A.P. Indy), fourth in the Brooklyn H. (G2) most recently, covered a half-mile in :47 3/5.

Grade 3 scorer RON THE GREEK (Full Mandate), third in the Three Coins Up S. last out, logged four furlongs in :48 4/5.

Recent Rumson S. winner ZERO RATE POLICY (Trippi) posted three furlongs in :38 4/5.

Multiple Grade 3-placed SCHOOLYARD DREAMS (Stephen Got Even), fourth in the Elkwood S., turned a half from the gate in :47 2/5.



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