The Gravesend, a sprint for 3-year-olds and up going six furlongs on the inner track, retains four of the five entries from the original field. Debussy and City Attraction are the new starters, while Ferocious Fires did not enter.
A 5-year-old gelding by Close Up, Joey P. is no stranger to competition, having started 11 times in 2007, all but once in stakes events. Trained by Ben Perkins Jr., Joey P. enjoys stalking the pace, just as he did in the May 12 Decathlon Stakes when he set the Monmouth Park 5 ½ furlong track record in 1:01.91.
Joey P., out of the Luckey Jin Beau mare Luckey Lipco, has had most of his success at Monmouth this year, where he has won three times. But he also won the Oct. 5 Eillo Stakes at Meadowlands and his most recent start was at Aqueduct, where he suffered a head defeat in the Nov. 22 Fall Highweight Handicap.
Regular rider Joe Bravo will get the call again. Joey P., the 117 pound heavyweight, will break from post three.
Early speed should come from P. Kerney, a 6-year-old gelding by Pleasant Tap. P. Kerney is coming off a 4 ¾-length score in allowance competition at Laurel Park. He also captured the Taking Risks Stakes at Timonium in September, and has three wins in five starts this season for trainer Michael Trombetta.
Bred in Maryland, P. Kerney will get regular rider Travis Dunkleberger and draw post four.
Gold and Roses has tasted the most success on the Aqueduct inner track, having picked up three victories and three second-place finishes on that surface in his career. The 5-year-old gelding by Gold Token is winless in his last four starts however, including a one-length defeat in the Nov. 11 New York Stallion Thunder Rumble Stakes at Aqueduct.
The New York bred Gold and Roses has just one win this year. It came Aug. 2 at Saratoga, scoring a 9 ¼-length romp in the John A. Morrissey Stakes. Tom Bush trains and Norberto Arroyo rides.
City Attraction and Debussy, who were third and fifth in the Fall Highweight, respectively, will also start, as will Pavo, a 5-year-old son of Marquetry.
$100,000 Gravesend Handicap (gr. III, Race 8, 3:44 p.m.), Three-Year-Olds & Up, Six Furlongs
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. Pavo (KY), 113, Ramon A. Dominguez
2. Debussy (FL), 113, Channing Hill
3. Joey P. (NJ), 117, Joe Bravo
4. P. Kerney (MD), 115, Travis L. Dunkelberger
5. Gold and Roses (NY), 115, Norberto Arroyo, Jr.
6. City Attraction (KY), 115, Michael J. Luzzi