A test for 3-year-olds and up, the Monmouth University had six scratches, leaving a field of seven to carry a sloppy track.
The pace was set by Charley’s Diamond, who broke alertly and set fractions of :22.16 for a quarter and :44.85 for a half-mile. Forest Park, a 6-year-old gelding by Forest Wildcat, was never far behind, stalking the leader just to the outside the whole way. By the time they rounded the turn, Forest Park took over and kicked clear by 1 1/2 lengths.
With Charley’s Diamond tiring on the inside, the only challenge came from betting favorite Joey P., who rallied nicely three wide. With strong urging from jockey Kendrick Carmouche, Forest Park held off Joey P. by a hard-fought neck. Charley’s Diamond had enough to keep third.
The final time was 1:03.87. Going off as the second choice, Forest Park paid $11.20. The exacta (5-2X) returned $22.60.
Out of Pleasant Colony mare Delicacy, Forest Park is trained by Michael Pino. He was bred in Kentucky by Marvin Delfiner and Fred Seitz. The bay gelding had won a pair of allowance races at Charles Town earlier this year but had been winless in his last three starts.
In 28 career starts, the winner has scored 13 times and earned more than $450,000.