The Chad Brown-trained filly is known to favor firm going, and Brown scratched the 4-year-old daughter of City Zip from the Longines Just a Game Stakes (gr. IT) June 8 when the Belmont Park sod was yielding. Rainy, humid weather is expected at the Jersey shore this weekend, where the temperature June 27 as of 1 p.m. EDT was 81 degrees with 79% humidity.
If she goes, Dayatthespa, the 9-5 morning line favorite, will be the 120-pound highweight in a field of 10 older fillies and mares entered in the 1 1/16-mile Eatontown. The race is the 11th of 12 on Monmouth's Saturday card with a 6 p.m. EDT scheduled post.
Owned by Jerry and Ronald Frankel, Steve Laymon, and Bradley Thoroughbreds, Dayatthespa won a one-mile overnight stakes in her seasonal debut at Belmont May 5 by four lengths after attending the pace as the 1-4 favorite. Winner of the 2012 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (gr. IT) at Keeneland in addition to a pair of grade III events last year, Dayatthespa has been victorious in six of her past seven starts and seven of 10 races lifetime. The chestnut is to be ridden for the first time by Paco Lopez. They drew post 3.
Back to defend her 2012 Eatontown title is Silver Screamer, a 5-year-old daughter of Cozzene conditioned by Rudy Rodriguez for owners Michael Imperio and Donald W. Olson. The gray/roan mare posted a 1 1/2-length win in last year's race after stalking the pace at odds of 9-2. She has had just one start this year, fading to seventh in the Gallorette Stakes (gr. IIIT) May 18 at Pimlico Race Course.
Richard Santulli's Irish-bred Laughing won last year's Matchmaker Stakes (gr. IIIT) in her only prior start at Monmouth for trainer Alan Goldberg. The 5-year-old daughter of Dansili has not been out since running second to Silver Screamer in the Lady Baltimore Stakes Oct. 27 at Laurel Park.
Either Silver Screamer or Laughing could set the pace in the Eatontown.
Christophe Clement has entered a pair of grade III winners in Naples Bay and Ruthenia.
Virginia Kraft Payson's homebred Ruthenia has performed well over the Monmouth turf with two wins from three tries. She won last year's Violet Stakes (gr. IIIT) over the layout prior to a fourth-place effort in the Eatontown. The 5-year-old daughter of Pulpit also won Monmouth's listed Miss Liberty Stakes at the Eatontown distance in her most recent start May 26.
Edward A. Cox Jr.'s Naples Bay, a 5-year-old Giant's Causeway mare, won Belmont's Noble Damsel (gr. IIIT) last fall at one mile and is coming off a fifth-place finish in the Beaugay Stakes (gr. IIIT) in her 2013 seasonal debut May 4.
Trainer Todd Pletcher is represented by Alto Racing's Peace Preserver, an allowance winner over the Monmouth grass who ran second in the Beaugay, three-quarters of a length behind Hessonite. In her most recent start, the 4-year-old War Front filly was third in the off-the-turf Mariensky Stakes over a sloppy Belmont main track. She captured last fall's Pebbles Stakes on a yielding Belmont turf course by 6 1/2 lengths.
$100,000 Eatontown Handicap (gr. IIIT, Race 11, 6 p.m.), Fillies & Mares 3 & Up, 1 1/16 Miles (Turf)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer, ML Odds
1. Peggy Joyce (KY), E Trujillo, 116, E T Broome, 20/1
2. Ruthenia (KY), J Bravo, 118, C Clement, 9/2
3. Dayatthespa (NY), P Lopez, 120, C C Brown, 9/5
4. Naples Bay (KY), G Saez, 116, C Clement, 8/1
5. Ima Jersey Girl (NJ), C P DeCarlo, 116, G D Sacco, 5/1
6. Laughing (IRE), A Serpa, 116, A E Goldberg, 6/1
7. Silver Screamer (KY), V Santiago, 116, R R Rodriguez, 8/1
8. Namaskara (KY), J Rose, 116, H G Motion, 6/1
9. In the Rough (VA), P L Cotto Jr., 116, K J Breen, 30/1
10. Peace Preserver (KY), C P DeCarlo, 116, T A Pletcher, 5/1
Ima Jersey Girl entered for main track only.