Locally-based Get Serious has been off form this season but will try to get back to his winning ways when he goes for his third straight victory in the $200,000 Oceanport Stakes (gr. IIIT) July 31 at Monmouth Park. A field of 11 was drawn.
The Oceanport is one of two graded turf races on Monmouth's Sunday card that is headlined by the $1 million Haskell Invitational (gr. I). The other turf race is the $200,000 Taylor Made Matchmaker Stakes (gr. IIIT) for fillies and mares. Just a Game (gr. IT) winner C. S. Silk tops a field of 11 in the Matchmaker.
Monmouth’s 14-race program, which includes eight stakes, gets underway at 12 p.m. EDT.
Get Serious has missed the board in his three starts this year after stringing together four wins in five starts in 2010. The City Zip gelding won the 1 1/16-mile Oceanport in wire-to-wire fashion by a neck a year ago, one of three graded stakes he won on the Monmouth turf course. He also won the Oceanport in 2009 by a neck when it was held on the sloppy main track.
Owned by James Dinan and Phantom House Farm, Get Serious has compiled a 13-2-2 record from 33 lifetime starts with earnings of more than $1 million. Trainer John Forbes has assigned Pablo Fragoso to ride New York-bred Get Serious.
Bernard Weill’s Violon Sacre was second in last year’s Oceanport and is back for another crack for trainer Patrick Biancone, who has entered two in the race. Violon Sacre, winner of the 2010 Knickerbocker (gr. IIIT) at Belmont, will be making his season debut. Biancone’s other entrant is Irish-bred Sayif, winner of Monmouth's Battlefield Stakes July 9 for his first U.S. triumph.
Seeking his first stateside win is Moryba, a group I winner in Brazil. Now trained by Bill Mott, Moryba missed by a head in the Mervin H. Muniz Jr. Memorial Handicap (gr. IIT) in March and was fifth last out in the Colonial Turf Cup. He is cross-entered in Saratoga's Fourstardave Handicap (gr. IIT) on Sunday.
Other top contenders in the Oceanport include four-time stakes winner Workin for Hops, whose last score came in the May 21 Hanshin Cup (gr. IIIT) at Arlington Park; Fort Marcy (gr. IIIT) winner Straight Story; and Baryshnikov, runner-up in consecutive grade II events including the Firecracker Handicap on July 4 at Churchill Downs.
They will have to catch C. S. Silk in the 1 1/8-mile Matchmaker. The 5-year-old Medaglia d'Oro filly went wire-to-wire at odds of 12-1 in the June 11 Just a Game at Belmont for her first grade I victory and her seventh win in 24 career starts. Picking up the mount for Dale Romans is Martin Garcia. C. S. Silk is owned by William Pacella, George Bonomo, and Fred Barbara.
Trying to repeat in the Matchmaker is Red Oak Stable’s Unbridled Essence, who held on to win by a half-length a year ago for her lone graded stakes triumph. Unbridled Essence is winless in three starts this year but missed by only a nose in the Violet (gr. IIIT) May 30 at Monmouth. Trainer Greg Sacco has assigned Paco Lopez to ride the 5-year-old daughter of Essence of Dubai.
Six-time stakes winner Romacaca, the 120-pound high weight, was cross-entered in the Matchmaker and the Diana (gr. IT) July 30 at Saratoga.
$200,000 Oceanport (gr. IIIT, Race 9, 3:59 p.m.), 3YO and up, 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer 1. Schoolyard Dreams (KY), J L Castanon, 116, D S Ryan
2. Workin for Hops (KY), E Trujillo, 118, M Stidham
3. Yummy With Butter (ON), P Lopez, 116, Y Belsoeur
4.. Sayif (IRE), C Hill, 118, P L Biancone
5 Moryba (BRZ), L Saez, 116, W I Mott
6. Get Serious (NY), P Fragoso, 116, J H Forbes
7. Violon Sacre (KY), R Curatolo, 117, P L Biancone
8. Voodoo Swinge (KY), J Bravo, 116, M R Matz
9. Baryshnikov (KY), J R Leparoux, 116, M J Maker
10. General Perfect (NJ), M Garcia, 116, G R Thompson
11. Straight Story (NY), C H Marquez Jr., 120, A E Goldberg
$200,000 Taylor Made Matchmaker (gr. IIIT, Race 11, 5:04 p.m.), Fillies and Mares, 1 1/8 Miles (Turf) PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer 1. Perfect Shirl (KY), J R Leparoux, 116, R L Attfield
2. No Explaining (IRE), C Hill, 118, R L Attfield
3. Unbridled Essence (FL), P Lopez, 116, G D Sacco
4. C. S. Silk (KY), M Garcia ,118, D L Romans
5. Dream Louise (MD), J Pimentel, 116, E W Merryman
6. Ravi's Song (KY), C J Lanerie, 118, C Bowman
7. Romacaca (FL), E T Baird, 120, N Canani
8. Cherokee Queen (KY), L Saez, 116, M D Wolfson
9. Marquet Madness (FL), E Trujillo, 116, M Hartmann
10. Apple Charlotte (KY), J Rose, 116, H G Motion
11. Christine Daae (KY), J Bravo, 116, P L Biancone