Morning Line , winner of the seven-furlong Carter Handicap (gr. I) at Aqueduct in his last start, heads a field of seven in the Salvator Mile Stakes (gr. III) at Monmouth Park July 2. The 10th race on Saturday’s card, the Salvator Mile is scheduled to go off at 5:28 (EDT).
A son of Tiznow , Morning Line is the only grade I winner in the field. He ran third in the Hal’s Hope Stakes (gr. III) and second in the Donn Handicap (gr. I) in his other two starts this year. He ended last year with a runner-up effort in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (gr. I) in which he was beaten a head. Eddie Castro will ride for trainer Nick Zito.
The only other contestant coming off a win is Motovato. The son of Proud Citizen captured the Memorial Day Handicap at Calder Casino & Race Course May 30 after setting the pace. Florida-based Motovato was a graded stakes winner in 2009 and a stakes winner last year. Trainer Martin D. Wolfson has secured the riding services of Joe Bravo.
Winner of the Hal's Hope, Soaring Empire , finished second in both the Gulfstream Park Handicap (gr. II) and the Gulfstream Park Sprint Championship Stakes (gr. II) after the Hal Hope and then ran seventh in the Metropolitan Handicap (gr. I) May 30. The son of Empire Maker will be ridden by Jose Lezcano. Cam Gambolati trains.
Friesan Fire , a leader on the 2009 Triple Crown trail, is looking for his first win since January 2010. The son of A.P. Indy has run twice this year, finishing third in an optional claimer and fourth in the Texas Mile (gr. III). Gabriel Saez will ride for trainer J.L. Jones.
Kensei also is looking to redeem himself. His last win came in the Jim Dandy Stakes (gr. II) at Saratoga in 2009. Kensei finished fourth in the Carter and 11th in the Metropolitan Handicap. The son of Mr. Greeley will be ridden by Edgar Prado. Steve Asmussen trains.
Stakes-placed Cactus Charlie, who is looking for his first stakes win, sports a pair of allowance wins at Parx Racing this year. He finished a distant fourth in the Skip Away at Monmouth May 30. Shannon Uske will ride the son of Not For Love for trainer J. J. Tammaro III.
Rule, a graded winner at 2 in 2009 and at 3, has competed solely in stakes this year. The son of Roman Ruler trained by Todd Pletcher ran second in the Hal’s Hope and third in the Donn before finished unplaced in his next two starts. Garrett Gomez will ride for trainer Todd Pletcher.
$200,000 Salvator Mile Stakes (gr. III, Race 10, 5:28 EDT), 3YO and Up, One Mile (Dirt)
PP, Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Rule, G K Gomez, 117, T A Pletcher
2. Morning Line, E Castro, 121, N P Zito
3. Soaring Empire, J Lezcano, 121, C M Gambolati
4. Kensei, E S Prado, 117, S M Asmussen
5. Motovato, J Bravo, 119, M D Wolfson
6. Cactus Charlie, S Uske, 117, J J Tammaro III
7. Friesan Fire, G Saez, 117, J L Jones