The final graded event of Monmouth’s 2009 season, $175,000 Red Bank Stakes (gr. IIIT) on Sept. 6, has come up very solid. The one-mile test on turf drew a field of 11, including some local heroes and talented shippers, and that’s only fitting since it caps a season of competitive stakes racing on the Jersey Shore.
The local matchup to watch in the Red Bank is Get Serious versus Kiss the Kid. The two Monmouth-based runners put on quite a show in the off-the-turf Oceanport Stakes last out on Haskell Day, with Get Serious leading every step and holding off Kiss the Kid by a desperate neck at the wire.
Hardacre Farm’s Kiss the Kid, a 6-year-old son of Lemon Drop Kid owned and trained by Amy Tarrant, won the Cliff Hanger (gr. III) at the Meadowlands last fall and Appleton Stakes (gr. III) at Gulfstream in March. He has yet to win in three starts at Monmouth this year, however, but will appreciate being back on the grass.
“He’s feeling great,” Tarrant said. “He had a nice blowout for this (Aug. 31, three-eighths in :36 2/5). It will be great to get him back on the grass.”
Kiss the Kid, to be ridden by Monmouth's leading rider Elvis Trujillo, does his best running from off the pace, so Tarrant is concerned about the speed of the race, represented in large measure by Get Serious.
Get Serious, a 5-year-old son of City Zip owned by Dinan, Moore & Phantom House Farm, has had a solid season at Monmouth this year, winning three of four starts, two on the turf, and all three in front-running fashion. His only poor effort came in the Skip Away Stakes when he ran fifth after early trouble, but even that effort looked better after the winner, Chirac, came back and won the grade III Iselin Stakes.
Pat McBurney, who trains Get Serious with John Forbes, said he was happy drawing post 4 because the gelding has just one style of running, in front.
“It’s a nice post,” McBurney said, “because he can get to the first turn in good shape. He just needs to get away from the gate in good order so he can get his usual position. Now all he has to do is run the mile in the Red Bank like he ran his other miles here.”
Carrying top weight of 123 pounds and likley to be favored in the Red Bank is Proudinsky, winner of the Mervyn Muniz Jr. Memorial Handicap (gr. II) at Fair Grounds in March. The Bobby Frankel trainee will be ridden by Joe Bravo.
$175,000 Red Bank (gr. IIIT, Race 9, 4:50 p.m.), 3 & Up, 1 Mile (Turf) PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Pleasant Strike (VA), C P DeCarlo, 116, T A Pletcher
2. Mambo Meister (KY), C H Marquez Jr., 116, P A Gleaves
3. Kiss the Kid (KY), E Trujillo, 116, A Tarrant
4. Get Serious (NY), P Fragoso, 118, J H Forbes
5. Proudinsky (GER), J Bravo, 123, R J Frankel
6. Vanquisher (FL), R Monterrey, 116, J C Servis
7. Pick Six (KY), E Castro, 116, C R McGaughey III
8. Custer (FL), P Lopez, 116, E Plesa Jr.
9. Steve's Double (MD), J Rocco Jr., 116, R W Werner
10. Jet Propulsion (FL), D Centeno, 116, D Green
11. Brave Tin Soldier (KY), C C Lopez, 116, K P McLaughlin