(edited track report)
Jockey Herb McCauley registered his first stakes victory at Monmouth Park in 10 years May 9 when he guided Red Oak Stable’s Casino Transaction to a front-running upset victory in the $70,000 Red Cross Stakes on opening day of a 99-day Thoroughbred meeting in Oceanport, N.J.
All-day rains kept attendance down at the track, which announced a crowd of 3,463 for the 2008 opener. The track was sloppy, but sealed.
Casino Transaction, trained by Greg Sacco, took the front from the start for McCauley and never allowed her rivals to get very close. She scored by three-quarters of a length, stopping the timer in a fast 1:09.04 for six furlongs.
McCauley, 51, came out of retirement late last season. The veteran rider was among the leading jockeys at Monmouth before being sidelined by serious injuries.
“I was able to get to the quarter-pole with some horse left under me,” McCauley said. “In the lane, she got a little tired, but she dug in and held on for me.”
Casino Transaction, a 4-year-old daughter of Carson City, paid $13.80, $6.80, and $4.20 across the board and topped an $88 exacta with Jenny Bean Girl.
“I didn’t really give Herbie any instructions,” Sacco said. “I just told him to break and play it from there. She was working well for this. I’m not sure who I was happier for, Herbie or me!”
Circuit Breaker finished second in the field of five, but was disqualified and placed fourth for bumping with Devil House at the top of the stretch. Jenny Bean Girl ($8.20, $3.60), the longest shot on the board at 12-1, was moved to second, and Devil House ($4.40) was placed third.
Pure Disco, the favorite in the field of five fillies and mares, finished last.