Monmouth Park Meet Opens With Red Cross

Talkin About Love is one of the favorites, but may scratch if it rains

Kevin Sleeter will send out homebred Talkin About Love in the $70,000 Red Cross Stakes May 9, the opening day feature at Monmouth Park.

Talkin About Love is a 4-year-old Not for Love filly who has won six of nine tries at Monmouth, including last year’s Monmouth Breeders’ Cup Oaks (gr. III), when she became the first New Jersey-bred ever to take the prestigious event.

The catch here is that Talkin About Love does not appreciate wet racetracks, and weather predictions for May 9 are practically guaranteeing excess moisture.

“She’s won in the slop,” Sleeter said, “but that was against maidens. Last October (in the Inside Information Stakes on Breeders’ Cup), she finished third in the slop, but she didn’t like it at all.

“It’s too early in the season to take any chances with her, and if the track is too wet I’ll probably scratch her. There are a lot more dances coming up.”

Tony Wilson, on the other hand, would welcome a wet track when he sends out Patricia Generazio’s Pure Disco. The 5-year-old daughter of Disco Rico has won four of five races on a wet track, and finished second by a neck in her only off track loss.

“When I saw the way Talkin About Love has been breezing (three furlongs in :35 4/5 May 7 ),” Wilson said, “I started doing my rain dance for real. A wet track might help even things up. My filly loves this track, and she loves the slop. She had an easy breeze here (May 6, a half-mile in :50 flat with jockey Chuck Lopez up), and she’s ready to go.”

There are a few other fillies in the Red Cross who bear watching. Kiaran McLaughlin will ship in Labadeel from New York. The Forest Wildcat filly ran in sprint stakes on turf in France, and won twice this winter on the inner track at Aqueduct. She has the services of Joe Bravo, who is seeking a 14th riding title at Monmouth.

J. Willard Thompson sends out Ocean View Stables’ Jenny Bean Girl, a 6-year-old mare who has a 5-6-4 record in 21 starts at Monmouth, but only one victory on a wet track. She finished third behind Pure Disco in the Revidere Stakes, run in the slop here last Oct. 25.

Trainer Bruce Levine saddles Devil House, who has won stakes at Oaklawn and Aqueduct the past two seasons.

The Red Cross Stakes, which is not affiliated with the American Red Cross, is named in honor of a very fast filly who competed at Monmouth in the mid-1970s. The daughter of Delta Judge, owned by Mary V. Fisher’s Dixiana Stable and trained by Chuck Werstler, who passed away last year, won the Regret Stakes here in 1976, but was probably best known for a race she lost.

In the 1975 renewal of the Select Handicap, Red Cross showed her pure speed. Coming off an allowance win in 1:09 3/5, the filly flew out of the gate and ran some of the fastest splits ever at Monmouth when she turned for home after a first quarter in :20 4/5 and first half in :43 4/5. Red Cross tired from her efforts and finished third to Gallant Bob, who stopped the timer in 1:09 2/5, and went on to be named the Eclipse Award-winning Champion Sprinter of 1975.