Gerry Sleeter's Who's the Cowboy was the star of the New Jersey Thoroughbred Festival at Monmouth Park Saturday, turning in a powerful performance to make the $100,000 Friendly Lover Handicap his fourth straight score at the meeting.
In the day's other stakes for New Jersey-breds, Jersey Peach won the $125,000 Jersey Breeders' Handicap, Wild Gams took the $100,000 Eleven North Handicap, and I'mtoogoodtobetrue captured the $100,000 Jersey Girl Handicap. New Jersey-bred jockey Joe Bravo who rode both I'mtoogoodtobetrue and Wild Gams, had four winners on the day, and Chris DeCarlo, also a New Jersey native, scored on Jersey Peach.Who's the Cowboy, sent off the 7-10 favorite as part of an entry with Flirtatious Smile, bided his time early under highweight of 127 pounds, blew by the leaders in the stretch, and then drew off to win by 4 1/4 lengths. He stopped the timer in 1:08 2/5, his fastest six-furlong time of the meeting.He paid $3.40, $2.60 and $2.10 across the board and topped a $20.80 exacta with Hey Chub, who held second by a length and a quarter over Brucker's Brother.
It was the fourth stakes victory in a row for the 4-year-old son of Intensity who won the Colts Neck Handicap in 1:09 4/5 in July and the Teddy Drone in August in 1:08 4/5. Last out, in the Icecapade Stakes on Sept. 4, Who's the Cowboy scored in 1:09 flat. Jockey Eddie King Jr. has been aboard in all his wins this year.
Who's the Cowboy, bred by Carolyn Sleeter, wife of the owner, and trained by son Kevin Sleeter, has now won 10 of 18 lifetime starts at Monmouth Park.
Capitol Hill Thoroughbreds' Jersey Peach upset the Jersey Breeders' Handicap as he drew off through the stretch to score by 6 1/2 lengths over Fagedaboudit Sal. Meadow Blue, the 4-5 favorite, made a belated rally to take the show, a neck farther back.
Jersey Peach, trained by Joe Orseno and ridden by DeCarlo, raced the 1 1/16-mile distance over a fast track in 1:43 3/5 and paid $24.60, $10.60 and $4.60 across the board. He topped a $368.20 exacta with the 28-1 Fagedaboudit Sal.
This was the first stakes victory for Jersey Peach, a 4-year-old son of Forest Wildcat who was second to Meadow Blue last out in the Lincroft Handicap.
In the Eleven North Handicap, New Farm's Wild Gams showed how much she appreciated the drop from grade I company back to the state-bred ranks. She closed relentlessly for a neck victory over the front-running Pure Disco.
Sent off the 4-5 favorite under Bravo, Wild Gams raced six furlongs in 1:09 3/5 and paid $3.60, $3.20 and $3.20 across the board. Pure Disco held second by a head over Beautiful East to complete the $20.80 exacta.
It was the first win at Monmouth this year for Wild Gams, a 3-year-old daughter of Forest Wildcat who was bred by her owner and is trained by Ben Perkins Jr. Earlier this season, she won the Cicada (gr. III) at Aqueduct and ran second in the Prioress (gr. I) at Belmont. Last time out, Wild Gams finished ninth in the Darley Test (gr. I) at Saratoga.
In the Jersey Girl Handicap at 1 1/16 miles, Philip J. Torsney's I'mtoogoodtobetrue scored her third stakes victory of the meeting -- and fourth in two seasons at Monmouth -- when she held on to score by nearly a length over Final Assault. The victory gave Bravo his third successive score of the day.
The Ned Allard-trained filly, sent off the 2-5 favorite in the field of six, stopped the timer in 1:45 flat over a muddy track, and paid $2.80, $2.40 and $2.10 across the board. Final Assault, a 9-1 chance, completed the $18.60 exacta. Jenny Bean Girl was 3 1/4 lengths farther back in third.
I'mtoogoodtobetrue, a 4-year-old daughter of Good and Tough, won the Girl Powder Handicap last month and before that took the Spruce Fir Handicap. Last season, she won the Girl Powder.(Chart, Equibase)