Equi-Photo/Bill Denver

Joey P., Picnic Theme Win in New Jersey Festival

Friendly Lover Handicap
John Petrini's Joey P. wore down pacesetter War's Prospect in the stretch to win the $100,000 Friendly Lover Handicap at Monmouth Park on Saturday before a crowd of 13,018 on the third annual New Jersey Thoroughbred Festival, a day dedicated to horses bred in the Garden State.

Ridden by Joe Bravo, Joey P. covered the six furlongs in 1:08 2/5 and returned $4.60, $3 and $3 as the second choice in the field of six. War's Prospect held second to complete a $32.40 exacta and paid $4.20 and $2.80. It was three lengths back to Second Collection, who returned $3.80 to show.

"He ran well. He was training good. He's still a kid and he's still learning," said winning trainer Frank Costa of Joey P.

Saturday's win marked the sixth in eight starts for Joey P., a 3-year-old gelding by Close Up from the Luckey Jin Beau mare Luckey Lipco. He has now earned $276,541 for his connections.

Gators N Bears, the 6-5 favorite, stumbled badly at the start and finished fifth.

(Chart, Equibase)

Jersey Girl Handicap
Picnic Theme rallied from off the pace to post a length and three-quarters victory in the $100,000 Jersey Girl Handicap, stepping the mile and 70 yards in 1:42 3/5.

Trained by Richard Dutrow Jr., Picnic Theme returned $8.40, $5.20, and $3.20 and topped a $66.40 exacta. Final Assault finished second and paid $7.60 and $3.80. I'mtoogoodtobetrue was another 3 ½ lengths back in third, good for a $2.80 show mutuel.

"She was just dragging me down the backstretch," said winning rider Julian Pimentel. "I had a ton of horse the whole way. When I yelled at her to go on, she just took off and ran away from them."

The Jersey Girl victory was the 11th win in 34 starts for Picnic Them, a 7-year-old mare by Northern Idol from the Better Arbitor mare Summer Semester.

(Chart, Equibase)

Eleven North Handicap
In the $100,000 Eleven North Handicap, Totally Precious ran down Summer Sting in the final yards to post a three-quarters of a length victory.

Trained by James P. Connor III and ridden by Aaron Gryder, Totally Precious covered the six furlongs in 1:09 4/5 and returned $10.20, $3.20, and $2.40. Odds-on favorite Summer Sting completed a $25.20 exacta and paid $2.40 and $2.20. Eastern Gale was another 4 ½ lengths back in third, returning $2.60 to show.

The Eleven North win was the sixth in 29 starts for Totally Precious, a 6-year-old mare by Northern Idol from the Naked Sky mare Arctic Sky. She has now earned $292,788 for her owner, Gwendolyn Kershak.

(Chart, Equibase)

Jersey Breeders' Handicap
Holly Crest Farm's Carrots Only rallied down the lane to post a three-quarters of a length victory in the $100,000 Jersey Breeders' Handicap, the final stakes race on a ten-race card dedicated to New Jersey-bred horses.

Trained by John Mazza and ridden by Tom Turner, Carrots Only went the 1 1/16-mile distance in 1:43 3/5 and returned $27.60, $11.60, and $5.80. Upturn closed to complete an $81.60 exacta and paid $3.40 and $3. Cuba was another 2 ½ lengths back in third, good for a $3 show.

Saturday's win marked the fifth in 16 starts for Carrots Only, a 4-year-old gelding by Defrere from the Brocco mare Veggie.

He has now earned $183,268.

(Chart, Equibase)