(from track report)
While the forecast for Saturday still calls for rain at Monmouth Park, that didn't dampen the deluge of entries that flooded the entry box for the opening-day card.
A total of 124 horses were entered for this Saturday's opening day 12-race card at Monmouth's 92-day meeting.
"If opening day is any indication of what's to come then we're in real good shape," said Robert Kulina, vice president of Thoroughbred racing and general manager of Monmouth Park. "The entries are solid, the quality of racing is excellent, the only variable, as always, remains the weather."
Among those ready to roll right out of the gate is trainer Linda Rice, who's entered three for Saturday, including two in the $50,000 Gilded Time Stakes.
Rice will be represented by Spruce Run in the featured $100,000 Red Bank Handicap (gr. III), scheduled for one mile on the turf, as well as by Buzzy's Gold and Second in Command in the Gilded Time, a five-furlong turf sprint.
"Spruce Run's best surface is obviously the turf," said Samantha Randazzo, Rice's Monmouth Park assistant. "His last race was great, winning at a flat mile at Gulfstream. He's really doing great."
As for starting the 5-year-old son of Repriced should the race come off the turf, "The possibility always exists," Randazzo said. "We'll see what happens come race day."
Spruce Run was third in last year's Red Bank, beaten a total of two lengths by Key Lory.$100,000 Red Bank Handicap (gr. IIIT), 3 & up, 1 mile on turf
PP. Horse, Wgt., Rider
1. RUNSPASTUM (L), 113, Pimentel, Julian
2. AUTONOMY (IRE) (L), 114, Bravo, Joe
3a. ROGER E (L), 113, Rose, Jeremy
4. SPRUCE RUN (L), 113, Gryder, Aaron
5. JUST LE FACTS (L), 110, Bravo, Joe
6. UNION ONE (L), 114, Velez Jr., Jose
7. TAM'S TERMS (L), 116, Karamanos, Horatio
8. MIESQUE'S APPROVAL (L), 118, Luzzi, Mike
9a. GLICK (L), 115, Rose, Jeremy
10. FRENCH CHARMER (L), 114, King, Edwin L.
11. GAME EFFORT (L), 112, Toribio, Abdiel
12. SAINT VERRE (L), 118, Espinoza, Jose
13. POLITICAL ATTACK (L), 115, Wilson, Rick
14. SEATTLE GLORY (L), 113, Velez Jr., Jose
15. EMERGENCY STATUS (L), 114, Pimentel, Julian
a--Michael J. Gill