A small but select—and extremely competitive—field of six has been entered for the $300,000 Monmouth Cup (gr. II) at Monmouth Park Oct. 9.
The Monmouth Cup, for 3-year-olds and up at 1 1/8 miles, is the renamed Meadowlands Cup. Meadowlands won’t be offering fall Thoroughbred racing this year.
Favoritism could go in several directions, including that of Eric Fein and Vic Carlson’s Musket Man , who in his last start finished a solid third behind Blame and Quality Road in the Whitney Handicap (gr. I) at Saratoga. Musket Man, winner of two graded Triple Crown preps last year as a 3-year-old, hasn’t raced at Monmouth but has trained at the New Jersey track for conditioner Derek Ryan.
Musket Man, a Kentucky-bred by Yonaguska, has fared quite well at longer distances and never has finished worse than third in 13 starts.
Etched is seeking a “repeat” of sorts, having won the 2009 Meadowlands Cup for owner Darley Stable. The speedy 5-year-old Kentucky-bred by Forestry won the Sept. 12 Formal Gold Stakes at Monmouth as the heavy favorite in his first race of the year.
Etched, a lightly raced horse, has won six of eight starts from 2007 to 2010.
The lone 3-year-old in the field is Ice Box , who has squared off against the top 3-year-old colts this season.
$300,000 Monmouth Cup (gr. II, Race 10, 4:58 p.m.), 3 & Up, 1 1/8 Miles (Dirt)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Musket Man (KY) E Coa 119 D S Ryan
2. Duke of Mischief (FL) P Lopez 123 D Fawkes
3. Ice Box (KY) C C Lopez 118 N P Zito
4. Dry Martini (FL) J Bravo 119 B Tagg
5. Chirac (FL) E Trujillo 119 J Cibelli
6. Etched (KY) E Castro 123 K P McLaughlin