The 6-year-old son of Distorted Humor is the 5-2 morning-line favorite for the 1 1/8-mile turf event, run a day after the Phipps Stable and its Hall of Fame conditioner start Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) winner Orb as the favorite in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I).
Also featured in the nine-horse field at Monmouth are the Irish-bred Wrote , winner of the 2011 Breeders Cup Juvenile Turf (gr. IT), and multiple graded-stakes winner Rahystrada, who makes his Monmouth Park debut at age 9.
The Monmouth Stakes is the 10th race on the Sunday program at the New Jersey shore track with a probable post time of 5:26 p.m. EDT. It is Irish Festival Day at Monmouth with gates opening at 10 a.m.
Boisterous, also making his initial start at Monmouth, ran third in last year's Manhattan Handicap (gr. IT) on the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) program but his connections decided to skip that race this year. The homebred won three graded stakes last season and placed in three others.
He has raced just once this year, finishing second by one length to Successful Dan in the Ben Ali Stakes (gr. III) on the Polytrack at Keeneland April 21. He has posted three workouts on the Belmont Park inner turf since that effort, most recently breezing a half-mile in :48 1/5 June 2.
Boisterous brings a 9-3-2 lifetime mark and earnings of $817,910 into the race. He breaks from post 3 under 116 pounds with John Velazquez aboard.
Wrote won the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf at Churchill Downs by 2 1/4 lengths at 11-1 odds for trainer Aidan O'Brien and his Coolmore connections. The 4-year-old High Chaparral colt is now owned by Northwest Stud Stables and trained by Andrew Mitchell.
He has been blanked in four starts since his top-level triumph and has not raced in nearly a year after being distanced in the St. James Palace Stakes (Eng-I) at Royal Ascot. Wrote was based in Florida earlier this year before moving to Monmouth, where he has posted three easy breezes since May 2.
Elvis Trujillo is aboard for the comeback race from post 4 also at 116 pounds.
Northwest Stud and Mitchell have also entered Irish-bred Learn, who ran last of five as a heavy choice in a Monmouth allowance/optional claiming test at 1 1/16 miles on the grass May 31. Wrote and Learn race uncoupled.
Rahystrada returned from a 6 1/2-month layoff May 2 to run second in an allowance/optional claiming event on the Churchill turf, finishing three-quarters of a length behind Monmouth Stakes entrant Big Blue Kitten.
A 13-time winner from 42 starts with earnings of $1,244,150, the Rahy gelding has lost four in a row since capturing the Arlington Handicap (gr. IIIT), where he defeated Boisterous by a neck last July. He ran third in his subsequent start, the Arlington Million (gr. IT), while Boisterous was ninth.
Owned by Robert E. Courtney Jr., Rahystrada is trained by Byron Hughes, who tabs Irad Ortiz Jr. to ride.
Ken and Sarah Ramsey's homebred Big Blue Kitten, trained by Chad Brown, brings a two-race win streak into the Monmouth. The 5-year-old Kitten's Joy horse is looking for his first graded-stakes win since taking the National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame Stakes (gr. IIT) last August at Saratoga Race Course. Joe Bravo takes the call.
Tune Me In nearly upset the one-mile Red Bank Stakes (gr. IIIT), the major local prep for the Monmouth, in a game front-running effort at 18-1 odds May 18. He finished second, beaten by three parts of a length, by Za Approval for owner Patricia Generazio.
Trained by Bruce Alexander, the 6-year-old Concorde's Tune gelding won last summer's Cliffhanger Stakes (gr. IIIT) on the Monmouth turf, where he is a five-time winner.
Star Channel, a 4-year-old son of English Channel trained by Todd Pletcher for GDS Racing Stable, won an allowance race at 10 furlongs on the Belmont inner turf course by four lengths May 15.
$200,000 Monmouth Stakes (gr. IIT, Race 10, 5:26 p.m.), 3 & Up, 1 1/8 Miles (Turf)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer, ML Odds
2. Learn (IRE), A Serpa, 116, A Mitchell, 15/1
3. Boisterous (KY), J R Velazquez, 116, C R McGaughey III, 5/2
4. Wrote (IRE), E Trujillo, 116, A Mitchell, 4/1
5. Big Blue Kitten (KY), J Bravo, 116, C C Brown, 5/1
6. Hobbs (FL), K Carmouche, 118, K P Mongeon, 20/1
7. Star Channel (FL), C P DeCarlo, 118, T A Pletcher, 6/1
8. Tune Me In (FL), P Lopez, 116, B F Alexander, 6/1
9. Rahystrada (KY), I Ortiz Jr., 116, B G Hughes, 9/2
10. Two Notch Road (VA), S Uske, 116, G R Thompson, 12/1
Main Track Only
1. Warrioroftheroses (NY), T L Dunkelberger, 116, D R Dilodovico, 6/1