Monmouth Park is celebrating Labor Day weekend with the Cliffhanger Stakes and Miss Woodford Stakes on Saturday.
The $100,00 Cliffhanger Stakes will feature Get Serious, the 8-year-old gelded son of City Zip. He's comfortable in Oceanport, as eight of Get Serious' 14 victories have come in stakes races locally.
“He’s fantastic,” said trainer John Forbes. “He’s the best he’s been for as long as we can remember. I hope he’s going to be able to keep his fans happy.”
Get Serious won three straight editions of the Grade 3 Red Bank Stakes from 2009-2012 (the race was not run in 2011), and he also took the 2009-2010 runnings of the Oceanport Stakes. He didn’t win a single race last year but was suffering from a lingering infection in his leg that compromised his campaign.
“He’s just a really sturdy horse,” Forbes said. “You have to credit City Zip and the mare, but Wayne and Susan Chatfield-Taylor at Morgan’s Ford Farm in Virginia bred him and they raised him right. They raise a better horse than just about anybody."
In the Miss Woodford Stakes, stablemates Salad Girl and Say a Novena will break from the gate alongside one another, and trainer Eddie Plesa, Jr. expects a bang-up effort from them both in the six-furlong race on the main track.
“Salad Girl is the New Jersey-bred queen,” he said of the multiple Jersey-bred stakes winner who was voted the 2011 state-bred champion Juvenile Filly. “She has also run very well against open company and now will be competing against her own age group again. Say a Novena hasn’t rounded back into the form she showed as a juvenile as we had hoped, but she is coming in off a freshening and has been training really well, so I expect them both to run really well.”
Salad Girl is owned and was bred by Joel Kligman and will run uncoupled against Rick Shanley’s Kentucky-bred Say a Novena.