By Tom LaMarra
The MATCH Series returns to Monmouth Park June 17 with two sprint stakes that have attracted a total of 48 nominees, eight of which have competed in previous series events.
As part of its second bundled-stakes program of the season, Monmouth will host the $75,000 Mr. Prospector Stakes (3-Year-Olds and Up Sprint–Dirt Division) and the $75,000 Regret Stakes (Filly and Mare Sprint–Dirt Division). The former attracted 23 nominations and the latter 25.
Three horses that competed in the grade III Maryland Sprint Stakes May 19 at Pimlico Race Course–Linda Zang’s Lewisfield (third), Dun Roamin Farm and Wire to Wire Stable’s Irish Colonel (fourth) and Hillside Equestrian Meadows’ Laki (sixth) are nominated to the Mr. Prospector, which is run at six furlongs. Another nominee, Al and Michelle Crawford Racing’s Shaft of Light, finished second at Monmouth behind Page McKenney in the grade III Salvator Mile, the first race in the 3-Year-Olds and Up Long–Dirt Division.
The Crawfords and trainer Jorge Navarro also nominated the speedy Delta Bluesman, who has trained forwardly since his victory in an overnight stakes at Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races in April. Two New Jersey-bred full brothers–Kasey K Racing and Michael Day’s Brother Chub and Brittlyn Stable’s Chublicious, who finished first and second, respectively, in the restricted John J. Reilly Handicap at Monmouth May 26–are among the other nominees.
The Regret, also at six furlongs, has three nominees that competed in the May 18 Skipat Stakes, the first leg of the Filly and Mare Sprint–Dirt Division, at Pimlico: Iris Smith Stable, Lady Sheila Stable and Linda Rice’s Startwithsilver, who finished second to Vertical Oak; Jim Reichenberg and Cash is King’s Ms Locust Point, who was third; and James Miller’s Toby Girl, who checked in fourth.
Also nominated is Stoneway Farm’s Pretty Perfection, who finished second in the off-the-turf The Very One Stakes at Pimlico May 19. The Very One was the first race in the Filly and Mare Sprint–Turf Division; MATCH Series points don’t carry over from division to division.
Monmouth will take entries for the Sunday program on June 14.