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Monmouth Park Picks | Long Branch Stakes 2024
Lonesome Boy (Jason Moran/Eclipse Sportswire/CSM)

Monmouth Park Picks | Long Branch Stakes 2024

Lonesome Boy, fourth in the Grade 2 Wood Memorial in his most recent start, and Heartened, a close-up fifth in the Grade 3 Tampa Bay Derby, head a field of eight 3-year-olds for the featured $100,000 Long Branch Stakes on the Monmouth Park opening day card on Saturday, May 11.

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Trained by Hugo Padilla, Lonesome Boy won the City of Brotherly Love Stakes in the slop at Parx by 6¾ lengths two starts back. The Washington-bred son of Nationhood has banked $176,444 for his 11-race career. Adam Bowman is listed to ride.

Heartened, trained by Hall of Famer Todd Pletcher, comes in after finishing second by a neck in an optional allowance claimer in the slop at Keeneland on April 10. The Kentucky-bred son of Street Boss-Rare Find by Bernardini, was fifth, beaten just 2¼ lengths, in the Tampa Bay Derby prior to that.

Paco Lopez, seeking his 11th Monmouth Park riding title and sixth straight, has the call.

The horse of intrigue in the feature is Sugar Boy, who comes in off a second-place finish in the Sophomore Stakes at Tampa Downs on March 24. Prior to that, the Florida-bred son of Khozan won all four of his starts in Cameraro in Puerto Rico by a combined 21¾ lengths – including the Grade 1 Clasico Agustin Mercado Reveron Stakes and the Grade 2 Angel T. Cordero Jr. Stakes.

Sugar Boy will be making his second start for trainer Jose D’Angelo.

The 88th edition of the Long Branch Stakes, at a mile and 70 yards, will go as the seventh race on a 10-race card as the Jersey Shore track kicks off its 79th season.

The Long Branch Stakes offers the added bonus to the winner of free entry and start fees for the Grade 1 NYRA Bets Haskell Stakes on July 20.

A total of 96 horses – including seven alternates – were entered for the 10-race card following Tuesday’s draw. There is a Jersey Shore Pick 6 carryover of $30,477 for the opening day program.

First race post time on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays for the 51-day meet is 12:50 p.m. When Friday racing starts on June 21 first race post time those days will be 2 p.m.