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Monmouth Park Picks | Miss Liberty Stakes 2024
Monmouth Park (Sue Kawcyznski/Eclipse Sportswire/CSM)

Monmouth Park Picks | Miss Liberty Stakes 2024

Even though trainer Rodolphe Brisset already had some familiarity with Elounda Queen when the filly was temporarily stabled with him after arriving in Kentucky from France last fall, Sunday’s $100,000 Miss Liberty Stakes at Monmouth Park will mark her first start for him.

The winner will also receive free entry and start fees to the Grade 3 WinStar Matchmaker Stakes on July 20.

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It’s one Brisset is eager to see as he tries to get the 4-year-old filly some confidence back. Unraced since Dec. 26, all three of Elounda Queen’s starts in the United States toward the tail end of last year were in Grade 1 company.

All three were off the board finishes.

“She was in our barn for a while so we knew her,” said the Kentucky-based Brisset. “Then they sent her to California (for the Grade 1 Matriarch at Del Mar and the Grade 1 American Oaks at Santa Anita, where Phil D’Amato was listed as the trainer). We got her when she came back to Kentucky at the beginning of March.

“She’s doing really good. She’s not a very big filly. She has always been on the small side. She hasn’t really changed physically from 3 to 4. But we like what we have seen so far training-wise.”

Seven fillies will test Elounda Queen in the mile and a sixteenth grass feature, including a pair from trainer Chad Brown.

But no entry in the field will get the class relief that Elounda Queen is getting. Her first start in the United States was a seventh-place finish in the Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup at Keeneland, with France-based Jean-Claude Roget still listed as her trainer then.

“Obviously she is going to need a race,” said Brisset, who last started a horse at Monmouth Park in 2021. “At the same time we are happy with the way she has been training (at Keeneland) and we’re looking forward to bringing her back.

“Obviously she has run in some very tough races so far in America. We feel this is the right spot for her. This is what we were looking for to bring her back. I think she’s a better miler but the Monmouth Park turf course is the type she should like. We just want to get some pace in front of her so she can make a late run.”

Bred in Ireland and owned by Agave Racing Stable, Living the Dream Stables and Medallion Racing, the daughter of Australia had a 4-2-1 record from nine starts in France at 2 and 3.

Her career highlight there was winning the Grade 3 Prix de Lieurey Fonds Europeen de l’Elevage Stakes at Deauville in her final start in France.

Overall she has four wins and two seconds from 12 career starts, all on the grass.

Alex Achard is listed to ride.

“Alex has been breezing her in the mornings. He knows her,” said Brisset. “She’s pretty easy to ride. We watched all of her races in France. We know her best running is when she is on the bridle and has some pace in front of her. So we’re not going to re-invent the wheel.

“Hopefully she will find a good spot where she is comfortable and then make a big run. I really want her to get some confidence back.”

Personal Best, coming off six straight races in Grade 3 company, will make her 5-year-old debut for trainer Jimmy Toner, having finished fifth in the Matchmaker Stakes at Monmouth Park last July 22.

Brown will send out the Peter Brant-owned Notinamillionyears and Tax Implications, who was second in the Grade 3 Lake George at Saratoga last July 21. Tax Implications, owned by Klaravich Stables, missed by a neck in her 4-year-old debut at Aqueduct on April 25.

Flashndynamite, Girl Named Charlie, Alpha Bella and Tic Tic Tic Boom round out the field for fillies and mares, 3 and up.