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New Jersey-Breds Front & Center at Monmouth Park
Stay Smart winning the Smart N Fancy (Credit: Bill Denver / Equi-Photo)

New Jersey-Breds Front & Center at Monmouth Park

OCEANPORT, NJ – The best New Jersey-breds were front and center at Monmouth Park on Saturday, with Stay Smart, Royal Urn, and Lil Miss Moppet taking the day’s trio of stakes.

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$75,000 Pinot Grigio Handicap

Fillies and mares 3 and up going 5 1/2 furlongs on the turf

Lil Miss Moppet returned $2.40 to win, $2.20 to place, and $2.10 to show. Windixiewin brought back $5.20 to place and $4.60 to show, while Pretti Tricki paid $4 to show.

$75,000 Dan Horn Handicap

Horses 3 and up going 1 1/16 miles on the turf

“This horse hasn’t gone this distance before, but (winning trainer Kelly Breen) was telling me he was training him for a 7-furlong race at Belmont and training him to come off the pace,” said winning jockey Nik Juarez. “I was hoping if I could just get him to relax a bit in the early stages of the race, that he would be able to kick for me when I needed it. The only issue was down the backside when he got a bit keen with me, but I was finally able to get him to relax and he just finished up really well in the lane.”

Royal Urn returned $8.60 to win, $3.20 to place, and $2.20 to show. Golden Brown brought back $2.40 to place and $2.10 to show, while Optic Way paid $2.10 to show.

“I’m so happy for (owner/breeder John Bowers) because of what he does for breeding in New Jersey,” Breen said. “He deserves this. This horse is having a very good year. I was training him for a 7-furlong stakes in two weeks in New York, so he was kind of geared up a little bit for this. I’m not surprised he got the distance. He’s a nice horse. I think he’s versatile. In the right spot, almost any horse can go any distance, and this was a pretty good spot. He ran a great race. I’m proud of him. He gives it his all.”

$75,000 Smart N Classy Handicap

Fillies and mares 3 and up going 1 mile on the dirt

“(Owner/breeder) John Bowers has been doing this for a long time, breeding good Jersey-breds,” said Breen, who also saddled this winner. “This is a byproduct of what he breeds. It’s really impressive. He’s ecstatic to win this race. This race kind of fell into our lap of where to go with her for her next start. This horse is having a sensational year and this spot fit her perfectly. It’s apropos that this horse won this race.”

Stay Smart (a daughter of the horse for whom the race is named) returned $4.80 to win, $3.40 to place, and $2.60 to show. Crazy Daisy brought back $11.60 to place and $5 to show, while Postino’s Champion paid $4.60 to show.

“All credit to (the owner),” said Bravo after winning the first of his 2 stakes on the card. “You can’t make this stuff up, a daughter of Smart N Classy winning a race named for Smart N Classy. It was almost too good to be true because when I looked at this race, she was clearly the best horse and you don’t want to overthink it. Kelly brings them over ready to run.”

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