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Oceanport Centennial Preview: Laki Tops Monmouth Mark Meet Opener
Laki winning the Frank Whiteley (Credit: Maryland Jockey Club)

Oceanport Centennial Preview: Laki Tops Monmouth Mark Meet Opener

OCEANPORT, NJ – Multiple stakes winner Laki tops Friday’s $75,000 Oceanport Centennial Stakes, the feature race on opening day of the 2020 Monmouth Park meet.

The Oceanport Centennial is a 5-furlong dirt sprint for horses ages 3 and up. This year’s edition attracted a field of eight males and is scheduled to be race 5, with a local post time of 7:00 PM Eastern.

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Here is a look at the full field for the Oceanport Centennial:

1. Laki (8/1) – The classiest horse in the field, 4 of his 8 career victories came at the stakes level. He finished off the board in his final two starts last year, but he has shown a propensity to compete at his best when fresh, and his workout pattern leading up to his 2020 debut includes a bullet 4-furlong work in :47.00.

2. Factor It In (6/1) – He won two sprints in January to earn a shot at the General George Stakes (G3), where he finished sixth behind multiple graded stakes winner Firenze Fire. The 4-year-old The Factor colt has run well off the bench in the past and fired a 4-furlong bullet work in :47.00 in his final prep for his return to the track.

3. American Pastime (4/1) – He nearly won the Gallant Bob Stakes (G3) as part of a successful 2017 season, but health struggles prevented him from making more than 4 combined starts in the past two years. This will be his first start since he finished last of nine in last October’s Phoenix Stakes (G2) at Keeneland.

4. Chateau (5/2) – He makes his first start since being rescued from alleged cheater Jason Servis’ care in early March, bringing to question how he will run without any purported chemical enhancements. He broke his maiden in his debut for the Servis barn after failing to find success in 15 prior attempts, but new trainer Rob Atras has a 24% strike rate with first-timers.

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5. Dr. Feelgood (8/1) – After ruling the Charles Town bullring (winning 10 of his 12 starts there), he makes his first start away from his native West Virginia for trainer Crystal Pickett. He mostly won at the track’s 4 1/2-furlong one-turn distance, but he did take the 7-furlong Rober Leavitt Stakes against fellow state-breds in 2018.

6. Awesome Anywhere (3/1) – Hall of Famer Jerry Hollendorfer sends him east in search of his first stakes score after two strong performances at Oaklawn Park. Sharp bettors will give him a boost if the track is clean on raceday: he has a 10-5-2-3 record over fast dirt courses.

7. Midtowncharlybrown (5/1) – He makes his first start of 2020 after losing to graded stakes champions Engage and Firenze Fire late last season. The 2019 Pennsylvania-bred champion male sprinter won a pair of 6-furlong dirt stakes last summer at Penn National and Parx.

8. Ink Splotz (30/1) – He takes the precarious jump up to the stakes level after breaking his maiden last time out while running for a $40k tag. He did technically cross the wire first once before, over this course last August, but he was later disqualified due to a positive drug test.

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