OCEANPORT – Monmouth Park will close out its 75th season of thoroughbred horse racing this weekend with stakes races on Sept. 26 and Sept. 27 as a couple of familiar faces look to put the finishing touches on training and riding titles.
The $100,000 Violet Stakes, for fillies and mares 3 and up at a mile-and-a-sixteenth on the turf, headlines Saturday’s 14-race card, according to a press release.
The $75,000 Smoke Glacken Stakes, for 2-year-olds going six furlongs, is the feature for the 36th and final day of the meet on Sunday. Also that day is the $75,000 Joey P. Stakes for Jersey-breds at five furlongs on the turf.
Beginning Oct. 3 (Preakness Day), the nine-day Meadowlands at Monmouth Park meet will extend the thoroughbred racing season in New Jersey, featuring nine stakes races worth $900,000.
The Meadowlands at Monmouth Park meet will run through Oct. 24.
After conducting live cards on Oct. 3-4, racing will be held on Wednesdays and Saturdays during the three weeks that follow. There will also be a holiday card on Oct. 12.
New Jersey native Kelly Breen, who earned Monmouth Park training titles in 2005 and 2006, heads into the final weekend of the meet with his third title wrapped up. His 29 victories give him a commanding lead over current runner-up Jose H. Delgado (16 victories).
Breen, 51, has three horses entered for Saturday’s card. Delgado has just one in.
Jockey Paco Lopez will look to secure his seventh Monmouth Park riding title and second in a row over the final two cards. The 34-year-old native of Veracruz, Mexico, heads into the weekend with 49 winners, nine more than current runner-up Ferrin Peterson.
Lopez is listed to ride in nine races on Saturday, with Peterson scheduled for 10.
Lopez, who won his first Monmouth riding title in 2010, has won the second-most titles in track history. Joe Bravo holds the mark with 13.
Bravo, meanwhile, quietly had a highly successful meet with 38 winners so far from just 129 mounts. He leads all Monmouth riders in winning percentage at 29%, according to the press release.