09/16/2009 11:00PM

Actin Good eyes rebound in stakes prep

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OCEANPORT, N.J. - In hindsight, the Grade 3 Iselin Stakes was too much, too soon for Actin Good.

Trainer Bobby Dibona expects a much better effort from the 5-year-old gelding Saturday at Monmouth Park in the $70,000 Formal Gold Stakes.

The 1 1/16-mile Formal Gold, the prep for the Grade 2, $300,000 Meadowlands Cup on Oct. 16, drew a field of eight.

Dibona was extremely confident heading into the Iselin here Aug. 22. He had every reason to be optimistic, following Actin Good's game win in the Majestic Light Stakes on the Haskell Day undercard.

With Kent Desormeaux aboard, Actin Good dug in to beat Acting Zippy by a nose at the end of a long drive in the Majestic Light. The lingering effects of that effort turned up in the Iselin, where Actin Good finished 21 1/2 lengths behind Chirac.

"I've looked back at that race," Dibona said. "I trained him very hard coming off a layoff to get him ready for the Majestic Light. We won it and we beat Chirac. Desormeaux really had to work the horse. He rode him hard, and horse fought hard. That race took a lot more out of him than I thought."

Did someone say bounce?

"He just didn't have enough time to get himself back together," Dibona said. "I'm willing to forgive that race and see him bounce back here. He's sharp. He's ready to go. He looks great."

He also has trained great, going a half-mile on Monday in 48 seconds, the fastest of 61 breezes at the distance.

Pampered Sir encounters Actin Good for a third straight time. He was fifth in the Majestic Light and third in the Iselin.

Spin Master, Custer, and Encaustic each comes off a solid win.

Spin Master pulled clear to a 2 1/2-length victory in a third-level allowance win here Aug. 30.

Custer comes off a third-level turf win at Monmouth on Aug. 16.

Encaustic brings in a two-race winning streak that started with an allowance win on the turf at Laurel, followed by a front-running victory in the mud at Mountaineer Park in the off-the-turf Labor Day Stakes.

Song Shan, a Stronach Stables homebred, makes his fourth start of the meet since the transfer to the Joe Orseno barn. He captured his Monmouth debut before running third in a pair of third-level allowance races.

Completing the field are Glamour Guy and Good and Lucky.