Updated on 09/17/2011 6:23PM

American Freedom tops NJ Festival

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Ryan McAlinden/EQUI-PHOTO
American Freedom (#1), and jockey Jose Velez, Jr, stay ahead of their stable mate, Freedom's Honor (#1A) and Stewart Elliott, to win the $100,000 Jersey Breeders' Turf Highweight at Monmouth Park.

OCEANPORT, N.J. - American Freedom beat stablemate Freedom's Honor by a half length in the $100,000 Jersey Breeders' Turf Highweight Handicap to brighten a tough season for trainer Jamie Woodington.

The Jersey Breeders was one of five stakes that Monmouth Park presented Sunday as part of the second annual New Jersey Thoroughbred Festival. The entire 11-race program, which drew 14,066 fans, featured races exclusively for New Jersey breds.

The Jersey Breeders was a rare opportunity for the state breds to run on grass. It was a spot Woodington had been awaiting all season.

"Thank goodness for New Jersey turf," said Woodington, who had won only two of 41 starts at the meet.

American Freedom ($3.20) appreciated the class drop. The highweight in the field at 122 pounds had run three times this season in open stakes at Monmouth and was winless against tough grass runners like Burning Roma, Megantic and Del Mar Show.

In the Jersey Breeders, he had no one to fear but his own stablemate.

"American Freedom is a little more honest," said Woodington. "He always shows up every time. The other horse also tried very hard and ran very well."

American Freedom, ridden by Jose Velez, Jr., ran the 1 1-16 miles in 1:43.16.

Catechol was third.

It was a very formful afternoon as the favorites won all five stakes.

Quiet Desperation wins third straight in Colts' Neck

Quiet Desperation ($5.80) extended his winning streak to three with a two-length win in the six-furlong $100,000 Colts Neck Handicap.

Eibar Coa rode the winner for trainer Joe Pierce. Quiet Desperation was clocked in 1:10.16.

Uphill Skier takes Jersey Girl

Uphill Skier, a homebred for Eb Novak's New Farm, out dueled Firecard for the early lead and drew off to a 2 1-4 length win in the $100,000 Jersey Girl Handicap for fillies and mares at a mile and 70 yards.

Uphill Skier ($6) improved her Monmouth record to four wins in eight starts for trainer Ben Perkins, Jr.

Stewart Elliott was aboard as Uphill Skier, the highweight in the race at 122 pounds, won a second straight New Jersey-bred stakes. The 4-year-old filly took the off-the-turf Spruce Fir Handicap last time out.

Totally Precious enjoys return to Monmouth

Totally Precious, who had not raced at Monmouth in over a year, made a victorious return to the Jersey Shore with a rallying victory in the $100,000 Eleven North Handicap for fillies and mares at six furlongs.

Totally Precious ($4.80), who finished in the money in her last four starts at Delaware Park, beat Eastern Gale by 1 1-2 lengths in 1:11.18.

Joe Bravo rode for trainer James Connor III.

War's Prospect rolls in Pappa Riccio

War's Prospect coasted to a front-running victory in the $75,000 Pappa Riccio Stakes for 3-year-olds.

War's Prospect ($3.40) beat Professor Biggs, his closest pursuer, by 2 1-2 lengths with Jose C. Ferrer aboard for trainer Bill Anderson. He ran the mile in 1:37.14.