07/14/2005 11:00PM

Big class edge to My Trusty Cat

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My Trusty Cat brings Grade 1 credentials to Sunday's $65,000 Red Cross Stakes.

OCEANPORT, N.J. - My Trusty Cat adds some Grade 1 luster to the $65,000 Red Cross Stakes Sunday at Monmouth Park.

The classy 5-year-old mare trained by David Vance was a $100 supplemental entry in the field of seven fillies and mares going six furlongs.

, a career winner of $880,253, is no stranger to Grade 1 competition. She won the seven-furlong Humana Distaff Handicap on Derby Day at Churchill Downs.

She also lost by only a head in last year's Ballerina Handicap at Saratoga.

Vance shipped his stable east from Kentucky earlier this month to spend the summer on the Jersey Shore.

My Trusty Cat worked a bullet on Monday, drilling five furlongs in 1:00.40. Joe Bravo, the meet's leading rider, has the mount.

This is an ideal spot for a rebound effort. My Trusty Cat ran fourth last time out in the Grade 3 Chicago Breeders' Cup Handicap at Arlington Park. She offered a mild rally in that race, which she won last year in a driving finish.

The presence of My Trusty Cat has given some trainers second thoughts about running in this spot.

"I'll look at it and if it's a little too salty, there's a good shot I might come out," said trainer John Zimmerman, who has Xtra Tough in the race. "I'm coming back a little soon, especially with the hot, brutal week we've had."

is a speedy 4-year-old filly who has taken to Monmouth this summer. She was a game second in her first start here and followed that with a rousing pacesetting win on July 2.

"She really stepped up," Zimmerman said. "It was the first time we were able to run her back. She usually needs five or six weeks. She's got all the gas in the world."

Speed is certainly her game. The question is always how much company Xtra Tough will find on the front end, and what price they are willing to pay.

"When anybody tries to head her, it costs them," Zimmerman said. "I think every horse that tried to head her ran last. She might not hit the board, but whoever tried her was last."

Areek, High Peaks, Souris, Thermal Ablasion, and Welcome Home complete the field

Upturn vs. War's Prospect in Colt's Neck

Upturn and War's Prospect, winners of the two New Jersey-bred handicaps this year, meet again in the $60,000 Colts Neck on Sunday.

Distance will be a crucial factor. War's Prospect took the six-furlong John J. Reilly Handicap on May 28 while Upturn was an easy winner in the mile and 70-yard Bernie Dowd Handicap on June 19.

The Colts Neck is six furlongs, which could give War's Prospect the edge.

Carrots Only, Freedom's Honor, Midnight Express, Quiet Desperation, Trueamericanspirit, and Jay's Wish complete the lineup.

Carlos Cruz out with fractured knee

Jockey Carlos Cruz suffered a fractured left knee in a Thursday spill at Monmouth.

It marks the second straight summer Cruz heads to the sidelines. He missed the entire Monmouth meet in 2004 while recuperating from colon cancer surgery.

Cruz was injured in the fifth race when his mount clipped heels and fell.

Proud Affair, Cruz's mount, suffered a fractured shoulder and neck and died on the track.

The other horse and rider in the incident were uninjured, although Luis Rivera Jr was unseated when his mount Make Fast was unable to avoid Proud Affair.

Monmouth medical director Dr. Angelo Chinnici said that Cruz will undergo surgery Saturday at Monmouth Medical Center.

"They will insert two screws in the knee," Chinnici said, "They will help accelerate his recuperation. He will be out from four to six weeks."