08/25/2008 12:00AM

Broome collects 1,000th win


OCEANPORT, N.J. - Eddie Broome hit a major milestone in the seventh race Sunday at Monmouth Park with Tastefully Smart, his 1,000th training victory.

The mark is doubly sweet for Broome, who is also the owner of the vast majority of those winners.

"What took me so long?" was his joking response to a congratulatory phone call. "I've gotten a lot of sore backs from it, but it has paid off."

Now it's on to the next thousand, starting Wednesday at Monmouth, where Broome has two runners set to go, starting with Big Red Hope in the third race. The often-injured 4-year-old Big Red Hope is making only his fifth start, and he carries a $25,000 claiming tag.

Big Red Hope secured his maiden win last time out on Aug. 7, a pacesetting victory against $10,000 claimers.

As the owner of the colt, Broome has patiently nursed Big Red Hope through his issues to this test.

"He's been plagued by injuries," Broome said. "If we can hold him together I think he's got a pretty good shot in there. Two races in a row is going to be a first for him. When you own them yourself, you better give the horses time they need. I don't have a bunch of horses to replace them, like some people do."

In the fifth, Broome sends out Bon Bon Princess in an $18,000 to $20,000 claimer for fillies and mares. It is a class drop for the 5-year-old, badly beaten in a first-level allowance last time out. She rolled to a front-running win in her prior race, a starter allowance, for her only victory in the last 15 races.

"She's won one race this year and none last year, so I think it's time to run her a little cheaper," Broome said. "When you own them, you can run them where you want them. Every time I run her in an allowance race, I swear I won't do it again. The race office talks me into helping fill a race and she gets killed. This time, I stuck to my guns."

Season's last two graded stakes this weekend

Labor Day weekend is the unofficial end of summer. It also ushers in the final two graded stakes at Monmouth, a pair of Grade 3's, both worth $150,000: the Red Bank at one mile on the turf Saturday and the Sapling for 2-year-olds on Sunday at six furlongs.

Normally, the Red Bank would be the last significant grass event of the meet. That changed with the introduction of the $200,000 Monmouth Stakes on Sept. 13, a 1 1/8-mile race that could mark the return to Monmouth of Kentucky Derby and Haskell Invitational winner Big Brown.

While trainer Rick Dutrow Jr. prepares Big Brown for the Monmouth Stakes, his brother Tony has set his sights on the Red Bank with Giant Wrecker, a 6-year-old who usually runs well over the Monmouth course.

Last time out, Giant Wrecker set the pace in the Grade 3 Oceanport Stakes on the Haskell undercard, missing by only a neck in a very game try.

He tuned up with Monday with a half-mile workout in a sharp 48.40 seconds at Delaware Park.

"This horse has been good," Dutrow said. "He went into the Oceanport good and it seems like he's coming into the Red Bank very well. I've been happy with that horse."

The Oceanport was only the second start of the year for Giant Wrecker following a fifth-place finish in the Da Hoss Stakes at Colonial Downs.

Stakes coordinator Mike Melendez listed Buffalo Man, Get Serious, and John's Pic as other likely Red Bank runners.

As for the Sapling, Melendez expects Dueling Alex, Kentucky Stormin, Saratoga Storm, and Wild Proof, one of the most visually impressive 2-year-olds at the meet in his 12 3/4-length maiden win on June 29.