08/10/2007 12:00AM

Brother Bobby fresh for Iselin


OCEANPORT, N.J. - Recent retirements have created opportunities for lesser-known horses in the handicap division. Trainer Grant Forster is hoping Brother Bobby can take advantage with a strong effort in next Saturday's Grade 3, $300,000 Philip H. Iselin Breeders' Cup Stakes at Monmouth Park.

"If they keep dropping off and we're alive and well and doing great, who knows what can happen?" Forster said.

Brother Bobby's best career effort came in April, a second to Lawyer Ron in the Grade 2 Oaklawn Handicap at 39-1. He was in fine form heading into that race with two wins and a nose loss in three starts at the meet for owners James Barnes and Jim Batchellor.

"We had a really good winter at Oaklawn with Bobby," Forster said. "The owners live in Little Rock, so it was very exciting for them."

Forster feels Brother Bobby was wearing down by the time he arrived at Churchill Downs.

He ran fifth in the slop in the Grade 3 Alysheba followed by a third in an allowance race at 6-5.

"He really didn't handle the track in the Alysheba, and he just wasn't his usual self in the allowance race," Forster said.

Brother Bobby got a brief freshening before heading to Monmouth, where Forster is stabled for the first time, in addition to maintaining a division at Emerald Downs. He shipped eight horses to New Jersey.

Brother Bobby, a 4-year-old chestnut, has thrived at Monmouth with a string of bullet drills on his work tab.

"The Iselin was a goal we set for ourselves," Forster said. "Everything has gone very smoothly up until now."

Monmouth's stakes coordinator, Mike Melendez, listed the other probable Iselin starters as Master Command, winner of last year's Meadowlands Cup and three graded stakes this year; Indy Wind, 2 for 3 at the meet with a pair of overnight stakes victories; and Gottcha Gold, upset winner over Lawyer Ron in the Grade 3 Salvator Mile.

Centeno sidelined after spill

According to agent Danny Mellul, jockey Daniel Centeno suffered a bruised liver and facial lacerations in a spill in the sixth race Thursday. Centeno was taken by ambulance to Jersey Shore Medical Center for treatment.

"They kept him overnight to make sure there was no concussion," Mellul said. "He'll be sidelined for a couple of weeks."

* Marina Ballerina, a dominant main-track winner in her Monmouth debut, switches to the turf Sunday for the supporting feature on the Monmouuth Oaks card, the $60,000 Trenton Stakes for 3-year-old filly sprinters. She faces nine rivals in the 5 1/2-furlong race.