08/26/2006 12:00AM

Brunilda wins off-the-turf Eatontown


Brunilda got up by three-quarters of a length to win the $150,000 off-the-turf for fillies and mares Saturday at Monmouth Park.

Brunilda ($8.20) circled into contention with a three-wide move on the final turn and outdueled Rahy's Appeal and Prop Me Up for her ninth win in 29 starts.

Eddie Castro was aboard for the third of his four wins on the card. The time for the 1 1/16 miles on the sloppy, sealed track was 1:44 before 10,977 on an overcast day on the Jersey Shore.

The race, listed as a Grade 3, lost the grading because of the surface switch.

Trainer Stanley Hough had some reservations about running Brunilda on the off track but decided to take the shot.

"She's been doing very well and some of the better turf fillies scratched," Hough said. "We decided to go ahead and run. The way she was training, she was going to be tough on turf or dirt."

She dug in gamely to beat a pair of stubborn foes. "In the stretch, I started pushing on her and she ran on very good," Castro said.

Rahy's Appeal won the duel for second by a head over Prop Me Up.

Smart N Classy, last year's Eatontown winner, was fourth, followed by Wrapped Up in You and Career Oriented, a stakes-winning sprinter who came off the main-track-only list to join the field.

With the surface switch, the race lost Humoristic, Dream Lady, and the Bill Mott-trained duo of Pommes Frites and Thetactics Ofdance.