11/21/2010 4:33PM

Check Point justifies Marquez's decision by winning Honey Bee

Bill Denver/Equiphotos
Check Point, ridden by Carlos Marquez Jr., wins the closing-day feature, the Honey Bee, at Monmouth Park.

Carlos Marquez Jr. knew what he was doing when he chose to ride Check Point rather than her stablemate Stage Trick in Sunday’s $70,000 Honey Bee Stakes, the closing-day feature at Monmouth Park.

Marquez, who was named at entry time on both halves of the Alan Goldberg-trained coupling, elected to accept the mount on Check Point, who had finished second in one division of the split Rosenna Stakes at Delaware Park on Oct. 11.

Stage Trick, who had won the other division of the Rosenna, on paper looked like the slightly stronger half of the entry. Gabriel Saez, who rode Check Point last time out, wound up on Stage Trick on Sunday.

Marquez made the right move, as the 4-year-old Check Point ($7.40) rallied from far back to post a 1 1/4-length victory over Debonair Darling. Ask the Moon nosed out Nicksappealinglady for third. Stage Trick finished fifth in a field of nine fillies and mares.

In winning for the sixth time in 20 lifetime starts, Check Point ran the mile in 1:36.92. Her only other win in seven starts this year came two races ago, when she cleared her second allowance condition at Parx Racing.

Fall meet shows substantial gains

Monmouth's 22-day fall meet, which began Sept. 11 and ended Sunday, recorded impressive gains compared with the 47-day Thoroughbred meet held in 2009 at the Meadowlands.

The average daily handle of $3,841,848 was up 186 percent from the $1,342,884 figure in  2009 at the Meadowlands fall meet. Otrack handle was $299,778 and attendance of 4,277, which represented gains of 115 percent and 29 percent. By comparison, during the 47 live racing dates at the Meadowlands in 2009, ontrack handle averaged $139,378 and attendance 3,325.

Average field size during the 2010 fall meet at Monmouth was 8.81 per race. At the Meadowlands in 2009, that same figure came in at 7.29.