11/02/2005 12:00AM

Defrere the Smile ready for Futurity


EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Defrere the Smile exceeded the early expectations of trainer Alan Seewald, winning his first race by nine lengths.

"At first, he didn't show that type of ability," Seewald said. "He got better and better as we got closer to racing him. He ran even better than I thought he'd run."

Defrere the Smile can elevate expectations again on Friday night at The Meadowlands in his stakes debut in the colt-and-gelding division of the New Jersey Futurity.

The Futurity is the showcase for 2-year-olds bred in the state. The race, which has sometimes been run as a single dash, will be split into $58,000 male and female divisions.

Defrere the Smile will be the likely favorite in his field of six.

Following that smashing maiden win against statebreds, Seewald had trouble finding another spot. Several races didn't fill, throwing off Defrere the Smile's training schedule.

"I wanted to get a race into him before the Futurity," Seewald said. "We didn't know when we would run. We wound up taking him into his last race not the way I would like to."

That race, on Oct. 19, didn't unfold smoothly. Defrere the Smile drew inside and got trapped on the rail before shaking loose with a strong rally to get second.

He came out of the race in good shape, according to Seewald.

"We contemplated blowing him out, but he came out of the race sky high," he said. "I expect him to run really good."

Trainer Jason Servis said he also anticipates strong efforts from his entry of First Class Guy and Skip Along Jet.

"My two horses are doing good and should fit nicely in there," Servis said.

They have complementary styles. First Class Guy, who most recently tried turf against open company in the World Appeal Stakes here, won his maiden at Monmouth with a strong rally. Skip Along Jet pulled away to a front-running maiden score last time out.

Fagedaboudit Sal was supplemented for $5,100.

In the $50,000 filly division, Pure Disco has the best stakes experience. She ran third in the Sorority, Monmouth's top juvenile filly stakes.

The Friday card also features the $50,000 Thomas Edison Stakes at five furlongs on the turf. The race drew a full field of 12 with three alternates.

All Hail Stormy will be one of the prime contenders. A 4-year-old colt trained by Allen Jerkens, he has a history of running well when fresh. All Hail Stormy has not raced since a third-place finish in the Grade 3 Mr Prospector Handicap at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 8.

Joey P. didn't care for security barn

Joey P., the impressive winner of the Grade 3 Jersey Shore Breeders' Cup Stakes and the Friendly Lover Handicap at Monmouth Park, ran poorly in his first race outside New Jersey.

Joey P., a 3-year-old gelding, was seventh in the Grade 3 Sport Page Handicap on the Breeders' Cup undercard Saturday at Belmont Park.

Trainer Frankie Costa said things started downhill in the security barn.

"He got wound up in the detention barn," Costa said. "It was no good. He had never been in one before, and he wouldn't relax."

The situation did not improve in the race. Joey P. got bumped and steadied in the early stages and was never in the hunt.

'He just didn't run his race," said Costa who is pointing Joey P. to the $60,000, six-furlong Rutgers University Stakes here.

Account bets at $41.5M in first year

Account wagering in New Jersey marked its first anniversary on Oct. 28 with nearly $41.5 million bet into the system in the initial year.

The system, which started with Internet wagering, expanded on May 3 to include automated phone betting. More than 4,600 accounts have been opened.

Louisiana the focus of benefit

Leading Louisiana jockeys Kent Desormeaux, Craig Perret, and Mark Guidry will compete in a Hurricane Katrina benefit on Nov. 10 at The Meadowlands.

They will ride in four races against local and national jockeys including Joe Bravo, Gary Stevens, Mike Smith, Stewart Elliott, and Aaron Gryder.

Retired Hall of Famer Eddie Delahoussaye will serve as honorary captain of the Louisiana riders.

The jockeys will donate their fees to Louisiana horsemen through the Race Track Chaplaincy of America.

In addition, The Meadowlands will contribute $10,000.