07/03/2005 11:00PM

Four days of rest plenty for Joey P.

Deja Puglisi/EQUI-PHOTO
Joey P., and jockey Joe Bravo, run to a commanding victory in the $150,000 Grade III Jersey Shore Breeders' Cup Stakes at Monmouth Park.

OCEANPORT, N.J. - Short rest was no problem for the unbeaten Joey P. in the Grade 3, $150,000 for 3-year-olds Monday at Monmouth Park.

Joey P. ($11) won his fifth race with a stakes-record performance. He ran the six furlongs in 1:08.30, lowering the mark of 1:08.40 set by Sprint Champion Smoke Glacken in 1997 and Yes It's True in 1999.

It also capped a stellar holiday weekend at Monmouth for Jersey-bred winners of graded stakes. Joey P. joined Smart N Classy, who took the Grade 3 Eatontown Handicap on Sunday.

Joey P. gave trainer Frankie Costa, 71, his first graded stakes victory.

Costa, not certain how tough the Jersey Shore would come up, ran Joey P. in an allowance race last Wednesday.

The story line shifted to Saturday, with the race office struggling to fill the Jersey Shore. The racing secretary had four commitments - More Smoke, Celtic Innis, Razor, and Maddy's Lion - and needed a fifth.

Enter Joey P. at the last minute.

"I didn't want to run if it was too tough, but it came up a short field," Costa said.

Last into the entry box, Joey P. was first under the wire by 1 3/4 lengths over Celtic Innis.

Joe Bravo, the meet's leading rider, let Joey P. settle behind the speed duel that developed between More Smoke and Razor.

They battled through a quarter-mile in 21.25 seconds and a half-mile in 43.83. Both paid the price.

"I was very confident after an eighth of a mile," Bravo said. "I could see those two horses in front of me were really running, while my horse was just cruising."

Joey P. launched his bid turning for home, edged to the front with a furlong to run, and finished strongly.

Razor held on for third. More Smoke, the 4-5 favorite of the crowd of 15,650, finished last.

* Eastern Gale ($29.60), with Stewart Elliott aboard for trainer Kathleen DeMasi, won the $60,000 Goldfinch Stakes for New Jersey-bred fillies and mares by 1 3/4 lengths over I'mtoogoodtobetrue in 1:09.70 for the six furlongs.