09/30/2009 11:00PM

Get Serious in sharp form for stakes


EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Get Serious, a winner in 4 of 5 stakes over the summer at Monmouth Park, tries to carry that positive form into the fall in the Grade 3, $125,000 Cliff Hanger Stakes on Saturday at the Meadowlands.

The Cliff Hanger, at 1 1/16 miles on the turf, tops a nine-race card that gets underway at 1:10 p.m. Eastern.

A 5-year-old gelding trained by John Forbes, Get Serious got his year off to a flying start with a win in the Elkwood Stakes on the turf in May. The lone loss came next out in the Skip Away Stakes, a fifth-place finish on the main track to Chirac, the top dirt runner at Monmouth this year.

Get Serious reeled off wins in the next three: the Battlefield on grass, the off-the-turf Oceanport in the slop on the Haskell Day undercard, and the Grade 3 Red Bank Stakes on turf Labor Day weekend.

"The last race was an awfully good race," Forbes said. "We were standing in the winner's circle looking for his left front shoe, and it wasn't there. That was certainly to his credit that he won with only three shoes."

A confirmed front-runner, Get Serious is effective on either firm turf or slop. A soft course is a deal breaker, and that could be an issue with rain in the weekend forecast.

Get Serious was also nominated to the Grade 2 Kelso at one mile on the turf at Belmont on Sunday. Forbes's preference is the Cliff Hanger, but weather and track conditions will determine the final call.

If Get Serious runs at the Meadowlands, he will find a familiar rival awaiting a rematch: Kiss the Kid. They hooked up in the last two with Kiss the Kid missing by a neck in the three-horse Oceanport before running fifth in the Red Bank.

This will be their final meeting, as owner-trainer Amy Tarrant plans to retire the 6-year-old Kiss the Kid following this race. Among his graded victories was a neck win in last year's Cliff Hanger.

"It makes sense to do it now," Tarrant said. "Why run him next year at 7? If he didn't have a good season, it wouldn't help his potential breeding career. I think it's time."

Completing the field are At the Disco, Brave Tin Soldier, Nergal, Pleasant Strike, Vanquisher, and Even Raise, who was entered for the main track only.