09/25/2009 11:00PM

Good day for longshots in futurity, jump stakes


On a unique day of racing Saturday at Monmouth Park, in which the track ran six National Steeplechase Association races and five traditional flat races, speed dominated in the track s four stakes races.

The day s two flat stakes divisions of the $200,000 NATC Futurity for 2-year-olds, one for males, the other for females horses that pressed the pace scored swift victories, and in the two co-featured steeplechase races, the $70,000 Metcalf Memorial Novice Hurdle Stakes and the $50,000 Helen Haskell Sampson Memorial Hurdle stakes, the two winners led from start to finish.

The two NATC Futurity races were won by Three Day Rush and Proud Rush.

Meanwhile, longshots Four Schools and Tricky Me were respective winners of the Metcalf and Helen Haskell Sampson in the major steeplechase contests.

Three Day Rush ($24.60) was the first to shine, with the division for 2-year-old males going off as the third race. Equipped with blinkers for the first time, he gamely turned back favored Enumerate to win by a neck.

He raced six furlongs on a fast track in 1:10.85.

It was first career win in three starts for Three Day Rush, a colt by Harlan s Holiday trained by Ronny Werner and owned by Vision Racing. He had run second in his debut at Delaware in July and fourth in a Saratoga maiden race in August.

"He showed a lot of maturity today with the addition of blinkers," said jockey Brian Hernandez Jr. "He made himself comfortable throughout and then he went about his business when [Enumerate] came up along side of us."

Proud Zoe ($3.40) ran marginally faster in romping in the filly division of the , racing six furlongs in 1:10.82. Sitting just off the leader, she surged to the lead at the top of the stretch, and drew off under Javier Castellano to a 4 1/2-length victory over late-running With All Due Respect. Proud Zoe, a daughter of Proud Accolade owned by DPW Thoroughbreds and trained by Todd Pletcher, was the only favorite to win a stakes on the card.

Four Schoos ($31.20) and Tricky Me ($19.40) outran public choices Slip Away and Left Unsaid in the Helen Haskell and Metcalf, respectively. Both steeplechase stakes favorites ran second.

A crowd of 8,494 attended the day s events, called the Monmouth Park-Meridian Health Steeplechase Festival, with some proceeds benefiting Meridian Health, a care provider in New Jersey.