09/19/2008 11:00PM

Hey Chub goes out with a flourish


OCEANPORT, N.J. - Hey Chub went out a winner Saturday, capturing the $75,000 Lincroft Handicap at Monmouth Park in his final race.

The Lincroft was one of 10 races for New Jersey-breds as Monmouth hosted the annual New Jersey Thoroughbred Festival before a crowd of 10,300.

After the race, owner-breeder Danny Lopez said Hey Chub would be retired to stud. The 8-year-old Hey Chub finished on a high note, earning his seventh win in 36 starts. The final victory pushed his earnings to $441,755.

"He's not going to run anymore," Lopez said. "He'll breed some Jersey-bred mares next year."

Lopez will stand Hey Chub at his Joe-Dan Farm in Medford, N.J.

In his final race, Hey Chub ($9.20) was a game half-length winner over 4-5 favorite, and long-time nemesis, Who's the Cowboy.

In their previous meeting in a statebred stakes, Who's the Cowboy beat Hey Chub by three-quarters of a length here in the Colts Neck Handicap on July 6. Both carried 119 pounds in that race.

Who's the Cowboy, an open winner in the Icecapade Stakes last time out, was assigned 123 pounds for the Lincroft while Hey Chub remained at 119.

Lopez felt the weight swing was the difference.

"It was all in the shift," Lopez said. "Weight gets any horse."

Carlos Marquez Jr. kept Hey Chub close to the leaders while Who's the Cowboy dropped far back, as usual.

"We knew there was a lot of speed in the race," Marquez said. "The plan was to settle just off the leaders and save as much horse as possible. Who's the Cowboy always comes running at the end and my horse dug in."

The time was 1:10.07 for the six furlongs.

In a pair of $75,000 handicaps for fillies and mares, Paradise Tonight ($5.20) won the Jersey Girl and Way With Words ($5.20) captured the Eleven North. Eddie Castro rode both, giving him five wins on the card.

Paradise Tonight beat Talkin About Love by two lengths. The 3-year-old trained and co-owned by Joe Pierce ran the 1 1/16 miles in 1:43.56.

"We'll play it by ear from here," Pierce said. "She's good enough to take on open company. After the Meadowlands, we'll give her the winter off. She's earned it."

After going winless in eight tries last year, Paradise Tonight is 5 for 7 this season.

Way With Words beat Open Skies by 2 1/2 lengths in the Eleven North. The time was 1:09.10 for the six furlongs.

In the Monmouth County Hunt Novice Stakes at 2 1/4 miles over 10 National Fences, Seer ($9.60) got up in the final strides to beat even-money favorite Be Certain by a head. Seer, a 4-year-old gelding, is now 2-1-1 in 5 races since making the transition to the jumps this past spring for trainer Jack Fisher.

"Today, he jumped like a champion," said jockey Xavier Aizpuru.

The time was 4:22.50 on the firm course.

* Chuckie Lopez, sidelined since May with a fractured heel, won his first race back as Juke Bocks Hero ($10) rolled to an easy win in the third race.