09/01/2010 1:56PM

Hills ponders weekend forecast


OCEANPORT, N.J. – Hurricane Earl could be an unwelcome visitor at Monmouth Park for the start of the final weekend of the summer portion of the meet.

The storm bearing down on the East Coast could play havoc with Friday’s card, especially the two $82,000 co-features both scheduled on grass.

“Will we be on turf or mud? That’s the first question,” said trainer Tim Hills, who has runners in both races.

The two features are the long and the short versions of the same second-level $40,000 optional claimer for fillies and mares.

The five-furlong split attracted 10 runners, including She’sa Tough Tiger for Hills who has the rail.

The other division at 1 1/16 miles drew eight with Hills sending out It’s Not for Love.

His best shot probably rests with She’sa Tough Tiger, who will likely run even if the race comes off the turf.

A 4-year-old, She’sa Tough Tiger is 1 for 3 at the meet. She hasn’t had a clean trip in any of those three starts. She’sa Tough Tiger was fifth most recently in a similar race.

“She kind of got bounced around between horses going into the far turn,” Hills said of the latest effort. “After that, she just wouldn’t go up in there. She’s still kind of a green horse, and I think she’s relearning how to run.”

The draw didn’t help, as She’sa Tough Tiger has the inside slot. Hills will leave it in Elvis Trujillo’s hands to work out a trip.

“It looks like we could have the same scenario,” Hills said. “We’ll let Elvis be creative to get her out of there and get some kind of position.”

It’s Not for Love is more of a reach in the long division. A 5-year-old, It’s Not for Love rolled to a solid win for a $20,000 claiming price in her latest effort.

“It’s a step up,” Hills said. “They kind of hustled me into the race. I was entered in a $30,000 claimer. I have to take a hard look at it before I decide if I’m going to run.”

One thing is certain, It’s Not for Love will stay in the barn if the race comes off the grass.

Yippety Yip and Me Love, two of the top contenders, landed the inside posts.

Yippety Yip has the rail after contesting stakes the last two times out while the blinkers come off Me Love following a pair of close-up seconds.