06/05/2008 11:00PM

Joey P. returns on short rest


Joey P. almost always runs well at Monmouth Park, where the 6-year-old gelding has recorded 12 of his 14 lifetime victories, including a score over New Jersey-breds in the John Reilly Handicap two weeks ago. The only question is whether Joey P. is good enough to fire his best shot twice in a row on short rest.

Joey P. will be making his third start in less than a month at Monmouth in Sunday's $70,000 Longfellow Stakes, a six-furlong race against open company.

If history repeats itself, this may be a good time to bet against Joey P., who has been first or second in five straight races in New Jersey since finishing fourth in last August's Teddy Drone.

Although trainer Ben Perkins Jr. is 3 for his last 10 with male sprinters making their third start off a layoff following a win, he's 0 for 2 with Joey P., who was sixth in both the Gradeo2 True North Handicap at Belmont Park last year and the Grade 2 Smile Sprint Handicap at Calder in 2006.

Those looking to try and beat Joey P. could gravitate to Callmetony or Mr. Umphrey as viable alternatives in the field of seven.

Like Joey P., the 7-year-old Callmetony has 14 lifetime victories and sports a 2-for-2 record at Monmouth. Both wins came following layoffs, a first-level allowance in 2005 and a second-level allowance in 2006.

Callmetony, who posted a career-best 107 Beyer Speed Figure two starts ago while running for a $100,000 claiming tag, takes a class drop after being up close at the stretch call of the Grade 3 Bold Ruler Handicap at Belmont a month ago. His New York-based trainer, Bruce Levine, has won with 16 of his first 30 starters at Monmouth.

Mr. Umphrey also drops out of a Grade 3 stakes and cuts back in distance from a mile to six furlongs. He was within a half-length of the lead following six furlongs in 1:09.14 in the Westchester Handicap on opening day at Belmont. The winner, Divine Park, came back to repeat in the Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap.

The last time Mr. Umphrey switched from a route to a sprint, he just missed in last fall's William Livingston at the Meadowlands.

Praying for Cash, who has been first or second in 5 of 6 starts locally, makes the second start of his current form cycle. That's a weak category, however, for trainer James Ryerson, who is just 2 for his last 32 with male sprinters second time back off a layoff.