11/07/2007 12:00AM

The last New Jersey Futurity is now

EmailEAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - The New Jersey Futurity attracted separate $50,000 colt and filly divisions for its final edition Friday night at the Meadowlands Racetrack.

A longtime fixture for 2-year-old New Jersey-breds, it has sometimes been run as a single dash in the past. The futurity will be replaced in 2008 by a late-season stakes with a single nomination fee.

The futurity payment schedule was cumbersome for owners, requiring nomination of the weanling and a series of sustaining payments leading up to the race. Horses not fully paid could be supplemented for a stiff penalty: 10 percent of the purse

"We want to increase field size," said Mike Campbell, executive director of the Thoroughbred Breeders' Association of New Jersey. "There were problems of owners forgetting to make payments and keeping track of payments when horses were sold."

In the filly division, Love for Not looks very tough. She is 2 for 3, including a powerful win last time out in the Maryland Million Lassie Stakes when she circled the field and drew off to a 4 1/4-length win. Stewart Elliott will be aboard for trainer Kevin Sleeter.

In the colt division, Sleeter and Elliott also team up - with Skaggs, who won his maiden at the Meadowlands last out.

Primal Impact showed dramatic improvement in his second start, winning his maiden by 7 1/4 lengths to earn a 70 Beyer Speed Figure, tops in the field.

Red Cross: Exchange Fire speediest

Friday's $60,000 Red Cross for fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles drew a field full of early speed.

Exchanging Fire will be the one to catch. She owns dominant pacesetting wins in her last three overnight stakes, earning Beyers of 94 or better in each. Pure Disco also needs the lead to be effective, creating a lively pace scenario. The New Jersey-bred has reeled off three straight wins.

The class of the field is Talkin About Love, who won all five starts at Monmouth in the summer, including the Grade 3 Monmouth Oaks.

Breen to train strictly for Halls

Kelly Breen has accepted a private training position with owners Lori and George Hall. Breen was Monmouth's leading trainer in 2005 and 2006. He finished sixth this past summer with 21 wins at the meet.

"It was a frustrating year," Breen said. "We didn't get to run the 2-year-olds we anticipated running. It was astonishing that the Halls came to me and wanted to do it even bigger after having a rough year."

The new job starts as soon as the Meadowlands meet ends Saturday.

Breen will head to Gulfstream Park for the winter and plans to return to Monmouth next summer.

The Halls purchased their first horse in 2004 and captured Monmouth's 2005 Sorority Stakes with a Breen trainee, Keeneland Kat.

Breen, who once had as many as 70 horses in the barn, is dispersing the runners not owned by the Halls. He will take 13 horses to Florida, a string that will be augmented next year by 21 yearlings purchased this fall.