08/08/2008 11:00PM

Maren's Meadow wires Oaks


OCEANPORT, N.J. - Trainer Larry Jones will take Kentucky Oaks winner Proud Spell to Saratoga next weekend for the Grade 1 Alabama.

Jones showcased another of his talented 3-year-old fillies Saturday at Monmouth Park as Maren's Meadow scored a pacesetting upset in the Grade 3, $150,000 Monmouth Oaks.

"Speed is usually a good thing at Monmouth," Jones said moments before the field loaded. "That's why we're here."

Speed ruled as Terry Thompson hustled Maren's Meadow ($24.20) right to the front, setting a solid clip against four rivals while hitting the half mile in 46.77.

Maren's Meadow remained in control turning home with a five-length lead and finished 4 1/2 lengths better than the late-closing Acoma with Whirlie Bertie third.

African Violet was fourth followed by Philly Gal. The time was 1:44.05 for the 1o1/16 miles on the fast track.

It was the second graded win of the year for Maren's Meadow, along with the Grade 3 Bourbonette Oaks at Turfway Park.

She was derailed in the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes in the mud at Pimlico in May when stumbled at the start, cut herself and came back body sore.

That race left the Ontario-bred laid her up almost two months, until the Delaware Oaks in July when she set the pace and finished fourth.

"We had to do a lot of patching and gluing," Jones said. "We were going to take her to Canada but it got us completely out of that game plan so we went to plan B and C and went from there."

That alternate scheme landed her at Monmouth, on a strip that played to her strength.

"I didn't have to use my stick or anything to get her to the early lead," Thompson said. "I knew I had a lot under me turning for home. She ran great."

* M J's Enchanteur ($20.20) also scored a front-running upset in the $70,000 Select Stakes for 3-year-olds going six furlongs.