07/16/2007 12:00AM

Meadow Blue preps for Lincroft


Trainer Kelly Breen is using the $40,000 allowance feature Thursday at Monmouth Park as the prep to get Meadow Blue ready for a repeat bid in the Lincroft Handicap here on the Haskell Day undercard.

Meadow Blue ran the race of his life in last year's Lincroft for New Jersey-breds. The colt pulled away to a 7 1/2-length win, earning a career-best 100 Beyer Speed Figure.

Now 4, Meadow Blue has run twice here this year, finishing third in an open allowance in May followed by a rallying second in the Bernie Dowd Handicap against statebreds on June 17.

Breen hopes this second-level allowance at 1 1/16 miles against open company provides the stepping-stone to another Lincroft victory.

"We're looking to set him up with an allowance win to go back to the Jersey-bred stakes and get all the Chiclets," Breen said.

Joe Bravo, Monmouth's leading jockey, has the return call on Meadow Blue, who has never been easy to ride.

"Last time out, he was a little bit rank," Breen said. "Joe had a little bit of trouble steering him going to the three-quarter pole. He wound up making a premature move and hopefully we've gotten a little of that eagerness out of him so he can sit back and make one run.

"I gallop him in the morning and he's a tough horse. When he makes up his mind to go, he will run over horses to get there."

The chief challengers to Meadow Blue figure to be Irish Majesty and Beck and Call.

Irish Majesty, trained by Richard Dutrow Jr., finished second, a nose better than Meadow Blue, in an allowance race here May 19. Irish Majesty subsequently ran third in a starter-allowance at Belmont Park.

Dutrow is a having a terrific Monmouth meet. He is second in the trainer standings, trailing Todd Pletcher 21-19. Dutrow has had only 46 starters, pushing his win percentage to a lofty 41.

Beck and Call has raced well for trainer John Rigattieri since a $25,000 claim on June 1. The gelding won his debut for the new barn carrying a $35,000 price tag. Most recently, Beck and Call ran third as a $40,000 claimer.

Haskell start unlikely for Get Serious

Trainer John Forbes could have two runners in the $1 million Haskell Invitational here on Aug. 5, following a strong second by Get Serious in the Long Branch Stakes on Saturday.

The Long Branch is Monmouth's traditional prep for 3-year-olds heading to the Grade 1 Haskell. The first two Long Branch finishers are normally invited to the Haskell.

Forbes already had Cable Boy on target for the Haskell. Cable Boy is unbeaten in three career starts, all at the current meet.

Get Serious suddenly jumped into the picture with his effort behind the odds-on winner First Defence.

"Could you imagine that?" said Forbes, contemplating the prospect of two Haskell horses in the same year.

Realistically, Forbes will look for an easier assignment for the New York-bred Get Serious. Possibilities included a pair of statebred options at Saratoga: a first-level allowance race or the Albany Stakes for 3-year-olds on Aug. 22.

"The Haskell would be way, way too much to ask of Get Serious," Forbes said. "We think he's going be a nice horse. The Haskell is a lot, but you have to leave the door open. Who knows who will fall by the wayside? Sure, we would run him in a two-horse field."

Forbes opted to train Cable Boy up to the Haskell following his win here in the Coronado's Quest Stakes on June 24. His next work will come Thursday or Friday afternoon at Monmouth between races.