06/06/2013 12:59PM

Monmouth: Fort Monmouth looks like ideal spot for Ballistic Sue


OCEANPORT, N.J. – The more trainer Robert Barbara studied the past performance lines for the $60,000 Fort Monmouth, the more enthusiastic he became about running Ballistic Sue in the 5 1/2 furlong turf stakes for fillies and mares on Saturday at Monmouth Park.

Barbara will also review the options at Belmont Park, his home base. But it would be hard to beat the opportunity on the Jersey Shore.

The Fort Monmouth drew a field of eight with two more, Srumdiddlyumptious and Ima Jersey Girl, entered for the main track only. It is a very wide-open contest, one where claiming veterans could play a major role.

Three members of the field were claimed this year: Ballistic Sue, Nastar Medallist, and Spun Silky.

Both Ballistic Sue and Spun Silky, taken by trainer Niall Saville for $25,000 from her maiden win at Pimlico, will be debuting for new connections.

Barbara took Ballistic Sue, a 6-year-old, for $20,000 at Belmont back in April. He targeted several return spots in New York but the races did not fill.

Then the Fort Monmouth popped up on the calendar.

Speed is Ballistic Sue’s game, always an asset at Monmouth. She was a dominant front-running winner in the race in which Barbara dropped the claim slip, her first start of the season.

“She’s fast,” Barbara said. “She’s like lightning. I’ve worked her a couple of times and she’s ready to run. In the morning, she’s got gas when we work her. She flies.”

There is rain the forecast for the weekend, an added incentive for Barbara to book a van for the trip to the Jersey Shore. If the race comes off the turf, Ballistic Sue is 2 for 3 on wet tracks. She also has a history at Monmouth, winning a rained-off first level allowance here last summer at this same distance.

“I’ll check out what’s happening here at Belmont, but it’s hard to stay home when I could be one of the top choices for 60 grand,” Barbara said.

Elvis Trujillo will ride.

The race attracted three from the $100,000 The Very One Stakes on the Preakness undercard: Nastar Medallist (fourth), Queen Chatanika (eighth), and Colony Club (ninth).

Ms. Cruisen’ will add blinkers for her return to the turf. She was the distant trailer most recently in the four-horse Langhorne Stakes in the mud at Parx Racing in late March.

Ruttzy Tuttzy and Krusin Kelly complete the field.