05/25/2012 3:56PM

Monmouth: Get Serious shows encouraging signs in comeback

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Rarely has a sixth-place finish been greeted with such enthusiasm.

There were plenty of smiles around the John Forbes/Pat McBurney barn after Get Serious checked in sixth last weekend in the Elkwood Stakes.

All things considered, they were encouraged by the comeback effort from the 8-year-old gelding.

“We thought it was a fantastic race,” McBurney said.

A little context is in order.

Get Serious is clawing back from a lost season. The veteran turf star went 0 for 4 last year and was rarely competitive in a problem-filled campaign. He was compromised by a leg infection, and turf courses too soft to his liking.

Get Serious was also balky last year, reluctant to even set foot on the grass course.

In the Elkwood, he stepped right up and went about his business.

“Knock on wood, he can hopefully return to himself,” McBurney said.

In contrast to last year, Get Serious enjoyed a dream campaign in 2010. He won three graded stakes here that summer: the Monmouth, Oceanport, and Red Bank.

After losing by only 1 3/4 lengths in the comeback, Get Serious has the barn aiming high once again. Like the Grade 2, $200,000 Monmouth Stakes on June 10.

“That is an obvious choice,” McBurney said.

Another option would be a New York-bred stakes at Belmont Park.

“We would love to see him back in the winner’s circle,” McBurney said. “His attitude is good, and he came out of the race fantastic.”

◗ The holiday weekend at Monmouth concludes Monday with a card topped by the Grade 3, $100,000 Violet Stakes for fillies and mares on the turf.

Starting June 1, the weekly schedule expands to three days: Friday through Sunday.