08/23/2012 2:36PM

Monmouth: Hasay back to defend Omnibus title


OCEANPORT, N.J. − Hasay returns to Monmouth Park on Saturday to defend her title in the $60,000 Omnibus Stakes for fillies and mares on the turf.

A 5-year-old trained by Graham Motion, Hasay faces nine rivals in the Omnibus, a 1 3/8-mile marathon around three turns. She captured last year’s Omnibus by one length, scoring her first U.S. victory after starting her career in Europe.

Hasay comes into this renewal in solid form, winning a pair of allowance races at Keeneland and Delaware Park as the heavy favorite. Her lone defeat in her last three starts came in the Grade 2 Sheepshead Bay at Belmont Park, where she was no match for Aruna, one of the division leaders.

“She was doing very well going in, and we took a shot,” Motion said. “It was just too competitive for her.”

Now Hasay returns to Monmouth for a stakes Motion had circled on his calendar several months ago.

“This is a race we had in mind for her since the beginning of the summer,” Motion said. “We kind of exposed her at the level above this and figured this was a good spot for her, hopefully.”

And it’s a favorable course. In addition to the Omnibus win last year, Hasay was a close second in her only other Monmouth appearance.

“Perhaps the fact that they go a little quicker there and she’s able to settle helps her,” Motion said of Hasay’s success at Monmouth. “Although last year [in the Omnibus] she took a pretty good tug all the way down the backside. The main thing with her is that she gets to settle.”

Chris DeCarlo will be aboard for the first time.

Martita Sangrita and Clare Skies Ahead, the 1-2 finishers in the Red Carpet Stakes at Penn National, square off again in the Omnibus.

The Red Carpet was the first win in seven tries this season for Martita Sangrita, who has run twice at Monmouth, finishing fourth in 2010 in the Grade 3 Boiling Springs and the Twin Lights Stakes.

Millennia shipped up from Calder to deliver a rousing third-level victory here last month. Most recently, Millennia trailed the pack in the West Virginia Senate President’s Cup at Mountaineer Park.

Bianco Tartufo looks to continue her strong Monmouth summer. She has a pair of allowance wins that bookend a one-length loss in three tries at the meet.