06/26/2013 2:59PM

Monmouth: Hobbs drops from graded stakes to allowance


OCEANPORT, N.J. – Hobbs, a highly successful claim by trainer Kathy Mongeon, gets substantial class relief on Friday in the $46,000 third-level feature on the turf at Monmouth Park.

The 1 1/16-mile race drew a field of eight with only two entered for the optional $50,000 claiming tag: Glass Art and main-track-only runner Wild Louis.

Mongeon has been on a roll lately, turning claimers into stakes winners.

Don’s Peach, a bargain-level $6,250 pickup at Gulfstream Park over the winter, captured Monmouth’s Open Mind Handicap for New Jersey-bred fillies and mares earlier this month for Mongeon.

Hobbs was a $50,000 claim last summer at Saratoga. The price tag was hefty, but so was his upside potential.

Hobbs, a 4-year-old gelding, has already captured a pair of stakes for his new connections, a November overnight race at Aqueduct and the state-bred Turf Classic at Tampa Bay Downs in April.

Following the Florida win, Hobbs stepped up to contest a pair of graded stakes at Monmouth.

He was 10th in the Grade 3 Red Bank in mid-May while suffering a bruised foot. He was fitted with glue-on shoes for the Grade 2 Monmouth Stakes, where he ran evenly to finish fifth under Kendrick Carmouche. Evenly isn’t good enough when tracking multiple graded-stakes winner Boisterous. When Boisterous accelerated away from the pack, Hobbs lacked a comparable explosive gear.

“I thought he ran super,” Mongeon said. “He was following Boisterous, which was the perfect plan, the perfect ride. We were committed to wait for Boisterous to make his move. With his turn of foot, when he made the move, he was gone in the blink of an eye.”

Mongeon surveyed several stakes options, including Monmouth’s $75,000 Elkwood at one mile on July 5, before settling on this spot.

“It’s always good to win a race to pick his head up, especially a horse that is used to winning races,” Mongeon said.

Carmouche has the return call.

Graham Motion will saddle the uncoupled duo of Masterel and Fan Base, being sent from his base at the Fair Hills Training Center in Maryland.

Small Town Talk makes both his grass and season debuts for trainer Chuck Simon. He ran here five times last summer, picking up a pair of allowance wins and a pair of third-place finishes in stakes: the Majestic Light on the Haskell Day undercard and the Grade 3 Iselin.

Midnite Silver, Winchill, and Charlie in Charge complete the field.