08/02/2012 3:53PM

Monmouth Park: Chamberlain Bridge gets shot to rebound in My Frenchman Stakes

Barbara D. Livingston
Chamberlain Bridge will try to bounce back in Saturday's $60,000 My Frenchman at Monmouth Park.

OCEANPORT, N.J. – Ben Perkins Jr. passed on the Teddy Drone on the Haskell undercard for his stakes-winning New Jersey-bred The Hunk, thinking the $60,000 My Frenchman turf sprint this Saturday might be an easier spot.

Perkins, like the other trainers in the race, found the My Frenchman pool got a whole lot deeper when Chamberlain Bridge wound up in the entries.

It’s not every afternoon at Monmouth Park when a Breeders’ Cup winner lands in an overnight stakes.

The 2010 Turf Sprint winner looks for his first win of the season against eight rivals in the 5 1/2-furlong dash from the sprint chute.

Chamberlain Bridge is coming off one of his best recent efforts, a fast-closing second in the Arlington Sprint after breaking in the air and falling far behind.

Trainer Bret Calhoun had considered the $200,000 Pennsylvania Governor’s Cup at Penn National on July 28, before deciding the 8-year-old gelding would benefit from more time between starts and less shipping.

“We’re trying to place him a little better, out of some of the tougher races, with hopes of getting him back to some of the bigger races,” said Calhoun, who has a division at Monmouth this summer. “I thought he ran very well last time. He’s not quite as consistent over the last year and a half. That’s really due to his age. He always trains good in the morning and looks like he’ll show up, but he picks his spots. We were disappointed to not win last time. He was much the best in there.”

Calhoun hopes the My Frenchman will be a springboard for Chamberlain Bridge into the Grade 3, $350,000 Turf Monster at Parx Racing on Sept. 3, a Breeders’ Cup Win and You’re In stakes.

“We’ll hopefully face some lesser company here, and hopefully we’ll get him back on track and we’ll be able to keep him on track,” Calhoun said.

Chamberlain Bridge drew post 7, with Paco Lopez picking up the mount.

The Hunk, winner of the John J. Reilly Handicap for statebreds earlier in the meet, drew the rail. This will be only his second start on grass. His last two works have been over Monmouth’s turf course in preparation for this spot. Perkins hopes the 5-year-old son of Speightstown responds to the surface switch.

“A lot of Speightstowns have been good turf sprinters. It was always in the back of our minds,” Perkins said.