07/29/2011 4:22PM

Monmouth Park: C.S. Silk gives Romans shot in Matchmaker

Adam Coglianese/NYRA
C.S. Silk, with Javier Castellano up, wins the Just A Game.

OCEANPORT, N.J. – Figuring two horses can travel as easily as one, trainer Dale Romans decided to have C.S. Silk accompany Shackleford on the van ride from Churchill Downs to Monmouth Park. Shackleford, the Preakness winner, is headed to the $1 million Haskell Invitational on Sunday. C.S. Silk will be on the undercard in the Grade 3, $200,000 Matchmaker Stakes for fillies and mares on the turf.

A 5-year-old, C.S. Silk ran the race of her life most recently, a front-running victory over a course labeled good in the Grade 1 Just a Game at Belmont Park.

Romans weighed the Matchmaker against the Grade 1 Diana Stakes at Saratoga the day before. The fact Shackleford was headed to New Jersey tipped the scales.

“We were bringing him, so we decided to make a day of it,” Romans said. “It’s a good race. The filly is doing good and she’s ready to run. It’s a logical spot.”

It was also a logical spot for Unbridled Essence, last year’s Matchmaker winner in 41-1 stunner.

She was a fast-closing second in the Violet Stakes here in late May. After that race, trainer Greg Sacco decided to train her up to the title defense.

“She’s training unbelievable,” Sacco said. “The two months off I don’t think will be an issue. She’s ready to go. She’s coming into the race as good as can be.”

A 5-year-old, Unbridled Essence had her final tune-up on Monday, an easy half-mile in 52 seconds.

“She doesn’t require a lot of hard works,” Sacco said. “She puts a lot into her gallops. We just work her very easy.”

Trainer Roger Attfield sent down Perfect Shirl and No Explaining from Woodbine. The 4-year-olds are uncoupled in the betting.

Perfect Shirl is looking for her first win since the Grade 2 Lake George last summer at Saratoga, while No Explaining had traffic issues in the Grade 2 Dance Smartly at Woodbine.

In addition to the purse money, the first three finishers will be awarded a stallion season by Taylor Made Stallion Inc.

Teddy Drone tough spot for Partyallnightlong

The standout Haskell undercard also features five $100,000 races, including the Teddy Drone at six furlongs. Jersey Town makes his first start since capturing the Grade 1 Cigar Mile at Aqueduct in November.

The race will be an interesting test for Partyallnightlong, a very fast New Jersey homebred for car dealer Richard Malouf and trainer Eddie Broome. He breaks from the outside spot in the 10-horse field. A 4-year-old, Partyallnightlong carries high weight of 123 pounds following a pair of allowance wins here this meet.

“Giving most of this field six pounds stinks,” Broome said. “We’re giving weight to a horse who won a Grade 1 in the last start.”

While not happy with the weight, Broome is pleased with the outside post.

“He’s much better off out there,” Broome said. “I love it. If they gave me my choice, I would take the 10. The rider can see what everybody else is doing. Down inside, you get forced to go faster earlier than you want. This is the perfect post.”

Carlos Marquez Jr., the only jockey Partyallnightlong has known in 11 starts, has the return call.

In other Haskell Day stakes:

◗ Feel That Fire, D’wild Ride and Bronx City Girl, the first three finishers in the Blue Sparkler Stakes here last month, return for the Regret Stakes for filly and mare sprinters.

◗ Kensei and Soaring Empire, one-two in the Salvator Mile here on July 2, square off again in the Majestic Light Stakes at 1 1/16 miles. The Majestic Light is the prep for the Grade 3 Iselin Stakes here on Aug. 20.

◗ Monmouth lured Rachel Alexandra to win the Lady’s Secret last year. This renewal lacks that star power with Check Point, winner of the Lighthouse Stakes, a top contender.

◗ Rustler Hustler, winner of the Continental Mile here last summer, makes his season debut for new trainer Bill Mott in the Jersey Derby for 3-year-olds on the turf.