07/01/2011 2:17PM

Monmouth Park: Flashpoint returns to sprinting in Jersey Shore

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Barbara D. Livingston
Flashpoint will cut back to six furlongs for Sunday's Grade 3, $150,000 Jersey Shore Stakes at Monmouth Park.

OCEANPORT, N.J. – Flashpoint should be back on his game Sunday in the Grade 3, $150,000 Jersey Shore Stakes for 3-year-olds at Monmouth Park.

The winner of the seven-furlong Hutcheson Stakes at Gulfstream Park with a dazzling 102 Beyer Speed Figure, Flashpoint will have usual pilot Cornelio Velasquez aboard.

He took an ambitious swing last time, setting the early pace in the Preakness before fading to last.

The gray colt has been training lights out since then at Aqueduct for Wesley Ward, and should love the distance cut back to six furlongs.

Flashpoint was transferred from Rick Dutrow to Ward after running fourth in the Florida Derby.

“We’re very excited,” Ward said. “He’s training unbelievable. We were a little up against it in the Preakness, trying to stretch him out.”

The colt, according to Ward, bounced right out of his Triple Crown foray.

“Fortunately, Cornelio knows the horse very, very well, and he loves this horse,” Ward said. “When he saw the horse couldn’t do it in the Preakness, he eased him back. He’s a veteran rider. He wasn’t whipping on him to finish seventh. The horse wasn’t affected by it all. I’ve been working him with some quality horses, and he just overpowers them. He’s gained all his confidence back.”

Zero Rate Policy is another horse brimming with confidence. The gelding has won three in a row, including Monmouth’s Rumson Stakes, the Jersey Shore prep.

He will break from the rail, with Carlos Marquez Jr. aboard.

“There is a lot of speed in the race,” trainer Terri Pompay said. “He’s doing well. The one-hole kind of limits you a little bit. We keep stepping him a little more, and we’ll see what he’s made of.”

C J Russell, a perfect 2 for 2 in his brief career, ships in from Churchill Downs for trainer Bob Baffert, while Royal Currier won the Anderson Fowler Stakes here on the turf last month.

Parent’s Honor, Cal Nation, and Chipshot complete the field.

Miss Liberty: Gypsy’s Warning gets relief

Gypsy’s Warning returns to the scene of her winning U.S. debut for the $75,000 Miss Liberty Stakes for fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles on the turf.

A Group 1 winner in her native South Africa, Gypsy’s Warning captured last season’s Eatontown Handicap to kick of a hugely productive season in which she captured the Grade 1 Matriarch at Hollywood Park.

Now 6, Gypsy’s Warning is winless in two races this year and takes a substantial class drop into this overnight stakes, following a fifth-place finish in the Grade 1 Just a Game Stakes at Belmont Park.

Alan Garcia has the mount for trainer Graham Motion.

Bella d’Oro makes her season debut for trainer Greg Sacco. She really came around last summer with a return to the turf, finishing the campaign with consecutive allowance wins.

“She just really blossomed for us,” Sacco said. “She had some foot issues that have subsided. We’re hoping this season will be a strong one. All indications are that it will be. She never worked like this last year. She’s just a powerhouse right now.”

◗ Longtime Garden State Park publicist Bill Fidati died last Monday at the age of 76.

◗ Jorge Velasquez is the new agent at Monmouth for jockey Jose Valdivia Jr.

◗ Monmouth will be open Monday for a holiday card starting at 12:50 p.m.

◗ Kelly Breen, who has Belmont Stakes winner Ruler On Ice and Pants On Fire in the barn, will reach into his deep bench of 3-year-olds to send out Nacho Saint and Galaxy Kat next Saturday in Monmouth’s $150,000 Long Branch Stakes, the prep for the Grade 1 Haskell on July 31.