08/30/2012 1:56PM

Monmouth Park: Get Serious should appreciate firm turf in Cliff Hanger Stakes

Nikki Sherman Photography
Get Serious should get a firm turf course in Saturday's Grade 3, $100,000 Cliff Hanger Stakes.

OCEANPORT, N.J. – Get Serious is not just a horse for the course at Monmouth Park, having won five graded stakes there. He also is a horse for a particular kind of course: the firmer the better for the 8-year-old gelding.

If the weather forecast holds, Get Serious could get his preferred footing Saturday in the Grade 3, $100,000 Cliff Hanger Stakes.

The 10-race holiday weekend card also includes the $60,000 Miss Woodford Stakes for 3-year-old filly sprinters.

A career winner of more than $1.1 million, Get Serious rounded back into form this season with a win and a pair of thirds in a four stakes at the meet. He faces six rivals in the one-mile Cliff Hanger, a race that was once a fixture at the Meadowlands.

Following a victory in the Grade 3 Red Bank on Independence Day, Get Serious ran third in the Grade 3 Oceanport on the Haskell Day undercard. Vying for the lead as usual, Get Serious was raced into submission by 25-1 longshot Tune Me In over a course with considerable give which was listed as firm.

“The turf was just too soft last time,” John Forbes said. “When they go a half in 50, he just doesn’t care for it.”

Surveying the course Thursday morning, Forbes anticipated ideal conditions for the Get Serious-Tune Me In rematch Saturday.

“Hopefully, we’ll have a couple of drying days here, and it will tighten up a little bit for him,” Forbes said. “It’s low humidity today and lots of sunshine. I think, we’ll be okay. That’s the only thing that would throw his race off. He is doing great, absolutely fabulous. He’s training as good as gold right now. He’s coming into it better than ever.”

As usual, Pablo Fragoso will ride.

The Oceanport was the biggest career win for Tune Me In, a 5-year-old gray gelding trained by Bruce Alexander.

Admiral Perry, fourth in the Oceanport, also returns for the Cliff Hanger.

Lentenor, Gretchen and Roy Jackson’s homebred full brother to Barbaro, steps up to the Cliff Hanger following a win by a head in the Kitten’s Joy overnight stakes at Colonial Downs. This will be the 5-year-old’s Monmouth debut.

Upgrade, like Get Serious, runs best on firm ground. He caught yielding courses and finished fifth in two of his last three races, all stakes in New York. Sandwiched in between was a win in the Grade 3 Jaipur over a firm course at Belmont Park.

Salto and Glass Art complete the field.

Miss Woodford: Klondike Kate steps up

Klondike Kate makes her first stakes start in the six-furlong Miss Woodford. She is a perfect 2 for 2 since joining Allen Iwinski’s barn at Monmouth this summer. It’s a drastic improvement over her 0-for-5 2-year-old campaign.

“There were some naysayers that didn’t think she was that talented,” Iwinski said. “They thought she would have to run in some maiden claimers in order to win, that she wasn’t classy enough to win at a higher level.”

Proving the skeptics wrong, Klondike Kate posted impressive wins in a maiden special weight and in a first-level allowance.

“We couldn’t ask for her to be training any better,” Iwinski said. “She’ll have to step it up a little bit, but the way she’s going I suspect she will.”