09/13/2012 4:08PM

Monmouth Park: Hermosillo going for third Hesse win as statebreds take spotlight

Deja Puglisi/Equi-Photo
Hermosillo won the Charles Hesse III Handicap in 2009 and 2011 and was second in 2010.

OCEANPORT, N.J. – Javerre takes the next step in his impressive development, while Hermosillo tries to add another chapter to an already substantial history Saturday in the 10th annual New Jersey Thoroughbred Festival at Monmouth Park.

The 10-race card is devoted exclusively to statebreds, with a trio of stakes topping the program.

The $75,000 Charles Hesse III Handicap is the richest of the three, while the New Jersey Breeders and the Jersey Girl for fillies and mares both carry $60,000 purses.

Special events that afternoon include an appearance by the now retired Joey P., one of the most popular horses to race at Monmouth, the induction of the inaugural class in the New Jersey-bred Hall of Fame, and 20 drawings for $500 betting vouchers.

The stakes action begins with the New Jersey Breeders Handicap at six furlongs, where The Hunk, the 125-pound highweight, will be tough if he runs.

Trainer Ben Perkins Jr. rated The Hunk’s chances of competing at “50-50 right now. He had a little bit of a foot issue. He breezed beautiful on Monday. He’s just a little bit stingy in his feet. It’s something we have to address.”

The Hunk, a 5-year-old New Farm homebred, was a dominant winner of the John J. Reilly Handicap for New Jersey-breds back in early June.

If The Hunk doesn’t make the race, the door opens wide for Javerre – as if he needed much help.

A 3-year-old homebred gelding for Stanton “Bo” Smith’s Gunsmith Stable, Javerre is a perfect 3 for 3 at Monmouth since his debut in late May. After the trio of wins against New Jersey-breds, Javerre headed up to Saratoga, where he missed by only a neck in an allowance race.

That effort against open company stamps him a top player in his stakes debut.

“Mr. Smith thought it would be a good idea to go up there and take a shot at it to find out how good he was,” trainer Cal Lynch said. “It was a trial to see if we wanted to keep him in training over the winter as an open horse, or if he was strictly a statebred. He ran really well, very competitive. Saratoga can be a tough place to go.”

Javerre has the rail in the eight-horse field with Angel Arroyo set to ride. Lynch is hoping to use this race as a springboard to the Maryland Million Sprint on Oct. 6 at Laurel

In the Hesse, Hermosillo tries for a third victory in the 1 1/16-mile race. He won the stakes in 2009 and 2011 and was second in 2010.

The calendar might be his biggest challenge. A career earner of $649,691, Hermosillo is now 8 and comes into the Hesse winless in four races this season.

“He’s fought the fights and stayed around at a high level,” said Robb Levinsky, chairman of the Kenwood Racing partnership that claimed Hermosillo for $20,000 in 2008 and have reaped the benefits since. “We’re grateful to have a horse like this in our barn. Whatever happens, we don’t forget that. We feel that he’s coming into the race the right way and [trainer] Steve DiMauro has done a really good job pointing for this race as he has the other times.”

It has already been a terrific season for the husband-and-wife team of trainer Lloyd and owner Geraldine Kromann, with four wins at the meet from their handful of New Jersey-breds. They will try to cap off the campaign with a win in the 1 1/16-mile Jersey Girl Handicap, where they saddle the entry of Y to Kat and Hotnslick.

The $60,000 Eleven North for filly and mare sprinters, slated as the fourth stakes on the program, did not fill for a second straight year.

Hall welcomes inaugural class

Henry of Navarre, Regret, Cavalcade, and Open Mind, all members of the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., are the first class inducted into the New Jersey-bred Hall of Fame.

Henry of Navarre, a foal of 1891, was a champion at 3 and 4, winning the Belmont and Travers Stakes.

Regret was the first filly to win the Kentucky Derby in 1915.

Cavalcade won Kentucky Derby, the American Derby, and the Arlington Classic in 1934.

Open Mind won the 1988 Breeder’ Cup Juvenile Fillies and came back the following year to capture the Kentucky Oaks, the Acorn, the Mother Goose, the Coaching Club American Oaks, and the Alabama.