07/10/2011 5:15PM

Monmouth Park: Maple Forest collects first stakes win in Dearly Precious

Bill Denver/Equiphoto
Maple Forest, ridden by Joe Bravo, wins the Dearly Precious Stakes.

OCEANPORT, N.J. - Maple Forest took the lead turning for home and edged clear to a 1 1/4-length win over Moonlit Malibu in Sunday’s $75,000 Dearly Precious Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at Monmouth Park.

It was the second straight start at Monmouth for the filly trained by Todd Pletcher. Second to Pomeroys Pistol most recently in the Just Smashing Stakes, Maple Forest secured her first stakes win and third victory in eight starts overall.

“It was good that she drew the outside,” said assistant trainer Anthony Sciametta. “From there she could dictate her own race. She has lots of natural speed, but with the outside she was able to take back and get a target to run at. She ran hard and lost to a very nice horse last time. Today she was real impressive.”

Joe Bravo was aboard for the six furlongs in 1:09.36 on the fast track. Maple Forest paid $5.40 to win as the favorite in the six-horse field.

It was second straight runner-up finish in a stakes for Moonlit Malibu following a neck loss to Grand Kisses in the Lady Charles Town Stakes.

Jostle Stakes winner Bold Affair was third followed by Sweet Susan, Grand Kisses, and Amylimehouse.

Pletcher scratched Savvy Supreme, his other entrant in the stakes.

Perfect Officer narrowly prevails in Wolf Hill

Perfect Officer and jockey Kendrick Carmouche timed their rally perfectly, getting up in the final strides to beat Varsity by a head in the $67,200 Wolf Hill Stakes for turf sprinters.

A $50,000 claim back in March by trainer Michael Pino, Perfect Officer has 2 wins and a third in 3 starts since the barn change.

The 5-year-old Perfect Officer ran the 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:01.93 on the good course, paying $6.60 to win.

Ju Jitsu Jax got third.