05/30/2012 2:01PM

Monmouth Park: Namaskara well drawn for move back to turf

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Tom Keyser
Namaskara will likely be favored Friday in a second-level optional claimer for fillies and mares on the turf at Monmouth Park.

OCEANPORT, N.J. – An outside draw into a compact field puts Namaskara in a favorable spot in the featured $44,000, second-level optional claimer for fillies and mares on the first Friday program of the meet at Monmouth Park.

After racing weekends in May, Monmouth now extends to a Friday through Sunday schedule. First post will be 12:45 p.m. Eastern for the 10-race card.

Namaskara, a 4-year-old homebred for Flaxman Holdings Limited trained by Graham Motion, has the outside post against six rivals going 1 1/16 miles on the turf.

Jeremy Rose will ride the closer coming off an eventful trip on the synthetic strip at Keeneland. Namaskara had post 4 in an 11-horse field as the 5-2 favorite. She got away slowly and wound up far back on the fence. For much of the race, Namaskara and jockey John Velazquez were bottled up.

She ultimately angled out and around a rival before making a strong run up the fence to miss by one length, well clear of the third-place finisher.

Namaskara earned an 89 Beyer Speed Figure in that race, the best number of any horse in the field. Add in the synthetic-to-turf angle, and Namaskara figures to be well supported.

She will reunite with Rose who was aboard this winter at Gulfstream Park, where she won two of three starts.

Team and Island Time are among the top challengers.

Team ran here once before, rallying to miss by a half-length last summer in a maiden race on the grass for trainer Christophe Clement. More recently, the 4-year-old romped at Calder, winning a first-level allowance race that was rained off the turf onto the sloppy main track.

While Clement has historically done well here with his shippers, he is off to a blazing start this meet. Clement is 4-0-1 from only 6 starters, including a victory by Ruthenia on Monday in the Grade 3 Violet.

Island Time, in for the $32,000 claiming tag, won two of her last three, all in Florida, for trainer Jason Servis. She was third most recently at Calder to Romacaca, the 7-5 favorite in the Violet who set the pace before fading to fourth. The two wins came at Tampa Bay Downs – a sprint on the main track and a grass route

Nightmare Night, Dream Louise, Delicate Genius, and Daddy’s Honor complete the field.

Carrietta was entered for the main track only.