10/04/2012 3:08PM

Monmouth Park: New Jersey Juvenile headed by Irish Politics, Visionary Ruler


OCEANPORT, N.J. – Irish Politics and Visionary Ruler, two promising youngsters with similar profiles, top the field Saturday in the $60,000 New Jersey Juvenile as the season winds down at Monmouth Park.

This is the final racing weekend on the Jersey Shore as the meet concludes Sunday. And then we’re down to a precious few days in New Jersey.

The action shifts north next Friday for a brief return to the Meadowlands for eight all-turf cards through Nov. 3. The Meadowlands schedule will be Friday and Saturday afternoons with first post at 2:15 p.m. Eastern.

With no stakes on the Big M calendar, the Jersey Juvenile for 2-year-old statebreds is the last major event on the local calendar.

The race, formerly known as the New Jersey Futurity, will be run as one dash this year. In the past, there have sometimes been separate divisions for males and females. This time, everyone lands in one six-furlong race. The 12-horse field includes four fillies.

Of the dozen starters, Irish Politics and Visionary Ruler appear to have the edge. Both are coming off maiden wins in which they earned Beyer Speed Figures superior to the competition.

Continuing the parallel theme, the two wins came in their second starts after encouraging debuts.

Irish Politics, trained by Graham Motion, ran third to Visionary Ruler in his first effort here in mid-August.

That set the stage for a dominant four-length score last month that produced a 63 Beyer.

“He’s been a pleasant surprise,” Motion said. “I was really impressed with his last race. Having this stakes come up at the end of the meet is a nice bonus for him.”

Irish Politics is a homebred for Isabelle Haskell de Tomaso, the daughter of Amory L. Haskell, one of Monmouth’s founding fathers in the track’s post-World War II revival.

Visionary Ruler also is a homebred, hailing from the team of bloodstock agent Ed Rosen and the Roseland Farm Stable of John Bowers Jr.

He was a close fourth in his debut in mid-July, missing by only a half-length. Visionary Ruler scored a pacesetting win about a month later with a 61 Beyer.

Expect more of that same strategy in this bulky field as Visionary Ruler stretches out to six furlongs following a pair of five-furlong efforts.

“That is a concern,” trainer Bret Calhoun said. “He looks like he could have some distance limitations. We’ll just have to play it off the break and see what happens. If we could get away from them early, I think we’ll try that. If he can’t get away from some other speed horses, we’ll try a different tactic and sit off the pace a little bit.”

Calhoun would have liked to run the colt back following the win, but could not find a suitable spot.

Next up on the Beyer scale comes Saucy Don, with a 56 in his maiden win in late August in his third attempt.