05/24/2013 4:04PM

Monmouth Park notes: Black Onyx, Get Serious resting after minor injuries

Barbara D. Livingston
Black Onyx, scratched from the Kentucy Derby the day before the race, is turned out on a Florida farm but did not need surgery.

OCEANPORT, N.J. – Black Onyx is recuperating in Florida from the injury that knocked him out of the Kentucky Derby on the morning before the race.

The initial prognosis was a chip in his left front ankle that could possibly require surgery. Turns out, it was a hairline fracture that did not require an operation.

The Spiral Stakes winner is now at a farm in Williston, Fla.

“He’s out there for some R & R and we’ll re-X-ray it in six weeks,” trainer Kelly Breen said. “His return depends on Mother Nature. We’re hoping that’s it, and that he’s back in no time.”

Assuming all heals well, Black Onyx could return later this season. Even with a rapid recovery, Breen ruled out the Grade 1, $1 million Haskell Invitational, Monmouth’s premier event, on July 28.

A son of Rock Hard Ten, Black Onyx is 3 for 5. The Spiral on Turfway Park’s synthetic surface was his stakes debut following a maiden win at Aqueduct and a turf allowance victory at Gulfstream Park.

Get Serious resting injured ankle

The Red Bank Stakes came and went last weekend with a very notable absence from the lineup: Get Serious.

The 9-year-old chestnut gelding – winner of the race in 2009, 2010, and 2012 – was on target for a title defense until he wrenched an ankle following an unproductive winter in Florida. He ran four times over the Gulfstream course, with a pair of sixth-place finishes his best result.

A winner of $1.1 million, built largely on five graded wins at Monmouth, Get Serious has a history of preferring hard, firm turf courses. The training tandem of Pat McBurney and John Forbes were hoping Get Serious would take to the Gulfstream grass.

“He didn’t like that grass course at all,” McBurney said. “We thought he would because it’s always firm, but it’s a sandier base, so it was kicking up.”

The last race there, on March 3, was somewhat encouraging.

“He actually was boxed in at the top of the stretch, swung out and came running,” McBurney said. “We were very happy about that, but then just breezing down there on dirt toward the end of the meet, he wrenched an ankle.”

Get Serious, back home at Monmouth, is still 30 days away from the resumption of training, wiping out most of the summer over his favorite course.

McBurney has set the Grade 3 Cliff Hanger on Aug. 25 as the next target.

Perkins has three stakes sprinters

Trainer Ben Perkins Jr. has a trio of talented sprinters for this season at Monmouth: Rainbow Heir, Well Spelled, and The Hunk.

Rainbow Heir is the exciting newcomer, a perfect 3 for 3 following a dazzling opening weekend victory that earned a 97 Beyer Speed Figure.

Perkins is pointing the son of Wildcat Heir toward the Grade 3 Jersey Shore Stakes for 3-year-olds on July 4.

“We were always extra careful with him,” Perkins said. “From the first go, he showed some serious talent. We just took our time with him. We know he has the talent. We’ll find out if he has the grit. His father was as fast as any horse I ever saw, or had, and he’s just like that.”

Well Spelled, winner of last year’s Jersey Shore and the $300,000 Gallant Bob at Parx Racing, has had two breezes at Monmouth. He is recuperating from surgery following the Gallant Bob and could return in the Mr. Prospector on July 7.

The Hunk won the John J. Reilly Handicap for New Jersey-breds last year but is behind schedule for this season’s renewal on June 1.

“He’s pretty close after a winter off, but I don’t think he’ll make the Reilly,” Perkins said.