05/19/2011 2:14PM

Monmouth Park: Schoolyard Dreams hoping for rain in Elkwood


The Elkwood is supposed to be the first turf stakes of the season at Monmouth Park. Mother Nature, however, may have other plans.
Based on the amount of heavy rain that has fallen for most of the week and a forecast that calls for thunderstorms again Saturday, the $75,000 Elkwood could very well be shifted to one mile on the main track.

If that’s the case, trainers Derek Ryan, Mike Petro, and Skip Einhorn will look smart for having the foresight to enter horses with good dirt form, especially on wet tracks.

Schoolyard Dreams, Not Abroad, and Secret Getaway are a collective 5 for 10 on wet tracks and will run only if the Elkwood gets taken off the turf. The fourth main-track-only entrant, Hockley, is 0 for 2 on fast tracks but has a high Tomlinson rating of 442, indicating his pedigree is suited to excel in the slop or mud.

Of that group, Schoolyard Dreams and Not Abroad look the most dangerous.

Schoolyard Dreams comes off a third-place finish in the Grade 3 Westchester at Belmont Park and just missed by a nose in the Grade 3 Tampa Bay Derby last year.

Not Abroad was dull sprinting when he returned from a five-month layoff three weeks ago. Last year, he recorded a win and a good second on wet tracks at Delaware Park and closed out his campaign finishing second in the Grade 3 Discovery Handicap at Aqueduct.

If the Elkwood stays on turf, the horses who show good races on less-than-firm going include Nownownow, who missed by a head over a good Fair Grounds course in the 2009 Grade 2 Mervin Muniz, and Successful Mission, winner of the Grade 3 Miami Mile over good turf at Calder last time out.