06/01/2012 3:56PM

Monmouth: Presious Passion moves on to Monmouth Stakes

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Barbara D. Livingston
Although he finished seventh in the Elkwood, Presious Passion did display signs of life that were encouraging to trainer Mary Hartmann.

OCEANPORT, N.J. – Presious Passion passed the first test. The next assignment will be much tougher.

A popular 9-year-old turf star, Presious Passion showed trainer Mary Hartmann enough in his comeback last month to warrant a shot in the Grade 2, $200,000 Monmouth Stakes on June 10, a race he captured in 2009.

Presious Passion finished seventh in the Elkwood Stakes, his first start since January 2011.

“It was a good race back,” Hartmann said. “He did get shut off and a mile is not his distance. I was just really giving him a race. He came out of the race in good shape.”

The Monmouth Stakes will be a furlong longer, which should better suit the multiple Grade 1 winner, who has been most effective from 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 miles.

“He’s looking like his old self again,” Hartmann said. “He had soured. He had a foot issue. He had a breathing issue. We have gotten rid of all the issues.”

Precious Passion will try to turn back the clock to the time when he was a pacesetting force in grass routes.

Many of the wins, including consecutive editions of the United Nations Stakes at Monmouth, were high wire acts where Presious Passion opened up huge leads before digging in late to preserve the victory.

Jockey Elvis Trujillo reserved Presious Passion in third during the Elkwood. Don’t expect to see those tactics in the Monmouth Stakes.

“I would rather have seen Elvis let him go,” Hartmann said. “He was trying to save a little but the result would have probably been the same. I would have been happier with ‘Let’s go’ because that’s what he likes to do. He still has speed. I don’t know if it’s the speed he had when he won the second United Nations, but he still has gas in the tank.”

Partyallnightlong reinjures shin

Partyallnightlong is sidelined with another injury.

When healthy, the 5-year-old Partyallnightlong is one of the top New Jersey bred sprinters. Staying sound is the rub.

He missed the John J. Reilly Handicap this weekend with a shin fracture that required surgery to insert a screw.

It’s the second straight season he will miss a chunk of the Monmouth meet.

Partyallnightlong reeled off consecutive allowance wins against open company last year before finishing fifth in the Teddy Drone Stakes on the Haskell Day undercard.

After the race, trainer and co-owner Eddie Broome detected a bump on a foreleg that was a hairline fracture that ended the campaign.

That seemed all in the past when Partyallnightlong scored a win in his comeback this season, a grass sprint at the Meadowlands.

Broome was aiming for the Reilly, until Partyallnightlong refractured the shin while galloping. The screw comes out in 60 days; training can resume 30 days later.

By then, the Monmouth meet will be largely done.

“It’s a killer,” Broome said. “He breezed fantastic for the Reilly the week before. He was never sore. The shin just didn’t look right.

“Dr. Patty Hogan said the prognosis is excellent but the problem is with the shins. There’s a 20 to 25 percent chance he could do it again. We just have to pray he doesn’t.”

Food trucks attract big crowd

Monmouth officials were overwhelmed by the turnout of 23,020 for the first Food-Truck Wars last Sunday.

“We were expecting 14,000 to 15,000,” said track president Bob Kulina.

The response was so huge that many of the trucks ran out of food and there were long lines everywhere throughout the track.

Kulina said Monmouth will look to expand the food trucks to the entire Memorial Day weekend next year.