05/26/2012 2:22PM

Monmouth: Unbridled Humor fresh, fit for Violet


OCEANPORT, N.J. – A refreshed Unbridled Humor heads back to work in the Grade 3, $100,000 Violet Stakes for fillies and mares on the turf, the Memorial Day feature at Monmouth Park.

The 10-race card gets underway at 12:50 p.m. Eastern and concludes the holiday racing weekend on the Jersey Shore. Starting June 1, Monmouth expands to a three-day schedule of Friday through Sunday.

The Violet, a longtime fixture at the Meadowlands Racetrack, attracted a field of eight for the 1 1/16-mile race.

As the weekend unfolded, the field remained in flux.

Pinch Pie, listed as a main-track only entrant for the Sheepshead Bay Stakes on Saturday at Belmont Park, scratched from that spot – presumably putting her on course for the Violet.

Whipsaw City was also cross-entered at Belmont, landing in a third-level allowance race on Monday.

While some runners had alternative options, Unbridled Humor is on target for Monmouth, according to trainer Graham Motion.

This will be the first start for the gray 5-year-old Unbridled Humor since losing by a head in Turf Distaff for Florida-breds at Tampa Bay Downs in early April.

“We freshened her up a little bit after her Florida campaign back here at Fair Hill,” Motion said by telephone from his Maryland training base. “This seems like a good fit for her.

“I thought she ran very well last time in what was a fairly competitive race for a Florida-bred race. I thought she ran very well. She’s a very consistent filly. She’s a little tricky in the morning, not the easiest to be around but she’s very generous in the afternoon.”

Unbridled Humor is looking for her first win since capturing the Grade 3 Noble Damsel at Belmont last September.

She has run five times since then, including a very respectable fourth in the Grade 1 Matriarch at Hollywood Park.

“Realistically, this will ultimately be her level,” Motion said of the Grade 3 Violet. “Trying the Grade 1 seemed a little bit of a stretch, but you never say never.”

My Sunshine Gal avoids nemesis

The $60,000 Red Cross Stakes for female sprinters is the supporting feature.

The six-furlong race drew six runners, including My Sunshine Gal, who is avoiding another showdown with Aquitania, who ran in Saturday’s My Juliet Stakes at Parx.

My Sunshine Gal lost to Aquitania in two of her last three races, both overnight stakes in New York. Sandwiched in between was a poor effort in the Sugar Maple Stakes at Charles Town.

Trainer Derek Ryan had seen enough, deciding the Red Cross offered a better opportunity for his filly to pick up her first win of the season.

“She ran two good races and one bad one, when she was in season when she shipped to Charles Town,” Ryan said. “Aquitania beat me twice. I wasn’t going back for a third beating.”

My Sunshine Gal had a solid run here last summer with a win and a neck loss in a pair of second-level allowance races.

Maple Forest has run well in three prior Monmouth races, all stakes, capturing the Dearly Precious while finishing second in the Sorority and the Just Smashing.