06/27/2008 11:00PM

My Princess Jess hangs on


OCEANPORT, N.J. - My Princess Jess captured the Grade 3, $150,000 Boiling Springs Stakes for 3-year-old fillies on the turf, giving jockey Joe Bravo a sweep of the Saturday stakes at Monmouth Park.

Bravo also won the $60,000 Spruce Fir Handicap with Open Skies.

My Princess Jess ($5.80) made her debut for trainer Barclay Tagg following a private purchase by the Lael Stables. She had won 2 of 5 coming into the race, most recently capturing an overnight stakes at Belmont Park on May 8.

"We just tried to freshen her up a little bit and prepare her for this race," Tagg said.

The race unfolded with Encanto Park taking the early lead as My Princess Jess was reserved with the pack. She moved to command with a strong brush on the turn, and boldly opened a 3 1/2-length lead in the stretch.

At that point, she had only one rival to fear: Much Obliged, the early trailer, who was gearing up for a bold run down the center of the course.

The comfortable margin quickly dwindled, but My Princess Jess gamely dug in to hold on by a neck. The time was 1:39.81 for the 1 1/16 miles, a record for the course with the rail set 36 feet from the hedge.

"I was very, very pleased," Tagg said. "She ran her race and she showed a very nice turn of foot. Joey said he had a lot of horse left. You can't ask for more than that."

Tagg did not have a next start in mind for My Princess Jess, but said she would be headed to Saratoga.

Forest Trail was third in the Boiling Springs, followed by Encanto Park, Namaste's Wish, Nicksappealinglady, Saki to Me, Yippety Yip, and Dagger.

Spruce Fir: Open Skies beats elders

Open Skies earned her first stakes win in the Spruce Fir for New Jersey-bred fillies and mares. The only 3-year-old in the field, Open Skies ($5) ran the mile and 70 yards in 1:43.17.

Trainer Tim Hills is considering open company for her next race, making the Grade 3 Monmouth Oaks on Aug. 9 a possible target.

Talkin About Love, the even-money favorite, got second with Summer Sting third, giving trainer Kevin Sleeter a two-three finish.