09/01/2012 3:15PM

Parx Racing: Chamberlain Bridge back for another Turf Monster run

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David Owens/Equi-Photo
Chamberlain Bridge, with Paco Lopez riding, wins the My Frenchman at Monmouth Park.

Trainer Bret Calhoun returns Chamberlain Bridge to the Grade 3, $350,000 Turf Monster on Monday at Parx Racing with renewed confidence.

After a disappointing stretch in which Chamberlain Bridge appeared to have lost a step, the 8-year-old gelding snapped back with a pair of strong efforts. He was a sharp closing second in the Arlington Sprint before rallying to win the My Frenchman Stakes at Monmouth Park.

The old boy is showing renewed zest, and his Beyer Speed Figures perked back up into the mid 90's in the last two races. So it is an opportune time for Chamberlain Bridge to revisit Parx Racing for one of his favorite races. This will be his fourth straight appearance in the five-furlong Turf Monster. He won this race in 2009 and 2010 and finished a close third last year.

The 2010 victory was a springboard to a triumph in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint two starts later. A win Monday could put him back on the road to the Breeders’ Cup. The Turf Monster is a Breeders’ Cup Win and You’re In race, providing the winner a fees-paid berth in the Turf Sprint and a $10,000 travel stipend.

Calhoun isn’t looking that far ahead. He’s just happy to have Chamberlain Bridge back in top form. And he’s not sure the veteran would be comfortable with the run down the turf hill at Santa Anita, the site of this year’s Breeders’ Cup.

But then, it would be hard to pass up.

“If they’re paying your expenses, you have to think about it,” Calhoun said. “And I’m not as concerned about the right-handed zig and left-handed zag at Santa Anita as I might have been in the past. As he’s gotten older, he’s better able to handle it. He’s doing good right now. He’s happy and he’s sound.”

Which could be bad news for his 10 rivals in the Turf Monster, where Chamberlain Bridge landed the outside post.

Sean Avery, making his turf debut, starts just to the inside of Chamberlain Bridge. This is his first start in more than a year since suffering a tendon injury during his win in the Grade 1 Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap at Saratoga, earning a 112 Beyer. He will be tough, if he translates that dirt number to grass.

Kyma, Car Thief, Super Chunky, Ben’s Cat, and Great Mills, the first five in the blanket finish of the Pennsylvania Governor’s Cup at Penn National, are contesting the Turf Monster.

Royal Currier, winner of three dirt sprint stakes in his last four outings, switches back to the turf, where he is 1 for 3.

Bridgetown, winner of the Troy Stakes at Saratoga last month, has finished in the money in his last five starts. He was fourth to Chamberlain Bridge in the 2010 Breeders’ Cup.

Catalactic and Ju Jitsu Jax complete the field.

Sensible Lady heads Turf Amazon

Sensible Lady, winner of three straight stakes, tops the $200,000 Turf Amazon, the five-furlong companion event for fillies and mares.

Her latest score came in the Coronation Cup at Saratoga. The 3-year-old is 4-0-1 in 5 races since switching exclusively to the turf for trainer Timothy Salzman.

Colony Club, 25-1, got up by a neck to beat even-money favorite Inspired by a neck in the Klassy Briefcase Stakes at Monmouth. They meet again in the Turf Amazon.

“She’s doing excellent, and she’s been all over the country winning stakes,” said Allen Iwinski, Inspired’s trainer. “She breezed very well the other day. We wanted her to be sharp coming into this race.”

Bounding Bi, 3-3-0 in 6 turf starts at Parx, was second in this race last year.

Nechez Dawn had the longest journey, shipping in from Del Mar after winning the Daisycutter Handicap.