09/03/2011 12:41PM

Parx: Veterans out for old glory


Chamberlain Bridge and Heros Reward, a pai r of millionaires with 30 career victories between them, will attempt to turn back the clock to their glory days while fighting off challenges from two of this season’s up-and-coming turf sprinters, Ben’s Cat and Regally Ready, in Monday’s Turf Monster Handicap at Parx Racing.

The Grade 3, $350,000 Turf Monster is part of a three-stakes package worth $850,000 on the holiday card with the $300,000 Smarty Jones for 3-year-olds on the main track and the $200,000 Turf Amazon Handicap for fillies and mares.

In addition to its lucrative purse, the Turf Monster rewards the winner with a berth in the Nov. 5 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint at Churchill Downs as part of the Win and You’re In Breeders’ Cup Challenge series.

The 7-year-old Chamberlain Bridge, who has won 17 of 35 starts and $1.6 million, has taken the last two runnings of the five-furlong Turf Monster. He was at his best last season, when he won 5 of 8 starts, culminated by a 1 1/2-length triumph in the BC Turf Sprint. After beginning his 2011 campaign by taking an ungraded stakes at Sam Houston in February, Chamberlain Bridge has been no better than third in three subsequent starts. He was given time off by trainer Bret Calhoun after winding up sixth of seven as the 7-5 favorite in the $200,000 Parx Dash on June 18.

The 9-year-old Heros Reward, who has bankrolled $1.1 million by winning 13 of 46 races, was the Turf Monster runner-up in 2008 and 2007, when he earned a career-best 103 Beyer Speed Figure. Over the past two seasons, however, Heros Reward is just 1 for 11, taking a $12,500 starter allowance two races ago on the synthetic Tapeta surface at Presque Isle Downs.

Relative youngsters Ben’s Cat and Regally Ready figure to vie for favoritism in the field of 12 on the basis of their recent accomplishments. The 5-year-old Ben’s Cat, based in Maryland with King Leatherbury, is a head shy of being unbeaten in four starts in turf sprints. He just missed in his previous trip to suburban Philadelphia in the Parx Dash, then rallied from sixth to get up by a neck in the $200,000 Pennsylvania Governor’s Cup at Penn National.

Regally Ready, a 4-year-old trained by Steve Asmussen, is 5 for 7 lifetime on the grass, highlighted by wins this past spring in a pair of Grade 3 races, the San Simeon Handicap at Santa Anita and the Twin Spires Turf Sprint at Churchill Downs.

The field also includes Central City, the runner-up to Chamberlain Bridge in last fall’s BC Turf Sprint, and Country Day, winner of the $100,000 Arlington Sprint Handicap last time out.

◗ Defending champion Rose Catherine, horse-for-the-course Suzzona, and California invader Separate Forest are the prime players in a field of 12 fillies and mares for the Turf Amazon Handicap (race 9).

As a 3-year-old last season, Rose Catherine won 5 of 7 starts. She is just 1 for 5 this year and will be making her first start since weakening to third as the 8-5 favorite in an overnight stakes at Belmont Park.

The 7-year-old Suzzona, 20 for 43 lifetime, owns a 3-for-3 record at Parx. She has gone 4 for 6 this year, highlighted by wins in The Very One at Pimlico and the Candy Eclair at Monmouth Park last time out.

Separate Forest won her stakes debut in the Grade 3 Las Cienegas Handicap at Santa Anita in April and most recently led until deep stretch of the Daisycutter Handicap at Del Mar.