07/02/2009 11:00PM

Perkins willing to shoot high


OCEANPORT, N.J. - Ben Perkins Jr. has a long history in the Jersey Shore Stakes, having won the first edition with Surely Six in 1992 when the race originated at Atlantic City Race Course.

Perkins will try to write a new chapter Sunday when he sends out Wildcat Brief in the 18th running of the Grade 3, $200,000 stakes for 3-year-olds going six furlongs.

The Jersey Shore was transferred to Monmouth Park in 1997. From 1992 to 1995, the race was run at seven furlongs, positioning it early on the night card.

"I remember they ran it as the second race because there were no lights in the chute," Perkins said.

The Perkins family ties to the race run deep as Ben Sr. won the 1995 edition with Fort Stockton.

This year, there are only five runners. Only Custom for Carlos has appeared in a graded stakes, a third-place finish in the Grade 3 Swale at Gulfstream Park.

Four of the five runners are still eligible for a second-level allowance race.

Wildcat Brief finished fifth most recently here in the Rumson Stakes. Following that effort, Perkins was considering a more modest spot.

"Off the last race, we were thinking we'd try the two-other-than allowance," Perkins said. "That's what we wound up in, basically. But for a much bigger purse."

Wildcat Brief could take some of that money home with him.

"On the numbers, our horse is not overmatched." Perkins said. "The last time out, we felt he laid a little too close when it was more of a speed track. They've added some more dirt since then and hopefully the track will be fairer."

Beacon Hill Road is the most experienced runner with 10 starts. He is also the only stakes winner, having captured the off-the-turf Anderson Fowler in the slop here on June 20.

The best Beyer Speed Figure belongs to Snapshot, who earned a 100 in an allowance victory at Belmont Park.

Like Snapshot, Happy Bull and Custom for Carlos exit sharp first-level allowance victories. Happy Bull won at Delaware by 3 1/4 lengths while Custom for Carlos scored by six at Churchill.

Over the years, the Jersey Shore has been captured by a number of standout sprinters, including Smoke Glacken, Joey P., Henny Hughes, and Idiot Proof, who set the Monmouth track record of 1:07.47 in 2007.