06/24/2008 11:00PM

Plesa barn circles two crucial stakes

Email

OCEANPORT, N.J. - Gottcha Gold and Hey Byrn, two of trainer Eddie Plesa's top runners, remain on target for their upcoming races at Monmouth Park as both try to bounce back from Grade 1 loses at Pimlico.

Gottcha Gold, a heart-breaking second by a neck in the mud to Student Council in the Pimlico Special, is heading to the Grade 3 Salvator Mile on July 5.

"He's very good," Plesa said. "He couldn't be coming up to the race any better. He ran his race last time. The other horse caught him in the last couple of jumps. I don't know if he saw him or not. Most importantly, he came out of it great."

Gottcha Gold will have a final workout on Saturday.

The 5-year-old won last year's Salvator, a breakthrough victory in a brilliant season on the Jersey Shore that also produced a win in the Grade 3 Iselin Handicap and a second in the inaugural Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile.

Gottcha Gold will have a new rider as Eddie Castro replaces Chuckie Lopez, still recuperating from a foot injury.

One day after the Pimlico Special, Hey Byrn chased the early pace in the Preakness and finished seventh. Earlier in the year he won Gulfstream Park's Grade 3 Holy Bull Stakes.

Since theoPreakness, Plesa has worked Hey Byrn one time on the grass, but decided to keep him on the main track for the Long Branch Stakes on July 12, Monmouth's traditional prep for the $1 million Haskell Invitational.

"He came out of his race fine," Plesa said of Hey Byrn's Preakness and a 15-length loss to Big Brown. "We're looking for a little relief as far as the competition. He's trained well over this surface and we're anxious to get him back on track.

"I thought about putting him in a turf race but we can do that anytime. Right now, we've got some big things coming up here at Monmouth."

Remember Cable Boy? He's almost back

Cable Boy will soon hit the comeback trail with his first workout of his 4-year-old year likely to come within the next week.

It has been a long, quiet winter and spring for the horse that was the talk of Monmouth last summer by bursting onto the scene with three straight impressive wins.

The sky was the limit for Cable Boy, who broke the track record for a mile and 70 yards in his second race and captured the Coronado's Quest stakes in his third.

Despite the limited resume, he was a respectable 9-1 in the Haskell against a very deep field that included Any Given Saturday, Curlin and Hard Spun. Cable Boy wound up the pacesetter and finished fifth. He raced once more - a tiring 10th in the Pennsylvania Derby on Sept. 3.

Cable Boy suffered the injury in his second workout following the Pennsylvania Derby and has been sidelined since.

"It happened when he was getting ready for a little stakes at the Meadowlands," said trainer Pat McBurney. "We didn't start up with him until we came back to Monmouth. We didn't want to start back on a farm track that might be deep. He came back looking super."

Cable Boy is still at least six weeks away from a race, likely putting Monmouth's Iselin Handicap on Aug. 16 out of range.

Primal Impact takes on elders on Friday

The Friday card at Monmouth features a pair of allowance races for New Jersey-breds.

Primal Impact was a dominant 4 3/4-length winner in his last race. A repeat of that effort would make him very tough in a $51,000 second-level allowance at one mile and 70 yards.

Joe Bravo has the repeat call on Primal Impact, the lone 3-year-old in the seven-horse field.

De Fearless One and Blithe Lad are also stepping up off first-level allowance victories.

Helen's the One looks to be rounding into form for her third start of the season in a $50,000 first-level allowance for fillies and mares at six furlongs.

Trained by Buddy Carlesimo, she was no factor in her season debut, finishing a distant sixth in the slop on opening day. Helen's the One looked much sharper last time out, rallying for second. Shannon Uske has the return call.

Jane Sighs Too and Paradise Tonight face winners for the first time. Both won their maidens here earlier this month.