Updated on 09/17/2011 9:26PM

Portsea has top Just Smashing figure

Deja Puglisi/EQUI-PHOTO
Portsea, and jockey Chris DeCarlo, win the $60,000 Just Smashing Stakes at Monmouth Park.

OCEANPORT, N.J. - The well-traveled Portsea returns to Monmouth Park, the scene of her first victory, for the $60,000 Just Smashing Stakes on Sunday.

Since that maiden win last July, Portsea, a daughter of More Than Ready, has scored stakes wins in the Sandpiper Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs and the Meafara Breeders' Cup Stakes at Hawthorne.

She posted career-best Beyer Speed Figures of 88 in both stakes, and that number tops this field of 3-year-old fillies going six furlongs.

Trained by Todd Pletcher, Portsea will be ridden by Chris DeCarlo.

The next best Beyer Figure belongs to Golden Locket, who earned an 85 in her maiden victory last time out at Keeneland

"Obviously she's taking a step up for this, but hopefully she's ready for it," said Golden Locket's trainer, Phil Oliver. "She has a nice stalking style and should be able to sit a good trip behind the speed and capitalize on it."

A daughter of Storm Creek, Golden Locket has shown steady improvement since her debut over the winter in Florida.

"She got unlucky a couple of times at Gulfstream, and she had a real rough trip in her last start down there," Oliver said. "She had a good trip at Keeneland and proved much the best."

Joe Bravo will be aboard for the first time.

Other top contenders include Tax Consideration, winner of allowance races at Aqueduct in her last two outings; the speedy All Platinum, who figures to set the pace; and and the unbeaten One Fit Baby, who makes her 2005 debut after winning both her starts last fall.

Vinemeister happy to be home

Vinemeister again left little doubt that Monmouth Park is home sweet home for the 6-year-old.

Making his first start in exactly three months, Vinemeister rallied for a solid second behind Smokume in the six-furlong Decathlon Stakes, the opening-ay feature. Vinemeister has won 5 of 13 starts at Monmouth while his record elsewhere is 2 for 25.

"I think he saves his best efforts for this racetrack," said trainer Alan Seewald. "It seems like that through the years."

Seewald has targeted the $65,000 Longfellow Stakes, also at six furlongs on June 11, as the next goal.

He plans to keep Vinemeister at six furlongs, even though his past Monmouth wins include a victory in the 2003 Grade 3 Salvator Mile.

"He won't go two turns," Seewald said.

Handy looking to return to New Jersey

Retirement is the last thing on George Handy's mind.

The 81-year-old trainer, a fixture at Monmouth for more than 25 years, recently ended his private training contract with New England-based owner Skip McDonnell.

"The last time I was unemployed I was 12 years old," Handy said. "I'm stall-walking out of boredom. I'm not ready to retire."

Handy, who had been racing in Florida and New England, is looking to line up clients for a return to New Jersey with a public stable.

Malouf wins Raines award

Richard Malouf, an owner for more than 25 years, has been named the 2005 winner of the Virgil "Buddy" Raines Distinguished Achievement Award by the track.

Malouf, who owns a number of auto dealerships in central New Jersey, will be publicly honored in a ceremony later in the meet. Malouf used his business connection to have Buick sponsor the Haskell Invitational, Monmouth's premier event, from 1996 to 1998.

The Raines Award was established in 1996 to honor those "who have demonstrated a continuing commitment to the sport of Thoroughbred racing as an owner or trainer and whose conduct has been exemplary for professionalism, integrity, and service to the sport."

The past winners were J. Willard Thompson, Danny Perlsweig, Jimmy Croll, Joe Pierce Jr., Peter Shannon, Dennis Drazin, Sam Fieramosca, Charles and Marianne Hesse, and Janet Laszlo.

Each recipient receives a trophy, and their names are engraved on a plaque in the Monmouth clubhouse.

The award commemorates Raines, a longtime fixture at Monmouth. He trained horses for 65 years, with his biggest victory coming in the 1962 Preakness with Greek Money.