08/26/2007 11:00PM

Princess Janie looking sharp for sprint

Email

OCEANPORT, N.J. - A very sharp workout over the weekend should have Princess Janie on her toes Wednesday for the $75,000 Mongo Queen Stakes for 3-year-old filly sprinters at Monmouth Park.

Stewart Elliott, who rides the filly for the first time, was aboard for the bullet move Saturday: three furlongs in 33.20 seconds, the fastest of 30 at that distance that morning at Monmouth.

"She breezed unbelievable," trainer Cam Gambolati said. "Stewart's eyeballs were popping out. It was foggy and I was only able to catch the last eighth on my watch in 10.60. She went extremely well. We expect a big effort."

Gambolati was initially cool on running Princess Janie in the Mago Queen race when it was originally scheduled for last Saturday. When the stakes didn't fill and was rescheduled, Princess Janie made a strong argument for joining the eight-horse field with the swift workout.

Gambolati had planned to shop for a second-level allowance race, but the sharp drill made a stakes restricted to 3-year-olds too appealing to pass.

"What was I going to gain?" Gambolati said. "I am better off running in the stakes. With a filly, the more black type, the better off you are."

Princess Janie is 2-2-0 in 5 starts and has not run since setting the pace and finishing second in Monmouth's Dearly Precious Stakes on June 30.

Astor Park, the Dearly Precious winner, is also in Wednesday's field and drew the rail. Princess Janie has post 7, a slot Gambolati views as a distinct advantage.

"When Astor Park beat us, we were inside, she was outside," Gambolati said. "We don't have to gun and go to the lead. She's always a step slow out of the gate. When you gun her, she gets into the bridle too much. We're going to try and ease our way up there."

Astor Park gets a jockey and trainer change to the leaders at Monmouth. Joe Bravo will be aboard as the filly debuts for Todd Pletcher.

Astor Park suffered her first defeat in four starts last time out in the Grade 1 Test Stakes at Saratoga.

Pletcher also sends out Rolling Grace as an uncoupled stable entry.

Trainer Ned Allard also has an uncoupled pair in the race: Pleasure Seeker, unbeaten in two starts, and Shananies Song, who has not run since winning the Finger Lakes Juvenile Filly Stakes last October.

Completing the field are All American Miz, Bianco, and Suzy Smart.