08/04/2009 11:00PM

Rematch looms in Red Bank

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Bill Denver/Equiphotos
Get Serious wins the Oceanport for his third stakes victory of the meet.

OCEANPORT, N.J. - Get Serious and Kiss the Kid are on target for a rematch in the Grade 3, $175,000 Red Bank Stakes on Labor Day weekend at Monmouth Park.

They hooked up on the Haskell Day undercard in the off-the-turf Oceanport Stakes, a race that scratched down to only three runners with the surface change. It was a small field, but a suspenseful outcome in the slop.

Get Serious stole away on slow early fractions, then held off Kiss the Kid by a neck at the end of a prolonged stretch battle.

"I thought he was a beat horse at the top of the stretch," said John Forbes, trainer of Get Serious. "I was impressed that he was as game as he was. I thought he ran a huge race."

It was the third stakes win at the meet for Get Serious, following turf victories in the Elkwood and the Battlefield.

Kiss the Kid's owner and trainer, Amy Tarrant, was hoping that someone would pressure Get Serious in the early stages to set up a Kiss the Kid rally. As the field dwindled, Tarrant knew her 6-year-old was in trouble.

"The race didn't set up for him at all," Tarrant said. "As it went down to three horses, I knew we were in trouble. Somebody needed to go up there with Get Serious and make it a little tighter. He controlled the pace."

Tarrant credited jockey Elvis Trujillo with a patient ride, resisting the temptation to force the issue in the compact field.

"I told the jockey I don't know how you ride this race," Tarrant said. "I was completely befuddled. I told Elvis to use his intuition. It was so slow. My horse has never gone that slow in his life."

All systems are now go for the Red Bank, hopefully on the grass with a representative field.

"He came out of the race great," Tarrant said. "He's had four days off. He's been playing in the round pen, rolling on his back."

Fleet Valid showing old self

Fleet Valid continued his rapid ascent Sunday, winning the $100,000 Teddy Drone for sprinters.

Not bad for a $14,000 claim by trainer Scott Volk at Aqueduct in April. He has won three times since, culminating with the Teddy Drone.

In his younger days, Fleet Valid, 6, was a top-line sprinter running with the likes of Benny the Bull, Diabolical and Suave Jazz.

In many respects, the Teddy Drone was a throwback effort.

"He has just returned to the form he showed when he was 3 and 4," Volk said. "He's back to the way he used to be. I was looking for horses for Monmouth, and he had a lot of back class. Sometimes they get good, they go bad, and they get good again. Like stocks."

Volk is now targeting Monmouth's $75,000 Icecapade Stakes on Sept. 7.

Chirac may yet get Iselin start

Trainer Jane Cibelli felt Chirac needed to win the $100,000 Majestic Light Stakes on Sunday to merit consideration for the Grade 3, $300,000 Philip Iselin Stakes here on Aug. 22.

Chirac, a 4-year-old gelding, had won three in a row, including the Skip Away Stakes. In the Majestic Light, Chirac finished fourth in the slop as the 3-2 favorite. Even with the loss, Cibelli is now considering the Iselin.

"I don't think he liked that track very much," Cibelli said. "The main thing is, he came back good. I think we'll give him a shot in the Iselin after all."

Cibelli is treating the Majestic Light as a throw-out.

"The track was horrendous and he was in trouble the whole way," Cibelli said. "He was boxed in and then he was behind a wall of horses. I'm not one to make a lot of excuses for a horse. Reality is reality, but in this case, there are excuses."

Cotto back riding after spill

Pedro Cotto Jr. was back in action in Wednesday, having escaped serious injury when Tale of Victory broke down in the fifth race Sunday, later to be euthanized.

Cotto, taken to the Jersey Shore Trauma Center in Neptune, N.J., for evaluation of possible abdomen and back injuries, was examined and released. He was back galloping horses Monday and Tuesday mornings.