07/10/2010 11:00PM

Silver Timber seeks fourth in a row


OCEANPORT, N.J. - Timberrrr!

Silver Timber, two-length winner of the Wolf Hill Stakes as the odds-on favorite in his most recent start, is going to be very tough to beat right back in the John McSorley Stakes, the first of two $100,000 stakes on the Sunday card at Monmouth Park.

The McSorley, the eighth of 12 races on the program, is scheduled to be run at 5 1/2 furlongs on the turf.

The only runner in the McSorley field with recent triple-digit turf Beyers to his credit, Silver Timber has won three straight races, all as the favorite. That includes his latest, the Wolf Hill Stakes, where he earned a career-best Beyer of 106. Simply put: If he runs to that figure on Sunday he's a winner.

Silver Timber breaks from post 1 under Joe Bravo, who was aboard for the Wolf Hill win.

"It looks like a very good spot for him," trainer Chad Brown said. "I'm not crazy about being down in the rail, but Joe will work it out. He rode him perfectly last time."

Blue Sailor looms the main speed and the top threat to Silver Timber. He finished third, three lengths behind Silver Timber, in the Wolf Hill, but held a clear lead in deep stretch despite an early duel and weakened only in the late going. If he's able to get away unpressured in the McSorley, Blue Sailor could spring the upset under regular rider Harry Vega, who will come in from Presque Isle Downs for the mount.

Way With Words stretches out

Way With Words will strike while the iron is hot in the Spruce Fir Handicap for New Jersey-bred fillies and mares (race 11). She will be looking for her third Monmouth stakes win in the last month.

In her last two starts, Way With Words captured a pair of six-furlong sprint stakes, the Open Mind on June 11 and the Blue Sparkler on June 27, but she clearly also handles two turns, so Sunday's stretch-out to a mile and 70 yards isn't an issue. After all, Way With Words won the 2009 edition of the Spruce Fir.

"I don't think distance matters to her," said Mary Eppler, the trainer of Way With Words, who has won 8 of 15 starts on the Monmouth main track.

Eddie Castro, aboard for those last two stakes scores, will again ride Way With Words, the favorite and 126-pound highweight.

Ex-Breen runners return from Dubai

Sunday's third race marks the Monmouth Park return of both Atomic Rain and West Side Bernie, a pair of 4-year-olds who started their careers with trainer Kelly Breen and won their maidens here. Both horses raced in last year's Kentucky Derby before being sold to Godolphin Racing, with Atomic Rain running sixth in the 2009 Haskell in Sheikh Mohammed's colors. Both Atomic Rain and West Side Bernie trained in Dubai over the winter but ran poorly in stakes there in February and were returned to the United States.

Breen, for one, is anxious to see them run.

"They're both very nice, very talented horses," he said. "I wish them all the best."