08/11/2009 11:00PM

Song Shan at same level for now


OCEANPORT, N.J. - Convinced the best is yet to come for Song Shan, trainer Joe Orseno has taken a conservative approach with the 5-year-old.

As a result, Song Shan gets a second shot at a third-level allowance Friday at Monmouth Park with a $48,000 purse and a $50,000 optional claiming price

Orseno resisted the temptation to run Song Shan in the Majestic Light Stakes on the Haskell Day undercard following a third in his previous race.

"I am very excited about this horse," Orseno said. "I thought he should have won his last race. He had a troubled trip, and it cost him. Had he won that race, I probably would have run him in the stakes. We didn't win, so I decided to stay in the condition."

The race came up tough with Understatement and Dubinsky, linked by owner Paul Pompa Jr., comprising a very solid entry.

Dubinsky, from the Rick Dutrow barn, is 2 for 2 at the meet, having captured first- and second-level allowances. In between, the 3-year-old was a distant third in the off-the-turf Grade 3 Hill Prince Stakes at Belmont Park. Joe Bravo, aboard for both Monmouth wins, again has the mount.

Understatement, trained by Todd Pletcher and ridden by Chris DeCarlo, has run twice at the meet, finishing fourth in the Frisk Me Now Stakes and second most recently, one spot ahead of Song Shan, on July 4.

This will be Song Shan's third start of the meet, and third for Orseno. A homebred son of Golden Missile raced by Stronach Stables, he pulled away to a 4 3/4-length win in his Monmouth debut on June 6.

"The Golden Missiles get better as they get older," Orseno said. "I trained Golden Missile, and when he turned 5, he really turned into a good horse. I talked to Mr. Stronach after he won the two-other-than, and he said to go easy with him and have a nice horse for the fall. We're letting him get himself together. We'll learn a lot more about him on Friday."

Elvis Trujillo, Monmouth's leading rider, will again be aboard.

Greenspirit was a second-level winner last time out at Belmont Park for trainer Steve Asmussen.

Rehoboth and Proud Kentuckian, the two horses carrying the $50,000 claiming price, complete the field.

Monmouth also offers a third-level $50,000 claimer for fillies and mares on the turf, where Diamond Dina will look to extend her winning streak to three.