06/13/2010 12:00AM

Starfish Bay breaks Monmouth turf record


OCEANPORT, N.J. - Starfish Bay broke the track record for 5 1/2 furlongs on the turf as she romped in the $102,000 for fillies and mares on Sunday at Monmouth Park.

She zipped home in 1:00.76. Smart Enough held the old mark of 1:00.81, set on June 2, 2007.

Starfish Bay and jockey John Velazquez bounded right to the front from the inside post, and the race was over. The 4-year-old Starfish Bay ($3.80), trained by Todd Pletcher, was never threatened, scooping up her sixth win in 12 starts.

"That's the way she likes it," Velazquez said. "Her speed is her weapon. I can't take that away from her. She was going so fast but she handled the turn perfectly and responded very well when I asked her. I think she could have gone faster, but I wanted to save something for next time."

The 4-5 favorite, Starfish Bay beat Candy Cane by 3 1/2 lengths with Quebrada Shiner third.

* Way With Words, the even-money favorite, swept to a three-length victory over Dakota Doll in the $97,500 for New Jersey-bred fillies and mares.

Way With Words ($4) had both a class and conditioning edge on her eight rivals. Every other runner in the field was either making her season debut or had run only one time in 2010.

Way With Words, in contrast, was making her fifth start of the season. The four previous races were all against open company. The last three were on turf, including an overnight stakes win at Gulfstream and a sixth-place finish in the Grade 3 Gallorette at Pimlico, where she lost by less than four lengths.

Those edges were decisive as Way With Words ranged into contention on the turn and powered to her 10th career win with a three-wide surge.

Eddie Castro was aboard for trainer Mary Eppler as Way With Words ran the six furlongs in 1:10.44 on the track still rated fast on a showery afternoon.

"She's just a lovely horse to be around," Eppler said. "She can do just about everything. She can win on turf or dirt while going long or short. She can also handle some rain as well. She runs hard every time she goes on the track."

Moneigh Lisa was third.