07/06/2010 11:00PM

Very Sweet one step from stakes


OCEANPORT, N.J. - The very promising Very Sweet can take an important step forward on Friday at Monmouth Park in the third race, an $82,000 second-level allowance for fillies and mares at one mile.

This will be first of three twilight programs on consecutive Fridays. Monmouth will delay first post until 2:10 p.m. Eastern. Gates will open at 11:30 a.m.

The 12-race card also includes an $82,000 second-level optional $75,000 claimer for fillies and mares going 1 1/16 miles the turf.

Very Sweet, a 3-year-old making her fifth career start, has won back-to-back races, starting at Aqueduct with a six-furlong maiden win in the slop on April 25. Following that victory, Very Sweet joined trainer Kiaran McLaughlin's Monmouth division. Her next race was a key test, a first attempt at two turns.

Very Sweet again passed with flying colors, cruising to a 5 1/4-length win in the first-level allowance on May 29 while elevating her Beyer Speed Figure to a personal-best 84.

"She ran huge down there last time," McLaughlin said. "She seemed to like the track and the distance. She's been training well since and we hope she can duplicate that last effort."

The least experienced runner in the field of seven, Very Sweet will be stakes bound if she handles this assignment.

"We hope to see her in stakes races but she's running in a great spot right now with huge purses," McLaughlin said. "We're happy with the way everything is going and we will step up as soon as she does win this condition."

Joe Bravo, the meet's leading rider, has the return call.

Debonair Darling is another filly who is very comfortable at Monmouth. A 4-year-old trained by Greg Sacco, Debonair Darling is 2-2-1 in 5 starts here.

The turf allowance (race 11) looks like a highly competitive race that includes a trio who posted last-out allowance wins here last month: Ms. Short Pockets, Repreive, and Profiteroles.