Bramble Bay’s turn of foot too much for I’m Listening in Jersey Girl

Bramble Bay won her second Jersey Girl Handicap, whipping to the lead in upper stretch and beating I’m Listening by 1 1/4 lengths in a turf-route race for older New Jersey-bred fillies and mares on Saturday at Monmouth Park.

Bramble Bay, who paid $3 as the odds-on favorite, won the 2020 Jersey Girl and was second, beaten a head, when the race was rained from turf onto dirt last summer. She was coming off two dirt races during this Monmouth meet and clearly appreciated the return to grass for trainer Mike Dini and owner Ballybrit Stable.

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Bramble Bay has speed, but Lopez let stretchout sprinter Roselba go off and lead through a half-mile officially recorded in a fast 45.91 seconds. Monmouth’s leading rider played his strong hand past the quarter pole and Bramble Bay had little trouble overwhelming the leader and opening a clear lead. I’m Listening, who prefers dirt, tried to make a race of it but could not match the winner’s turn of foot. Roselba held third in a game performance. Winning time for one mile on a firm course was 1:36.18. Bramble Bay and I’m Listening were co-highweights, each carrying 123 pounds.

Bramble Bay, a homebred, is a 6-year-old by Bullet Train out of Regal Rose, by Empire Maker. The mare has made a good living on the Monmouth grass course, the $51,000 winner’s share of an $85,000 purse boosting her local grass earnings over $265,000.