Hard Enough Proves Best In Saturday’s Jersey Derby

Paco LopezPeace Sign Stable’s Hard Enough sat just behind pacesetter Shining Copper before moving past that rival turning for home and opening up to a length and a half win in the $60,000 Jersey Derby at Monmouth Park on Saturday.

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Ridden by Paco Lopez, Hard Enough went the mile and a sixteenth over firm turf in 1:41 flat and returned $26.60, $9.60 and $5.40. Reporting Star closed to complete the $133 exacta and paid $5.20 and $3.20. It was another half-length back to Shining Copper, who paid $2.60 as the favorite in the field of nine 3-year-old colts and geldings.

“I’m so happy to get this win for the owners,” said winning trainer Bobby Dibona. “I know this is the best horse we have in our barn. It’s been a while since we’ve had a horse of his caliber. He needed to get back in his division, with 3-year-olds. He needed some time to mature and just looked great today.”

A colt by Hard Spun from the Mr. Greeley mare Grecian Wings, Hard Enough earned his third win in 14 starts by taking the Jersey Derby, which dates back to 1864, making it the oldest Derby contested in North America.

Live racing continues at Monmouth Park on Sunday, July 21 – gates open 11:30 a.m., first post 12:50 p.m.