Just Jenda takes Monmouth Oaks

Updated: August 15, 2009, 7:17 PM ET
By Mike Farrell | Daily Racing Form



OCEANPORT, N.J. -- Just Jenda powered to a 4 1/4 length victory over the pacesetting Malibu Prayer Saturday in the Grade 3, $200,000 Monmouth Oaks at Monmouth Park.

The 3-5 favorite following her dominant victory here in the Serena's Song Stakes on July 19, Just Jenda benefited from the trip negotiated by Gabriel Saez. Just Jenda rated behind the speed while racing between horses. Angling three wide turning for home, Just Jenda surged clear and improved to 2 for 2 at Monmouth.

"She likes this track very well," said trainer Larry Jones. "We were very pleased with her race here four weeks ago. Once again, she showed that was a valid race."

Just Jenda was much closer in the Serena's Song with Eddie Castro aboard, but the level of competition was tougher in the Oaks.

"Gabriel has a lot of confidence in this horse, and he knows her so well," Jones said. "Eddie had her in a position where he could move at any time, but Gabriel saves her and makes one big move."

Just Jenda ($3.40) earned her sixth win in 10 starts. One of those loses was totally excusable, a 11 3/4-length defeat to super filly Rachel Alexandra in the Fantasy Stakes at Oaklawn Park.

It was the second straight Monmouth Oaks for Jones, who saddled Meadow's Maren to victory last year.

Hightap was third.

The time was 1:43.69 for the 1 1/16 miles on the fast track.

Continental Mile: Two Notch Road scores

Two Notch Road slipped through a wide opening on the rail to pull off a 107-1 upset in the $60,000 Continental Mile for 2-year-olds on the turf.

Shannon Uske was aboard for owner-trainer Glenn Thompson as Two Notch Road settled third behind dueling pacesetters Mississippi Hippie and Closing Vision.

Turning for home, Two Notch Road was full of run in his grass debut.

"He relaxed better than I thought he would," Uske said. "He settled in behind the front-runners and just waited for me to tell him to go."

Two Notch Road ($216.40), winless in his three previous efforts, beat 8-5 favorite Mississippi Hippie by 1 1/4 lengths, with Work for a Cure third.

The time was 1:35.62 on the firm course.