Three victories. That narrow margin is all that separates the top three trainers at Monmouth Park with three more weeks of live racing remaining on the season.
Jane Cibelli, who became the first woman in the storied history of the local landmark to win leading trainers honors in 2011, is currently atop the standings with 26 wins. Eddie Plesa, Jr. and Juan Serey are right on her heels, tied at 23 wins each.
"It would be nice (to repeat), wouldn't it?," said Cibelli while supervising her horses working out on the track on a recent early morning.
Serey had an amazing streak from 1995 to 1999 when he won leading trainer honors for five consecutive years, but Plesa, who has been leading trainer at Calder Race Course in Miami, Florida five times, has never taken the top spot at Monmouth. Despite having a successful season during whuich he has already captured three stakes races and a barn full of quality runners, he recognizes that he'll have a tough time knocking Cibelli from the top spot.
"Jane does a great job," he said. "I'm very pleased with the way things are going. I'm already looking forward to next year."
There is still plenty of live racing left in this season. Monmouth will race every Saturday and Sunday through October 7, with post time at 12:45 p.m. and the gates opening at 11:30 a.m. Full card simulcasting from all of the top racetracks is available seven days per week year round.