Volunteers get busy with the spring cleanup at Riverside Gardens Park. Photo by John Burton RED BANK — The mild weather has people thinking about gardening. That’s true for Rumson residents Bob and Karen Hespe. But the garden on their minds, and those of a handful of other volunteers, isn’t their own, but the one in Riverside Gardens Park.As they have done for the past few years, the Hespes will be caring for more than 200 rose bushes planted in the park overlooking the Navesink River.They, some of their friends and members of Rumson Boy Scout Troop 201, were on hand at the park last Saturday morning, to begin this year’s work of clearing, prining and preparing for some additional plantingt.“I was taking a walk through here,” Hespe recalled, “and we saw how much work had to be done here.”The park, which the borough constructed about a dozen years ago, is used in the warmer months for concerts and community events. The community also uses the park for recreation, weddings, photo shoots and school graduations.The park has won awards for its design, but the Hespes long felt that the plantings in the park could use a little TLC.“We spend so much time here,” Karen said, “It’s a nice place to come for a walk and it should look beautiful.”Bob contacted Memone Crystian, the borough’s parks and recreation director requesting permission to care for the plantings and the director gave her permission.Last year the Hespes and their fellow volunteers visited the park to care for the plantings 12 times, he said.Last Saturday they arrived at the park around 9 a.m. to start th spring cleanup.“We just dug and dug and dug out vines and weeds,” Hespe said.The volunteers concentrated on the park’s 240 rose bushes, trimming them a little and cleaning the beds. Thankfully, Bob Hespe explained, rose bushes are pretty hardy. “They need that first hit,” with some pruning, he said, then, “they do their thing.”“We focused just on the roses,” Karen added, “but there are a lot of things growing here and need work.”They would know — the Hespes operate a modest gardening and landscaping business.Sickles Market, Little Silver, donated a few hundred daffodil bulbs for planting in the park, and Bob Hespehopes that after this initial work the garden area will be in good enough shape to need only a once-a-month cleanup. They are hoping to find some additional volunteers to assist their current crop of helpers. “I know it’s a lot of work,” Karen acknowledged, “but it’s so much fun here and so many enjoy it, that it is really satisfying. But we could use more people.”
Gary Sherlock1552133%53%$138,510 Mike Puype2041120%30%$131,975 SANTA ANITA STATISTICS Jeff Mullins1440329%50%$125,945 Mark Glatt3066920%70%$236,356 MIKE SMITH REMEMBERS GREAT TURF MILER LUREMike Smith understandably has fond memories of Lure, aboard whom he won theBreeders’ Cup Mile twice, once from the inside post, and once from the outside, nearly a quarter century ago in 1992 at Gulfstream Park and a year later at Santa Anita, which has Sunday’s feature race named in honor of the bay Danzig colt trained by Shug McGaughey.“Lure was great,” Smith said, “especially when he won the Breeders’ Cup here for the second year in a row. It seems like yesterday I was standing here looking out towards the mountains and knowing how well he was doing, thinking if he gets the opportunity, he’s going to do something special on Breeders’ Cup day, and he did.“I had to come from way on the outside post, was able to get in on the first turn, and then for him to win the way he won was just incredible. I never even touched him with the whip.”The Lure: Perfectly Majestic, Gary Stevens, 4-1; A Red Tie Day, Norberto Arroyo Jr., 3-1; Express Himself, Drayden Van Dyke, 12-1; Twentytwentyvision, Flavien Prat, 9-5; Drummer, Kent Desormeaux, 6-1; Patriots Rule, Joe Talamo, 15-1; Clever Royal, Rafael Bejarano, 12-1; Little Curlin, Martin Pedroza, 6-1; and also eligible Touching Rainbows, Tiago Pereira, 30-1. Rafael Bejarano9219201121%54%$1,203,430 Norberto Arroyo, Jr.8014121318%49%$592,853 In other Breeders’ Cup news:Masochistic, one of the favorites for the $1.5 million TwinSpires Sprint, worked five furlongs from the gate in a minute flat Saturday under Mike Smith. “It went great,” trainer Ron Ellis said of the breeze. “Mike got him to really relax well and has gotten to know him pretty good working him. He’s gotten a handle on him.”Under the cover of darkness at 5 a.m., Runhappy worked five furlongs in 58.40 from the half-mile pole to the seven-eighths marker. Exercise rider Marcus O’Donnell was on the 2015 Eclipse Award-winning sprinter for trainer Laura Wohlers, who will saddle the four-year-old son of Super Saver in the $1 million Las Vegas Dirt Mile next Friday.“I thought she went well,” trainer Craig Dollase said after Del Mar Debutante winner Union Strike (Juvenile Fillies) worked a minute in 1:00.40 with Martin Garcia aboard. “I was happy with the time. It went real smooth, everything is good and Martin gave us a thumbs up.”Jockey Club Gold Cup winner Hoppertunity worked five furlongs for Bob Baffert in a sprightly 59.80 for the Classic. Rafael Bejarano was aboard Hoppertunity, who worked with First Degree Burn (59.80).Vyjack (Dirt Mile) worked five furlongs for Phil D’Amato in 1:00.40, while Ashleyluvssugar (Turf) went the same distance in the same time for Peter Eurton.Also, Coronoa Del Inca (Distaff) went four furlongs in 47.80 for Guillermo Frenkel and Daddys Lil Darling (Juvenile Fillies) four furlongs in 51.20 for Ken McPeek.The top 15 trainers in earnings through Oct. 26 have horses entered in Breeders’ Cup races, as do 16 of the top 18, totaling $155,036,085, led by Chad Brown’s $19,067,303. Jamie Theriot504248%20%$195,029 JockeyMts1st2nd3rdWin%ITM%Money Won Doug O’Neill689101513%50%$430,096 NYQUIST TO MISS CLASSIC, FUTURE PLANS ON HOLDKentucky Derby winner Nyquist has been declared out of next Saturday’s $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic due to a “puffy ankle,” trainer Doug O’Neill announced on his Facebook page just prior to 9 a.m. Saturday morning.“It’s with heavy hearts that we regrettably have to report that Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist came out of his most recent work (seven furlongs in 1:27.40 on Thursday) with a puffy ankle,” read O’Neill’s statement. “Though Nyquist is 100 percent sound and X-rays are clean, the timing unfortunately precludes us from the dream of having him run in the Breeders’ Cup Classic in our own backyard.”O’Neill, who trains the three-year-old son of Uncle Mo for owners Paul and Zillah Reddam, reported that no plans have been made for Nyquist’s immediate future. The colt had been scheduled to retire to stud at Darley after the Classic. GORMLEY BREEZES FOR BC JUVENILEUndefeated FrontRunner winner Gormley worked six furlongs Saturday morning underChantal Sutherland in a pedestrian 1:16.40 for the $2 million Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Juvenile next Saturday.“His ears were up and John (Shirreffs) just wanted to keep him happy,” Sutherland said. “He wasn’t worried about the time at this point.”Gormley worked in company with Veneto who was clocked in 1:18. Victor Espinoza3658314%44%$745,490 Kent Desormeaux54145926%52%$540,820 Tiago Pereira5488115%31%$335,805 Joseph Talamo4176217%37%$303,365 Martin Pedroza5985214%25%$276,065 Fernando Perez4993918%43%$236,055 Bob Baffert30107333%67%$882,645 FINISH LINES: With six racing days left, and thanks to three wins Friday, perennial Southern California riding king Rafael Bejarano has opened a 19-15 lead over runner-up Tyler Baze in the race for riding honors. Flavien Prat, Norberto Arroyo, Jr. and Kent Desormeaux are deadlocked with 14 wins each . . . Peter Miller is three up on Bob Baffert (13-10) in the trainers’ race. Stewart Elliott474449%26%$223,338 William Spawr1243133%67%$124,068 HUNGERFORD A WINNER FROM START TO FINISHSanta Anita wishes long-time assistant starter Junior Hungerford all the best when he retires on Nov. 6 after 42 years on the beat.“He began in 1973, and I started in 1978, but he’d been around a while,” said Santa Anita Starter Jay Slender. “When I was a kid up at the Fairs, he was working on the gate, so he was a little older than I was and a guy I always looked up to. He’s definitely been the go-to guy, the senior guy here. You could put him in any position and he’d get it done.”Hungerford, 65, who was raised in Pleasanton, California, in close proximity the iconic Alameda County Fair racetrack, has been an integral part of the Santa Anita starting gate crew since 1980.“I first came to Santa Anita in 1970,” said Hungerford. “I was galloping horses, freelance. In 1973, there was a job opening on the Los Alamitos starting gate and I got the job. It was fun handling Quarter Horses. I like all the horses here. They’re all different . . . I feel I’ve done everything I’d ever want on the gate, but it’s all about the horses. The mornings are the best because you see them all and they all have to come by us.Hungerford listed champions Paseana, A.P. Indy, Cigar and Skip Away among the thousands of horses he’s personally handled in the afternoon.Although he’s sustained dozens of injuries over the years, including broken ribs and hands, a fractured elbow and broken feet, Hungerford considers himself to be in good health.“I’m pretty good right now, but this is a job for a young guy . . . I float (file) teeth and I can do that now closer to where I live, in Anza, which is about 125 miles from Santa Anita.”Hungerford, who considers retired Hall of Fame riders Laffit Pincay, Jr. and Eddie Delahoussaye as “pretty close friends,” is ready to call it a career.“There have been a lot of memories over 42 years, but it’s time to quit!” Gary Stevens2844714%54%$428,980 Peter Miller54138524%48%$458,990 Flavien Prat7514141219%53%$1,100,920 Philip D’Amato4270517%29%$442,685 Richard Baltas5489615%43%$440,340 (Current Through Friday, Oct. 28) ‘HAPPY’ GORMLEY IN LIESURELY JUVENILE WORKNYQUIST OUT OF CLASSIC WITH A ‘PUFFY ANKLE’CLASSIC CONTENDER MELATONIN FRESH AND FITMASOCHISTIC, RUNHAPPY IN SHARP BC BREEZESSMITH REMEMBERS TWO-TIME MILE WINNER LUREICONIC ASSISTANT STARTER HUNGERFORD TO RETIRE TrainerMts1st2nd3rdWin%ITM%Money Won Tyler Baze791571119%42%$560,600 Jerry Hollendorfer4155612%39%$309,746 Mike Smith2344317%48%$262,205 MELATONIN FRESH, FIT, FORMIDABLENot only is Classic outsider Melatonin undefeated in four starts at Santa Anita, while trained by David Hofmans, the gelded son of Kodiak Kowboy has never been beaten after a layoff, to wit:Winning by 2 ¾ lengths on Aug. 15, 2015 after an absence of more than six months; winning by 3 ¾ lengths on Feb. 5, 2016 after not racing for three months; and winning the Grade I Gold Cup at Santa Anita on June 25 this year after being away nine weeks.The Classic will be Melatonin’s first race in more than four months.