OCEANPORT, N.J. -- Gypsy's Warning edged Maram by a nose Monday in the Grade 3, $147,000 Eatontown Handicap for fillies and mares on the turf, the first graded stakes of Monmouth Park's 50-day, $50 million summer meet.
In was impressive effort by Gypsy's Warning, a multiple Group 1 winner in her native South Africa making her United States debut while returning from a layoff of almost one year.
Despite those obstacles, trainer Graham Motion had the 5-year-old Gypsy's Warning ready for a gut-check effort against Maram, the 2008 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf winner also making her first start of 2010.
Eye of Taurus (9-5) and Maram (7-5), the two betting favorites, hooked up early with Gypsy's Warning never far behind in the compact five-horse field.
Maram put away Eye of Taurus in the lane and looked like a possible winner in her first start since running sixth in the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf at Santa Anita last November.
Gypsy's Warning, with Jose Valdivia Jr. aboard, came surging late and the two battled hard through the final sixteenth, flashing across the wire together in a head-bobbing finish.
"You never know about them until they come to the U.S." said Valdivia who is having a strong meet at Delaware Park. "Graham told me to let her be comfortable early on. When we turned for home, she kicked on pretty good. I was very surprised to get by Maram, who is a very nice filly."
Gypsy's Warning, the longest shot in the race at 7-1, paid $16.40 to win. The time was 1:41.79 for the 1 1/16 miles on the firm course.
Scolara got third, followed by Omega Cat and Eye of Taurus.
* Funny Feeling pulled away to a 2 1/4-length win in the $91,500 Just Smashing Stakes for 3-year-old filly sprinters.
The Just Smashing unfolded as expected with Midst, the 2-5 favorite, winging along on the lead. She was a bit head-strong, tugging hard on the bit through fractions of 22.17 and 44.96 seconds in her dirt debut after compiling a record of 3 for 4 on synthetics.
By midstretch, Midst was done as Funny Feeling ($13.20) was just finding her best gear.
Alan Garcia let her settle nicely in third behind the swift pace. Funny Feeling picked it up in the lane, finishing strongly for her second straight win - and first stakes victory - for trainer Mike Maker, who is 3 for 4 at the meet.
"We always had high hopes for her," Maker said. "We tried a couple of stupid things like stretching her out. Now that we got her off the Polytrack and back sprinting, she's on her game."
The time was 1:10.59 for the six furlongs.
Full of Gut got second, followed by Brilliant Sunshine, Midst, and Island Time.
* The Cognac Kid, winner of the sixth race, flirted with a Monmouth parimutuel record that has stood since 1951.
The Cognac Kid paid $210.20 to win for his maiden victory, falling short of the track's highest ever winner payoff: $229.20 on July 15, 1951.
* Get Serious, in his season debut, squeezed out a neck win over Florentino in an $85,500 money allowance run as the eighth race.
Get Serious, now 6, improved to 7 for 9 on Monmouth's turf course, an impressive mark that includes a victory last September in the Grade 3 Red Bank Stakes.
* Racing resumes here with the first Friday card of the meet. First post will be 12:50 p.m. Eastern.