Archive for September 2021

Golden Brown Scores In Joey P. At Monmouth

Golden Brown isn’t just enjoying his golden years: he’s excelling in them.

The 6-year-old gelding notched his sixth state-bred stakes victory and the 10th overall win of his career by surging to a one-length victory over Like What I See in Sunday’s $85,000 Joey P. Handicap at Monmouth Park in Oceanport, N.J.

The victory was one of six winners on the 12-race card for jockey Paco Lopez.

Though he had never raced at the five-furlong distance in his previous 30 career starts, while also being absent from the turf since Nov. 9, 2019, Golden Brown overcame both variables to outclass eight other Jersey-breds, clocking home in :56.55 over a firm turf course.

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“Year after year, he just shows up here,” said winning trainer Pat McBurney. “He’s getting up there in age but :56.2 today was really impressive, I thought. He seems to be as good as he has ever been.”

A Grade 3 winner in 2018 (the Kent Stakes at Delaware Park in Wilmington, Del.), the son of Offlee Wild boosted his career earnings to $744,620 with his latest victory. It was also his second state-bred stakes victory of the meet.

“I was worried about him being back on the turf and trying this short but he is a very good sprinter,” said Lopez. “He is one of those horses who can do anything. I wanted to make sure he was in a good position so maybe I rode him a little more aggressively early because of this race being short.

“Every time you ask him, he gives you something. I love this horse. Long, short, dirt, turf … he can handle anything.”

Lopez has an insurmountable lead as he closes in on his eighth riding title at Monmouth Park entering the final weekend of racing starting Friday. His 100 winners are almost double the total of runner-up Isaac Castillo (53).

For Golden Brown, meanwhile, it marked the first time in his lengthy career that he has tried something shorter than 5½ furlongs. His racing debut in 2017 was at 4½ furlongs. He has won short, long, in the slop, on the dirt, and on the turf.

“I would have preferred 5½ furlongs over five but he has been sprinting so well this year we needed to take a shot,” said McBurney. “I literally said to the owners as the horses were going into the gate that I did not realize it had been so long that he has been on the turf. The one long turf race he would normally run in (the Dan Horn) was canceled this year so we didn’t have that to run in and just with him having been a little sick and playing catch up with him I decided to keep him short and in Jersey-bred company. We can’t pass that up.”

Owned by ABL Stable, Dominic Bossone, Peter Donnelly, and Natalie Schnoor, Golden Brown was mid-pack in the early stages as I Like What I See blazed early fractions of :22 flat for the opening quarter and :44.96 for the half. Lopez angled Golden Brown outside coming out of the final turn, going three-wide, and he was able to wear down I Like What I See late. It was another four lengths back to the McBurney-trained Lucky Jaime in third.

Golden Brown paid $4.80 to win.

The final weekend of racing for the 55-day Monmouth Park week starts with a nine-race card on Friday. First race post time Friday, Saturday, and closing day on Sunday is 12:15.

Double Thunder Rallies Late To Take Sapling At Monmouth

In a field of 2-year-olds going a mile for the first time, favorite Double Thunder grabbed his third win in four starts with a late rally to win the Sapling Stakes at Monmouth Park in Oceanport, N.J. Trained by Todd Pletcher, the Super Saver colt had to go three-wide on the far turn to find running room, giving Monmouth’s leading jockey Paco Lopez another win at the track’s summer meet.

Breaking from post one, Lopez took Double Thunder back early, sitting fifth on the rail behind leaders Under the Gun and Midnight Worker. After fractions of :23.87 for the first quarter and :47.54 for the half mile, Double Thunder was boxed in on the rail and shuffled back to sixth entering the far turn as Midnight Worker caught Under the Gun and moved to the lead, Chancellor Bay tracking him.

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On the turn, Lopez moved his colt to the outside, going three-wide to find racing room as the field entered the stretch. Into the Monmouth straight, Chancellor Bay took over the lead from Midnight Worker as both American Sanctuary and Double Thunder rallied to his outside, both catching Chancellor Bay in the last sixteenth of a mile. Double Thunder was fastest to the wire, sprinting by American Sanctuary to win the Sapling by a half-length.

The race’s final time for the mile over a fast track was 1:38.76. Find this race’s chart here.

Double Thunder paid $4.20, $2.60, and $2.40. American Sanctuary paid $4.80 and $3.40. Midnight Worker paid $3.60.

“In the mornings it took him a little while to figure things out but his gate works showed he was probably going to be okay. I don’t think there was any concern about going two turns for the first time. If you look at all of his races it seems like he breaks a little slow, a step slow, but he always seems to come running. So I didn’t think that would be an issue. We were actually waiting for him to go longer. I’m pleased with the way he ran. He took dirt, he got in trouble by coming in and going out, so it wasn’t the best of trips and he still won,” Anthony Sciametta, assistant to Todd Pletcher, said after the Sapling.

“It was a tough trip for sure. They didn’t make it easy for him. The horse broke well today. I was surprised he broke that well – maybe because he was on the rail. I don’t know. I didn’t want him that close early so I tried to get him to settle but it was a very rough trip,” Paco Lopez told the Monmouth Press Office after the race. “For a while a had nowhere to go. (American Sanctuary) had me pinned in. Finally, he made his move at the eighth pole and I was able to get some room to get my horse running. I think (American Sanctuary) moved a little too early, which was good for me. I had nowhere to go for a while. I was waiting on that horse and he finally went and that helped me.”

Bred in Kentucky by WinStar Farm and out of the Tapit mare Rattataptap, Double Thunder is owned by Phoenix Thoroughbred III. He was purchased by agent Gerard Butler from Taylor Made Sales Agency for $60,000 at the 2020 Fasig-Tipton Selected Yearlings Showcase.

Value Proposition Best in Red Bank At Monmouth

Klaravich Stables’ Value Proposition cruised home to a nearly three-length victory in the $150,000 Red Bank Stakes on Saturday afternoon at Monmouth Park in Oceanport, N.J.

The Chad Brown-trainee was dispatched the 3-10 favorite in the field that scratched down to four runners. The 5-year-old ridgling stepped the flat mile over “good” turf in 1:38.18 and paid $2.60 and $2.10. Pacesetter Proven Strategies held for second and paid $2.60 to place, with Reconvene checking in third and Vanzzy rounding out the field. There was no show wagering.

Click here to read from Paulick Report

“I just took a hold of him early on,” said winning jockey Paco Lopez, after riding his sixth winner of the day. “He was running so smoothly the whole way. When we got to the three-eighths pole, I moved him into position to strike and in the lane, he just cruised home. He was much the best and I rode him that way.”

A son of Dansili (GB) from the Diktat (GB) mare Dash To The Front (GB), Value Proposition improved his lifetime mark to 5-1-3 from 11 starts, good for earnings of $359,773.

Live racing continues at Monmouth Park on Sunday, Sept. 5, with a first post of 12:15 pm.

An old favorite wins by a nose in the Grade 3 Parx Dash

Chasing the pace early and trading the lead with rivals in the homestretch, heavy betting favorite The Critical Way (1-5) got his head down first at the wire and won by a nose Tuesday in the Grade 3, $200,000 Parx Dash Stakes, a five-furlong turf sprint at Parx Racing.

Owned by Monster Racing and trained by José Delgado, the 7-year-old Tizway gelding ran his winning streak to three races, all stakes and all with Paco López riding.

Click here to read from Horse Racing Nation

Battle Station (9-1), a 6-year-old gelding that was claimed this summer at Saratoga and sent from trainer Rob Atras to the barn of Danny Velázquez, finished second. Francatelli (7-2), a 4-year-old gelding, set the early pace and was a head behind in third. He was two lengths clear of fourth-place So Street (15-1), another 4-year-old gelding who has lost his last 14 starts.

The winning time on the firm turf was 58.55 seconds off early fractions of 23.03 and 46.44 seconds. There were seven starters left after four scratches from the primary field.

The Parx Dash was originally scheduled for last Tuesday but was postponed because of wet weather in Bensalem, Pa. The $200,000 Parx Dash (G3) serves as the prep for the $300,000 Turf Monster (G3), to be run on Saturday, Sept. 25 at Parx Racing.

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