Home Brew Proves Too Strong in Pegasus

A year after winning TVG.com Pegasus Stakes with Juddmonte’s Mandaloun , trainer Brad Cox was again victorious June 18 with Gary and Mary West’s Home Brew —though this time without Florent Geroux, one of his go-to riders.

With Geroux hung up by travel issues trying to make it to New Jersey from his Kentucky base, the jockey missed an opportunity to ride at Monmouth Park Saturday, but Paco Lopez proved a capable replacement on a much-the-best Home Brew.

Stalking the early pace in third, the Street Sense colt pounced on the second turn under Lopez, drawing away for a 6 1/4-length victory over favored Electability to finish 1 1/16 miles on a fast track in 1:43.20. Pacesetting Cyberviking was third.

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“I heard (Geroux) had some travel issues and couldn’t get here so I found out about two or three hours before the race that I would be riding this horse,” said Lopez. “It’s always nice to pick up a mount like this for a trainer like Brad Cox.

“The trip was perfect. They said he would rate, that he did not have to be on the lead, and he was so comfortable watching those two in front of us duel. When I asked him he just went. This is a very nice horse.”

Dash Attack , one of the morning-line favorites, was scratched, as was Noneedtoworry . Those scratches reduced the field to seven 3-year-olds.

The Pegasus, the final local prep for the $1 million TVG.com Haskell Invitational Stakes (G1) July 23 at Monmouth, was the second stakes victory for Home Brew ($5), who won the Oaklawn Stakes April 23 in Arkansas. He had not raced since.

“We weren’t all that concerned with the layoff,” said Blake Cox, son and assistant to trainer Brad Cox. “We just didn’t know where to go with him. He was still in a steady work pattern and doing well and we just didn’t have a spot for him and this race fell into play.”

Last year Mandaloun later won the Haskell upon the disqualification of Hot Rod Charlie for interference.

In addition to Home Brew, grade 1 winner Cyberknife is another Cox-trained candidate for the Haskell, a race that could also draw the unbeaten Jack Christopher for trainer Chad Brown.

“We have to see where we are. We’ve had good luck in the Haskell so we’ll see,” Black Cox said.

Home Brew improved to 4-1-0 in six starts and elevated his earnings to $293,625 for the Wests, who bred him in Kentucky out of the winning Tapit mare Omnitap . Of her five winning foals, Air Strike is also a black-type winner, having taken the 2019 Triple Bend Stakes (G2). The dam’s youngest foal is a 2-year-old full brother to Home Brew.

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