OCEANPORT, N.J. – Frank C. Calabrese’s Where’s Sterling
collared Southern Ridge in the stretch before pushing past to win the $250,000
Philip H. Iselin Stakes by a length as Finale demolished his competition
winning the $65,000 Continental Mile Stakes by 10 ½ lengths at Monmouth Park on
Where’s Sterling stepped the mile
and an eighth over the fast main track in 1:48 2/5 and paid $8.20, $4.80 and $4
as the second choice in the field of eight colts and geldings. Southern Ridge, who rounded out the $76.80
exacta, paid $9.20 to place and $6.80 to show.
It was another 6 ¼ lengths back to pacesetter Ponzi Scheme, who returned
$3.60 to show.
expecting the early pace to be a little faster,” said winning trainer Nick
Canani, “but Paco (jockey Lopez) rode the horse perfectly. He always seemed like a horse that wants to
go a mile and eighth, or maybe even longer.”
tried to keep him relaxed early on,” Lopez said. “At the 3/8ths pole I had him in the middle
and he was able to get past that horse (runner-up Southern Ridge) late.”
The Grade 3
Iselin victory marked the third in eight starts for Where’s Sterling,
a 4-year-old colt by Northern Afleet from the
Benny the Dip mare Twinkler. He has now
earned $224,110 for his connections.
Continental Mile, the Todd Pletcher trained Finale broke last, moved to the
lead down the backstretch and never looked back, stopping the timer in 1:35 1/5
over the firm turf. Finale returned
$2.40, $2.20 and $2.10 as the 1-5 favorite in the field of six 2-year-old
colts. Channel Quest rallied to complete
the $27.80 exacta and paid $8.60 and $5.40.
It was another 3 ¼ lengths back to No Play, who paid $4.20 to show.
kind of horse that makes you say ‘wow,’” said winning jockey Joe Bravo. “He gives off such confidence, and he backs
it up with the way he runs. He ran away
so easily today, he was so impressive.
He has a bright future.”
career outings, Finale sports two wins, both on turf. The son of Scat Daddy from the Lively One
mare Twinkle races for the partnership of Tabor, Magnier and Smith.