Data Link captured the Grade 2
$200,000 Monmouth Stakes and Varsity
took the $60,000 John McSorley Stakes at Monmouth Park
on Sunday before a crowd of 16,236.
Trained by Shug McGaughey, Data
Link sat patiently behind the speed before making his move at the quarter-pole
and storming down the lane to prevail by a length. His final time of 1:45.93
for the mile and one eighth over a firm turf course established a new record
with the rail set at 0 feet eclipsing the old mark of 1:46.39 established by
J’Ray on August 3, 2008.
Sent off at 3-5 in the field of
seven and carrying co-highweight of 123 pounds, Data Link returned $3.20, $2.20
and $2.20 across the board and topped the $11.60 exacta. Get Stormy paid $3.20
to place and $3 to show. It was another
length-and-a-quarter back to Get Serious, who returned $6.40 to show.
“It was perfect,” said winning
jockey John Velazquez, who partnered with Data Link for the first time.“There
was a lot of speed in the race and he likes to come from behind. It just worked
out perfect for us. All the speed held up pretty well and when I pulled him
outside at the quarter-pole, he responded right away. It’s easy when you ride
this kind of horse.”
A 4-year-old colt by War Front from
the Known Fact mare Database, Data Link improved his lifetime mark to 6-0-1
from 12 outings. The multiple graded stakes winner has now earned $451,335 for
owner and breeder Stuart Janney III.
“He’s a pretty good horse,” said
trainer Shug McGaughey. “We got a little bit of a pace and Johnny was patient
with him and got him to relax. When he wheeled him out, it was here we come.”
Get Stormy led into mid-stretch but
could not repel the charge of Data Link.
“I had to move about the
five-eighths pole, which was sooner than I wanted to go,” said Eddie Castro,
who rode the horse for trainer Tom Bush. “He did everything right today, the
other horse just caught us.”
In the John McSorley Stakes,
Varsity broke alertly and set all of the fractions to post a half-length
victory over Triple E, who rallied late but failed to catch the winner.
Conditioned by Christophe Clemet,
Varsity covered 5 ½ furlongs on firm turf in 1:00 4/5, just one tick off the
course record, and paid $4.20, $3 and $2.80 as the even-money favorite in the
field of six. Triple E completed the $43.60 exacta and returned $8.40 and $4.
Tune Me In was another length-and-a-quarter back in third, good for a $3.20
“This horse is not a typical
Christophe Clement horse. This horse is fast, fast, fast,” said winning jockey
Joe Bravo. “All I had to do was hold on
for the ride and then smile.”
The McSorley victory was the fourth
in eight tries and the first stakes win for Varsity, a five-year-old son of
Indian Charlie out of the Mt.
Livermore mare Tears of
Joy. The winner’s share of the purse boosted
the gelding’s lifetime earnings to $130,675 for owners and breeder Diana and
continues at Monmouth on Friday, June 15, with a 10-race card – gates open
11:30 a.m., first post 12:45 p.m.