'Jersey Joe' Bravo Rides Speaking Of Which To Monmouth Stakes Win; Strong Impact From Last To First In McSorley

Sunday, June 8, 2014

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Jockey “Jersey Joe” Bravo angled Speaking of Which out for the drive at the top of the straight before drawing clear in the lane to capture the Grade 2, $200,000 Monmouth Stakes by a length and a half as Strong Impact went from last to first to take the $60,000 John McSorley Stakes at Monmouth Park before a Sunday crowd of 14,341.

            Owned by Moyglare Stud Farm, Speaking of Which covered the mile and an eighth over firm turf in 1:46 1/5 and paid $9.60, $5.40 and $4.  Hangover Kid rallied along the inside to complete the $130.40 exacta and returned $14.60 and $8.20.  It was another half-length back to Winning Cause, who paid $7.20 to show.  Lochte, the 2-1 favorite in the field of 14 never factored and finished 13th.

            “I went over the race this morning with Christophe (trainer Clement),” said Bravo.  “We wanted to sit close, but just off the pace.  It worked out perfectly and we were able to sit the pocket right in behind.  In this big field, it was all about getting the trip.  Turning for home, we were able to split horses and he sure came running.”

            A 5-year-old trained by Christophe Clement, Speaking of Which is an Irish-bred son of Invincible Spirit.  Sunday’s win was his fifth in 14 starts and boosted his earnings to $327,918.

            Earlier in the day the David Jacobson trained Strong Impact went from last to first to capture the McSorley Stakes by nearly a length, going the 5 ½ furlongs over firm turf in 1:01 3/5.

            “I tried to get him interested early in the race, but he didn’t want to go,” said winning jockey Paco Lopez.  “After that I just let him relax where he wanted to be and came with our run.  I was really impressed with him.”

            Strong Impact paid $5.40, $3.20 and $2.80 and topped a $22.80 exacta.  Jewel of a Cat, a filly taking on the boys, was second, paying $4.80 and $4.  It was another neck back to A P Elvis, who returned $5.60 to show.

            Owned by the trainer, who claimed him for $80,000 out of his last race, Strong Impact is an 8-year-old gelding by A P Jet from the Royal Academy mare Sherry Spinner.  He sports a lifetime record of 10-7-7 from 40 starts.

            Live racing continues at Monmouth Park on Friday, June 13 – gates open 11:30 a.m., first post 12:50 p.m.  The Friday card will feature a Jersey Shore Six carryover of $22,317 and a pair of steeplechase events set to go as the first and third on the 10-race card.