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Barn Notes

Servis Pair Go For First Stakes Win In Cliff Hanger

Posted Friday, Aug 19, 2016

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Conditioner Jason Servis looks to continue his solid season at Monmouth Park when he sends Hothersal and Riviere du Loup to the starting gate for their first stakes win in the Grade 3, $100,000 Cliff Hanger Stakes going a mile and an eighth on the turf.

            Hothersal, owned by Mr Amore Stables, makes his first start since running in the Grade 3 Jaipur on the Belmont Stakes undercard. Prior to that, he just missed grabbing the Grade 3 Miami Mile at Gulfstream Park on April 30 where he finished well to grab third by just a neck at the wire.

            The 8-year-old horse by Smart Strike out of the Theatrical mare Steel Shed has a win in an allowance optional claiming event and a second in the Grade 3 Oceanport Stakes, both last year, in his two career starts over the Monmouth Park turf course.

            Hothersal has worked just once since his latest run in the Jaipur. That work came on July 20 when he went four furlongs in :50 4/5.

            The second half of the Servis duo in the Cliff Hanger is Riviere du Loup, who exits a sixth place finish behind World Approval in the Grade 1 United Nations Stakes. Prior to his first start in graded stakes action, he stormed home a 2 ¼ length winner in allowance optional claiming company in his first start over the Monmouth turf course.

            Owned by Estate of Michael Gabriel, Riviere du Loup’s only other stakes action came back on Feb. 15 in the Old Man Eloquent Stakes at Gulfstream Park when he finished third by a length and a quarter after going five wide around the far turn.

            The 6-year-old horse by Ghostzapper out of the Caerleon mare Volga, winner of the 2003 Matchmaker Stakes at Monmouth, worked last on July 28, his only since the United Nations, when he went three furlongs in :37 3/5.

            “They’ve both been doing good,” said Servis. “We are going to sit back early with them and look to make one good run.”

            To grab the Cliff Hanger title, the Servis pair has to beat last year’s Grade 3 Kent winner, Syntax, and Heiko, who rides a three-race win streak into Sunday.

            The Cliff Hanger is set as race 8 in Sunday’s 9-race card. Gates open at 11:30 a.m., with first post scheduled for 12:50 p.m.

 


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