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Barn Notes

Lochte Looks To Add Sunday's Cliff Hanger To Graded Stakes Resume

Posted Saturday, Aug 22, 2015

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Lochte makes his fourth start of the meet over the Monmouth Park turf and third in graded stakes company as he takes on five others in Sunday’s Grade 3 $100,000 Cliff Hanger Stakes going a mile and an eighth.

            “He’s been doing really well since last time out,” said Marcus Vitali, who trains the horse for Crossed Sabres Farm. “He’s back from Saratoga now and has been training great over the dirt. He is familiar with the course and the distance should be no problem for him.”

            Lochte is coming out of the Grade 3 Oceanport Stakes on the Haskell undercard where he was forced to go four-wide into the first turn and had to settle for fourth behind wire-to-wire winner Heart to Heart.

            Lochte has worked once since his run in the Oceanport on Aug.2. He went three furlongs in :37 at Saratoga on Aug. 14, which was eighth fastest of the 21 runners who worked three furlongs on that day.

            The 5-year-old gelding by Medaglia d’Oro out of the Lemon Drop Kid mare Lemon Kiss had his greatest career success back in February 2014 when he won the Grade 1 Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap. He also won the Grade 3 Tampa Bay Stakes earlier this year.   

            “We are going to want to lay close to the lead,” said Vitali. “Matt Rispoli will ride him again. He was on the horse when he first started.”

            To get to the winner circle in the Cliff Hanger, Lochte is going to have to get past Christophe Clement’s Middleburg, who finished second in the Grade 2 Monmouth Stakes and Grade 3 Arlington Handicap, each by less than a length, and Graham Motion’s Glenard, who most recently won the Warrior Veterans Stakes at Indiana Grand on July 18.

            The Cliff Hanger will be race 11 on Sunday’s 12-race card. Gates open at 11:30 a.m., with first post at 12:50 p.m.


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