Live Oak Plantation’s Successful Mission took command out of the gate and never looked back, besting his eight rivals to capture the $75,000 Elkwood Stakes at Monmouth Park on Saturday.
Trained by Edward Plesa Jr., Successful Mission covered the mile over a fast main track in 1:35 and paid $11, $5.80 and $4.20. It was 7 ¼ lengths back to Hockley who completed the $71.20 exacta and paid $7.40 and $4.20. Not Abroad rallied to finish another 7 ½ lengths back in third, good for a $6 show mutuel. Post-time favorite Get Serious failed to fire in the Elkwood, a race originally scheduled for the turf, and finished last.
“He was very comfortable,” said winning jockey Chuck C. Lopez. “I worked him the other day and he handled the dirt great for a turf horse. I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to beat Get Serious to the lead but I worked on my horse and was able to get the jump. I looked back at the eighth pole and couldn’t believe how far in front I was.”
A 5-year-old gelding by Successful Appeal from the Cryptoclearance mare Ava Knowsthecode, Successful Mission sports a record of 8-0-2 from 17 starts. He has earned $332,643 for his connections.
Live racing continues at Monmouth Park on Sunday, May 22. Gates open at 11:30 a.m. with first post set for 12:50 p.m.