News & Barn notes

Awesome Thought Holds Off Stable Mate Oneballnostrikes By A Nose To Win Friday’s Featured Race

August 17, 2018


Awesome Thought got the jump on stable mate Oneballnostrikes entering the final turn and then came out a nose better after a stretch-long duel to win the featured $40,000 allowance optional claimer at Monmouth Park on Thursday, giving trainer Jorge Navarro a 1-2 finish one day after he broke the track record for single-season victories. 

Awesome Thought, given his cue by jockey Jose Ferrer entering the final turn, easily overcame early frontrunners Rhythm Park and Clowney. Oneballnostrikes and jockey Trevor McCarthy, the 7-5 favorites, followed and the two Navarro horses battled through most of the stretch. Awesome Thought’s margin of victory was actually shorter than the official margin of a nose. 

“I knew it was close,” said Ferrer. “I asked Trevor what he thought as we were galloping out. We were both riding hard. It was almost impossible to tell. It was just the bob of a nose that was the difference.” 

Awesome Thought, let go at odds of 3-1, covered the mile and a sixteenth over a fast track in 1:41.59. It was another 4½ lengths back in third to Purchasing Power.  

The all-Navarro exacta paid $23.80. 

“Right after the race, before we knew the result, I told my friend `right now, with the way things are going, why not a dead heat?’ ” said Navarro. “I’ve never had one with two of my horses.” 

The victory was Navarro’s 68th of the meeting with 12 racing days remaining. 

He broke his own single-season mark of 65 winners on Thursday when he saddled three winners. 

For Ferrer, it marked the second straight day that Monmouth Park’s leading jockey won three races. He tops the rider standings with 72 winners, 15 more than second place Paco Lopez. 

Racing continues at Monmouth Park on Saturday with a 12-race card highlighted by the Grade 3 Monmouth Oaks. First race post is 12:50 p.m.