News & Barn notes

Bradester Repeats in G2 Monmouth Cup; Black Type Takes the G3 Oceanport Stakes; Genre Edges Stable Mate In The G3 Molly Pitcher; ItsOnlyActingDad Wins G3 Winstar Matchmaker Stakes

July 31, 2016


Oceanport, N.J. — Bradester once again showed his affection for the Monmouth Park racing strip, cruising to the easiest of victories in his defense of the Grade 2 Monmouth Cup Stakes to remain undefeated in 2016; Black Type earned his first American black type; Genre notched a hard-fought win in the G3 Molly Pitcher Stakes; and, Itsonlyactingdad gave jockey Joe Bravo his third graded stakes win on the undercard.

Just like one year ago, Bradester was the star of the Grade 1, $1 million Haskell Day undercard, winning the $200,000 Monmouth Cup in gate-to-wire fashion for owner Joseph Sutton and trainer Eddie Kenneally. This year, the 3-5 favorite was ridden confidently by Joe Bravo, who had the 6-year-old complete son of Lion Heart geared down as they sailed over the sloppy track and through the stretch to cross under the wire in 1:42.21 for the 1 1/16 miles.

Although the margin of victory was 2 1/2 lengths in front of Scuba, with Mr. Jordan another 5 ½ lengths behind, Bradester could have won by daylight had he and his rider pleased. Bradester, who in his last two efforts took the Grade 1 Stephen Foster at Churchill Downs after winning the Majestic Light Stakes here under Bravo, was in command from the outset despite feeling some early pressure as he set fractions of :23.21, 46.83 for the first half-mile before shaking free in the final turn.

“We never breeze in the mud, but he does go out in the mornings on the mud. He did run in it once in a graded stakes and finished second as a 3-year-old and it was a big effort that day. He loves Monmouth. We know he loves a dry Monmouth, but we weren’t sure if he would love a wet Monmouth. Evidently he handled it quite well,” said Kenneally.

No matter the weather or whether the track is fast or off, Bradester is a horse for the course. In seven starts here, he has won four times and been second the other three.

“Honestly, coming down here I thought this was my best spot today. I had the most pressure on me because I thought I could not get beat. After seeing how the track is playing today and how Bradester performed, I think he’s twice as good as I thought he was before the race. He had a lot to overcome today between the surface and not being able to take a breather. They went at him hard and he had to prove he was the best horse today,” said Bravo.

Bradester, who was bred in Kentucky by Doug Branham and was the runner-up in the 2014 Monmouth Cup, is now a perfect 3-for-3 in 2016 and has won of 23 lifetime starts. The $120,000 winner’s share of the purse pushed his career earnings to $1,176,532. He returned $3.20, $2.60 and $2.20 and his trainer said that the Grade 1 Woodward Stakes is possible for his next start, with the Breeders’ Cup the year-end goal.

Adirondack King, Blofeld and Encryption completed the order of finish.

In the 71st running of the Grade 3, $150,000 Oceanport, The French-bred and favored Black Type earned his first American black type with a game, come-from-behind performance to give jockey Joe Bravo his second consecutive stakes victory and third win of the day.

The 5-year-old Black Type, who is trained by Christophe Clement, raced near the back of the eight-horse field as 19-1 longshot Nonna’s Boy set pedestrian fractions of 24.72 and 49.64 over the yielding turf. Coming four-wide off the far turn, Black Type steadily advanced and dug in courageously to run down Kharafa just before the wire and prevail by a neck in 1:45.64 for the 1 1/16th miles. War Dancer, who also came from far back, was just another neck back.

“We thought we had the best horse in the race and that turned out to be true.  The turf was in great shape even with all the rain and I was just happy to be aboard the best horse.  He really dug in the final eighth (of a mile) and was able to push by late,” said Joe Bravo.

Black Type, who handled the jump in class from a win in an $80,000 optional claiming race in New York last out for owner Jump Sucker Stable, earned $90,000 with the victory and improved his bankroll to $351,665. He paid $7.60, $4.20 and $3 and now has six wins in 19 starts.Captain Dixie, Almasty, Infinite Wisdom, Nonna’s Boy, and Winning Cause completed the order of finish.

In the Grade 3 $100,000 Molly Pitcher Stakes, the Todd Pletcher-trained tandem of Genre and Eskenformoney raced in tandem in the stretch while trading position before the latter grudgingly gave way and her stablemate notched the first stakes win of her career.

“She’s all heart. She was headed in the lane and fought back all the way to the wire.  We wanted to be sitting second early, but she looked to be real keen today.  I think she really liked the off going this afternoon,” said Anthony Sciametta, Pletcher’s Monmouth-based assistant.

Super Majesty, the odds-on favorite in the field of five 3-year-old fillies after the scratch of Royal Jewely, set the early fractions of 24.07 and 47.19 for the first half mile of the 1 1/16 miles race over the sealed and sloppy track. Genre, who stalked the leader with Eskenformoney right behind her, took over in the lane as they made it a two-horse race, but then her stablemate stuck her head in front.

While Super Majesty was fading, Genre reassumed the lead and dug in gamely to be first by a neck over Eskenformoney, while Birdatthewire was 3 ¼ lengths back.

“I had a little trouble out of the gate but I took her out and got settled. Coming around the turn I knew Bravo (jockey Joe, on Eskenformoney) would be coming. He started to pass me and I asked my filly and she gave me something. She’s a really nice filly,” said winning rider Paco Lopez.

Cheyenne Stables LLC’s Kentucky-bred Genre now has four wins in 10 starts and $228,300 in her bankroll. She paid $7.60, $3.80 and $2.40.

In the Grade 3, $100,000 WinStar Matchmaker Stakes, Joe Bravo won his third stakes race on the undercard with a confident, come-from-behind ride on a very game Itsonlyactingdad for trainer Todd Pletcher.

“After my day at Saratoga yesterday (winner of the Grade 1 Vanderbilt) being able to come down here with the mounts I had is just living a dream. It’s fun to deal with good horses and with these horses any jock in the jock’s room could have sat on any one of these horses and won the race. It’s just nice that it was me. What makes this filly special is that she did it with so much ease. Every time I pointed her at something she listened perfectly,” said Bravo.

The owners of the 4-year-old daughter of Giant’s Causeway, Starlight Racing, earned the $60,000 purse and the choice of a future match with WinStar stallion Fed Biz, Take Charge Indy or 2012 Haskell Invitational winner Paynter.

Itsonlyactingdad, now a first time stakes winner, came from off the pace and dug in down the lane to cover the 1 1/8 miles over yielding turf in 1:52.27. Tammy the Torpedo was1 ¼ lengths back and it was another 3 3/4 lengths to Uchenna.

Itsonlyactingdad, who gave Pletcher his second win in the four graded stakes on the undercard, is now a winner of four of her nine career efforts. She returned $7.40, $4.20 and $3.