Brushed By A Star Upsets Molly Pitcher; Laughing Wins Matchmaker On Haskell Day Undercard at Monmouth

Sunday, July 29, 2012

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OCEANPORT, N.J. – Team Forster’s Brushed By a Star used her sharp turn of foot to become a graded stakes winner at Monmouth Park Sunday, leading all the way to upset the $200,000 Molly Pitcher Stakes (G2) by a length and a half to highlight the Haskell Day undercard stakes. 

            In the day’s other graded events, Laughing made most of the pace to take the 46th running of the Taylor Made Matchmaker Stakes (G3) on turf, and Tune Me In was a 25-1 winner of the 66th edition of the Oceanport Stakes (G3). 

            Brushed by a Star, sent off at 9-1 in the field of eight fillies and mares, vied for the lead from the start under Corey Nakatani, gained the upper hand around the clubhouse turn and then stoutly held off all challengers around the turn. 

            The 4-year-old daughter of Eddington drifted out a bit through the stretch, but was never in danger of surrendering her lead and crossed the wire a length and a half in front of Successful Song and R. Gypsy Gold, who were a nose apart at the end. 

            Brushed by a Star, trained by Grant Forster, raced the nine furlongs on a fast track in 1:44 flat, and paid $21.20, $9 and $5.40 across the board. Successful Song, rallied to just grab second, paying $15.20 to place and $6.20 to show and completed a $392.60 exacta. R. Gypsy Gold, the 2-1 favorite, was third, returning $3.40 to show. 

            This was the third straight victory for Brushed by a Star, who was winless in three Monmouth appearances last year. 

            “We gave her the winter off, and she’s had a great 4-year-old season,” Forster said. “She’s a big, strong filly and she’s come back even better this year.” 

            “The first time I rode this filly at Churchill Downs, she ran huge,” Nakatani said of a June 10 allowance win. “I got to ride her again in Iowa (an 11-lerngth score in the Iowa Distaff at Prairie Meadows) and I told Grant, ‘wherever you send her next, give me a ring and I’ll be there for you.’” 

            In the $150,000 Taylor Made Matchmaker Stakes (G3), Richard Santulli’s Laughing, the 6-5 favorite in the field of six fillies and mares, went to the lead on the clubhouse turn and never looked back en route to a one-length victory. 

            The 4-year-old Irish-bred filly, trained by Alan Goldberg and ridden by Rafael Bejarano, raced the mile and an eighth over the firm turf in 1:48 4/5 and paid $4.40, $2.80 and $2.60 across the board. 

            Shimmering Moment rallied up the rail to take second, paying $6.60 and $4.20, and completed the $33.20 exacta. Island School was three and a half lengths farther back in third and paid $4.20 to show. 

            Laughing, a daughter of Dansil, was scoring her first stakes victory in the U.S. since coming over from Europe earlier this year. 

            Silver Screamer broke fast and led the field down the chute and into the clubhouse turn, where Laughing took over the lead. The winner clipped off even fractions the rest of the way and was never threatened. 

            “They were rocking in the first part,” Bejarano said, “and I was a little worried, but I put her on the lead and that’s where she was very comfortable.” 

            In the $150,000 Oceanport Stakes on turf, Patricia Generazio’s Tune Me In battled for the lead every step of the way through easy fractions and held on gamely to the wire to score a half-length upset victory over 6-5 favorite Queen’splatekitten. 

            The winner, trained by Bruce Alexander and ridden by Paco Lopez, stepped the mile and a sixteenth in a pedestrian 1:43 1/5 after the slow splits and paid $53.60, $13.20 and $4.60 across the board. 

            Queen’splatekitten rallied along the rail to be second by a neck over Get Serious, who had alternated with the winner setting the pace. Queen’splatekitten paid $3.20 and $2.40 and completed the $161 exacta. Get Serious, off at 2-1, paid $2.80 to show. 

            “I knew no one wanted to go with Get Serious, so we did,” Alexander said. “The whole race was won when they went (fractions of) :25 and :50. He’s a good horse, and he showed it today.” 

            In the $100,000 Majestic Light Stakes, Our Sugar Bear Stable’s Gourmet Dinner gained the lead a furlong out, and then outgamed a stubborn Ponzi Scheme in deep stretch for a neck victory. 

            The winner, trained by Bruce Brown and ridden by Javier Castellano, raced the mile and a sixteenth over a fast main track in 1:44 1/5 and paid $16.20, $6.20 and $4.60 across the board.  

Ponzi Scheme, the 7-2 second favorite in the field of seven older horses, paid $4.60 and $3.40 and completed the $77 exacta. Small Town Talk finished third, nearly two lengths behind the winner, and returned $5.20 to show. Brujo de Olleros, the 3-2 favorite making his first start since a winning race in Uruguay last January, was fourth.  

Gourmet Dinner, a 4-year-old son of Trippi, was returning to the main track after three straight turf starts, including a third in the Elkwood here in May. It was his first win since he took the Delta Jackpot (G3) in 2010. 

Gourmet Dinner tracked the speed until the field turned for home, then made a swooping move to the lead, getting a half-length jump on Ponzi Scheme, who had been up on the pace the whole trip. The two horses dueled to the wire, with Gourmet Dinner holding the edge at the finish. 

In the $100,000 Teddy Drone Stakes, Mat Stable LLC’s Royal Currier raced to the lead entering the stretch and then held off the late charge of Soaring Stocks to score by a nose in 1:09 3/5 for the six furlongs. 

The winner, trained by Patricia Farro and ridden by Joe Bravo for his second win of the day, paid $6.80, $3.60 and $2.60 across the board as second choice in the field of  nine. 

Soaring Stocks, part of an entry with Travelin Man that went off the 2-1 favorite, returned $3.40 to place and $2.20 to show and completed the $20.60 exacta. Raging Six ran into third, a half-length behind the top pair, and paid $3.20 to show. 

This was the second straight stakes victory at Monmouth for Royal Currier, a 4-year-old son of Red Bullet who captured the Mr. Prospector Stakes here on July 8.