Team Takes Friday Feature at Monmouth

Friday, June 1, 2012

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Oceanport, N.J. – Schaffel, Collins and Schwartz’ Team staged a powerful rally and dug in through the lane to catch favored Naskarra just before the wire and win the featured $44,000 allowance/optional claiming race by a nose at Monmouth Park on Friday afternoon. 

Ridden by Joe Bravo and trained by Christophe Clement, Team overcame a slow pace up front and covered the mile-and-a-sixteenth over firm turf in 1:43 and returned $6.20, $3 and $4 as the 2-1 second choice in the field of six fillies and mares. Odds-on favorite Naskarra completed the $14.80 exacta and paid $2.60 and $2.10. It was another three-quarters of a length back to Island Time, who paid $2.80 to show. 

“When you’ve got the best horse, they’re easy to ride,” said Bravo. “European horses are trained to sit in the pocket and relax, and when they see daylight they explode. That’s why me and Christophe have such a good rapport. I know he trains his horses this way and that’s what won us the race today. She was in the pocket, quiet and relaxed and with no place to go. When it was time to run, I asked her and she responded.” 

The win was the second straight and third in five starts for the four-year-old daughter of Empire Maker from the Jeunne Homme mare Quick Dream. 

“She showed a lot of heart. At the eighth pole, I didn’t think she would get there with no pace to run at,” said Christophe Lorieul, Clement’s assistant. “She ran great today.” 

Five-time NBA All-Star and former Philadelphia Sixers head coach Billy Cunningham and Bill Raftery, a leading college basketball analyst for CBS-TV, were in the winner’s circle celebration as friends of Team’s owners. 

Live racing continues at Monmouth on Saturday, June 2 - gates open at 11:30 a.m. with post time at 12:45 p.m.