Trainer Jimmy Toner notched his second graded stakes win of the day when AJ Suited Stable's Two Months Rent upset Saturday's Grade 3, $200,000 Hawthorne Derby. Contested in a driving Chicago area rainstorm on soft turf, Two Months Rent saved ground to the stretch, split rivals to reach contention and wore down 10-1 chance Film Shot to record his initial stakes victory by a head. At 20-1, Two Months Rent returned $43.20, $16.20 and $7.
Ridden by Jesus Castanon, Two Months Rent completed nine furlongs in 1:52 2/5 after Finale set early splits of :23 4/5, :48 3/5 and 1:13 3/5. Two Months Rent was preceded in the graded stakes winner's circle Saturday by barn mate La Cloche, who took the Grade 3 Athenia for fillies and mares at Belmont Park.
Film Shot, who also raced close to the inside on the soggy turf, was 3 3/4 lengths clear of 3-1 favorite Lea, who had to rally from near the back of the pack to land show honors by 1 1/4 lengths. Control Tower was up for fourth in a four-way photo and was followed by North of Never, Finale, Francois, Aldous Snow, Quick Wit, All Stormy Pleasant Closing and All Squared Away. Defiant Flyer and The Pizza Man failed to draw in off the also-eligible list.
Two Months Rent had limited effectiveness against stakes company prior to the Hawthorne Derby. Ninth in the Grade 2 With Anticipation in his third career start, he was fifth in the James W. Murphy at Pimlico on Preakness Day this past May, and then was pulled up after his saddle slipped in the Grade 2 Virginia Derby. He preceded this score with a pair of thirds in the Capital City at Penn National and the Grade 3 Kent at Delaware Park. His record now stands at 14-3-1-4, and he more than doubled his career earnings to $233,550.
A son of Purim, Two Months Rent was bred in Kentucky by McCann & Associates and David Hager II. He was reared by the Sharpen Up mare Sharp Tradition, making him a three-quarter brother to the stakes-winning producers Transition Time and Dynasharp. Transition Time in turn produced multiple French stakes winner Ticoz, while Dynasharp raised stakes heroine Ballynoe.
Two Months Rent's second dam was Nice Tradition, a Group 1 winner in Argentina. This is the family of prominent Argentinean performers New Dandy, Nice Bijou and Bigness Emperor.