(from Monmouth Park report)
Hermosillo lit up the tote board on New Jersey Thoroughbred Festival Day at Monmouth Park Aug. 23, winning the $100,000 Charles Hesse III Handicap (VIDEO) and paying $72.40 to give Eddie Broome his fourth winner of the day as a breeder.
In other stakes action, Lucky James won the $75,000 New Jersey Breeders’ Handicap and Way With Words captured the $75,000 Eleven North Handicap. A crowd of 13,178 came out for the day restricted to runners bred in the Garden State.
Broome, a regular on the Monmouth Park backstretch, started his four breeding wins with Mi Cugat ($17.20) in the sixth. That was followed by Our Girl Friday ($14.60) in the seventh and then Lucky James ($9.60) and Hermosillo. Broome owns and trainers Mi Cugat, Our Girl Friday and Lucky James.
Owned by Kenwood Racing, Hermosillo took control from the start and never looked back in covering the 1 1/16-mile distance over a fast main track in 1:44.41. Hermosillo paid $72.40, $29.80 and $14.60 across the board and topped a $489.20 exacta. Luna Park, who finished six lengths behind the winner, paid $6.60 to place and $3.60 to show. Cuba was another head back in third, good for a $4.40 show mutuel.
“I wanted to get this horse to the early lead because he likes to be on the frontend,” said winning jockey Pedro Cotto Jr. “If I had to go fast to get there, I was going to go fast. It just worked out that I didn’t have to use too much energy to get to the front and he was able to relax most of the way. Once I asked him, he just kicked into another gear and ran off.”
Trained by Stephen L. DiMauro, Hermosillo earned $60,000 for his efforts. The 5-year-old gelding by Sea of Secrets from the Black Tie Affair mare Exquisite Affair has now won five of his 34 starts and earned $277,501.
In the New Jersey Breeders’ Handicap, Lucky James, ridden by Pablo Fragoso, swept past pacesetter Unwritten around the turn before powering home to a 1 1/4-length win, covering the six furlongs over a fast track in 1:09 3/5. Lucky James returned $9.60, $5.40 and $3.80 and topped a $96.60 exacta. Hop Skip and Away paid $12.20 to place and $5.80 to show. It was 1 3/4 lengths back to Who’s the Cowboy, who paid $3.60 to show. Post-time favorite Unwritten faded to fourth.
The New Jersey Breeders’ win was the sixth trip to the winner’s circle in 13 starts for Lucky James, a 4-year-old gelding by Sultry Song from the North Prospect mare Zul. He has now earned $240,894 for his connections.
In the Eleven North Handicap, George L. Schwartz’s Way With Words sat behind the pacesetters early before blowing by the leaders and opening up to a four-length score with Eddie Castro aboard.
The 5-year-old mare by Sefapiano--Swiftly Tilting, by Belong to Me, stepped the six furlongs over a main track rated “good” in 1:09.53 and returned $6.40, $4.60 and $4. Love For Not completed the $66.60 exacta and paid $10.20 and $6.40. It was another 2 1/4 lengths back to Arctic Rain, who returned $4.40 to show. Little Stitch, the post-time favorite, was never a factor and finished fifth.
Trained by Mary Eppler, Way With Words increased her lifetime mark to seven wins from 17 starts for earnings of $308,590.