Sur La Tete took the $75,000 Metcalf Memorial Steeplechase (NSA-II) as hurdle racing returned to Monmouth Park for the first time since 1992 on Sunday.
Carrying 152 pounds, Sure La Tete, trained by Neil Morris and ridden by Christopher Read, scored by 11 1/2 lengths in the 2 1/2-mile contest over National fences.
The 6-year-old son of Sky Classic
returned $6, $2.80 and $2.40.
Favored Tres Touche was second to complete the $14.20 exacta. The first two finishers are headed for the Breeders' Cup Steeplechase (NSA-I) at Far Hills, N.J., on Oct. 23.
Tres Touche was 1 ½ lengths in front of Santenay. Popular Gigalo, Pelagos, Foretold and Imperail Gold followed.
In his second season of jumping for owner Kinross Farm, Sur La Tete has bloomed. Sur La Tete took two-thirds of the Steeplechase Triple Crown this spring (and was third in the other stage) and leads all 2004 jumpers with $179,560 in earnings. The Metcalf was his first start in open company
In his last start, Sur La Tete won the June 3 Meadow Brook (NSA-I) at Belmont Park by 3 1/2 lengths.