Though dismissed by the bettors, 21-1 longshot Pavillon proved best on the track Monday in winning the $150,000 Red Bank Handicap (gr. IIIT) by a neck before a crowd of 17,741 at Monmouth Park.
Lightning Paces was allowed to set comfortable fractions before Gone Fishin moved up to challenge. Gone Fishin then led in the stretch before being passed by four horses near the wire. Bill Mott-trained Western Summer finished second, 3/4-lengths ahead of a blanket finish for third. Runspatum won the photo for the show spot, finishing a nose ahead of Tubrok. Gone Fishin was another nose back, followed by Lightning Paces, Inkatha, Tappat, 2-1 favorite Inexplicable, and Asidero.
"This is a real classy horse," said winning jockey Joe Bravo. "I credit Marty (Wolfson, Pavillon's trainer) for this. He was confident with this horse. I was told to sit off the pace and not make the lead too early. At the top of the stretch he had plenty left in the tank. I felt like a 1-5 turning for home rather than the 20-1 we were."
Rio Aventura Stables' Pavillon completed the mile in 1:36.38 on soft turf. He returned $43.80, $19.80, and $8.60.
Pavillon (Booming - Licena, by Derek) was bred by Haras Dar-El-Salam in Brazil, where he won two group I races and finished third in the Grande Premio Derby Paulist--Brazilian Derby (Brz-I). The Red Bank marks the first North American stakes win for Pavillon, who previously finished second in a restricted stakes at Del Mar in 1999. He earned $90,000 for the win, his seventh in 28 career starts.
Western Summer completed the $227 exacta and paid $7 and $5.20. Runspastum, who was blocked briefly in the stretch, was worth $3.80 to show. (Chart, Equibase