Sent off as the 6-5 favorite in a $44,000 maiden special weight event on the turf at Hollywood Park Nov. 21, The Green Monkey finished a well-beaten fourth after briefly taking the lead on the final turn in the 1 1/16-mile contest.
A 3-year-old son of Forestry , the blaze-faced colt sold for a world-record $16-million in 2006 when purchased as a 2-year-old in training at Fasig-Tipton, but has yet to win a race in three attempts for trainer Todd Pletcher.
Though composed in the paddock, The Green Monkey was somewhat balky for handlers while loading into the gate. He broke well, but appeared overeager as jockey Garrett Gomez had to take him back while racing three wide off the turn.
Settling into a good stalking position as 105-1 shot Brother Albert opened a 10-length lead on the field, The Green Monkey moved up to second on the backstretch and went through on the rail to claim the lead rounding the final turn. He was quickly passed on the outside by Columbine Stables' Rather Be Lucky and Go All In as that pair finished one-two, with Relentless Pursuit coming in third. The final time was 1:41.65 on the firm turf.
“When we went into the first turn, he’d been used to sprinting and when I asked him to come back to me he got a little aggressive,” Gomez said. “Once we headed up the backside he went along pretty good; he traveled well all the way through there and went through on the inside (to take the lead), but instead of really doing any running, he just kind of put his ears forward and relaxed a little.
"They ran by him so fast, he never really gave up, but he didn’t punch for home. I’d never been on him so I don’t know if it was the grass or two turns or what, but I know I just didn’t have what I needed today.”
The colt's owners -- Susan Magnier, Michael Tabor, and Derrick Smith -- sent him to Pletcher’s stable in April 2006. He shipped into Saratoga last July, but a pulled gluteal muscle that might have been incurred during a five-furlong breeze in early August of 2006 that sent him to the sidelines. He was shipped to Ashford Stud, Coolmore’s Kentucky-based farm, to recover and returned to training this March.
Bred by Padua Stables out of the Unbridled mare Magical Masquerade, The Green Monkey has finished fourth on two occasions and was third in his debut Sept. 15. Having raced at six and seven furlongs on dirt and adding the 1 1/16-mile turf route to his resume, he has accumulated career earnings of $7,800 for his owners.