Presious Passion by a Nose in Monmouth Stakes

from Monmouth Park

Patricia Generazio’s Presious Passion ran one of the gamest races of his career June 13 at Monmouth Park, as he fought back to regain the lead in mid-stretch, and then held off a determined Banrock at the finish for a nose victory in the $200,000 Monmouth Stakes (VIDEO).

The 6-year-old son of Royal Anthem, trained by Mary Hartmann, gave jockey Elvis Trujillo his fourth win of the day and a sweep of the stakes events. Trujillo rode Chirac to victory in the $70,000 Skip Away Stakes in the previous race.

Presious Passion, who was prepping to seek a repeat in the $750,000 United Nations (gr. IT) July 4, displayed great heart in the second running of the Monmouth Stakes. He opened a long lead out of the gate, gave way to Proudinsky  , the 9-5 favorite, around the turn, and then fought back along the rail to regain command inside the eighth-pole. In the final yards, he was all out to hold off the fast-closing Banrock.

Presious Passion stopped the timer in 1:47 1/5 for 1 1/8 miles on a “good” turf course, and paid a surprising $14.80, $6.80, and $3.40 across the board. Banrock, sent off second choice, paid $4.80 and $3.20 and completed the $75 exacta. Proudinsky finished a length farther back in third and paid $2.60 to show.

“I thought he was beat when he got passed,” Hartmann said. “He really stepped up to the plate today. He’s such a nice horse. The mile and an eighth is a little short for him, but coming in this fresh I thought he would run well, and he did.”

“This is just a really nice gelding,” Trujillo said. “There is no trickery with him. He likes to race on the front end and always runs tough, so we just let him get to the front and roll. He really loves to win and always does as much as he can to get to the wire first, as he showed today.”

Kent Desormeaux, the rider of Banrock who won the first running of the Monmouth Stakes last year aboard Big Brown, said: “I really thought I won the race. It seemed like we got up right at the wire. I’m flabbergasted that Presious Passion really came back on the inside like that. I still can’t believe I didn’t get up.”

The winner’s share of $120,000 boosted Presious Passion’s lifetime bankroll to $1,392,018.

In the Skip Away, Pia M. Kirkham’s Chirac took the lead at the start and never looked back, scoring by a length and a quarter for the first stakes victory of his career.

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