After outfighting multiple grade I victor Presious Passion for the lead in the opening half-mile, the 6-year-old New York-bred son of City Zip took command in the stretch. He held off the closing Roman Tiger to win the 1 1/8-mile test over firm going in 1:47.11 by 1 1/4 lengths.
Regular rider Pablo Fragoso guided Get Serious to his fifth win in the past six starts, all at Monmouth Park.
Trained by John Forbes, Get Serious won the one-mile Red Bank Stakes (gr. IIIT) over the Monmouth course last September. Get Serious also won the Elkwood and Battlefield stakes over the Monmouth grass last year as well as the off-the-turf Oceanport.
In his only prior start in 2010, the chestnut gelding scored a neck victory in a one-mile optional claiming allowance at Monmouth.
Breaking from the rail, Get Serious sped to the front with 3-1 choice Presious Passion, in his first start since competing in the Dubai Sheema Classic (UAE-I) at Meydan Racecourse March 27. They quickly separated from the rest of the field. Presious Passion was in front by a head after getting the opening quarter mile in :24.32, but Get Serious, along the inside, would take a one-length lead after a half in :47.67.
Presious Passion lost more ground after that as Get Serious completed six furlongs in 1:11.44. Responding to urging from Fragoso in upper stretch, Get Serious pulled away from the field and held on well under encouragement when Roman Tiger threatened near mid-stretch.
"I always had a lot of horse and was confident the whole time,” Fragoso said.
Forbes said he picked the perfect time to test Presious Passion in the 7-year-old's first try following a last-place finish in the Sheema Classic.
"We thought if Presious Passion and Get Serious went out everyone would look at them a little too long and they wouldn’t be chasing too much," he said. "We thought the two would be out in front and our fear was they would burn each other out. If Presious Passion sent we were going to back off."
Forbes said he plans to keep Get Serious in New Jersey for the summer and might consider the Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) at Churchill Downs if all goes well.
Roman Tiger, the longest shot in the field of nine at 24-1 odds, advanced along the inside for Joe Bravo and burst from the pack in the lane to earn the runner-up spot. He was two lengths ahead of Dynamoor, who finished a neck better than Al Khali.
Presious Passion, attempting to repeat his victory in the Monmouth last year, faded to seventh. Blues Street, the close second choice was never a factor in eighth, more than 23 lengths behind the winner.
Owned by James M. Dinan, Jacques J. Moore and Phantom House Farm, Get Serious was bred by Morgan's Ford Farm. The chestnut is out of Java Gal, by Java Gold.
Get Serious won for the 11th time in 27 races and earned $150,000, extending his career bankroll to $740,691.
The winner paid $16, $8.60 and $5.80 and keyed a $332.60 exacta with Roman Tiger, who returned $20.20 and $9.60. Dynamoor, coming off a second in the Fort Marcy Stakes (gr. IIIT) on the Belmont Park turf May 1 for trainer James Jerkens, was $5 to show.