Tune Me In was sent off as the longest price in the $152,500 Oceanport (gr. IIIT) at Monmouth Park (VIDEO), but that didn't stop the 25-1 shot from springing an upset over six other turf contenders July 29.
Making his first start in graded stakes company off a seventh-place finish in a July 5 allowance event at Belmont Park and winless since Sept. 11 of last year, the 5-year-old Concorde's Tune gelding edged away to a half-length triumph in a final time of 1:43.39. Queen'splatekitten, the 13-10 favorite, ran second, while two-time Oceanport winner Get Serious finished a neck back in third.
Jockey Paco Lopez took advantage of a slow pace scenario and relaxed his mount well while trading back and forth with Get Serious for the lead. Tune Me In went a quarter in :25.85, Get Serious poked a head in front for a half in :50.12 and three-quarters in 1:13.64. But Tune Me In would not go away, responding when asked in upper stretch to eke out an advantage, then holding off Queen'splatekitten's late run.
"The pace was so slow so I just wanted to wait as long as possible," Lopez said. "I was very confident because the pace was so slow. At the quarter pole, I asked him and he finished strong."
Tune Me In returned $53.60, $13.20, and $4.60. Queen'splatekitten paid $3.20 and $2.40, and was part of a $161 exacta. Get Serious paid $2.80. Admiral Perry, Magnifi Cat, Roman Tiger, and Crepuscolo completed the order of finish. Glass Art scratched.
Tune Me In improved his career record to 4-7-4 from 20 starts, with earnings of $289,845 for Patricia A. Generazio. He was bred in Florida by Joseph and Helen Barbazon and is out of the Court Trial mare Pleasant Courtney.
"I knew no one wanted to go with Get Serious so we did," winning trainer Bruce Alexander remarked. "The whole race was won when they went :25 and then :50. He's a good horse and he showed it today. We'll find another stakes for him after this."