Fresh from his first win since taking the Resorts World New York Casino Wood Memorial (gr. I) in April 2011, Toby's Corner returns in the $150,000 Philip H. Iselin Stakes (gr. III) Aug. 18 at Monmouth Park.
A Florida homebred racing for Dianne and Julian Cotter and trained by Graham Motion, Toby's Corner captured the Mountainview Handicap at Penn National Race Course July 28 by nearly four lengths. He defeated four rivals in the Mountainview, which is contested at the same 1 1/8-mile distance as the Iselin.
It was the first victory for Toby's Corner since he won the Wood Memorial by a neck over Arthur's Tale with Uncle Mo third at Aqueduct Racetrack April 9, 2011. He came up lame prior to the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) and did not return to action until Feb. 20. He finished third in the General George Handicap (gr. II) at Laurel Park in his comeback try and had lost three subsequent races prior to breaking through at Penn National.
Edgar Prado is the new rider for Toby's Corner, who makes his debut at Monmouth. Toby's Corner drew post 6.
Seven are entered in the Iselin, with San Pablo, also coming off a stakes victory, the likely favorite. From the Todd Pletcher barn, San Pablo drew the far outside post and will be ridden by Chris DeCarlo.
A 4-year-old son of Jump Start , Burning Sand Stable's San Pablo scored a three-length victory in the 1 1/8-mile Birdstone Stakes as a strong favorite at Saratoga Race Course Aug. 2. He earned a 102 Beyer Speed Figure in the Birdstone.
The dark bay/brown colt was fourth in the Monmouth Cup (gr. II) as the 7-5 choice a month earlier. He was bumped at the start and was stuck three wide on the first turn in that race.
San Pablo, boasting a 6-3-1 mark in 11 lifetime starts, seeks his first graded victory.
Also returning from a stakes win is million-dollar earner Gourmet Dinner, who draws the rail for the Iselin after winning Monmouth's Majestic Light by a neck July 29 over Ponzi Scheme. The win was the first for the 4-year-old son of Trippi since capturing the Delta Jackpot (gr. III) as a juvenile in November 2010.
Bruce Brown trains Gourmet Dinner for Our Sugar Bear Stable. Kendrick Carmouche gets the call.
Also in the Iselin field is Ponzi Scheme, who won the Decathlon at 12-1 odds impressively at Monmouth in May, and third-place Majestic Light finisher Small Town Talk. Ponzi Scheme, trained by Juan Serey for John Koenig, finished third in last year's Iselin after setting the pace.
$150,000 Philip H. Iselin Stakes (gr. III, Race 10, 5:26 p.m.), 3 & Up, 1 1/8 Miles
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Gourmet Dinner (FL), K Carmouche, 120, B R Brown
2. Eldaafer (KY), P Lopez, 116, D Alvarado
3. Self Control (KY), A Serpa, 118, C C Brown
4. Ponzi Scheme (KY), E Trujillo, 116, J Serey
5. Small Town Talk (KY), P L Cotto Jr., 116, C Simon
6. Toby's Corner (FL), E S Prado, 120, H G Motion
7. San Pablo (KY), C P DeCarlo, 120, T A Pletcher