If Crossed Sabres Farm's Lochte is ever going to return to his grade I form of earlier in the year, the Metropolitan Jets Oceanport Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Monmouth Park July 27 looks like the perfect spot, even though there are several classy horses entered in the 1 1/16-mile race.
Lochte, a 4-year-old gelded son of Medaglia d'Oro trained by Marcus Vitali, emerged as a top-class grass horse when he upset the Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap (gr. IT) Feb. 9 at odds of 39-1. He showed that race was no fluke by traveling to California, where he finished a gutsy second, beaten a half-length, in the Frank E. Kilroe Stakes (gr. IT) at Santa Anita Park March 8.
He then returned east and acquitted himself well in finishing third to two-time Horse of the Year Wise Dan in the Maker's 46 Mile (gr. IT). After a two-month freshening he showed up in the Monmouth Stakes (gr. IIT) June 8 and turned in a terrible effort, finishing 13th as the 2-1 favorite.
Dropped into an allowance/optional claimer at Belmont Park July 9, he showed signs of life again by finishing a fast-closing third at odds of 5-2. His connections are now hoping that could be a springboard to a big effort in the Oceanport. Listed at 7-2 on the mornint line, he breaks from post 9 in the 10-horse field.
One of his main opponents will be the hard-knocking Slim Shadey, a multiple grade II winner who is coming off a victory in the Elkwood Stakes at Monmouth, a race that was taken off the turf. The 6-year-old son of Val Royal ran well over the Monmouth course when third in the Red Bank Stakes (gr. IIIT), but, like Lochte, threw in a clunker in the Monmouth Stakes, finishing 11th at 32-1. He is pegged at 9-2 on the early line.
Another contender is 7-year-old Guys Reward, coming off a third in the Firecracker Stakes (gr. IIT) behind Silver Max at Churchill Downs and fourth in the Monmouth before that. Earlier in the year, he captured the Lambholm South Tampa Bay Stakes (gr. IIIT). The 7-year-old son of Grand Reward captured the Firecracker in 2012 and has compiled earnings of $687,709 in his career.
One intriguing horse is Mshawish, the 3-1 morning line pick who is making his U.S. debut for Todd Pletcher after being trained in France by Mikel Delzangles. Al Shaqab Racing's son of Medaglia d’Oro is a group II winner on grass in Dubai and was a solid fourth in both the 2013 Prix du Jockey-Club (Fr-I, French Derby) and St. James’s Palace Stakes (Eng-I) at Royal Ascot behind Dawn Approach and Toronado.
Graham Motion ships in with Under Control, impressive winner of an allowance/optional claimer at Pimlico Race Course May 15. The son of Northern Afleet will be making hist first start in graded stakes company.
Monmouth Park , Sunday, July 27, 2014, Race 11
- 1 1/16m
- 3 yo's & up
- 5:05 PM (local)
|1||Shkspeare Shaliyah (FL)||Abel Castellano, Jr.||116||Doodnauth Shivmangal|
|2||Change of Command (MD)||Rosie Napravnik||116||Michael J. Trombetta|
|3||Fredericksburg (KY)||Luis Saez||116||Michael R. Matz|
|4||Slim Shadey (GB)||Charles C. Lopez||118||David Jacobson|
|5||Michael With Us (KY)||Edgar S. Prado||116||Stephen L. DiMauro|
|6||Under Control (BRZ)||Trevor McCarthy||116||H. Graham Motion|
|7||Mshawish (KY)||Joe Bravo||123||Todd A. Pletcher|
|8||Guys Reward (KY)||Paco Lopez||123||Dale L. Romans|
|9||Lochte (KY)||Orlando Bocachica||123||Marcus J. Vitali|
|10||Joe Tess (VA)||Jose Lezcano||116||Derek S. Ryan|