Long Branch S.

( 8.5f ,)

ATOMIC RAIN (B g, 117 lb) $105,000
Smart Strike —Paradise Pond , by Cox's Ridge
B—Sarah Landes, KY.; O—Hall, George and Lori; T—Kelly J. Breen

Despite the Odds (GR/RO h, 123 lb) $35,000
Speightstown —Lady Aloma , by Cozzene
B—Walton Breeders, KY.; O—Johnson, R., Larry, TYB Stable and Dilger, Gerry; T—Michael J. Trombetta

Papa Clem (B h, 123 lb) $19,250
Smart Strike —Miss Houdini , by Belong to Me
B—Bo Hirsch, KY.; O—Bo Hirsch; T—Gary Stute

Margins: 4¾, neck, head. Others: Omniscient 117($8,750) , Nowhere to Hide 117($1,750) , Lord Justice 121($1,750) , Santana Six 117($1,750) , Rapid Redux 117($1,750) . Winning Jockey, Joe Bravo.

Maybe all Atomic Rain needed to do was to return to Monmouth Park to recapture his best form. After finishing unplaced in the May 2 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) at Churchill Downs, Atomic Rain won an allowance race in June and the July 11 Long Branch Stakes at the seaside oval. His other career win came last year at Monmouth.

Atomic Rain, owned by New Jersey residents George and Lori Hall, came from behind to capture the Long Branch by 43Ú4 lengths over Despite the Odds, with 6-5 favorite Papa Clem a neck farther back. Both Atomic Rain and Papa Clem, a grade II winner earlier this year, are by Smart Strike.

Atomic Rain figures to contest the Aug. 2 Haskell Invitational (gr. I) at Monmouth.

ÒThis was the most professional race IÕve seen him run,Ó said trainer Kelly Breen. ÒI donÕt know yet what weÕll do between now and the Haskell. He was pretty cranked up for this, but if I can crank him up anymore, I will. HeÕs really coming into his own. and if thereÕs a time for that, itÕs now.Ó

Atomic Rain was bred in Kentucky by William L.S. Landes III in partnership with daughters Laura and Sarah. William Landes, who bred and raced Atomic RainÕs dam, Paradise Pond, owns Greystone Farm near Goshen, Ky., and serves as vice president and general manager of Carl PollardÕs nearby Hermitage Farm.

Atomic Rain was consigned by Hermitage, agent, to the 2007 Keeneland September yearling sale, where Breen purchased him for $170,000 for K&G Stables. The following year, Atomic Rain was consigned to the 2008 Ocala BreedersÕ Sales Co.Õs March sale of 2-year-olds in training but was scratched.

The Halls have campaigned several additional stakes winners, including graded winner West Side Bernie. Their other added-money winners include Keeneland Kat and Sleepless Knight, each of whom won a stakes at Monmouth.

Paradise Pond, a winner at 3 and 4, is a half-sister to graded stakes winners Roxelana and Tiger, both of whom were bred by Landes. Campaigned by Landes, Roxelana won the 2000 La Troienne Stakes (gr. III) at Churchill and ran third in that yearÕs Acorn Stakes (gr. I) at Belmont Park.

Paradise Pond produced a Thunder Gulch colt this year.

Smart Strike, the leading sire by progeny earnings in 2007-08, has sired 66 stakes winners, including 10 other 2009 added-money winners. Smart Strike stands at William S. FarishÕs LaneÕs End Farm near Versailles, Ky. His 2009 fee was $125,000.ÑD.S.