Middleburg (right) finished 2nd in the Arlington Handicap on July 11.

Middleburg (right) finished 2nd in the Arlington Handicap on July 11.

Four Footed Fotos

Middleburg Keeps Knocking in Cliff Hanger

Clement trainee seeks stakes score in field of six including grade I winner Lochte.

Mr. & Mrs. Bertran Firestone's Middleburg continues his quest for a graded stakes score Aug. 23, when he takes on five others including grade I winner Lochte in the $100,000 Cliff Hanger Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Monmouth Park.

The 5-year-old son of Lemon Drop Kid  comes into the 1 1/8-mile turf event off a runner-up finish in the July 11 Arlington Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Arlington International Racecourse, a 1 3/16-mile test which he missed by three quarters of a length. Prior to that start he was second by a nose in the June 7 Monmouth Cup Stakes (gr. IIT) over 1 1/8 miles, and he ran third behind multiple grade I winner Big Blue Kitten  at the same distance in the Fort Marcy (gr. IIIT) at Belmont Park

Before his tries in graded company, Middleburg put together two solid turf allowance scores with quite some time between—a win Oct. 19 going a mile at Belmont, and one upon his return from the layoff March 29 at Gulfstream Park going 1 1/16 miles. Joe Bravo has the mount from the rail aboard the Christophe Clement trainee.

The horse with the most back class in the group is Crossed Sabres Farm's Lochte, winner of the Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap (gr. IT) in early 2014. But the 5-year-old Medaglia d'Oro  gelding has been irregular since then, and counts back to a March allowance score at Gulfstream for his latest victory six starts ago. Matthew Rispoli replaces Orlando Bocachica, who had been aboard for Lochte's past four starts for trainer Marcus Vitali, on the 123-pound highweight from post 4.

Another of interest is Andrew Stone's Glenard, who has put together back-to-back wins for trainer Graham Motion—in a Delaware Park turf allowance June 17 and in the Warrior Veterans Stakes going 1 1/16 miles at Indiana Grand Race Course July 18. Alex Cintron rides from post 3.

Allowance winner Special Envoy, also owned by the Firestones but trained by Arnaud Delacour, completes the field along with Inchcape and Make It Gold.

Entries: Cliff Hanger S. (G3T)

Monmouth Park, Sunday, August 23, 2015, Race 11

  • Grade IIIT
  • 1 1/8m
  • Turf
  • $100,000
  • 3 yo's & up
  • 5:43 PM (local)
11Middleburg (VA)Joe Bravo116Christophe Clement-
22Make It Gold (KY)Orlando Bocachica116Jason Servis-
33Glenard (GB)Alex Cintron120H. Graham Motion-
44Lochte (KY)Matthew Rispoli123Marcus J. Vitali-
55Inchcape (ON)Paco Lopez116Jason Servis-
66Special Envoy (VA)Daniel Centeno116Arnaud Delacour-