Sharp Sensation, a 16-1 outsider, denied iconic Maryland turf sprinter and favorite Ben's Cat a third win in the $300,000 Turf Monster Handicap (gr. IIIT) (VIDEO) at five furlongs Sept. 1 at Parx Racing.
In an earlier five-furlong turf sprint on the card, speed-loving Quality Lass made all the pace and held strong for a head victory in the $200,000 Turf Amazon Handicap for fillies and mares.
Jim and Susan Hill's Sharp Sensation was ridden from fifth to lead by 1 1/2 lengths into the stretch and had just enough power in reserve to hold off 2-1 choice Ben's Cat and win by a neck under David Moran.
Ben's Cat, seventh in the early running, lost some momentum when he bobbled and was steadied on the turn, causing Julien Pimentel to briefly lose his left rein. He was angled out for the stretch run and with his 8-year-old legs pumping, launched a swift outside rally, just failing to get to the winner.
and Berlino Di Tiger
dueled for command through a withering half mile in :44.96 and both came up empty for the stretch run, finishing eighth and 10th, respectively in the field of 11.
Sharp Sensation completed the trip in :57.39 on firm turf for his second stakes win of the year. In June, the 4-year-old Sharp Humor
gelding set a Presque Isle Downs
track record of 1:02.10 for 5 1/2 furlongs on the all-weather track in scoring his first stakes in the Karl Boyes Memorial. Trained by Reade Baker, he has won five of nine career starts and earned $353,640.
Hunter Valley Farm bred Sharp Sensation in Kentucky from the unraced Royal Academy mare Accusation and sent him through the auction ring as a weanling at the 2010 Keeneland November breeding stock sale. The Hills snagged him for $55,000.
Sharp Sensation, toting 115 pounds, paid $34.60, $13.20, and $7. Ben's Cat brought $3.60 and $2.60, and third-place Tightend Touchdown returned $3.40 to show, both the co-highweights at 123 pounds.
West Point Thoroughbreds' Quality Lass, a daughter of Exclusive Quality
, set the pace along the rail for John Bisono but drifted out a bit in deep stretch. After racing at the back of the field, Joya Real
was handy to capitalize and angled over to the rail where she rapidly closed to narrowly miss while taking second.
Jewel of a Cat
, the 3-1 favorite, raced close to the leader into the stretch, but ducked out late before finishing third, a half-length back in the 11-horses field.
Quality Lass, at 8-1 odds as the 119-pound co-highweight, was a bit unruly before the race and was reluctant to step onto the turf course. But once the gates flew open she was all business for the victory in :57.71 for the five furlongs.
Trained by Guadalupe Preciado, Quality Lass added a second stakes win to her record this year, following her front-running victory in the June 8 Satin and Lace Stakes on the synthetic track at Presque Isle Down. Making all the pace last time out, she annexed a five-furlong allowance/optional claiming race by three lengths Aug. 11 at Delaware Park
. Overall, she has an 8-4-3 record from 26 career starts and $415,265 in earnings.
Via agent Buzz Chase, West Point bought the 5-year-old mare for $82,000 at the Ocala Breeders Sales Co. March sale of selected 2-year-olds in training. She was bred in Ontario by Sienna Farms from the stakes-placed Bold Executive mare On the Podium.
Quality Lass paid $18, $8.60 and $5.20 while Joya Real returned $6.60 and $4. Jewel of a Cat paid $3.60.