My Adonis wins the Long Branch Stakes.

My Adonis wins the Long Branch Stakes.


My Adonis Holds On for Long Branch Victory

Son of Pleasantly Perfect edges Macho Macho in stakes prep for Haskell Invitational.

My Adonis, rebounding from an eighth-place finish in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) last month, opened up a big lead in the homestretch of the $99,000 Long Branch Stakes and held on tight to defeat favored Macho Macho July 8 at Monmouth Park (VIDEO).

In the final local prep stakes for the $1 million Haskell Invitational (gr. I) July 29, My Adonis was ridden to a half-length victory by leading Monmouth jockey Elvis Trujillo. My Adonis was the 17-10 second choice in the field of five 3-year-olds.

My Adonis snapped a six-race slide for trainer Kelly Breen, who conditions the son of Pleasantly Perfect--Silent Justice, by Elusive Quality for owners George and Lori Hall. My Adonis, blanked in five previous starts this season, won for the first time since taking the Jean Lafitte Stakes at Delta Downs last Oct. 22.

K & G Stables bred the winning bay colt in Kentucky. My Adonis, who broke his maiden at Monmouth last September, has two wins and three seconds in five starts over the track.

Final time for the 1 1/16-mile Long Branch was 1:44.98.

My Adonis took second at the start as Window Boy, leaving from the inside gate, clipped off a slow opening quarter-mile of :24.37. My Adonis pulled Trujillo to the front by a head at the half-mile point in :47.99, and they opened up on the field on the turn after completing six furlongs in 1:11.89.

“I told Elvis, ‘when you get to the far turn, just go.’ After that if (My Adonis) got tired and they beat us, then so be it, but I didn’t want Elvis saving something and then get into a head-to-head duel in the stretch," Breen said. "The plan came together perfectly."

Macho Macho, ridden by Corey Nakatani, broke somewhat awkwardly from the far outside and was stuck four wide around the clubhouse turn and onto the backstretch. The 7-5 favorite was in trouble on the far turn, Nakatani shaking him up to try to keep up. My Adonis widened his advantage in the lane to perhaps five lengths but the margin shrunk to three at mid-stretch as Macho Macho slowly closed in under strong handling from Nakatani.

In the end, though, Macho Macho had too much ground to make up as the weakening May Adonis staved off the challenge.

"The pace was so slow and the horse is so strong," Trujillo said. "He was pulling really hard and I could barely hold him back.  He got a little bit tired at the end, but by then we had it won.”

It was 10 3/4 lengths back to third-place finisher Window Boy, with John Bisono aboard. Good Morning Diva, in good position to the final turn, faded to fourth and Illinois Derby (gr. III) winner Done Talking was a distant last.

My Adonis, who improved his career record to 3-4-2 in 12 starts with earnings of $376,000, returned $5.40, $2.80, $2.40. Macho Macho, coming off a third-place finish in the Matt Win Stakes (gr. III) at Churchill Downs June 16, paid $2.60 and $2.40 while completing a $13.60 exacta. Window Boy was $2.80 to show.

My Adonis began the year with a third-place finish in the Holy Bull Stakes (gr. III), followed by a runner-up effort in the Gotham (gr. III). Breen and the Halls had Kentucky Derby (gr. I) aspirations early in the spring, but a seventh-place fnish in the Resorts World Casino New York City Wood Memorial Stakes (gr. I) left him short of graded earnings. My Adonis did make the Belmont Stakes field June 9, however, where he was 18 1/4 lengths behind the victorious Union Rags .

“The Haskell has always been a thought with this horse," Breen said. "Obviously, we’ll wait to see who’s coming and how he’s training before we make a decision on that.”

There were two scratches in the Long Branch, Forward March and Phil Dancer.