Get Serious led from start to finish in the Oceanport Stakes at Monmouth Park.

Get Serious led from start to finish in the Oceanport Stakes at Monmouth Park.

Ryan Denver/EQUI-PHOTO

Favorite Takes Oceanport; Matchmaker Upset

Get Serious won the Oceanport as Unbridled Essence posted huge upset in Matchmaker.

In two grade III grass races on the IZOD Haskell Invitational (gr. I) card at Monmouth Park Aug. 1, even-money favorite Get Serious led from start to finish in the Oceanport Stakes (VIDEO), and Unbridled Essence pulled a 42-1 shocker in the Matchmaker Stakes (VIDEO).

Ridden by Pablo Fragoso for trainer John Forbes, Get Serious was set on the lead in the Oceanport, posting moderate fractions of :25.28, :46.63, and 1:12.49 before Violon Sacre mounted a challenge leaving the turn and heading into the stretch. With Jose Lexcano and Violon Sacre in pursuit, Get Serious dug in gamely for a neck victory. He completed the 1 1/16 miles on turf in 1:40.93.

The winner, a 6-year-old gelded son of City Zip out of Java Gal, by Java Gold, returned $4.00, $2.60, and $2.20, while Violon Sacre paid $4.00 and $3.00. Roman Tiger, also trained by Forbes and was second throughout until being overtaken by the runner-up, paid $3.00. The exacta paid $15.20. The rest of the field was completed by Nownownow, Tybalt, Cherokee Artist, and Strike a Deal.

Bred in Kentucky by Morgan’s Ford Farms, Get Serious has won 12 of 29 starts and earned $880,691. The gelding, owned by James M. Dinan, Jacques J. Moore, and Phantom House Farm, was coming into the Oceanport off a fifth-place finish in the United Nations (gr. IT) following a victory in the Monmouth Stakes (gr. IIIT).

While the Oceanport was rather predictable, the Matchmaker for 3-year-old and upward fillies and mares was quite the opposite. Red Oak Stable homebred Unbridled Essence, well-placed early by jockey Paco Lopez, raced three wide turning into the stretch and was ridden on for a game half-length triumph over Quiet Meadow.

The Matchmaker was over at the break for 5-2 favorite Cherokee Queen, who stumbled and lost rider Elvis Trujillo. With her out of the picture, Tizqueena jumped out to the early lead before being overtaken by 11-1 shot Giant Mover, who led into the midstretch before giving it up to eventually finish fifth.

The winner, trained by Greg Sacco, returned $85.60, $27.20, and $11.60. Quiet Meadow closed late to get second, paying $6.40 and $4.40. British-bred Tottie also closed for third, paying $5.00. The exacta paid $667.00 as Unbridled Essence completed the 1 1/8 miles on turf in 1:47.97.

A Florida-bred daughter of Essence of Dubai out of the Unbridled mare Unbridled Waters, Unbridled Essence has won five of 15 starts, including four wins in 10 turf starts. The 4-year-old filly has earned $278,597.