Get Serious set a solid pace and still had enough left in the tank to hold off a pair of late-charging rivals to win the $175,000 Red Bank Stakes (gr. IIIT) (VIDEO) by a neck Sept. 6 at Monmouth Park in his graded stakes debut.
A 5-year-old son of City Zip, Get Serious won for the sixth time in eight lifetime starts over the Monmouth turf course and scored his third consecutive stakes victory. The chestnut gelding has won four of five starts in 2009. He is trained by John Forbes, who said his charge's win was even more impressive considering what he found out after the race.
“We noticed in the winner’s circle that he lost a shoe and Pablo (jockey Fragoso) said he thinks it was right about the three-eighths pole," Forbes said. "I can’t say enough about this horse. To run as good as he did and part of it missing a shoe is just tremendous.
"I’m really not sure where we’ll go from here, perhaps a race in New York or the Cliff Hanger (gr. IIIT) at the Meadowlands (Oct. 3). We haven’t ruled out the Breeders’ Cup.”
With regular rider Fragoso aboard, Get Serious broke from post 4 and went straight to the front in the one-mile contest. But the lead didn’t come easily, as he was pressed every step of the way by Jet Propulsion through splits of :23.40, :46.25, and 1:09.28. Steve's Double and Pick Six were also up close to the pace.
Get Serious came off the final turn still holding a one-length advantage and was sent down for the stretch drive with Steve’s Double chasing from his outside and Pleasant Strike rallying determinedly between horses. Get Serious was game all the way, stopping the clock in a final time of 1:33.02 on a course rated “firm.”
Pleasant Strike got up for second, a half-length in front of Steve’s Double. Mambo Meister was fourth in a field of eight.
“I was going to let this horse run his race," Fragoso said. "Even though there was some pressure put on us, I didn’t want to try to rate him because he’s the kind of horse you have to let run his race. He loves this turf course and sure likes to win. He lost a shoe at the three-eighths pole and still dug in gamely to hold off everyone. This is a very nice horse.”
Get Serious, who was bred in New York by Morgan’s Ford Farm and is out of the Java Gold mare Java Gal, entered the Red Bank off consecutive wins in the July 11 Battlefield Stakes and off-the-turf Oceanport Stakes Aug. 2—both at Monmouth.
Owned by James Dinan, Jacques Moore, and Phantom House Farm, Get Serious improved to 9-2-2 from 24 lifetime starts and has now earned $537,441.
The winner, sent off as the 6-5 favorite, paid $4.60, $3.20, and $2.40. The exacta (4-1) returned $32.60, and the $1 trifecta (4-1-9) was $112.20.
Proudinsky , the morning-line favorite, was scratched, as were Custer and Vanquisher.