Heavy rain at Monmouth Park Aug. 2 took the $200,000 Oceanport Stakes (VIDEO) off the turf and left only three starters to contest the 1 1/16-mile event on the slop. When it was over, 5-year-old gelding Get Serious earned his first graded stakes victory by holding off Kiss the Kid by a neck.
Ridden by Pablo Fragoso, Get Serious wound up going wire-to-wire in the Oceanport for his third win in four starts this season. The son of City Zip—Java Gal, by Java Gold, is based at Monmouth and trained by John Forbes. It was his first try in a graded stakes race since finishing 11th in the 2007 Pennsylvania Derby (gr. II).
Get Serious, who went off as the 7-10 favorite, completed eight and a half furlongs on the sloppy sealed track in 1:43.03.
The order never changed in the Oceanport, as Get Serious sprinted to an early lead while Kiss the Kid stalked the pace in second under Elvis Trujillo. Pleasant Strike always trailed with John Velazquez aboard.
Kiss the Kid was within a head of the lead at the eighth-pole and had the entire stretch to run down Get Serious, but the chestnut never relinquished his lead in a stirring stretch duel.
"This horse really runs hard every time he races, and he loves to win,” Fragoso said. “He broke well, and I was able to get him to relax down the backside. Once that horse got up to our side, he kicked into another gear and would not let him go by.”
Get Serious was bred in New York by Morgan’s Ford Farm. A $130,000 purchase at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic 2005 Eastern Fall yearling sale, he is owned by James Dinan, Jacques Moore, and Phantom House Farm. Now 8-2-2 from 23 starts, he has earned $432,441.
"I think he tolerates (the slop) more than anything,” Forbes said. “I thought it was a great ride. (Fragoso) did a great job of slowing him down."
The winner paid $3.40. There was no place or show wagering.
Of a field of seven was originally entered, Proudinsky, Radical Sabbatical, Tizdejavu and Roman Tiger were scratched.