Monterey Jazz finds his groove in the Sir Beaufort.<br><a target="blank" href="">Order This Photo</a>

Monterey Jazz finds his groove in the Sir Beaufort.
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Monterey Jazz Finds Winning Combo

Monterey Jazz nabbed his stakes debut in the Sir Beaufort (gr. IIIT) at Santa Anita.

Monterey Jazz hit all the right notes on Dec. 26, opening day at Santa Anita Park, by going nearly gate to wire to win the $122,100 Sir Beaufort (gr. IIIT) (VIDEO) in his stakes debut.

David Flores picked up his fourth win of the day aboard Monterey Jazz, who bettered 12 rivals in the one-mile grass test for 3-year-olds.

Monterey Jazz reached the front shortly after the start and got away with moderate fractions (:22.81, :46.32 and 1:09.83) while maintaining a lead of more than one length. He was well clear in the stretch when back markers Mr Napper Tandy and Twilight Meteor came to challenge late. Monterey Jazz won by a measured length. Mr Napper Tandy, ridden by Mike Smith, nosed Twilight Meteor and Garrett Gomez for second. The final time was 1:34.36 on firm going.

“It looked like we were the speed in the race," Flores said. "I tried to clear early and get him to relax. I was really happy with the way he was running to the far turn, he was into a tight hold and he was happy.”

The Irish-bred Whatsthescript, favored at 5-2 in his first start since May 4, prompted the pace for six furlongs before fading to last in the stretch.

Craig Dollase trains Monterey Jazz, a Kentucky-bred colt by Thunderello--Reefside (by Dynaformer), for owners A & R Stables and Class Racing Stable.  The colt won a one-mile allowance/claiming optional race on the Hollywood Park lawn by 2 1/4 lengths Nov. 10 and has now captured three of his past four starts. Overall, he has four victories from 10 starts. The winning share of $73,260 increased Monterey Jazz's earnings to $167,740.

“He really handled his first stakes assignment well," Dollase noted. "We found something out about him the other day at Hollywood when he went a mile. He hit all the fractions that day, and it wasn’t a fluke, obviously. He did it again today. It was nice. We’re hoping for bigger and better things down the road.”

Danzel Brendemuehl bred the dark bay, which she sold as a 2-year-old for $85,000 in 2006 at the Ocala Breeders' Sales' April sale.

Sent off as the third choice, Monterey Jazz paid $12.80, $7.80 and $4.80. The British-bred Mr Napper Tandy, making his third U.S. start for trainer Jack Carava, returned $11.20 and $6.40 and completed a $2 exacta worth $150.60. Twilight Meteor, who could have given trainer Todd Pletcher his record-tying 57th graded stakes win of 2007, was $3.80 to show as the second favorite.

It was three-quarters of a length to fourth-place finisher Bad Boy, who was followed by Mast Track, Rutledge Cat, Stoneside, Adagio, Warning Zone, No Dream, Silent Soul, Wing Forward and Whatsthescript.

(Chart, Equibase)