(from Monmouth Park report)
Stonerside Stable’s favored Karen’s Caper roared to the lead mid-stretch under Brice Blanc and raced to the wire in track record time as she captured the $150,000 Eatontown Stakes (gr. IIIT) (VIDEO) on the Monmouth Park turf Saturday.
Karen’s Caper, trained by Bobby Frankel and ridden for the first time by Blanc, scored by a half-length at 11-10 odds over Redaspen, getting the 1 1/16-mile distance in a course-record time of 1:39.48 over firm turf. She broke the mark of 1:39.91 set last year by In Return.
A 5-year-old homebred daughter of War Chant, Karen's Caper paid $4.20, $2.80, and $2.80 across the board in her first start of the year.
Redaspen, who went off at 18-1 under Victor Molina, paid $8.20 and $5.60 and completed the $43.60 exacta.
Roshani, who finished a head farther back in third, paid $4.40 to show for Chris DeCarlo.
Blanc bided his time near the back of the field through quick early fractions and asked Karen’s Caper to go with a furlong left. The mare exploded to the lead while racing three wide and won under a hand ride, although Redaspen and Roshani both ran well to the wire.
Pommes Frites broke best in the field of seven and led the field into the stretch after fractions of :24 1/5, :47 2/5 and 1:10 before fading.
This was the second grade III victory for Karen’s Caper, who won the Noble Damsel Breeders’ Cup Stakes at Belmont last year. The Eatontown, Monmouth’s first graded race of the 2007 season, was her first start since last October.
Karen’s Caper earned a winner’s prize of $90,000, bringing her career bankroll to $622,113 on a record of 4-5-0 in 14 lifetime starts.
“I was happy with the trip we got," Blanc said. "I knew she had a good late kick, and when I asked her to pick it up, she showed it. I really like this mare.”
Rahys' Appeal, Pommes Frites, Royal Pleasure, and Prop Me Up completed the order.