Live Oak Plantation's homebred Miesque's Approval had to wait a week, but the heavy favorite proved his mettle with a six-wide move for jockey Eddie Castro on the final turn, winning the $150,000 Red Bank Stakes (gr. IIIT) by a half-lengthThe 7-year-old Miesque's Approval, trained by Marty Wolfson, was at his best as he wore down a determined Hotstufanthensome to score by a half-length for his third successive stakes victory and fourth in five starts this year. He punched his ticket for the NetJets Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. ITO on Nov. 4 as a course-and-distance winner.
The winner raced the one mile over firm turf in 1:33 1/5 and paid $4.20, $2.40, and $2.20 across the board as the favorite in the field of nine.
Hotstufanthensome ($2.80, $2.40), the 2-1 second choice who forged to the lead mid-stretch, was second by nearly three lengths over Senor Swinger $3.80).
Tune of the Spirit, a 60-1 chance who set most of the pace before being passed in the stretch, held on to be fourth. Indy Wind, Key Event, Old Dodge, Patrol, and Pulpit Talk completed the order.
The Florida-bred Miesque's Approval, who took the Makers Mark (gr. IIT) at Keeneland in April and the Firecracker Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIT) at Churchill Downs in July, picked up a winner's share of $90,000 for the victory. A former $50,000 claimer, the Miesque's Son--Win Approval, by With Approval, now has 11 victories in 37 lifetime starts and career earnings of $1,450,079. Castro, who has ridden the horse in his last six starts with four wins and a second, sat back as the speed horses battled on the front end.
"They were going fast up there, and I was happy to sit back," Castro said. "I ride him the same each time."
Charlotte Weber, owner of Live Oak Plantation, which races the horses that her Live Oak Stud breeds, was thrilled with Miesque's Approval.
"We'll probably look to get to the Breeders' Cup with this horse," Weber said. "He's been very good this year. It's been a great combination of people that have gotten him this far.
"I don't know if we'll run him next year or not just yet. Those are things that will be decided later on. But for now, we'll enjoy this win."