The multiple graded stakes winner Ready's Gal, forwardly placed in Sunday's $150,000 Taylor Made Matchmaker (gr. IIIT), took the lead at the head of the stretch and held off the late challenge of Prop Me Up to win by a half-length on the Monmouth Park grass.
Masseuse, the 7-5 favorite in the eight-horse field of fillies and mares, went wrong shortly after the start and was eased out of the race by jockey Edgar Prado. She appeared to have been injured behind and was vanned off.
Humoristic, breaking from the rail, set a slow place (:25 2/5, :50 1/5, 1:14 1/5) in the 1 1/8-mile event but was unable to put much distance between herself and Ready's Gal, who pounced when ready for jockey John Velazquez. Prop Me Up, a stalking fourth along the inside for Joe Bravo, made up ground in the stretch but never reached even terms with the winner. Humoristic, under Jose Velez Jr., held on for third, 1 1/2 lengths behind the runner-up. The final time was 1:48 3/5.
Bravo won the first five races on the Monmouth card Sunday, including the Lincroft Handicap (first race), and the Lady's Secret Stakes (third race).
Winner of Tampa Bay's Hillsborough (gr. IIIT) on the grass in March, Ready's Gal most recently ran third in the Miss Liberty at Meadowlands June 19. Trained by Todd Pletcher, the 4-year-old daughter of More Than Ready
has won both of her starts on the Monmouth turf, taking the 1 1/6-mile Little Silver Stakes in June 2005. The victory was also her second in three tries at the nine-furlong distance on the sod. The Kentucky-bred chestnut, out of the Nasty and Bold mare Exquisite Mistress, is four for nine on the turf.
Owned by James T. Scatuorchio, Ready's Gal is now 6-2-1 in 15 overall starts with earnings of $448,755.
"We thought we'd be forwardly placed," Pletcher said, "but it worked out perfectly."
Sent off as the second choice, Ready's Gal paid $7.80, $4.60, and $4.40. Prop Me Up returned $9 and $5 while completing a $79.40 exacta. Humoristic was $8 to show.
Smart N Classy finished fourth, followed by Marchonin, Tisket a Tasket, and Frambroise.