Z W P Stable's Cherokee's Boy took command from the start in winning the $150,000 Salvator Mile (gr. III) at Monmouth Park on Sunday by 1 1/4 lengths.
Trained by Gary Capuano, Cherokee's Boy was able to set soft fractions of :24 4/5, :48 2/5 and 1:12 2/5 before coming home in 1:36 3/5 for the mile over a fast main track.
The winner paid $15.20, $7.60, and $2.10 as the co-second choice in the field. Aggadan, who chased Cherokee's Boy in second all the way around, completed an $85.30 exacta and paid $10.80 and $2.10. It was another 2 1/2 lengths back to the 3-10 favorite Gygistar, who paid $2.10 to show.
Gygistar moved up on the far turn while racing wide in third, but when Cherokee's Boy began to edge away from Aggadan, neither responded. Cherokee's Boy maintained his advantage under left-handed urging through the lane.
"It was a disappointing race for him," said Eibar Coa, rider of the Mark Hennig-trained Gygistar. "I'm not sure if he didn't handle the track so much as he just didn't run his race today. I thought when I called on him he'd give me a stronger run, bit it just wasn't there today."
Winning jockey Aaron Gryder said, "I spoke with Mr. Capuano this morning and he told me to break and play it from there. He really went into the turn in nice fashion. When I turned for home and no one pressured me, I knew we'd be tough to catch and we were in real good shape."
The Salvator win was the 13th win 34 tries for the Maryland-bred Cherokee's Boy, a 5-year-old horse by Citidancer
from the Cherokee Colony mare Cherokee Wonder. He has now earned $827,096 for his owners.
Colita and My Snookie's Boy completed the order in a field reduced to five by the scratch of Record Buster.