Ocean Drive exploded to the lead in midstretch and drew off to score by nearly three lengths in the $100,000 Eatontown Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Monmouth Park Saturday.Ocean Drive, owned by Bonnie and Sy Baskin and trained by Todd Pletcher, looked every inch the favorite in winning the Eatontown. With Eibar Coa supplying encouragement, she stopped the timer in 1:41 3/5 for the 1 1/16 mile over firm turf and returned $4.40, $2.80 and $2.10 across the board.Honorable Cat, the longest shot in the field of six fillies and mares at 27-1, set the pace and held on well to be second to complete the $82.80 exacta. Fast Cookie closed some ground to be third, with second choice High Court fourth.
It was the second graded stakes win of the season for the 4-year-old daughter of Belong to Me, who captured the Gallorette Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Pimlico in May. She improved her career mark to 7-4-1 in 16 starts and the $60,000 winner's prize brought her career earnings to $513,586."I knew I had the best horse in the race," Coa said. "at least that's the way I rode her today. I decided to sit just behind the leaders the whole way. When we got to the three-eighths pole, I had a lot of horse. I was waiting for someone to come to me at the quarter-pole, but she just took off."(Chart, Equibase)