Rize, the starting lightweight at 112 pounds, drew off through the Monmouth Park stretch to a nine-length win in the $350,000 Philip H. Iselin Handicap (gr. II). Rize completed Sunday's 1 1/8-mile feature race in 1:48.42 over a fast track. Sir Bear earned $70,000 for his second-place finish to push his career earnings over the $2-million mark. Talk's Cheap finished third, followed by Mountain Range, Blazing Sword, and Fire King.
Sent off at just over 10-1, Rize returned $22.80, $6.00, and $3.20. 4-5 favorite Sir Bear paid $2.80 and $2.20. Talk's Cheap was worth $3 to show. The exacta paid $47.
Rize led at every call while shadowed by Mountain Range, who raced a length back and to the outside.
"The track was playing so fast that I knew if I went to the lead I'd be tough to catch," said winning jockey Jose Ferrer. "I watched Bravo tie the track record sprinting earlier and he stayed on the fence the whole way, so I knew before this race that was what I was going to do."
Mountain Range moved up to challenge on the second turn with the rest of the field tightly bunched less than three lengths farther back. At the top of the stretch, Ferrer went to the whip and Rize responded, drawing off to a three-length lead after a mile in 1:35.68 and lengthening that lead with every stride in the final furlong.
"When we hit the quarter-pole I really asked him for run and he responded great," said Ferrer. "I knew there were a couple of horses behind me when we turned for home, but my horse really took off. I knew I was running good, but I wasn't sure how far in front I was so I just kept riding."
The win is the sixth career victory for Rize (Theatrical--Campagnarde, by Oak Dancer), a 4-year-old gelding bred in Kentucky by Allen E. Paulson. Rize races in the colors of Runnin Horse Farm Inc. and is trained by Norman Pointer. Prior to the Iselin, Rize won an optional claiming race after finishing second in the $100,000 Oceanport Handicap, both at Monmouth Park. (Chart, Equibase