Joseph Sutton's speedy 6-year-old son of Lion Heart won his third race in his last four starts at Monmouth Park, and did it in geared-down fashion late. The Eddie Kenneally-trained horse shot to the front under jockey Joe Bravo on the sloppy Monmouth track, took some pressure early, but led at every call to win the 1 1/16-mile test by 2 1/2 lengths with ease.
"We know he loves a dry Monmouth, but we weren’t sure if he would love a wet Monmouth," Kenneally said. "Evidently he handled it quite well.
He set fractions of :23.21, :46.83, and 1:11.10 through six furlongs, kicked away at the top of the stretch and finished off the 1 1/16 miles in 1:42.21 under a tight hold from Bravo to win his second straight Monmouth Cup.
“Honestly, coming down here, I thought this was my best spot today," Bravo said. "I had the most pressure on me, because I thought I could not get beat. After seeing how the track is playing today and how Bradester performed, I think he’s twice as good as I thought he was before the race."
Bradester is now three-for-three in 2016, following his win in the Majestic Light Stakes in May at Monmouth and the Stephen Foster (gr. I) last time out at Churchill Downs.
Off as the 3-5 favorite in the field of six, Bradester paid $3.20, $2.60, and $2.20 across the board. Scuba brought $5.20 and $3.20, and Mr. Jordan delivered $2.80 to show.
Bred in Kentucky by Doug Branham, Bradester now has a 10-6-2 record from 24 starts with earnings exceeding $1.1 million.