New Jersey-bred Sea of Tranquility earned his first graded stakes victory while stretching his current winning streak to three races in Sunday's $150,000 Salvator Mile Handicap (gr. III) at Monmouth Park. The 6-year-old completed the mile in 1:36.74 on a fast track to win the first of four graded stakes on the Haskell Invitational (gr. I) card at the New Jersey track.
Under Jose Ferrer, Sea of Tranquility raced in fifth as Hal's Hope set fractions of :23.48 and :46.66. Hal's Hope held a shrinking lead over Thistyranthasclass after six furlongs run in 1:11.17, with Sea of Tranquility a head farther back in third. Sea of Tranquility made the lead after seven furlongs as Thistyranthasclass tired, then held off a fast closing Knock Again to win by 1 1/2 lengths at the wire. Hal's Hope held on to finish third, 1 1/2 lengths behind Knock Again. Thistyranthasclass came home fourth, followed by betting favorite Rize, Mercaldo, and Rock and Roll.
Richard E. Paulus-trained Sea of Tranquility returned $13.20, $5.80, and $3.60. Knock Again paid $5.60 and $4.20. Hal's Hope returned $4.20. The winning exacta combination returned $71.40.
"Even though it was hot," Paulus said, "I wore this jacket today because I thought we might get our picture taken. He blew out the other day for this and I knew he was doing great."
Triple M Farm's Sea of Tranquility entered the Salvator Mile following two straight wins in restricted stakes at Monmouth Park. He earned $90,000 for the win, his 14th in 38 career starts. Sea of Tranquility (Heff--Bonkey, by Fit to Fight) was bred by Dennis Drazin.
Earlier on the card, Normandy Beach upset the $75,000 Teddy Drone Stakes, winning by a length in the six-furlong contest. The four horses with the highest odds in the seven-horse field filled the top four finishing positions as Oro de Mexico (11-5), Personal First (9-5), and Unreal Madness (12-5) failed to fire, finishing fifth, sixth, and seventh, respectively. Night Caller came home second, with Loaded Gun and Fetch Dinner third and fourth, respectively.
Normandy Beach earned $45,000 for owner-trainer Edwin Thomas Broome. The 5-year-old gelding returned $24.80, $10.80, and $6 and led a $217.20 exacta and a trifecta worth $2,455.80. Normandy Beach (Sewickley--Pressing Problems, by Iron) was bred in South Carolina by Nancy M. Grinder and was ridden to victory by Robert Colton. Normandy Beach stopped the timer at 1:10.19. (Charts, Equibase