OCEANPORT, NJ – Already graded stakes placed in his young career, County Final proved an easy winner of Saturday’s off-turf edition of the $75,000 Tyro Stakes at Monmouth Park.
County Final was bet down to the 2/5 prohibitive favorite in the four-horse field as he broke from the gate under Joe Bravo. Spicy Marg, the field’s lone filly, shot like a rocket along the rail and set a lengthy early lead down the backstretch before County Final ranged up nearing the far turn.
Spicy Marg fought back after being challenged and straightened for home with a renewed advantage. She drifted out at the top of the stretch and threw plenty of dirt toward a slipping County Final, who seemed reinvigorated by the sudden kickback.
Shifting into high gear at the 1/8 pole, County Final blew past Spicy Marg with a sudden jolt and was well-clear by the 1/16 pole in his first start for new trainer Steve Asmussen.
County Final finished a geared-down 4 1/4 lengths ahead at the wire, completing the 5-furlong sprint over a good dirt course in a final time of :58.16.
“You try not to panic on them,” Bravo said. “The horse is going to tell you if they want to do it. He’s a pretty nice colt. Very mature. He really impressed me in the post parade. He’s a very intelligent horse. He relaxed nicely. He broke good, but that horse inside of us is fast and out-footed us, but it was so impressive at the 1/8 pole. My horse switched leads and he took off.”
Spicy Marg was second ahead of Newyearsblockparty and a distanced Beau Bridge, the lone Main Track Only entry.
The field was cut in half after being rained off the turf, with Fauci, Baytown Bear, Golden Pal, and Twirling Fire all scratching.
County Final’s win was his second from 3 starts, having broken his maiden on debut over the Churchill Downs dirt before finishing second in the Bashford Manor Stakes (G3) on the same course. The 2-year-old Oxbow colt has now earned $110,000 after earning $45,000 for this most recent victory.
Following his first 2 starts, County Final was purchased for $475,000 in July by his current co-owners West Point Thoroughbreds, William Sandbrook, and Anna Marie Shannon.
County Final returned $2.80 to win and $2.10 to place, while Spicy Marg paid $2.40 to place. There was no show betting.