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OCEANPORT, NJ – Dr Post, who was fifth in the Met Mile (G1) last out, went wide on the final turn and rallied in the stretch to win the Monmouth Cup Stakes (G3) at Monmouth Park.
Bal Harbour was fastest out of the gate, taking the lead over Justinthenickoftime and Ny Traffic, with Bankit in fourth. Joel Rosario and Dr Post stayed back in fifth as Bal Harbour posted the first 1/4 in :23.11 and the 1/2-mile in :46.97, with Justinthenickoftime and Ny Traffic trailing in second and third.
As the field of six headed into the final turn, Ny Traffic made his bid for the lead, with Bankit going with him. Rosario kept Dr Post back in fifth until they entered stretch, when he sent the Quality Road colt on the outside for a run at the lead.
Into the Monmouth straight, Bankit had a 1-length lead with Dr Post taking over second down the middle of the track. Dr Post surged past Bankit in the last sixteenth, hitting the wire 1 1/4 length ahead of Night Ops and Bankit.
Ny Traffic, Bal Harbour, and Justinthenickoftime completed the order of finish. The final time of the 1 1/8 miles was 1:47.53.
Trainer Todd Pletcher was pleased with Dr Post’s win. “He had kind of tricky race in the Haskell (G1) last year (finishing third) but we felt like we know him well enough to show he’d handle the track. We’d been contemplating putting blinkers on him for a little while. He ran so well in the Westchester (G3) off the layoff, then he didn’t (in the Met Mile at Belmont last out). But then we worked him in (blinkers) and thought it made a difference. I thought it made the difference today. He had a tricky trip in the Met also so that was a draw-a-line-through-it race. I do think he appreciated the mile and 1/8 today. We got a good, honest pace and that helped him today. He got into a good comfortable rhythm and then put in a good sustained run.”
Joel Rosario scored a graded stakes win in his first ride on the winner. “I never rode this horse before but (trainer) Todd (Pletcher) said he has been a little more focused with the blinkers (on for the first time). I think that was the case in the race. He was more focused, more forward even in the backside, and he seemed like he was going pretty easy. He took his time in the turn a little bit but when he started to stretch his legs he had a nice run, especially in the final sixteenth. I was happy with the early fractions and how fast they were going. I tried to get him into it a little more because he was going so easy and I wanted to have him in the race a little more at that point. The last furlong he really got into his stride. It was a very good performance.”
Bred in Kentucky by Cloyce C. Clark, Dr Post is a 4-year-old colt by Quality Road out of Mary Delaney, by Hennessy. He is owned by St. Elias Stable. Dr Post was consigned by Hunter Valley Farm and sold for $400,000 to Crupi’s New Castle at the 2018 Keeneland September Yearling Sale. His win in the Monmouth Cup is his second win in three starts in 2021, for a lifetime record of four wins in nine starts and $700,635 in career earnings.
Dr Post paid $7.20, $4.20, and $2.80. Night Ops paid $4.40 and $3.00. Bankit paid $3.00 to show.
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