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OCEANPORT, NJ – There’s A Chance Stable’s Horologist denied invading 2-year-old champion Jaywalk a chance at her second straight W when her perfectly-timed inside surge was enough to pull the upset in Saturday’s $150,000 Monmouth Oaks (G3) at Monmouth Park.
Breaking from the rail under Angel Suarez at 5/1 odds, Horologist maintained her position down the stretch the first time, as did Sweet Sami D and Stay Smart, forcing Jaywalk to run four-wide as they entered the clubhouse turn. Jaywalk eventually cleared enough to cross over to the two path, but Horologist refused to give up the rail.
Jaywalk eventually cleared away from Horologist down the backstretch but had to deal with Sweet Sami D’s pressure to her outside as she posted fractions of :23.49, :46.82, and 1:11.12. Midway through the far turn, Horologist surged forward along the inside and collared Jaywalk by the top of the stretch.
Straightening for home, the two fillies engaged in a tight duel, but near the 1/16 pole, Horologist began to slowly separate. Suarez stood and let out a victorious cry as the John Mazza trainee crossed 3/4 of a length ahead of Jaywalk, winning the 8 1/2-furlong event over the fast main track in a final time of 1:44.44.
“I was confident going in,” Saurez said. “I studied the race really well. I thought I had a good shot. I expected the race to set up just the way it did for me because there was enough speed to make Jaywalk work. Her last race, they let her walk on the lead real easy at Delaware. Today, I knew it was going to be a different outcome because there was some speed to make her work. If no one else went after her, I was going to have to be the one to do it. Once I saw another horse go after her, it was perfect. I took a seat and waited for the right moment. Passing the 3/8 (pole), I was loaded. I was deciding whether to go outside or inside. I opted to go inside, and it worked out good. I was a little worried in the stretch because I wasn’t sure if my horse could fight off Jaywalk, but she was just so game.”
Sent off as the prohibitive 1/5 favorite, Jaywalk was unable to keep up and finished second. Sweet Sami D finished a distant third ahead of Jaywalk’s John Servis stablemate Lady Banba, while Stay Smart faded steadily before completing the order of finish.
Horologist’s win was her fourth straight, three over the local oval that included the Smart N Classy Handicap last out, and improved her overall record to 10-5-1-2 with $278,105 earned. The 3-year-old daughter of Gemologist was making her second attempt against graded foes after finishing fifth in February’s Forward Gal Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream Park.
“She’s been training good,” said Mazza, whose last graded stakes win came with Great Navigator in 1992’s Hopeful (G1). “I said this week that she has been training the best since I’ve had her and she has filled out a lot. She’s a big, mature filly now. I had a lot of confidence in her today, but I didn’t think she could beat Jaywalk. She’s a game Jersey-bred. In this business, you’ve got to keep proving. I think she proved herself today. I’m emotional. It’s been a long time between graded stakes wins for me. I’m so happy it happened again with her. I thought she would run a bang-up race. I just didn’t know if we could beat a champion like Jaywalk.”
Horologist returned $12.80 to win, $3.40 to place, and $2.10 to show. Jaywalk brought back $2.10 to place and $2.10 to show, while Sweet Sami D paid $2.10 to show.
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