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OCEANPORT, NJ – It didn’t matter to trainer Uriah St. Lewis that Grade 1 winner Basin was in Saturday’s Salvator Mile (G3) at Monmouth Park, or that defending race champion Pirate’s Punch was back in an effort for a second straight win in the race.
Just as he wasn’t fazed by the presence of odds-on favorite Ny Traffic, last year’s TVG.com Haskell Stakes (G1) runner-up.
St. Lewis and Informative, his 4-year-old horse who had 2 career wins in 24 starts coming in, simply defied the offs — literally.
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Rallying from far back and able to find an opening inside in the stretch, Informative ran down Ny Traffic late on the way to a 1-length victory at odds of 79/1 in the 74th edition of the Salvator Mile.
The son of Bodemeister returned $161.60 to win.
“I expected this because this horse has been training so good,” said St. Lewis. “The last race he ran at Pimlico (second in a $35,000 optional claimer on May 15) he got blocked, checked and stopped and ran a huge number. I said to myself `if he can run that number again he can win.’ And he did.
“We were not intimidated by this field. That’s why we entered him. We thought he could win it.”
Ridden by Jose Ferrer, Informative was last in the 10-horse field through an opening 1/4 of :23.98 and to a first 1/2 that went in :47.27. Green Light Go set those early fractions with constant pressure from Ny Traffic and jockey Paco Lopez.
At the 1/4 pole, Informative was still seventh by 4 1/2 lengths.
“I’ve ridden horses like this before that looked like they were hopeless and they just pick it up for you,” said Ferrer. “Everything opened up for me in the stretch. It was wide open to come through. I knew I had saved ground coming into the lane and I was thinking, ‘Let’s see what this horse has now.’ Then I saw Paco drifting out and I said, ‘Man, I’m going to get him. I’m going to win this race.’
“The horse can’t read the board so he didn’t know (his odds). I’ve always said you don’t have a chance if you stay in the jockeys’ room, and this is proof of that.”
Informative, whose only 2 previous career victories came on off tracks, recorded his first graded stakes victory in his 25th career start.
Ny Traffic held for second, 1 1/2 lengths ahead of Galerio. The winning time was 1:37.01
“When they went down the backside, I thought I had no chance,” said St. Lewis. “But when we got to the top of the stretch and everything opened for him, I said, ‘Our lucky day is coming.’ All he had to do was finish strong and he finished strong. This feels good. I like that price $161.60 to win. Everyone is happy.”
West Will Power, War Stopper, Pirate’s Punch, Basin, Bal Harbour, Green Light Go, and Croatian completed the order of finish.
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