OCEANPORT, NJ – Swilcan Stables’ homebred Navy Commander sprung clear from the field early and Saturday’s $100,000 Betfair.com Long Branch Stakes at Monmouth Park.
Immediately after shooting out sharply from the far outside post 5 under Angel Arroyo, Navy Commander crossed over to the rail and was allowed to post uncontested fractions of :25.79, :51.57, and 1:15.55. As the pace quickened in the far turn, Navy Commander remained unpressured until straightening for home. American Lincoln was all-out to try and run down the leader, but at the 1/8 pole, Navy Commander dug in gamely, found a new gear, and drew off convincingly in the final stages. The Robert Reid, Jr. trainee hit the wire by a widening 3 1/4 lengths ahead in a final time of 1:46.66 for the 1 1/16-mile main track event.
Though no match for the winner, American Lincoln remained much the best of the rest, crossing in second with a 4 3/4-length advantage over Show Me the Bucks. The 4-5 favorite Supreme Aura was no threat after stalking through the far turn and weakened to finish fourth ahead of only Drummer Don.
Navy Commander’s win was his first in a stakes event and his second straight overall, following an allowance score at Parx. The 3-year-old gelded son of Poseidon’s Warrior now carries a record of 11-5-0-1 with earnings of $186,663.
Navy Commander returned $7.60 to win, $4.20 to place, and $4.40 to show. American Lincoln brought back $3.20 to place and $3.40 to show, while Show Me the Bucks paid $5 to show. The show payouts were higher than the place payouts due to Supreme Aura having taken $5,118 of the $9,493 overall show pool.