OCEANPORT, NJ – Sonata Stable’s Premier Star broke through for his first stakes score in Wednesday’s $100,000 Jersey Shore at Monmouth Park.
Premier Star was the even-money favorite under Paco Lopez as he broke from post 3 and raced along the rail while As Seen On Tv and Johnny Ritt flanked him down the backstretch.
After an opening 1/4-mile in :22.09, Premier Star moved ahead in the far turn and straightened for home with a growing advantage.
Distancing himself from the field at the 1/16 pole, the Mike Trombetta trainee crossed 4 3/4 lengths easily the best while completing the 6-furlong fast dirt sprint in 1:09.61.
“He’s a very nice horse,” Lopez said. “He was very strong today. I knew he ran against some monsters last race, but I was surprised the instructions were to send him. But they know him. They know how he likes to race. Once he made the lead, no one was catching him.”
Though no match for the winner, Johnny Ritt held second by a neck over Meru.
Further back came He’s Smokin Now, Gandy Dancing, Newstome, and As Seen On Tv to complete the order of finish.
Bright Dawn, Carey Times, and Win Ya Win were scratched from the field restricted to 3-year-olds.
Premier Star’s win was his first at the stakes level after finishing sixth in February’s Sam F. Davis (G3) and third last time out in the Amsterdam (G3). The Tapiture colt, purchased for $100,000 as a juvenile, has now earned $160,750 to go with a 7-4-0-1 record.
“This horse has trained really well,” Trombetta said. “As tough as his last race was, and as well as he ran in my mind that day, they still have to run. Every horse race is a different race. A lot of things have to go right to win them. Today was his day.”
Premier Star returned $4.20 to win, $2.80 to place, and $2.60 to show. Johnny Ritt brought back $10.40 to place and $5.80 to show, while Meru paid $3.60 to show.