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Sacred Life Strides Off in Oceanport
Credit: Bill Denver / Equi-Photo

Sacred Life Strides Off in Oceanport

OCEANPORT, NJ – Trainer Chad Brown’s Sacred Life returned strongly from an extended break, striding off in the stretch to win Sunday’s $100,000 Oceanport Stakes at Monmouth Park.

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Sent from post 5 under Paco Lopez as the 6/5 second choice, Sacred Life tucked back and ran along the rail toward the rear. Up front, Jamminwithbrandon dueled with Irish Strait through opening fractions of :24.29 and :48.92.

Irish Strait led into the far turn as Ninety One Assault made a bid. Tipped out three-wide midway through the far turn, Sacred Life unleashed a massive bid at the top of the stretch and shot like a cannon to take the lead just inside the 1/8 pole.

Clearing away impressively, Sacred Life crossed 4 lengths clear in a final time of 1:42.

Credit: Ryan Denver / Equi-Photo

“He was ready today,” Lopez said. “I know he’s a classy horse. I just wanted to get some position in the first turn, let him settle, and wait. I took him outside because the turf is a little harder there than it is inside. I was waiting for (Synchrony), but he never showed up, so I just wanted to get my horse clear. I held him as long as I could, but he really wanted to go. He showed how much he wanted to run with the way he closed.”

Hawkish rallied from the rear to take second in a photo finish over Irish Strait, Eons, and the even-money favorite Synchrony (the 2018 champ), with a nose, a 1/2-length, and a head separating those four. 

Nintey One Assault, A Thread of Blue, Bumperdoo, and Jamminwithbrandon completed the order of finish.

Compound It and Empire of War were scratched. Croatian was a Main Track Only entry.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YrZbWp4W3uQ

Sacred Life’s win came in his first start since finishing fourth in January’s Pegasus World Cup Turf (G1) at Gulfstream Park and improved his overall record to 15-6-6-0 with $414,518 earned. Co-owners Michael Dubb, Madaket Stables, Wonder Stables, and Bethlehem Stables privately purchased the French-bred 5-year-old son of Siyouni last spring.

“I wasn’t worried about the (layoff),” said assistant trainer Luis Cabrera. “He’s a very classy horse. He knows what to do and he knows where the wire is. He beat a good field. This was a tough race, but this is a good horse, a very classy horse. He ran the same way in Florida in his last start. He ran good, considering it was a Grade 1, then Chad gave him a little break. He really closed nicely this race.”

Sacred Life returned $4.40 to win, $3.40 to place, and $2.80 to show. Hawkish brought back $6.40 to place and $5 to show, while Irish Strait paid $6.20 to show.

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