OCEANPORT, NJ – Second in this race a year ago, Pin Oak Stable’s homebred Synchrony exacted his revenge on Saturday to take this year’s running of the Grade 3, $100,000 Red Bank Stakes at Monmouth Park.
Breaking a step slowly from post 2 as the 3/5 favorite under Joe Bravo, Synchrony regrouped and settled along the rail towards the rear while Abiding Star led through opening splits of :23.44 and :46.97. Heading into the far turn, Conquest Enforcer made a bid along the pace-setter’s outside and put his nose ahead midway through, but he failed to sustain it by the time the field turned for home and Abiding Star retook command. Meanwhile, Synchrony found an opening along the inside and surged through it strongly. Fighting hard underneath, Synchrony shot ahead in the final 1/16 to draw off late and win by 1 1/2 lengths in a final time of 1:33.61 for the mile-long event over the firm turf course.
“He was a little further back today than the last time,” said Bravo, who also won the $100,000 Violet Stakes earlier on the card. “He was a little more patient. He’s a killer horse. If you don’t get off your seat and holler for him turning for home, then what are you here for? He’s a horse that makes it fun. They were going so fast early. I had a little trouble holding the turn, but everyone did because they were running fast. The turf is not that fast. It’s more a soft turf. Just pretty nice horses that ran fast.”
Abiding Star refused to yield, even when he was beat, and outlasted the defending champion Irish Strait by 1 1/2 lengths for second. Dalarna was up late for fourth over Force The Pass, with Field of Courage, Special Envoy, and a spent Conquest Enforcer completing the order of finish.
Synchrony’s win was his second straight at Monmouth Park, following his triumph in the Grade 3 Oceanside Stakes at the end of July, and improved his overall record to 16-7-3-4. The Mike Stidham-trained 5-year-old intact son of Tapit has now earned $616,552 in his career.
“He’s so versatile,” Stidham said. “We needed to see something like today to give us confidence to run in the (Grade 1) Shadwell Mile (at Keeneland next month) and hopefully the Breeders’ Cup. This was the same ride as last time, with the way the rail opened for Joe Bravo. I got a little worried late, but then he exerted himself and kicked forward. Joe fits him like a glove. Obviously, he knows him, and Joe gets the most out of him.”
Synchrony returned $3.20 to win, $2.40 to place, and $2.10 to show. Abiding Star brought back $6.80 to place and $4 to show, while Irish Strait paid $2.80 to show.