2011-07-14 / Sports

Rattlesnake Bridge earns Haskell invite with stakes win

Trainer McLaughlin wins four races on Saturday’s card


Rattlesnake Bridge (No. 3, left) with Eddie Castro riding passes All Of The Above (1A) with Joe Bravo in the saddle to win the $150,000 Long Branch Stakes at Monmouth Park on July 9. With the victory, Rattlesnake Bridge earned an invite to the $1 million Haskell Invitational on July 31. 
RYAN DENVER/Equi-Photo Rattlesnake Bridge (No. 3, left) with Eddie Castro riding passes All Of The Above (1A) with Joe Bravo in the saddle to win the $150,000 Long Branch Stakes at Monmouth Park on July 9. With the victory, Rattlesnake Bridge earned an invite to the $1 million Haskell Invitational on July 31. RYAN DENVER/Equi-Photo Rattlesnake Bridge used a furious stretch rally to wear downAll Of The Above by a nose in the $150,000 Long Branch Stakes at Monmouth Park. The win gave trainer Kiaran McLaughlin a record-tying fourth winner on the Saturday card at Monmouth Park.

Mill House LLC’s Rattlesnake Bridge, the $2.20-1 favorite in the field of eight 3- year-old colts and geldings, waited until the three-eighths pole before moving widest for the drive. The son of Tapit, under Eddie Castro, covered the mile and 16th over the fast main track in 1:41 3/5 and paid $4.40, $3 and $2.80. All Of The Above rounded out the $27.40 exacta and paid $6.20 and $4.60. It was another length and three-quarters back to Little Drama, who paid $4.60 to show.

“It was a great performance,” McLaughlin said in a press release. “He stumbled a little coming out of the gate, and I actually thought he’d be a little further back with them going 22 3/5 for the first quarter.”

As for a return trip in three weeks for the $1 million Haskell Invitational, “We’ll talk it over, but we’d love to come back for the Haskell,” he said.

Making just his fifth career start, Rattlesnake Bridge scored his second victory by taking the Long Branch. The winner’s share of $90,000 moved his lifetime bankroll to $153,200.

In addition to earning an invite to the $1 million Haskell Invitational on July 31, Rattlesnake Bridge gave Kiaran McLaughlin his fourth victory on the card, tying four other conditioners that have accomplished the feat. McLaughlin’s four-bagger started in the first race with Oflee Wicked ($13.40), then in the third with Call First ($10.60) and the eighth with Distant Sky ($7.20). He joins J. Willard Thompson, Robert Klesaris, John Forbes and Bruce Alexander in winning four races on a single Monmouth Park card.

“We love Monmouth Park,” McLaughlin said. “We love the Shore, and Monmouth Park has always been a favorite. To win four races in one day is great.” Earlier in the day, Saleh Y. Al-Homaizi’s Sayif took his five foes wire-to-wire in the $75,000 Battlefield Stakes.

Trained by Patrick Biancone, Sayif stepped the mile over a “yielding” turf in 1:34 2/5 and returned $28.40, $12.20 and $4.80. It was a length back to Yummy With Butter, who completed the $209.40 exacta and paid $8.80 and $4.20. Monument Hill was another two lengths back in third, good for a $3 show mutuel.

“He’s an incredibly nice horse,” said winning jockey Channing Hill. “I’ve been breezing him, and he’s been breezing really well. When we got to the eighth pole, I knew we were home because if someone was going to run us down, they were really going to have to be moving.”

The Battlefield win was the third in 19 starts for the Irish-bred Sayif, a 5-year-old colt by Kheleyf from the Rudimentary mare Sewards Folly. He has now earned $344,931.

Sunday at Monmouth Park, Blue Heaven Farm’s Maple Forest stormed down the homestretch to post a length and a quarter victory in the $75,000 Dearly Precious Stakes, and Perfect Officer wore down Varsity to take the $65,000 Wolf Hill Stakes by a neck.

Trained by Todd Pletcher, Maple Forest covered the six furlongs over the fast main track in 1:09 1/5 and returned $5.40, $3.20 and $2.60 as the favorite in the field of six 3-year-old fillies. Moonlit Malibu completed the $22.60 exacta and paid $5.60 and $3. It was another length and a quarter back to Bold Affair, who paid $2.60 to show.

AMichael Pino-trainee Perfect Officer stepped the 5 1/2 furlongs over good turf in 1:01 4/5 and returned $6.60, $2.80 and $2.60 in theWolf Hill. Varsity rounded out the $17.80 exacta and paid $3 and $2.80. It was another two and three-quarter lengths back to Ju Jitsu Jax, who paid $6 to show.

Live racing continues at Monmouth Park on Friday, July 15; gates open 11:30 a.m., and the first post is 12:50 p.m.

The racetrack is open seven days a week for simulcasting from across the country and around the globe.

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