Rutherienne wins Boiling Springs on DQ

Long Branch’s Bravo nears 4,000th win

OCEANPORT – With the help of the stewards, trainer Christophe Clement kept his perfect record at Monmouth intact Saturday as Virginia Kraft Payson’s Rutherienne was placed first after finishing second in the $150,000 Boiling Spring Stakes (G3) on the turf.

Clement has now won with all five horses he has sent to run at Monmouth, but Saturday’s was a near thing. Red Birkin, an invader from Canada, finished first by a neck over Rutherienne after a mile and a sixteenth on firm turf in 1:40 3/5.

However, the stewards ruled that Red Birkin, ridden by Jose Lezcano, had interfered with Sharp Susan, the third-place finisher, in the stretch run. They disqualified Red Birkin and placed her third behind Rutherienne and Sharp Susan. Eddie Castro, rider of Sharp Susan, had claimed foul against both horses who finished in front of him.

Rutherienne, ridden by Joe Bravo, who entered Saturday’s action just five wins short of his 4,000th career victory, paid $3.60, $2.20 and $2.10 across the board as the 4-5 favorite in the field of six 3-year-old fillies. Sharp Susan, the 5-2 second choice, returned $3 and $2.10 and completed the $9.20 exacta. Red Birkin, third choice at 7-2, paid $2.10 to show.

“We didn’t really give Joe instructions on where to be as long as he was covered up,” said Clement. “We just wanted her to be able to relax, no matter what spot she was in. Joe did a great job with her today. She’s a great filly and she keeps on winning for us. She will likely be running up at Saratoga in the near future.”

This was the fifth victory in six lifetime starts for Rutherienne, a daughter of Pulpit who won the Grade 3 Sands Point Stakes at Belmont last out.

Sharp Susan set most of the pace into the stretch, when Red Birkin moved through along the rail to take command. Rutherienne closed on the outside at the same time, and Sharp Susan was put in tight quarters when Red Birkin drifted out.

“I don’t know what Jose (Lezcano) was doing or looking at,” Bravo said.

“I had a ton of horse and she was closing down the outside with a full head of steam. Nothing against Lezcano, he’s a good rider, but I guess in the heat of competition he messed up today.

“Christophe Clement put me on the best horse today.”

Castro echoed Bravo’s assessment.

“I was in the middle of it; Jose’s horse (Red Birkin) came out into me,” he said.

In the $60,000 Dearly Precious Stakes for 3-year-old fillies, Bryan and Holly Rice’s Astor Park overtook 3-5 favorite Princess Janie with a furlong to go and went on to score a length-and-a-quarter victory.

The winner, trained by Todd Beattie and ridden by Stewart Elliott, stepped the six furlongs over a fast track in a sprightly 1:08 4/5 and returned $8.80, $2.80 and $2.10 across the board as the 3-1 second choice in the field of five fillies.

Princess Janie held second by a length over Bianco to complete the $17.60 exacta. Lottacosta, who invaded from Canada for this race, stumbled badly at the break and was never a factor.

Astor Park, a chestnut daughter of Ecton Park. is now unbeaten in three lifetime starts. She broke her maiden at Delaware Park on May 9, and came back on June 5 to take an allowance race at that track.

Princess Janie set a fast pace, clipping off fractions of :21 3/5 and :44 1/5, and came into the stretch with a clear lead. Astor Park moved up quickly on the outside, caught the favorite at the eighth pole, and then drew off in the final sixteenth.

“I told Stewie (jockey Elliott) to let her stalk the pace today,” Beattie said, “and put pressure on the front-runner turning for home. He followed instructions perfectly. This filly has been improving all the way, and I really don’t think we’ve seen the best of her yet.”

Unbeaten Cable Boy on target for Long Branch on July 14

The late-developing 3-year-old Cable Boy turned in another impressive performance at Monmouth Park recently, winning the Coronado’s Quest Stakes by nearly four lengths, and put himself squarely on the trail to the $1 million Haskell Invitational (G1) on Aug. 5.

Trainer Pat McBurney said that the next stop on the Cable Boy Express will be the $150,000 Long Branch Breeders¿ Cup Stakes here on Saturday, July 14.

“He ran really well, and he came out of the race in good shape,” McBurney said.

The Coronado’s Quest was Cable Boy’s second straight win at a mile and 70 yards. He’ll go a mile and a sixteenth for the first time in the Long Branch, and McBurney foresees a training regimen similar to the one that brought the colt to the Quest race.

“John (co-trainer John Forbes) and I will discuss it, but I think we’ll breeze him an easy half-mile, and then a slow seven-eighths,” McBurney said. “Close to the race, he’ll have a faster breeze as a blowout.”

Cable Boy, a son of Jump Start, is owned by James Dinan and Phantom House Farm. He did not start his racing career until May 13 here when he broke his maiden at first asking. He then won an allowance race in track record time of 1:38.78 for a mile and 70 yards on May 26. In the Coronado’s Quest, he was never really pushed and completed the distance in 1:39.42.