Honest Man beats Grasshopper in Iselin Stakes at Monmouth

Honest Man stalked the pace into the stretch and then turned on the speed to score a nearly threelength victory in the $300,000 Philip H. Iselin Stakes (G3) at Monmouth Park on Saturday.

Honest Man, trained by J. Larry Jones and ridden by Terry Thompson — the same combination that captured last week’s Monmouth Oaks (G3) with Maren’s Meadow — raced the mile and an eighth in 1:49 over the fast main track as he captured his first graded stakes.

Grasshopper, the 3-2 favorite, could not make up enough ground late and had to settle for second, three-quarters of a length ahead of Kiss the Kid, who had a neck on Gottcha Gold for the show.

The winner paid $8.20, $3.40 and $3 across the board as second choice in the field of eight older horses. Grasshopper, $2.40 to place and $2.40 to show, completed the $24.20 exacta. Kiss the Kid paid $4.40 to show.

Honest Man, a 4-year-old son of Unbridled’s Song owned by Winstar Farm & Fox Hill Farm, finished third in the Salvator Mile (G3) here in July, his first Monmouth start. This was the first stakes win for the Kentucky-bred, who has now won six of his 10 lifetime starts.

“It sure looks like the Salvator Mile set him up perfectly for this,” Jones said. “I told Terry just to let him break and play it from there. He did everything right. We were able to stalk the early pace and go after the leaders turning for home.”

Gottcha Gold, who won last year’s Iselin in front-running style, tried the same tactics today. However, Kiss the Kid ranged up to challenge around the turn, and both of them were passed in midstretch by the streaking Honest Man. Grasshopper made a belated move outside to be second.

In the Continental Mile, Bunker Hill set the pace under Jose Lezcano, fighting off threats by favored Beacon Hill Road early, and then second choice Uncle T Seven late to prevail by a nose.

The 2-year-old son of Trippi, trained by Derek Ryan, surged ahead in the final yards to get his nose up first on the wire, as he raced the one mile on a fast main track in 1:39 2/5. The race was scheduled to be run on the turf but was transferred to the dirt because of overnight rains.

As one of the longest prices in the field of eight 2-year-olds, Bunker Hill paid $29, $14.80 and $8.20 across the board and topped the $140.20 exacta.

Uncle T Seven, who stuck his head in front briefly nearing the wire, had to settle for the place and paid $5.20 to place and $3.80 to show. Aspiring Nick was third, two lengths farther back, and paid $4.80 to show. Favored Beacon Hill Road was fourth.

This was the second victory in as many Monmouth starts for Bunker Hill, who broke his maiden here on Aug. 7 in a fivefurlong maiden claimer.

“I had him ready to go two turns when we ran him first out,” Ryan said. “I had this race picked out all along. He’s really a game horse and he ran great today.”

“When he saw the horse on the outside in the stretch (Uncle T Seven), he just dug in gamely and fought back all the way to the wire,” added Lezcano.

Classify takes Sunday’s Incredible Revenge Stakes

Winchell Thoroughbreds’ Classify gained the lead in the shadow of the wire before posting a neck victory in the $60,000 Incredible Revenge Stakes to highlight Sunday’s action.

Trained by Steve Asmussen, Classify covered the 5 1/2 furlongs over a fast main track in 1:03 3/5 and returned $7.60 and $3.60. Beau Dare, the 3-2 favorite, set the early fractions but had to settle for second, paying $2.80 to place and completing a $22.60 exacta. It was 8 3/4 lengths back to Pure Disco, who finished third. Jazzy was last in the field of fillies and mares that scratched down to four runners after being transferred from the turf to the main track.

“The trip played out real well,” said winning rider David Cohen. “We had a nice pace in front of us. I moved her out at the top of the stretch and she did her job.”

Sunday’s win marked the seventh in 16 starts for Classify, a daughter of Unbridled’s Song from the Olympio mare Classic Olympio. She has now earned $205,250 for her connections.

On Friday, Ocean View Stables’ Jenny Bean Girl, longest shot in the field at 6-1, gained command in midstretch and held off favored Lucky Revival late to win the $45,000 allowance/optional claiming feature at Monmouth Park.

Jenny Bean Girl, trained by J. Willard Thompson and ridden by Daniel Centeno, scored by half a length over Lucky Revival, stopping the timer in 1:43 flat for the one mile and 70 yards over a track labeled “good.”

The winner paid $14.80, $4 and $3.40 across the board and topped the $42.80 exacta. Lucky Revival, who went off at even money, paid $2.60 and $2.10 to place and show. Sherunsforbilly was third, two and a quarter lengths farther back, and paid $3.20 to show.

This was the first victory of the year in five starts for Jenny Bean Girl, a 6-yearold New Jersey-bred mare by Sefapiano- That’s a Plenty, by Dixieland Band. Last year she won three of nine starts, including Monmouth’s Spruce Fir and Jersey Girl Handicaps for state-breds. Friday’s win gave her a lifetime mark of 6-8-4 in 26 starts at Monmouth.