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Data Link Rebounds in Monmouth Stakes

Data Link captured the Grade 2 $200,000 Monmouth Stakes and Varsity took the $60,000 John McSorley Stakes at Monmouth Park on Sunday before a crowd of 16,236.


Trained by Shug McGaughey, Data Link sat patiently behind the speed before making his move at the quarter-pole and storming down the lane to prevail by a length. His final time of 1:45.93 for the mile and one eighth over a firm turf course established a new record with the rail set at 0 feet eclipsing the old mark of 1:46.39 established by J’Ray on August 3, 2008.


Sent off at 3-5 in the field of seven and carrying co-highweight of 123 pounds, Data Link returned $3.20, $2.20 and $2.20 across the board and topped the $11.60 exacta. Get Stormy paid $3.20 to place and $3 to show.  It was another length-and-a-quarter back to Get Serious, who returned $6.40 to show. 


“It was perfect,” said winning jockey John Velazquez, who partnered with Data Link for the first time.“There was a lot of speed in the race and he likes to come from behind. It just worked out perfect for us. All the speed held up pretty well and when I pulled him outside at the quarter-pole, he responded right away. It’s easy when you ride this kind of horse.”


A 4-year-old colt by War Front from the Known Fact mare Database, Data Link improved his lifetime mark to 6-0-1 from 12 outings. The multiple graded stakes winner has now earned $451,335 for owner and breeder Stuart Janney III.


“He’s a pretty good horse,” said trainer Shug McGaughey. “We got a little bit of a pace and Johnny was patient with him and got him to relax. When he wheeled him out, it was here we come.”


Get Stormy led into mid-stretch but could not repel the charge of Data Link.


“I had to move about the five-eighths pole, which was sooner than I wanted to go,” said Eddie Castro, who rode the horse for trainer Tom Bush. “He did everything right today, the other horse just caught us.”


In the John McSorley Stakes, Varsity broke alertly and set all of the fractions to post a half-length victory over Triple E, who rallied late but failed to catch the winner.


Conditioned by Christophe Clement, Varsity covered 5 ½ furlongs on firm turf in 1:00 4/5, just one tick off the course record, and paid $4.20, $3 and $2.80 as the even-money favorite in the field of six. Triple E completed the $43.60 exacta and returned $8.40 and $4. Tune Me In was another length-and-a-quarter back in third, good for a $3.20 show mutuel.


“This horse is not a typical Christophe Clement horse. This horse is fast, fast, fast,” said winning jockey Joe Bravo.  “All I had to do was hold on for the ride and then smile.”


The McSorley victory was the fourth in eight tries and the first stakes win for Varsity, a five-year-old son of Indian Charlie out of the Mt. Livermore mare Tears of Joy.  The winner’s share of the purse boosted the gelding’s lifetime earnings to $130,675 for owners and breeder Diana and Bertram Firestone.


 

 

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