Photo: Heidi E. Carpenter
Donegal Racing’s Irish You Well took the lead at the top of the stretch and repelled the bid of Just Call Kenny in the lane to capture the $100,000 Long Branch Stakes at Monmouth Park on Saturday by a half-length.
“The jockey (Orlando Bocachica) did a great job,” said winning trainer Wayne Catalano. “The horse responded very well when he was asked and ran a really good race. We’re planning to run him in the Haskell (Grade 1, $1 million at Monmouth on July 27). He’s stabled there and that’s the reason I broke his maiden over there. He handles the surface really well.”
Irish You Well covered the mile and a sixteenth over a fast main track in 1:42 2/5 and paid $12, $5.80 and $3.60. Just Call Kenny completed the $72.40 exacta and paid $5.60 and $3.60. It was another 2 ½ lengths back to Encryption, who returned $3.40 to show. Misconnect, the 8-5 favorite in the field of nine 3-year-olds, finished fifth.
“I just wanted to break well and get good position,” said winning rider Orlando Bocachica. “I knew I had horse so the plan was to wait until the horses behind me came to me before I made my move. It worked out perfect.”
A colt by Broken Vow from the Pulpit mare Pun, Irish You Well broke his maiden last out at Monmouth, winning by an impressive 7 ½ lengths at odds of 2-5. Saturday’s win moved his lifetime mark to 2-1-5 from 10 starts, good for earnings of $182,150.
Live racing continues at Monmouth Park on Sunday, July 6 – gates open 11:30 a.m., first post 12:50 p.m. In addition to the Grade 1, $500,000 United Nations Stakes and beach towel giveaway, Sunday’s card will also feature a carryover of $26,924.79 in the Pick 5, which is on races six through 10.