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Mata Keranjang Likes Monmouth Turf

In Indonesia, Mata Keranjang is a phrase meaning heart breaker.

 

In Sunday’s Grade 3, $100,000 Cliff Hanger, Mata Keranjang the horse will be looking for his first career stakes victory.

 

The 5-year-old gelding by More Than Ready out of the Salt Lake mare Love Sick has won a pair of allowance events this summer at Monmouth Park, including a victory over stablemate Breathless Storm – a subsequent winner of the Jersey Derby – back in June.

 

“He has two wins and a second here this summer,” said Andrew St. Lawrence, assistant trainer to Kiaran McLaughlin.  “It seems like he really likes this turf course.”

 

In his most recent effort, Mata Keranjang showed a new rating dimension while capturing the finale on the Haskell Day card.

 

“Two races back when we lost to Graham Motion’s horse [Slew’s Answer], Elvis [jockey Trujillo] came back and said he thought we should take the blinkers off,” St. Lawrence said.  “We figured we’d give it a shot and instead of taking them off completely, we just cut them back a little.  It seemed to work well last time as he was able to relax a bit.”

 

Mata Keranjang will likely need to continue his rating tactics Sunday with the likes of speedy Battlefield winner Sayif and 10-time Monmouth Park turf winner Get Serious also entered in the Cliff Hanger.

 

“He’s always been the kind of horse that wants to breeze in :46 in the mornings and we’ve had to kind of say ‘whoa, you can’t do that’,” St. Lawrence said.  “He has a lot of natural speed and shouldn’t be too far from the front.”

 

The Cliff Hanger will be Mata Keranjang fourth start in America since coming over from Europe and his first race at a flat mile in this country. 


“I actually really like the cutback for him,” St. Lawrence said.  “Last time out we cut him back from a mile and an eighth to a mile and a sixteenth and that seemed to work out well.  I like the idea of two cutbacks in a row.”

 

In a wide-open, eight-horse field, contention flows deep, but St. Lawrence also admits he may not even have the best-named animal in the race.

 

“Handicapping the race, it looks like we’ll be right next to Yummy With Butter early,” St. Lawrence said.  “And that is by far the coolest-named horse around.”

 

 

 

 

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