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
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
“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
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
“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.”