George and Lori Hall’s Sweet Ducky proved a
much-the-best winner in the $70,000 Seton Hall University Stakes at Monmouth Park on Saturday, besting his rivals by
an impressive four lengths at the wire.
In what looked to be a rematch of the Garden State Stakes
run at Monmouth on Sept. 25, Sweet Ducky went into the gate for the Seton Hall
just inside of Curlinello, who he bested by a half-length when they last met.
On Saturday, Curlinello, dispatched as the odds-on favorite in the field of six
2-year-old colts, rallied outside in the lane, but was no match for the winner,
who stepped the mile over the fast main track in 1:38 3/5.
“I think even more impressive than his race today is
the way he’s maturing,” said winning jockey Joe Bravo. “He’s always had the talent,
but now he’s starting to learn the game. He’s such a big animal, I think the
two turns has really helped him as well.”
Sweet Ducky, up on the pace the whole way, returned
$5.40, $2.80 and $2.20 and topped a $9.20 exacta. Curlinello paid $2.40 to place
and $2.10 to show. It was another head back to Printing Press, good for a $2.40
“Joe (jockey Bravo) asked about someone going to the
lead and I told him it’s in his hands,” said winning conditioner Kelly John
Breen. “He needed a little seasoning and Joe just said today he’s learning.”
Breen indicated that the Grade 3, $1 million Delta
Jackpot on Nov. 20 at Delta Downs would be Sweet Ducky’s next start.
The Seton Hall University Stakes score was the third in
four starts for Sweet Ducky, a son of Pulpit from the Storm Boot mare Storm’s
Darling. He has now banked $148,250 for his connections.