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Two Notch Road Loves Monmouth Park

There’s one fact about Monday’s $100,000 Choice Stakes that definitely falls under the heading of “oddity.” That would be that a Glenn Thompson-trained horse is bringing an unbeaten record on the Monmouth turf into the route for 3-year-olds.


Two Notch Road, owned by Thompson in partnership with breeder James Hackman, is three-for-three on the Monmouth green, including a win in the Continental Mile Stakes, where he broke his maiden at a $216.40 mutuel.


And his backers deserved every nickel of that price, because before that race last Aug. 15, Thompson had a less-than-stellar record on the turf.


“I hate to admit this,” said Thompson with a sheepish grin, “but before Two Notch Road won the Continental Mile, I hadn’t won a turf race since 1984!”


Like 25 years ago, 1984?


“Yes, it was a long time,” Thompson said. “It got so bad that every time I entered a horse in a turf race, my assistant and my entire crew would cringe. They feared the worst, and the worst is what always happened. Weird stuff that you never think about. But always something.”


Two Notch Road, a Virginia-bred son of Partner’s Hero * Capiana, by Capote, changed all that in a little more than a minute and a half last August.


“I had been dying to get him on the grass,” Thompson said, “even with my record. I knew he would really improve on the turf. It was quite a way to break his maiden.”


Two Notch Road won both his allowance starts at Monmouth this year, and last out ran a very game third in the Grade 2 Colonial Turf Cup at Colonial Downs. Now he’s back to his favorite track, with regular rider Shannon Uske back aboard.


“He seems to thrive on the firm course here,” Thompson said. “He’s been going to the front in some of his races, but he doesn’t really have to be on the lead. He’s flexible, and I’ll leave strategy in the jockey’s hands. Shannon is great at getting him to relax.”


Thompson acquired Two Notch Road from a yearling sale. Hackman, who has been one of his clients for several years, put the horse in the sale. Bidding was light, and Thompson got the youngster for $2,500. He thought the breeder would like to be part-owner, so he traded Hackman a piece of Two Notch Road for a piece of the filly Cristiane, who runs in the sixth race here Sunday.


Two Notch Road is named for the road that runs next to the Aiken, S.C., training track, where Thompson’s horses spend their winters.


“It’s a great place, and I’m fortunate to have clients who let me take their horses there each year,” Thompson said. “You know Two Notch Road (the street) in Aiken is famous. Some of the best horses in history have crossed it when Greentree Stable and Woody Stephens and Mack Miller trained there.”

FIRST MONMOUTH TWILIGHT CARD SET FOR FRIDAY, JULY 9

Monmouth has scheduled three twilight racing cards in July, with the first slated for Friday, July 9. The other twilight dates are July 16 and July 23.


First post for the twilight programs will be 2:10 p.m. However, Monmouth’s gates will still open at 11:30 a.m. so fans can wager on the early simulcast signals. Finger Lakes starts the simulcast program at 12:35 p.m.

 

 

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