Wertheimer and Frere’s West Ocean sat off the early pace
before making a powerful stretch move to post a 2 ¾ length win in the $100,000
Klassy Briefcase Stakes as Patriotic Viva took her five rivals wire-to-wire to
capture the $100,000 Serena’s
Song Stakes at Monmouth Park on Saturday.
Trained by Todd Pletcher, West
Ocean returned $3, $2.10
and $2.10 across the board as the heavy favorite in the field of five fillies
and mares. Candy Cane completed the $5.20 exacta and paid $2.60 and $2.10. It
was another head back to Life Lesson, who paid $2.40 to show.
“There were really no anxious moments at all,” said winning jockey Garrett
Gomez. “She did whatever I needed her to do to get the job done. When I asked
her on the turn she really responded and put in a good run.”
West Ocean covered the about 5 ½ furlongs on
firm turf in 1:01 3/5 as she recorded her sixth win in nine career starts. The
daughter of Elusive Quality from the Belong to Me mare Ocean Drive has now earned $274,640
for her connections.
In the Serena’s Song Stakes, Patriotic Viva took command right from the start
and never looked back, coasting to a convincing 3 ¾ length victory, stopping
the timer in 1:41 4/5 for a mile and 70 yards over the fast main track.
Conditioned by Patrick Biancone, Patriotic Viva paid $4.80, $2.60 and $2.40 as
the favorite and topped an $11.60 exacta. C C’s Pal rallied to pay $2.80 to
place and $2.20 to show. Silver La Belle checked in third, good for a $3.60
“This filly’s been begging for more distance and today she really enjoyed it,”
said winning jockey Joe Bravo. “I don’t even know what to say, the gates opened
and it was over. All I had to do was hold on.”
Patriotic Viva scored her second win in five starts by taking the Serena’s
Song. Her trainer indicated she will go on to the $200,000 Monmouth Oaks (Aug.
14, Grade 3) for her next start.
A 3-year-old by Whywhywhy, who was also conditioned by Biancone, Patriotic Viva
boosted her lifetime bankroll to $108,880 after Saturday’s stakes score.