War Story enjoys 'home court advantage' wins Monmouth Cup

By Tom Luicci/Monmouth Park
July 18, 2019 11:09pm
War Story enjoys 'home court advantage' wins Monmouth Cup
Photo: Ryan Denver/ EQUI-PHOTO

7-year-old War Story lived up to his name Saturday, emerging victorious from a thrilling battle through the stretch with Bal Harbour to take the 41st edition of the Grade 3, $200,000 Monmouth Cup by just a head.

Imaginary Stables and Glen Ellis’ War Story, who is trained by Jorge Navarro and was ridden by Luis Saez, rated off the pace-setting Coal Front, the 5-2 favorite in the field of six, to the quarter-pole.

Once into the lane Bal Harbour struck the front and then War Story came right to him and engaged him all the way to the wire as those two left the rest of the field in dust.

War Story, sent off at 7-1, covered the 1 1/8 miles in 1:47.65. He won his seventh race in 35 starts and paid $16 for a $2 bet.

Red Oak Stable’s homebred Bal Harbour, the 3-1 second choice, finished 12 lengths in front of Coal Front.

“The name says what he is,” Navarro said. “What a warrior. He’s the only one from American Pharoah’s class of 2015 that’s still going. It’s amazing to have a horse like this still going around.  You don’t see that anymore.

“It wasn’t an easy race. Not at all. We had home court advantage. He likes this track. What a big race he ran. He’s got a ton of heart and a ton ability, still at his age. He wants to do it. He’s a happy animal.”

Saez was also impressed with his mount and said, “It was a pretty clean trip.  I broke sharp and wanted to be pushing the favorite. When that other horse came to us (Bal Harbour) he really dug in and didn’t let him by.”

 

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