Rattle Snake Strike
Rattlesnake Strike At Monmouth
Mill House LLC's RATTLESNAKE BRIDGE (Tapit) may have found himself under consideration for the Triple Crown races earlier this season following a second-place run behind Uncle Mo (Indian Charlie) in the Timely Writer S., but his connections decided to give their gray colt more time to develop following a fourth in the Jerome S. (G2) in late April.
That move paid off as the Kiaran McLaughlin trainee recovered from a stumbling break in Saturday's $165,000 Long Branch S. at Monmouth Park to just get up and stick his nose in front on the wire.
Jockey Eddie Castro steadied his sophomore mount after Rattlesnake Bridge stumbled and bumped with another runner in the 1 1/16-mile affair. The colt settled in between rivals on the backstretch before putting in a four-wide bid rounding the turn. Rattlesnake Bridge came with a furious stretch rally while three wide to wear down All of the Above (Iron Deputy) and capture this local prep for the July 31 Haskell Invitational (G1) in 1:41 3/5.
Little Drama (Burning Roma) was third under the wire and followed by Will's Wildcat (Eurosilver), Wilburn (Bernardini), Nacho Saint (Yes It's True), Moonhanger (Malibu Moon) and Galaxy Kat (Empire Maker). Jack London (Tale of the Cat) and Rush Now (Tiznow) were scratched.
A beaming McLaughlin celebrated his fourth win on Monmouth's Saturday card (Bill Denver/Equi-Photo)
Finally catching a fast track following his Jerome fourth and an allowance second in off conditions, Rattlesnake Bridge more than doubled his earnings to $153,200 to go along with his 5-2-2-0 lifetime mark.
"It was a great performance," McLaughlin said. "He stumbled a little coming out of the gate, and I actually thought he'd be a little further back with them going :22 3/5 for the first quarter."
As for a return trip in three weeks for the $1 million Haskell Invitational the trainer said, "We'll talk it over, but we'd love to come back for the Haskell."
In addition to earning an invite to the Haskell, the gray gave McLaughlin his fourth victory on the card, tying four other conditioners that have accomplished the feat. McLaughlin's four-bagger started in the 1ST race with Oflee Wicked (Offlee Wild) and continued in the 3RD with Call First (A.P. Indy) and 8TH with Distant Sky (El Prado [Ire]).
McLaughlin joins J. Willard Thompson, Robert Klesaris, John Forbes and Bruce Alexander in winning four races on a single Monmouth Park card.
There was no battle as Sayif wired the Battlefield (Bill Denver/Equi-Photo)
"We love Monmouth Park," he said. "We love the Shore and Monmouth Park has always been a favorite. To win four races in one day is great."
One race earlier, Saleh Y. Al-Homaizi's SAYIF (Ire) (Kheleyf) finally earned his first win stateside with a front-running, one-length score in the $75,900 Battlefield S.
The Patrick Biancone charge finished up a mile on the good turf in 1:34 2/5 under Channing Hill to add this one to a score in the 2009 Diadem S. (Eng-G2) and placings in the 2008 editions of the Middle Park S. (Eng-G1), July S. (Eng-G2), Vintage S. (Eng-G2) and Mill Reef S. (Eng-G2).
"He's an incredibly nice horse," Hill said. "I've been breezing him and he's been breezing really well. When we got to the eighth-pole, I knew we were home because if someone was going to run us down, they were really going to have to be moving."
The dark bay five-year-old improved his career record to 19-3-3-2, $346,291, with the Battlefield win.
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