David Jacobson's Baccelo stalked the early pace of Mr. Jordan before moving by the pacesetter at the top of the stretch and posting a length and a half win in the Grade 3, $100,000 Philip H. Iselin Stakes at Monmouth Park.
Trained by the owner, Baccelo survived a steward's inquiry and jockey's claim of foul for lugging in in the lane, before officially grabbing in the Iselin trophy. The winner paid $8.80, $4.20 and $2.60 in the field of six colts and geldings. Mr. Jordan completed the $41.40 exacta and paid $4.40 and $2.40. Odds-on favorite Watershed, who raced near the back of the pack early, rallied for third, paying $2.10 after checking in three lengths farther back.
“I saw Mr. Jordan break on the lead and I just kept my horse close,” said winning rider Nik Juarez, who captured last year's Iselin atop Valid. “I didn't want to leave him too much to do in the stretch and he was able to prove that he was the best horse. It's been a great day, a great meet. This place is home to me and I appreciate all the horsemen who give me a chance.”
A 6-year-old Brazilian-bred gelding by Northern Afleet from the Wild Event mare Quanto Carina, Baccelo has won three straight dating back to June 10 at Santa Anita. Saturday's win pushed his lifetime mark to 6-7-3 from 26 starts, good for earnings of $316,882.
Live racing continues at Monmouth Park on Sunday, Aug. 28 – gates open 11:30 a.m., first post 12:50 p.m.
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