Albert Frassetto's Can'thelpbelieving made a bold late surge to take Sunday's Grade 3 Cliff Hanger Stakes by 2 3/4 lengths. Under Trevor McCarthy, the 5-year-old son of Duke of Marmalade covered nine furlongs in 1:46.77 over Monmouth Park's firm turf for trainer Graham Motion.
“He broke well and I just sat on him to let him get comfortable,” McCarthy said. “Sitting back gave us plenty of options and when it was time to go I swung him out and he was much the best today.”
Il Segreto was sharp out of the gate to take a solid early lead of about two lengths, carving out early fractions of :24.31 and :47.96 white both Heiko and Hothersal tracked. Can'thelpbelieving laid between fourth and fifth early, saving ground along the inside rail. Rounding the far turn, Heiko began to close in on Il Segreto, with Hothersal taken back a bit to wait for room along the rail. Can'thelpbelieving was forced to go three-wide approaching the head of the lane.
Rolling up the outside, Can'thelpbelieving moved past his competitors with ease, streaking toward the wire to score by 2 3/4 lengths. Hothersal's ground-saving trip left him in second, with Il Segreto holding on to be third.
Bred in Ireland by G. Kelly, Milltownmore and Pinnacle B/S, Can'thelpbelieving was a $81,804 purchase at Goffs November in 2011. He began his career overseas with a single start at Rosecommon, but broke his maiden in the United States. Overall, the gelding boasts a record of 4-5-3 from 18 starts, with earnings of over $300,000.
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