Favored at odds of 3-5, Pin Oak Stable homebred Synchrony gave some backers a scare when he was off a bit slowly at the start of Saturday's Grade 3 Red Bank Stakes. Rounding the far turn on the inside rail, the 5-year-old son of Tapit surged for the lead, putting away 12-1 shot Abiding Star in late stretch to win by a length on the wire. Ridden by Joe Bravo for trainer Mike Stidham, Synchrony covered a mile over Monmouth Park's firm turf in 1:33.61.
“He's so versatile,” Stidham said. “He was impressive at the Fair Grounds at a mile and an eighth and he was impressive here at a mile. We needed to see something like today to give us confidence to run in the (Grade 1) Shadwell Mile (at Keeneland) and hopefully the Breeders' Cup. This was the same ride as last time, with the way the rail opened for Joe Bravo. I got a little worried late but then he exerted himself and kicked forward. Joe fits him like a glove. Obviously he knows him and Joe gets the most out of him.”
Abiding Star shot to the lead from his outermost post position at the start, chased by a very unsettled Conquest Enforcer through a first quarter in :23.44. Synchrony had missed the break, and was well off the leaders down the backstretch but maintained an inside advantage while moving up in spurts. Field of Courage was also prominent in third early on as Abiding Star led the field through a half in :46.97, and Irish Strait began his move a bit early to take third heading into the far turn.
Bravo snuck Synchrony up the rail to challenge front-running Abiding Star in the stretch, and Irish Strait tried to go with them from the outside. Abiding Star battled back gamely but couldn't match strides with the eventual winner in the final sixteenth; Synchrony cruised under the wire about a length in front. Abiding Star had to settle for second, and Irish Strait flattened out to run third.
“He was a little further back today than the last time. He was a little more patient,” Bravo added. “He's a killer horse. If you don't get off your seat and holler for him turning for home then what are you here for? He's a horse that makes it fun. They were going so fast early. I had a little trouble holding the turn but everyone did because they were running fast. The turf is not that fast. It's more a soft turf. Just pretty nice horses that ran fast.”
Bred in Kentucky by his owners, Synchrony is out of the Forest Wildcat mare Brownie Points. He hasn't finished off the board since February of 2017, compiling an overall record of seven wins, three seconds and four thirds from 16 lifetime starts. The Red Bank improves Synchrony's earnings to over $600,000.
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