Alto Racing LLC's Winning Cause sat patiently toward the rear of the field before uncorking a strong stretch run to push past 8-5 favorite Heart to Heart in the final strides to post a half-length win in the Grade 3, $100,000 Red Bank Stakes at Monmouth Park on Saturday.
Trained by Todd Pletcher, Winning Cause, winner of last year's Cliff Hanger Stakes at Monmouth, stepped the mile over firm turf in 1:32 1/5, just one second off the world record of Mandurah, set here in 2010.
“I expected the speed early on and we sat very easy on the backstretch,” said winning jockey Abel Castellano Jr. “He seemed to find an extra gear coming down the stretch and once he found a hole, I knew it was going to be really close.”
A 5-year-old horse by Giant's Causeway from the Kingmambo mare Raffishing Look, Winning Cause returned $14, $5.40 and $3.40. Heart to Heart completed the $54.60 exacta and paid $3.60 and $2.60. It was another half-length back to Aztec Brave, who paid $3.40 to show.
Saturday's victory was the sixth in 26 starts for Winning Cause, who now boasts a lifetime bankroll of $642,734.
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