BENSALEM, Pa.— James A. Shannon Jr.’s That’s Right cruised to a 1 1/2-length victory in Saturday’s 18th running of the $300,000 Turf Monster Stakes (G3) at Parx Racing.
The win gave trainer Michael Moore and apprentice jockey Andy Hernandez the first graded stakes victories of their careers. Moore, who has been training since 2013, said he thought this was the first graded stakes race he has ever entered.
That’s Right, a 3-year-old son of Goldencents, took command from the start in the five-furlong turf stakes on the grass for 3-year-olds and up. He ran the first quarter in :22.42 and the half in :45.36. Uncle Ernie, the 2-1 favorite, attempted to keep up with jockey Joel Rosario but That’s Right found his best stride on the turn and spurted ahead and no one could catch him. That’s Right won in :57.66 over the firm turf.
Sent off as the 5-2 second choice in the field of 11, That’s Right returned $7.40. Boat’s a Rockin and jockey Tyler Conner finished second, a half-length in front of Dr. Duke and Edwin Gonzalez. They were followed home by Grooms All Bizness, Smooth B, Breezy Gust, Heroes Reward, Extreme Force, Uncle Ernie, West Fork and War Tocsin.
That’s Right has won four of five starts on the grass.
Winning jockey Andy Hernandez: “I know that horse is pretty quick. Today, he did not go like before, like 4 or 5 lengths in front. He broke a little green, I said, ‘oh my gosh, he relaxed the first quarter.’ I had a little bumping and he picked it up. This horse is fast. You open the gate, you go to the lead.”
On winning his first graded stakes: “I was pretty excited. I am more excited because being a bug boy, not every trainer takes a chance in a graded stakes race with an apprentice. One more month I will lose the bug. This will help my business.”
Winning trainer Michael Moore: “I told a couple people say before the race that if someone is laying on him or near him, we’re in trouble. Andy did a great job of settling him down. That’s why he finished so well and it worked out great. I thought he might have had a couple lengths on them and he really didn’t. After they broke, I was kind of like, ‘come on, Andy, go.’ He knew better. He really looked like he took off the turn and won the race on the turn.
“This was my first graded stakes win. I don’t even know if I have run in another one. It’s easier to run at your own track than shipping. To come here on our greatest day, it’s a great thing. We were disappointed in the Saratoga race (sixth behind Big Invasion in the Aug. 14 Mahony Stakes). Big Invasion is a very good horse, but we did not run our race. We thought he would run better today and he did.”
Leaving apprentice on for graded stakes: “Believe, me, you get people saying, ‘all these good riders coming in here, you don’t want to use one of these guys?’ He has done nothing wrong on him, he helps me a lot in the morning. We stuck with him.
Could the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint be next? “I don’t know. I don’t know if he is that good. It would be nice. Five-eighths he can be dominant. Five and a half, with those good horses, he might get late in the race. This worked out good.”
Jockey Tyler Conner (Boat’s a Rockin, second): “The horse ran very well. He broke very well. I knew I’d be kind of close; I didn’t know I’d be with the leaders, but I thought if I could get close to them I’d have a chance. I wish he would switch leads to the right lead. He was left lead the whole way, which might hurt him a little bit. Overall I can’t complain. He hadn’t run short in a very long time. He might win at 5 ½. And if he switches leads he might get there, too.”
Jockey Edwin Gonzalez (Dr. Duke, third): “He went on really good. My trainer told me [That’s Right] might go too fast in front, and I saw them and tried to make a move to push on and win the race. He was closing good.”
By Tim Wilkin – Parx Press Release
Photo: That’s Right wins the Grade 3 Turf Monster (Bill Denver/EQUI-PHOTO)
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