Bradester wires Monmouth Cup as Wildcat Red, Got Lucky score on undercard

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Jen Caldwell

August 2nd, 2015

Bradester entered Sunday's $199,000 Monmouth Cup (G2) on the Haskell Day program off a two-length win in the Salvator Mile (G3) at the New Jersey track. That, combined with the post-parade scratch of Protonico, resulted in the bay being sent off the heavy 4-5 favorite.

Bradester didn’t disappoint his backers, taking command from the start and leading at every call to be 2 3/4 lengths clear on the wire under Corey Lanerie. For some reason, the rest of the field let the pair do their own thing up front and didn’t try to challenge until the lane, when it was obviously too late.

Bradester ran 1 1/16 miles over Monmouth Park’s fast main track in 1:42 2/5 and avenged his half-length loss in this same race from a year ago. The Eddie Kenneally trainee also avenged his Salvator second from 2014.

Valid managed to run him down in 2014 to take the win, but this time around could not keep up and was forced to settle for second. Pants on Fire took third in the 2014 Monmouth Cup but finished fifth of six on Saturday.

Bradester was no slouch last year, taking the Mineshaft H. (G3) and Ack Ack H. (G3) in addition to his aforementioned placings, and would be a good candidate to show up next in the Philip H. Iselin S. (G3) on August 30 at Monmouth.

Bradester photo courtesy of Taylor Edjys/Equi-Photo

A couple races earlier, Wildcat Red returned to the winner’s circle with a game head score in the $111,000 Teddy Drone S.

The hard-knocking four-year-old tracked in third on the backstretch before finding himself in tight between horses in the shadow of the wire, but battled on to stick his head in front on the line. Jockey Paco Lopez guided the Jose Garoffalo trainee in the six-furlong contest, which was completed in 1:09.01.

This was Wildcat Red’s first win since recording a 10-length romp in the Quality Road S. in June 2014. Since then the Florida-bred bay has placed in the Haskell Invitational (G1), Oklahoma Derby (G3), Millions Classic Preview and, most recently, Smile Sprint S. (G2).

In addition to the Quality Road, Wildcat Red also triumphed in the Fountain of Youth S. (G2) and Hutcheson S. (G3) as a sophomore. He’s a proven winner from 6 1/2 furlongs to 1 1/16 miles, but could be concentrating on sprints for now. If so, then the Teddy Drone was the perfect set-up for seven-furlong Forego S. (G1) at Saratoga on August 29.

Wildcat Red photo courtesy of Bill Denver/Equi-Photo

The stakes action at Monmouth Park got underway on Haskell Day when Got Lucky recorded an easy 4 1/2-length victory in the $99,000 Lady’s Secret S. under jockey Paco Lopez.

The dark bay filly saved ground on the inside through the opening three-quarters, angled out three wide at the quarter-pole and effortlessly drew off to finish a mile and 70 yards on the fast main track in 1:40.16.

It was the second straight romping win at Monmouth for Got Lucky, who captured the Molly Pitcher S. (G2) by 5 1/2 lengths on July 3 for trainer Todd Pletcher.

Got Lucky photo courtesy of Ryan Denver/Equi-Photo