07/31/2016 4:11PM

Bradester's Monmouth Cup win keeps him unbeaten on year

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Bill Denver /EQUI-PHOTO.
Bradester, with Joe Bravo aboard, wins the $200,000 Monmouth Cup at Monmouth Park on Sunday.

OCEANPORT, N.J. - Bradester remained undefeated on the year while winning his third race in a row as he scored a repeat victory in the Grade 2 Monmouth Cup, the first of five consecutive stakes on the Haskell card at Monmouth Park on Sunday.

Bradester, 6, is now four for seven and has never finished worse than second at Monmouth Park. This was his third straight appearance in the $200,000 Monmouth Cup, a race in which he finished second two years ago and won in 2015.

Bradester was sent from the gate by jockey Joe Bravo and established a clear early lead. Bravo let him open up on the far turn of the 1 1/16-mile race and he drew off to a long lead. He was not asked for his best late while winning by 2 1/2 lengths.

Trained by Eddie Kenneally, Bradester paid $3.20 in the six-horse field and was timed in 1:42.21 over the sloppy track. Scuba finished second, 5 1/4 lengths in front of third-place Mr. Jordan.

The Monmouth Cup was Bradester's second career start over a wet surface. He finished second in the 2013 Indiana Derby to Power Broker over a sloppy track.

"We never breeze him in the mud and we didn't know if he'd love it or not," Kenneally said. "We knew he loved a fast Monmouth track, but we weren't sure about a muddy one."

Kenneally said Bradester could possibly start next in the Grade 1 Woodward, a 1 1/8-mile stakes at Saratoga on Sept. 3.

In his first two starts of the year, Bradester won the Majestic Light Stakes at Monmouth and then scored his first Grade 1 victory in the Stephen Foster, a 1 1/8-miles stakes at Churchill Downs. The Foster was a Win and You're In for the $6 million Breeders' Cup Classic, a 1 1/4-mile race at Santa Anita on Nov. 5.

Last year, Bradester tired to finish ninth in the Breeders' Cup Mile. At that point, the Classic seemed too long for him.

"He's a better horse this year so we'll see how he does and decide which race is right for him," Kenneally said.

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