08/21/2009 11:00PM

Chirac pulls upset in Iselin

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Bill Denver/Equiphotos
Chirac, with jockey Elvis Trujillo up, upsets the Grade 3, $300,000 Philip H. Iselin Stakes.

OCEANPORT, N.J. - As expected, a front-runner captured the on the sloppy, sealed track Saturday at Monmouth Park.

Stunningly, the winner was not Coal Play, the 4-5 favorite who finished fourth.

The victory went to Chirac ($26.40), a 4-year-old gelding overlooked by the bettors despite having won three of four starts at the meet.

Chirac pulled clear in the lane, beating You and I Forever by 6 3/4 lengths, with Pampered Sir third.

Elvis Trujillo was aboard for trainer Jane Cibelli as Chirac improved to 7 for 16 with the biggest victory of his career.

This was a race where the script went out the window. Everyone expected Coal Play, a dominant pacesetting winner of the Grade 3 Salvator Mile here on July 4, to again dictate the fractions.

Coal Play did not break as sharply as usual, leaving the lead in the 1 1/8-mile Iselin to the keen Chirac.

"As usual, best-laid plans never work out," Cibelli said. "We thought Coal Play would go and Pampered Sir would go with him and we'd sit right behind. Coal Play didn't, so we inherited the lead and went on with it. That's why I like to ride Elvis. He's a smart rider and he makes the right decisions."

While Chirac set the pace, Coal Play saved ground in third but had no response when jockey Joe Bravo asked him to pick it up on the final turn.

Meanwhile, Chirac was still going strong.

"I wasn't worried about the distance," Cibelli said. "I didn't know if he could handle this kind of company. He proved himself today."

The time was 1:49.11 for the 1 1/8 miles.

Actin Good was fifth, followed by Researcher.

Solar Flare, easy winner of the Frisk Me Now Stakes in May, was a early scratch.

* Exotic Indy ($3.40) beat Dattts Our Girl by eight lengths in the off-the-turf for fillies and mares.

The race, originally slated for 1 3/8 miles, was shortened to 1 1/4 miles on the surface switch and scratched down to only three runners.

The time was 2:07.14.