09/10/2012 2:51PM

Fairplex Park: Monument may be key in $214,764 pick-six carryover

Benoit & Associates
Monument is the likely favorite in Wednesday's $50,000 C.B. Afflerbaugh Stakes at Fairplex Park.

POMONA, Calif. – Monument’s summer job for trainer John Sadler was team player. No glory, no complaints. Though outclassed in the morning, it did not matter to Monument.

“He was battle tested before his first race,” assistant trainer Larry Benavidez said. “He was working with Capo Bastone all summer.”

Thanks to workout assistance from Monument, Sadler-trained 2-year-old Capo Bastone won his debut in a maiden special weight, finished a promising fourth in the Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity, and remains a leading candidate for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.

Monument took the low road. He scored a debut victory in a $40,000 maiden claimer for California-bred 2-year-olds and followed by winning a starter allowance. Monument received little notoriety for either win. That may change Wednesday at Fairplex Park.

A three-day pick-six carryover is up for grabs when the Los Angeles County Fair meet resumes with a 4 p.m. twilight card. Monument is a potential single in the seven-furlong C.B. Afflerbaugh Stakes, a $50,000 race with million-dollar ramifications.

The pick-six pool Wednesday is expected to approach $1 million as bettors chase a $214,764 carryover on races 5-10. Post time for the first first leg is 5:40 Pacific; the Afflerbaugh is race 9.

Five entered the stakes; Monument is favored at 8-5. His rivals include Carving, second choice at 2-1 following a sharp debut victory in an $80,000 maiden claimer; stakes-placed Lovmeister, and recent maiden winners Fighting Hussar and Bubba Fizz.

While the early seasoning Monument gained working in company with Capo Bastone helped prepare both colts to win their debuts, it was not until Monument settled into his new surroundings that he figured things out.

“When we sent him to Del Mar before his first race, he kind of just woke up,” Benavidez said. “He’s a big, good-looking dude and seems like he wants to run a little further.”

Monument rallied from slightly off the pace to win his debut at 5 1/2 furlongs and used the same style to win his second start at six furlongs. The seven-furlong Afflerbaugh distance suits. A jockey change to Martin Pedroza is easily explained.

“Martin Garcia rode him twice, but when you have a chance to get Martin Pedroza on this bullring, you don’t hesitate,” Benavidez said, referring to the five-eighths mile Fairplex track on which Pedroza has led the standings each of the last 13 years.

Owned and bred by Lee and Susan Searing’s CRK Stable, Monument was sired by Cindago and produced by 9-for-21 mare Grant Marty a Wish.

Monument is her first foal to race.

While Pedroza gains the mount on Monument, the colt’s previous rider, Garcia, picks up a key challenger. Carving, winner of a five-furlong race at Del Mar, is owned by trainer Bob Baffert’s wife, Jill, and champion skier Bode Miller, namesake of the Bafferts’ son, Bode.

If the Afflerbaugh appears to be a two-horse race, other races in the pick-six sequence are less clear.

◗ Race 5, the first leg, is a maiden claiming sprint for 2-year-fillies in which the three favorites will make their local debuts. Our Black Beauty ships from Northern California; Cat’sdoubledaygirl is from Lone Star; and Miz Wounded Knee arrives from Kentucky.

◗ Race 6 is a $32,000 claiming sprint for 3-year-old fillies. Sadler-trained Almost a Lady is the tepid 5-2 favorite while second choice Vicki Victoria drops into her first claiming race and picks up leading Fairplex rider Edwin Maldonado.

◗ Race 7, a maiden claiming sprint for California-bred 2-year-olds, is led by 8-5 favorite Mine Fever. He was compromised by a horrible trip last out as the odds-on choice at Del Mar.

◗ Race 8, an $8,000 claiming sprint for nonwinners of two, is tough. Zombyslayermrdarcy is the 5-2 favorite. Other contenders include Hey Yup, Irish Coral, and Aragorn Sword.

◗ Race 9 is the Afflerbaugh, followed by the race 10 finale, a $5,000 claiming sprint restricted to nonwinners this year. The high-odds favorite at 7-2 is Brereton Park.