07/23/2016 6:03PM

Front Pocket Money takes control, keeps it in Jersey Shore

Ryan Denver/EQUI-PHOTO
Front Pocket Money, with Antonio Gallardo riding, holds off the late challenge of Yellow Chips and Joe Bravo to win the Jersey Shore Stakes at Monmouth Park on Saturday.

In his most recent races, Front Pocket Money had come from several lengths off the pace. But on Saturday, in the Grade 3 Jersey Shore Stakes, he took jockey Antonio Gallardo to the lead. Despite being pressured the entire race, he stayed there, too, winning the six-furlong stakes for 3-year-olds by three-quarters of a length.

Divine Warrior was quickest from the gate in the $100,000 Jersey Shore, but Front Pocket Money moved up to take the lead from his inside before going a furlong. Dogged by Colonel Sharp on the turn, Front Pocket Money began to inch away from that rival in upper stretch, then refused to let Yellow Chips come up inside of him in the final furlong.

The win was the third on the afternoon for Gallardo, who is now 6 for 12 in stakes this season at Monmouth. On Tuesday, Gallardo won the 1,000th race of his career while riding at Presque Isle Downs, where he leads the standings.

"Sometimes you have to go to Plan B, and that was Plan B," Gallardo said about going to the lead with Front Pocket Money. "He broke sharp and was comfortable on the lead. I didn’t want to fight him."

Front Pocket Money is trained by Steve Asmussen, who is scheduled to start Gun Runner in next Sunday's Grade 1 Haskell at Monmouth. Front Pocket Money paid $6.80 as the second choice in the six-horse field. He was timed in 1:09.93.

Front Pocket Money is now 3 for 5 in his career for owners J. Kirk and Judy Robison. The Jersey Shore was his first stakes win.

Yellow Chips, the longer-priced of two horses in the race trained by Eddie Plesa Jr., ran very well to finish second. Bumped both sides at the start, Yellow Chips raced well behind the field early. He advanced steadily while saving ground on the far turn, tried to come up inside the winner in the stretch but could gain little ground in the final sixteenth.

Colonel Sharp finished third, three-quarters of a length behind Yellow Chips.

Plesa's other entrant, Full Salute, the narrow 2-1 favorite, attended the early pace outside horses, but dropped back before reaching the far turn and finished fifth.

Lamplighter: Longshot Franklin Towers leads throughout

Franklin Towers, by far the longest shot in the five-horse Lamplighter Stakes at 20-1, refused to let 4-5 favorite Noble Quality by in the stretch and hung on by a neck.

Franklin Towers set all of the pace in the Lamplighter, a 1 1/16-mile race for 3-year-olds. Rated on the pace to the stretch inside of 7-1 Brass Compass through splits of 23.86, 47.60, and 1:11.89, Franklin Towers put that rival away in upper stretch, then dug in when asked by jockey Nik Juarez to earn the decision.

Trained by Jane Cibelli, Franklin Towers paid $42.40 and was timed in 1:40.80. Two starts back he had won a maiden race over the Monmouth turf. In his first try against winners, he finished eighth in a Laurel Park turf allowance.

Noble Quality saved ground while racing behind the early leaders. He remained bottled up along the inside on the far turn, came outside the winner in upper stretch but could not get by. It was 2 1/2 lengths back in third to 5-2 second Choice Vulcan's Forge, who rallied from last place.