08/01/2010 5:06PM

Get Serious works hard to repeat in Oceanport

Bill Denver/EQUI-PHOTO
Get Serious, under Pablo Fragoso, takes the Oceanport Stakes at Monmouth Park.

OCEANPORT, N.J. - Get Serious held off Violon Sacre by a neck in the Grade 3, $200,000 Oceanport Stakes, the top event on the Haskell Day undercard Sunday at Monmouth Park.


It was the third win in four starts at the meet for Get Serious ($4), and one of the gutsiest career efforts for the 6-year-old New York-bred gelding.

It was a second straight Oceanport win for Get Serious following last year’s off-the-turf edition and a record fifth Oceanport win for trainer John Forbes.

As usual, Get Serious shot right to front. This time, he had company as Roman Tiger pressed the leader.

The pace was slow, leaving Get Serious something in reserve.

He needed it. Violon Sacre came running late in the lane, forcing Get Serious to dig deep for his 12th career win, improving his Monmouth Park turf record to 9 for 12.

“In the stretch, I was probably as nervous as I’ve ever been with this horse but he just digs in,” Forbes said.

Pablo Fragoso was aboard as Get Serious ran the 1 1/16 miles on the firm course in 1:40.93.

Matchmaker: Unbridled Essence connects at 41-1

Unbridled Essence pulled off a 41-1 upset in the Grade 3, $200,000 Taylor Made Matchmaker Stakes for fillies and mares on the turf.

Cherokee Queen, the 2-1 favorite, was eliminated at the start when she stumbled badly, pitching Elvis Trujillo to the course face first. Both horse and rider were apparently uninjured.

That opened the door for Unbridled Essence ($85.60) to run the race of her life. A 4-year-old homebred by Red Oak Stable, Unbridled Essence took the lead in midstretch for Paco Lopez and held off a the late runs from the Chad Brown-trained duo of Quiet Meadow and Tottie who finished second and third, respectively.

Trained by Greg Sacco, Unbridled Essence posted her second straight win at Monmouth following a second-level allowance victory.

“In her first start back, she finished just behind Queen Martha, who gave Rachel Alexandra a race here last weekend,” Sacco said. “In her last, she ran her eyeballs out to win. She’s just an improving filly.”

The time was 1:47.97 for the 1 1/8 miles.

Majestic Light: Omniscient turns back Cool Coal Man

Omniscient ($10.40) earned his first stakes victory in the $150,000 Majestic Light Stakes, beating Cool Coal Man by two lengths.

The Majestic Light is the prep for the Grade 3, $300,000 Philip H. Iselin Stakes on Aug. 21.

A 4-year-old trained by Steve Asmussen, Omniscient had run once before at Monmouth, finishing fourth last year in the Long Branch Stakes.

In the Majestic Light, Omniscient took the lead turning for home and held off a strong challenge in the lane.

“Cool Coal Man really tried me at the eighth pole,” said jockey Calvin Borel. “My horse kept digging.”

Omniscient ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:43.31.

Arson Squad, making his start since finishing sixth in the Grade 1 Stephen Foster Handicap at Churchill Downs, stumbled at the break and finished fifth as the 9-5 favorite.

* Hudson Steele ($17.60) roared to a 2 1/4-length win over Audacity of Hope in the $150,000 Jersey Derby for 3-year-olds on the turf.

It was the biggest win for Hudson Steele, trained by Todd Pletcher and ridden by Jose Lezcano.

“He was a colt we thought a lot of last year,” Pletcher said. “Unfortunately, he had a little hind ankle injury and we had to give him some time off. He seems to have found a home now that we got him on the grass.”

At the back of the pack turning for home, Hudson Steele rallied widest off all for his third win in six starts. Hudson Steele ran the 1 1/16 miles in 1:41.07.

Audacity of Hope, shipped over from England by trainer Jeremy Noseda, got second in his U.S. debut by a half-length over They Call Me Giant.

* Lady Alexander ($8) improved to 5 for 7 at Monmouth with a 1 ¾-length win over D’Wild Ride in the $150,000 Regret Stakes for fillies and mares going six furlongs.

“She loves to run, she loves to win” said trainer Bruce Alexander. “There are probably more talented horses but none that try harder.”

The 4-year-old Lady Alexander is now 7 for 16. The time was 1:09.92 for the six furlongs.

Roaring Lion, the 9-5 favorite, beat He’s So Chic by 1 1/2 lengths in the $150,000 Teddy Drone. Eddie Castro was aboard for trainer Bruce Levine as the 6-year-old got his 11th win in 28 starts. The time was 1:09.59 for the six furlongs.