Updated on 09/17/2011 2:14PM

Gulch Approval takes Oceanport

Ryan McAlinden/EQUI-PHOTO
Gulch Approval holds on to win the Grade 3 Oceanport Handicap by a nose at Monmouth Park on Sunday.

OCEANPORT, N.J. - Pat Day feared he might have moved Gulch Approval too soon but the gelding held on to win the Grade 3 Oceanport Handicap.

The Oceanport was one of six $100,000 stakes on the Haskell undercard.

Gulch Approval ($9.20) slipped through along the inside for his third straight win since trainer Nick Zito shifted the 4-year-old to the turf.

"It was a big race," said Day. "He's really turned around since Nick put him on the grass. It seems like he's found a home there."

Day kept Gulch Approval tucked in behind the early leaders.

"We were able to secure some room off the turn," said Day. "When I pulled the trigger, he jumped past them but he has a tendency to wait on horses. I thought I might have pulled the trigger a little quick."

Gulch Approval dug in to win by a nose over the late-running Kathir with Stormy Roman third.

Gulch Approval ran the 1 1/16 miles in 1:42.31.

Where We Left Off stays hot in Matchmaker

Where We Left Off ($7) continued her strong recent form with a one-length victory in the Grade 3 Matchmaker for fillies and mares at 1 1/8 miles on the turf.

The win was her fifth in the last six races for trainer Christophe Clement. Corey Nakatani rode the 4-year-old filly for the first time and let her settle well off the pace in the early going.

"I rode her with a lot of confidence and just let her relax and find room," said Nakatani who won two stakes on the card.

They slipped through on the fence to move into striking position before easing out in the lane.

"Around the turn, they bunched up and slowed down a bit," said Nakatani. "I had two choices, go wide or take the short way home. I stayed on the rail and that made all the difference."

Where We Left Off was clocked in 1:48.80 over the firm course.

The pacesetting Mrs. M held on for second with Spin Control rallying for third.

* Forest Grove ($28) gave Nakatani his first stakes win of the afternoon as colt got up by 1 1/4 lengths in the Ocean Place Stakes for 3-year-olds at one mile on the turf.

Trained by Todd Pletcher, Forest Grove stretched out successfully after most recently finishing fourth in the 5 1/2 furlong Ogygian Stakes at Belmont Park.

Canadian Frontier ($7) won a second straight Monmouth stakes as he captured the Teddy Drone Stakes at six furlongs. The 5-year-old trained by Stanley Hough and ridden by Eibar Coa took the Longfellow last month.

* Hough won a second stakes as Travelator ($4.40) took the $100,000 Regret Stakes for fillies and mares.

* Chrusciki ($17.60) held off Misty Sixes by a neck to win the Lady's Secret Stakes for fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles.

Stewart Elliott was aboard as Chrusciki posted her fourth win in eight starts this season.