08/15/2008 11:00PM

Honest Man upsets Iselin


OCEANPORT, N.J. - Honest Man beat 3-2 favorite Grasshopper by 2 3/4 lengths to capture the $300,000 Philip H. Iselin Stakes at Monmouth Park.

With the victory, trainer Larry Jones and jockey Terry Thompson teamed up to win a Grade 3 stakes at Monmouth for a second straight Saturday.

One week ago, they connected with Maren's Meadow in the Monmouth Oaks. This time, they scored with an improving 4-year-old colt who is now 6 for 10 in his blossoming career.

It was the second straight race at Monmouth for Honest Man, who was third in the Grade 3 Salvator Mile after bobbling at the break.

The trip was clean in the Iselin. Thompson had Honest Man perfectly positioned, fifth down the backstretch with clear running room. They advanced three wide on the final turn, taking charge a furlong from the finish.

"It was a beautiful trip, absolutely push-button," Thompson said. "I asked him a little bit with the left-handed stick and he went right on."

Grasshopper, the favorite following three straight Grade 1 appearances, got away slowly and trailed in the early stages. Jockey Robby Albarado guided Grasshopper along an inside path before angling off the fence on the final turn. The colt responded with a solid rally that carried him into contention, but he could not sustain the bid as Honest Man ($8.20) kicked clear.

Kiss the Kid was third, followed by Gottcha Gold, Cuba, Actin Good, Five Steps, and Pleasant Strike.

The time was 1:49.12 on the fast track. Shopton Lane was an early scratch.

* Bunker Hill ($29) battled back along the inside to hold off Uncle T Seven by a nose in the $60,000 Continental Mile for 2-year-olds, which was taken off the turf. Jose Lezcano, the meet's leading rider, was aboard for trainer Derek Ryan as Bunker Hill extended his unbeaten streak to two.