07/29/2017 5:08PM

Mo Maverick draws clear in Lamplighter Stakes

Bill Denver/Equi-Photo
Even-money favorite Mo Maverick was a 1 1/2-length winner in Saturday's Lamplighter Stakes at Monmouth Park.

Mo Maverick won the $59,400 Lamplighter Stakes like an even-money favorite should on Saturday at Monmouth Park.

Mo Maverick had faced the talented turf 3-year-olds Frostmourne and Yoshida in his last two starts, finishing fourth in the Grade 2 Penn Mile at Penn National and third in the James W. Murphy at Pimlico. He faced an easier task in the Lamplighter, a 1 1/16-mile turf race for 3-year-olds, and responded with a 1 1/2-length victory.

Hot and Heavy was allowed to set his own pace in the Lamplighter while Mo Maverick bided his time in second under a snug hold from jockey Eddie Castro. Dover Cliffs, the second choice at 2-1, raced just inside Mo Maverick.

Approaching the far turn, Mo Maverick made a swift move to challenge Hot and Heavy, while Holiday Bonus moved up three wide outside of him. Mo Maverick emerged with the lead nearing the stretch, then pulled clear and was not challenged in the lane.

"He sat just off the early pace and was comfortable," Castro said. "I felt the horse come pressure me on the outside, and I asked him to run and he took off. He’s a really good horse."

Mo Maverick, a New York-bred son of Uncle Mo trained by George Weaver, paid $4 in the six-horse field and was timed in 1:42.80 over "good" ground. The Lamplighter was Weaver's second win on the card.

Dover Cliffs held second by a neck over Harlan Strong, a 12-1 shot who seemed to be finding his best stride late. Holiday Bonus finished fourth, a nose behind Harlan Strong.

Mo Maverick is now 4 for 9 with earnings of $204,700.