05/28/2011 6:35PM

Monmouth: Crimson China comes through in Lamplighter


OCEANPORT, N.J. - Crimson China rallied from last in a five-horse field to win the $70,000 Lamplighter Stakes on Saturday at Monmouth Park. The favorite, Crimson China paid $3.

A stablemate of Animal Kingdom in H. Graham Motion’s barn at the Fair Hill Training Center in Maryland, Crimson China made his second start on turf Saturday in the 1 1/16-mile race for 3-year-olds on the turf. He raced twice last year in England, picking up a win and a second on Polytrack.

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His U.S. debut produced a grass win at Gulfstream Park in February. Then it was a return to the synthetics for a fast-closing second in the Rushaway at Turfway Park and a fifth-place finish in the Grade 1 Blue Grass at Keeneland.

The Lamplighter set up perfectly for his closing kick, as Le Bon Ton Roule and I’m Stepping Up battled through quick fractions of 22.12, 45.91 and 1:09.61. Meanwhile, Alan Garcia had Crimson China nicely relaxed, well off the pace.

Crimson China was full of run rounding the final turn as the field compressed. Swung widest of all, Crimson China surged through the lane to confidently beat Beachcombing, the 8-5 second choice, by one length with J Isle third.

A son of Giant's Causeway, Crimson China covered the 1 1/16 miles in 1:40.73 on the firm course.

David Rock, assistant to Motion, said the next target will likely be the Virginia Derby at Colonial Downs on July 2.

* Dabnabit led all the way to pull off the 16-1 upset in the $68,850 John J. Reilly Handicap for New Jersey-breds, returning $34.80.

The winner of the New Jersey Breeders’ Handicap here last September, Dagnabit had gone winless in six races, most of them at Gulfstream Park, since then.

The return to the Jersey Shore was exactly what the 6-year-old needed. He fired right to the front under Pablo Fragoso and remained firmly in command, beating Gunfighter, the 5-2 favorite, by 1 3/4 lengths.

“I told Pablo he needs to go to the lead,” said trainer Luis Carvajal, Jr. “This horse just doesn’t run off the pace. It doesn’t matter how fast he goes. Once I saw he was up there, I thought we had a good shot to win.”

Joey P., the 9-year-old three-time Reilly winner, chased the early pace before fading to last in the 11-horse field The time was 1:11.25 for the six furlongs.