Updated on 09/17/2011 10:44AM

Monmouth: It's Runspastum on dirt

Ridden by Julian Pimentel, Runspastum rallies to win the $100,000 Grade 3 Oceanport Handicap by 1 3/4-lengths.

OCEANPORT, N.J. - Trainer Alan Goldberg and the Jayeff B Stable got their wish, entering Runspastum for the main track only in the $100,000 Grade 3 Oceanport Handicap. The 1 1/16-mile stakes, originally scheduled for the turf, was shifted to the main track, which was listed as fast.

Runspastum, ridden by Julian Pimentel, took advantage of the change and a hot pace to rally for a 1 3/4-length win. He returned $20.40.

The field of 15 dwindled down to six because of the surface change.

Saint Verre bounded to the lead and was closely pressed by the tandem of Balto Star and Private Ryan. The trio prompted a brisk pace through opening fractions of 22.80 seconds and 45.32.

They hit the three-quarters in 1:09.76 with Saint Verre clinging to a half-length lead over Balto Star with Private Ryan dropping back.

Burning Roma, the 3-2 favorite, had a dream trip, sitting fourth behind the dueling leaders. Joe Bravo called on Burning Roma for a rally around the final turn but got only a tepid response. He finished fifth.

Runspastum, the trailer throughout, answered the stretch call. He rallied into contention along the fence before angling outside for the run to the wire as thunder rumbled and cloud-to-ground lightning danced around the track and knocked out the infield tote board for the afternoon's final race.

"We knew there was a lot of speed in the race," Pimentel said. "It worked out good for us."

Monmouth has yet to run a grass stakes on the turf course due to an exceptionally rainy start to the meet. Runspastum stopped the clock in 1:42.31. A game Balto Star held for second with Saint Verre third.

The win gave Pimentel a sweep of the Monmouth stakes. He also guided Slews Final Answer ($4.20) to a commanding 5 3/4-length victory in the $60,000 West Long Branch Stakes for fillies and mares at six furlongs.

Bill Mott, unbeaten in two starts at the meet, trains the filly for the Live Oak Plantation. Slews Final Answer ran fourth in the Grade 1 Humana Distaff Handicap at Churchill Downs in her previous start.