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Monmouth Park: Big Sur all the way in Majestic Light
By Mike Farrell
OCEANPORT, N.J. - Monmouth Park on Saturday felt more like Aqueduct in March than the unofficial start of the summer season the Jersey Shore.
It was a wet, dreary, cold, windy afternoon with a sloppy track, no turf racing and a slew of scratches.
The conditions helped Big Sur capture his stakes debut, a front-running effort in the $75,000 Majestic Light.
The wet track favored speed all day. Ramon F. Moya put the 5-year-old gelding on the lead for his father, trainer Ramon Moya.
“We going to the lead, no matter what,” the senior Moya said. “Speed had been holding well all day.”
It was the place to be on the sealed strip as the field of 10 entrants scratched down to five runners.
“I wasn’t getting any pressure so I think that made the trip easier since I didn’t have to use him until the stretch,” Ramon F. Moya said.
The longest shot in the compact field at 9-1, Big Sur picked up his fifth win in 28 starts. Most of his recent efforts came in claimers or starter allowances at Parx Racing. It was also the first stakes win for Ramon F. Moya
The time was 1:42.01 for the one mile, 70 yards as Big Sur held on by 1 1/4 lengths, paying $20.20 to win.
There was a dead heat for second between 2011 Belmont Stakes winner Ruler On Ice and Spring Hill Farm.
Ruler On Ice, the 5-2 second choice looking for his first stakes score since the Belmont, launched a bid on the final turn but could not reel in the pacesetter. He brushed in the lane with Spring Hill Farm as they battled to the wire.
“It would have been better for us if there was a full field,” said Kelly Breen, Ruler On Ice’s trainer.
One of the scratches was Pants On Fire, Ruler On Ice’s stablemate still recovering from a foot gouge suffered late last month. The Breen runners were uncoupled in the wagering.
Gourmet Dinner, winner of this race last year, was fourth followed by Buffum, the 4-5 favorite who was eased in the late stages.
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