06/09/2013 5:35PM

Monmouth Park: Boisterous impresses in Monmouth Stakes

David Owens/Equi-Photo
Boisterous, with John Velazquez aboard, wins the Grade 2 Monmouth Beach Stakes by 1 1/4 lengths Sunday.

OCEANPORT, N.J. – Boisterous, the even-money favorite, made it look easy Sunday in a 1 1/4-length victory in the Grade 2, $202,500 Monmouth Stakes on turf before an Irish Festival crowd of 17,008.

John Velazquez guided the 6-year-old to an ideal trip over Monmouth Park’s tight-turned course rated “good.”

Breaking from the rail, Boisterous got away well to sit behind Two Notch Road, the pacesetting 56-1 outsider. Wrote, the 2011 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf winner, and Tune Me In stalked the leader while Boisterous remained well covered on the fence. Turning for home, Boisterous swung out and smoothly accelerated past Two Notch Road.

“I watched the earlier grass races going long, and it looked like the horses were going slow, and they kept running,” Velazquez said. “I wanted to make sure I broke well and got into good position. He was doing it very happily going down the backstretch. I bided my time until the quarter pole, when I switched him off the rail. He responded right away, so it was pretty easy.”

Big Blue Kitten, the 2-1 second choice, rolled home from last in the eight-horse field to get second, edging the game Two Notch Road by a neck. The time was 1:48.84 for the 1 1/8 miles.

Boisterous, a multiple graded stakes winner trained by Shug McGaughey, got his 10th victory in 24 career starts.

“I really liked our chances when I saw him sitting fourth behind the leaders,” assistant trainer Buzz Tenney said. “He hasn’t won a Grade 1 yet, but he’s a very solid Grade 2, Grade 3 horse.”

This was the second start of the season for Boisterous, following a closing second in the Grade 3 Ben Ali on the Polytrack at Keeneland.

It was the second straight win in the Monmouth Stakes with a heavy favorite for the team of Velazquez and McGaughey. They took last year’s edition with Data Link at 3-5. The return this year was $4.

Rahystrada was fourth, followed by Hobbs, Star Channel, Tune Me In, and Wrote, the 7-1 third choice making his first start since last June at Ascot.

McSorley Stakes: Brave Dave wins turf debut

Brave Dave held off Perfect Officer by a neck in the supporting feature, the $63,600 John McSorley Stakes for turf sprinters.

Brave Dave, the lone 3-year-old in the 10-horse field, set a pressured pace and dug in gamely in the late stages of his turf debut.

“He’s hard to keep off the lead, so when I saw he let another horse up to his inside and he relaxed a little, I was quite happy,” trainer Eddie Plesa Jr. said. “I’ve always wanted to try him on turf, and he proved he liked it today.”

Elvis Trujillo was aboard as Brave Dave improved to 5 for 10 lifetime. It was his fourth stakes victory, including the Grade 3 Sapling here last September.

He paid $14.80 to win. The time was 1:02.72 for the 5 1/2 furlongs.

Night Officer was third, with Varsity, the 7-5 favorite and last year’s McSorley winner, fourth.