08/25/2012 6:00PM

Monmouth Park: Clare Skies Ahead turns tables with Omnibus Stakes victory


OCEANPORT, N.J. - Clare Skies Ahead stormed past Martita Sangrita on Saturday to win the $60,000 Omnibus Stakes for fillies and mares on the turf at Monmouth Park.

A 5-year-old trained by Flint Stites and ridden Horacio Karamanos, Clare Skies Ahead improved to 4 for 17 with her first stakes victory.

The result was a reversal of the Red Carpet Stakes last month at Penn National, where Martita Sangrita got the victory by three-quarters of a length over the rallying Clare Skies Ahead. The margin was the same in the Omnibus, but this time Clare Skies Ahead headed to the winner's circle.

A drop-back closer, Clare Skies Ahead found a distance, 1 3/8 miles around three turns, and a pace setup that played to her strengths.

Bianco Tartufo bounded to the lead from the rail and Martita Sangrita took up the chase in second. Clare Skies Ahead got away sixth, well off the pace.

Heading into the final turn, Martita Sangrita ranged up to challenge Bianco Tartufo and those two waged a fierce battle. In deep stretch, Martita Sangrita won that skirmish but lost the war as Clare Skies Ahead sailed past.

Clare Skies Ahead, a homebred for Debbie and Dr. Stephen Jackson, paid $11.80 win, covering the distance in 2:14.11 over the firm course.

"She can handle the distance if you we can get her relaxed," Stites said. "Horacio does a great job getting her to settle. It was a great race. It set up perfect for her."

Bianco Tartufo held on for third, followed by Millennia, Blazing Honor, Ms Glory Be and Hasay, last year's Omnibus winner who was the 3-2 favorite in her return to Monmouth.

The scratches of Grant Park, My Sweet Emily and Magical Cat reduced the field to seven.