07/04/2012 5:45PM

Monmouth Park: Get Serious wins Red Bank a third time

David Owens/Equi-Photo
Get Serious, (right) with Pablo Fragoso up, wins the Red Bank, a race he also won in 2009 and 2010.

OCEANPORT, N.J. - Get Serious uncorked a vintage effort, holding off the persistent El Commodore by a half-length on Wednesday to capture the Grade 3, $101,000 Red Bank Stakes on the turf at Monmouth Park.

The victory was the first for the 8-year-old gelding since the 2010 Red Bank. In between, the New York-bred career winner of just under $1.1 million fell out of sorts because of a leg infection and a series of softened courses that compromised his front-running style.
On Independence Day, Get Serious boldly proclaimed his comeback.

The Red Bank was his third start of the season, and he seemed to be moving in the right direction. Get Serious ran third in his previous race against much tougher company in the Grade 2 Monmouth Stakes.

The Red Bank was confirmation that the popular veteran was back.

"We thought he was going to be back to himself this year," said trainer John Forbes. "We got a break with the turf staying firm. He likes it hard - he likes to hear his feet rattle."
As expected, Get Serious with Pablo Fragoso aboard and El Commodore both broke alertly and set sail for the lead. Get Serious had inside position, and used it to full advantage to set a pressured pace.

El Commodore took several runs at the leader but Get Serious was his old determined self through fractions of 23.23, 46.76 and 1:09.09 on the firm course on a steamy afternoon.
El Commodore poked a head in front with a furlong to run but Get Serious battled back to secure his 14th win and 11th over Monmouth's course. It was his third win in the Red Bank, having also captured the 2009 renewal.

As the race was not run in 2011, the latest victory gave Get Serious a Red Bank three-peat.
"We've had him his whole career, and it's been a terrific run," Forbes said. "He's made us proud so many times."

The time for the mile was 1:32.63 as Get Serious paid $12.40 to win as the fifth choice in the six-horse field.

Queen'splatekitten, fifth for most of the race, came on to get third. Lubash, the 2-1 favorite, had an outside stalking trip behind the dueling leaders but could not gain ground and finished fourth. Yummy With Butter was fifth, followed by Monument Hill.

The race held together well, considering that four of the eight entrants were also entered in the Poker Stakes the same afternoon at Belmont Park.

Of the quartet, only Boots Ahead raced in New York, where he finished fourth.
Hermosillo, last season's New Jersey-bred Horse of the Year who has never run on turf, was the other scratch.