07/08/2012 5:47PM

Monmouth Park: My Adonis holds off Macho Macho in Long Branch

Ryan Denver/EQUI-PHOTO
My Adonis (right) holds off Macho Macho to win the Long Branch Stakes by a half-length.

OCEANPORT, N.J. – My Adonis got the jump on the pack and held off Macho Macho by a half-length Sunday in the $99,000 Long Branch Stakes for 3-year-olds at Monmouth Park.

The Long Branch is the final local prep for the Grade 1, $1 million Haskell on July 29.

Traditionally, the first two Long Branch finishers are extended invitations to the meet’s richest event.

My Adonis is trained by Kelly Breen for George and Lori Hall, the team behind Ruler On Ice, last year’s Belmont Stakes winner.

The chance to develop another Grade 1 winner is tempting.

“We’ll have to see how the horse looks and trains from here to there,” George Hall said. “Certainly, some day we want to win the Haskell. Any opportunity we have, we’ll be there.”

My Adonis has been a frustrating colt who shows flashes of talent but not consistency. The victory was his first since the Jean Lafitte Stakes at Delta Downs last October. His best effort in the interim was a third to Hansen in the Gotham Stakes in March. He was seventh in the Wood Memorial and eighth in the Belmont.

Looking to end the slump, Breen instructed jockey Elvis Trujillo to be aggressive.

“I told Elvis ‘when you get to the far turn, just go.’ After that, if he got tired and they beat us, then so be it.”

And so it was.

After stalking the pace set by Window Boy, My Adonis stole away on the second turn and threatened to blow the race open with a five-length lead in stretch.

In the final eighth, My Adonis started to tire and Macho Macho, the 7-5 favorite, keep eating into the cushion.

The wire came up just in time for My Adonis and his backers as the 17-10 second choice.

The time was 1:44.98 for the 1 1/16 miles.

Window Boy was third, followed by Good Morning Diva and Done Talking.

Mr. Prospector: Royal Currier completes Bravo hat trick

“Jersey” Joe Bravo won a third straight stakes at Monmouth as he guided Royal Currier to a half-length win over Raging Six in the $75,000 Mr. Prospector at six furlongs.

Bravo swept the two graded events Saturday, taking the $500,000 United Nations with Turbo Compressor and the $195,000 Monmouth Cup aboard Rule.

He completed the hat trick with Royal Currier, a former claimer who scratched from the Don LeVine Memorial at Parx Racing last month with a back ailment.

A sharp workout Tuesday, three furlongs in 35 seconds at Parx, convinced Mike Farro, who handles the Monmouth division for his wife, Patricia, that Royal Currier was ready to go.

Bravo took it from there, working out a perfect trip.

Royal Currier had the catbird seat, sitting third while The Hunk and Poseidon’s Warrior battled for the lead.

Royal Currier angled three wide around the bend and took charge in the lane.

He paid $10.40 to win. The time was 1:09.38.

Justin Phillip, the 4-5 favorite, had a tough time. Second in the Grade 2 True North Handicap in his prior effort, Justin Phillip stumbled at the break, which cost him early position. He tried to rally four wide to the outside of Royal Currier, but could not sustain the bid and settled for third.

The Hunk was fourth, followed by Poseidon’s Warrior and J J’s Lucky Train.