08/25/2013 5:25PM

Monmouth Park: Summer Front scores in Cliff Hanger Stakes

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Bill Denver/Equi-Photo
Summer Front and jockey Joe Bravo win the Grade 3 Cliff Hanger Stakes by 1 1/4 lengths Sunday.

OCEANPORT, N.J. – Summer Front, the even-money favorite, uncorked an explosive stretch rally to win the Grade 3, $101,000 Cliff Hanger Stakes on the turf at Monmouth Park on Sunday.

Joe Bravo was aboard for his fourth win of the day and a sweep of the day’s two stakes. He earlier captured the $72,750 Lady’s Secret aboard Summer Applause.

Summer Front, a 4-year-old trained by Christophe Clement, got his seventh win in 13 starts. As usual, he was well off the early pace set by Tune Me In, the winner of last year’s Cliff Hanger.

Even though the field was a compact six runners, Summer Front was in traffic much of the way as Hudson Steele kept him pinned to the rail. Summer Front angled out one path turning for home and finally shook loose in the lane. He then roared down the center of the course for a 1 1/4-length victory over a game Tune Me In.

It was the second straight Grade 3 triumph for Summer Front. He also rallied to take the Miami Mile Handicap in April with Bravo aboard for the first time.

Summer Front had been idle since then. Clement kept him fine-tuned with four excellent turf workouts at Saratoga over the last month.

“This was very eye-opening,” Bravo said. “He’s bigger and stronger since that Calder race. I think the time off really helped him. Who brings a horse around better than Mr. Clement?”

Summer Front paid $4 to win. The time was 1:41.49 for the 1 1/16 miles on the firm course.

Howe Great, the 9-5 second choice, was third, followed by Sleepless Knight, Hudson Steele, and Hobo Ridge.

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Matthew Ellis More than 1 year ago
This is a very,very good turf horse with class and a explosive turn of foot only question is to time move and distance limitations.