07/21/2008 12:00AM

Monzante takes Read with late run


DEL MAR, Calif. – Monzante’s best asset carried him to victory in Sunday’s $400,000 Eddie Read Handicap at Del Mar.

Last in the field of seven to the eighth pole, Monzante swept past his rivals in the final furlong with a wide run to win the Grade 1 Read by a half-length, scoring the most important win of his 13-race career.

"He has an unbelievable turn of foot," trainer Mike Mitchell said.

Ridden by Rafael Bejarano, Monzante ($8) ran 1 1/8 miles on turf in 1:46.53. Whatsthescript, who took the lead from pacesetter Storm Military in the final furlong, finished second. Storm Military held third in the field of seven. Bejarano described Monzante’s journey as a "perfect trip."

Lava Man, the seven-time Grade 1 winner, finished last after stalking Storm Military to early stretch.

Monzante, a 4-year-old gelding by Maria’s Mon, has won 4 of 13 starts and $449,570. Owned by a partnership, Monzante won the Santana Mile at Santa Anita in March and was second in the Grade 1 Charles Whittingham Handicap at Hollywood Park in June.

Fleet Treat: No. 3 for Lethal Heat

Lethal Heat won her third stakes of the year in the $108,600 Fleet Treat Stakes for statebred 3-year-old fillies. Ridden by Bejarano, Lethal Heat ($6.80) closed from sixth in a field of seven to finish 1 1/2 lengths in front of North Rodeo. Lethal Heat ran seven furlongs in 1:22.46.