07/08/2017 6:41PM

Phat Man upsets Talk Logistics in Long Branch Stakes

Bill Denver/EQUI-PHOTO
Phat Man went from last to first in the Long Branch Stakes on Saturday.

Phat Man gave his connections another stakes-winning 3-year-old by pulling off an upset head victory over favored Talk Logistics in the $100,000 Long Branch Stakes on Saturday at Monmouth Park.

Phat Man ($14.20) is owned by Brad Grady and trained by Joe Sharp, both of whom also have multiple graded stakes winner Girvin in the barn. Phat Man, who came into the Long Branch off a starter allowance win at Belmont, had finished sixth in the Grade 3 LeComte Stakes and eighth in the Texas Heritage Stakes in his lone prior stakes attempts.

Phat Man was last of five after the half in 48.34, with Lenstar leading by 1 1/2 lengths through the early going. Talk Logistics, who was sent away as the favorite off a runner-up effort in the Grade 3 Pegasus Stakes at Monmouth, sat in second early, then made a three-wide move around the far turn to take the lead from Lenstar, opening up to lead by a length in midstretch. Phat Man, angled well outside by Wilmer Garcia, was still fourth, 3 1/2 lengths behind, at that point. The gelding unleashed a furious kick in the final sixteenth to catch Talk Logistics by a head in the closing strides. It was another 2 1/2 lengths back to Command Post in third.

“They got away from me a little bit, but my horse has a nice big long stride,” Garcia said. “I asked him at the three-eighths pole and he started to pick it up for me then. When we got in the clear in the lane he really started to move.”

The final time for the 1 1/16 miles was 1:43.40.

Traditionally, the top finishers in the Long Branch receive invitations to the Grade 1, $1 million Haskell Invitational, Monmouth’s signature race, set for July 30. Lion Heart is the only horse to complete the Long Branch-Haskell double, winning both races in 2004.