Updated on 09/17/2011 10:44AM

Restoration goes to Sky Soldier

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Sky Soldier ($12.00) with Mark Salvaggio riding wins the $50,000 Restoration Stakes at Monmouth Park.

OCEANPORT, N.J. - Sky Soldier kept exclusive company in his last two races and the class experience paid off Sunday afternoon with a victory in the $50,000 Restoration Stakes at Monmouth Park.

Sky Soldier steadied in the first turn of the Wood Memorial at Aqueduct and finished well behind Empire Maker and Funny Cide. He raced wide in his most recent effort, a fourth-place finish behind Best Minister in the Sir Barton Stakes on the Preakness under card.

There were no class masters in the Restoration, a one-mile race for 3-year-olds originally scheduled for the turf.

The son of Unaccounted For, placed in perfect stalking position by Mark Salvaggio, beat Deadline by a one length with Poppy's Image third before a meet-high Father's Day crowd of 22,368. He ran the mile in 1:38.45 over the wet-fast track.

The $12.00 win payoff was an added bonus for trainer Todd Beattie.

"I was happy with it," Beattie said. "I'm not even a bettor but we loaded up on him."

The colt had started promisingly, winning his first three races easily. Then came the step ups to the Wood and the Sir Barton.

"We couldn't get near the winner's circle," Beattie said. "We needed to get there again. We had a couple of negative experiences and figured it was time for a positive one. We hope to move forward off this."

Beattie has set the $100,000 Grade 3 Long Branch Breeders' Cup Stakes on July 12th as Sky Soldier's next target. The Long Branch serves as Monmouth's traditional prep for the $1 million Haskell Invitational on August 3.