It was a close run thing, but Pure Sensation stayed perfect on the Parx Racing turf course on Labor Day when riding the rail to victory in the $200,000 Turf Monster H. (G3).
Winner of the 2015 Turf Monster by a nose over Mongolian Saturday, Pure Sensation beat that rival to the wire by a half-length here, completing five furlongs in :57.12 over the good turf. Ridden by Kendrick Carmouche, Pure Sensation paid $4.80 as the 7-5 favorite.
Mongolian Saturday, who was forced to steady on the turn and lost ground, rallied on the far outside late and edged Snowday by a nose in a blanket finish for second.
Surprisingly outrun early, Pure Sensation found himself in mid-pack while hugging the rail, and was still fifth in mid-stretch. But with a hole on the inside left open by tiring leader Bold Thunder, Pure Sensation surged through to become the third horse after Chamberlain Bridge and Ben’s Cat to claim the Turf Monster two times.
Owned by Patricia Generazio and trained by Christophe Clement, the six-year-old gray gelding by Zensational has also won the Parx Dash (G3) the last two years.
Pure Sensation is likely a go for the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1). He was a slow-starting eighth behind Mongolian Saturday in the 2015 edition at Keeneland, but fared better at Santa Anita last year when third by a length to Obviously.
This year’s Turf Sprint will be held at Del Mar on November 4.
Imperial Hint, who earned an automatic bid to the TwinSpires.com Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) with a victory in the Smile Sprint (G3) at Gulfstream July 1, just missed setting a new track record when prepping for that November 4 dash in the $100,000 Donald LeVine Memorial.
Sent off at 1-5 against three rivals, Imperial Hint took over from early leader Lewys Vaporizer approaching the quarter pole and won as he pleased by 6 3/4 lengths in a time of 1:07.55 for six furlongs on a fast track, missing the track standard by four one-hundredths of a second. Javier Castellano was in the saddle.
Owned by Raymond Mamone and trained by Luis Carvajal Jr., Imperial Hint paid $2.40. He’s now undefeated in four starts this year, which also include victories in the General George (G3) and $75,000 Fire Plug at Laurel last winter.
In the $200,000 Greenwood Cup (G3) for older horses over 1 1/2 miles, Castellano was aboard the winning Madefromlucky, who romped by 12 1/4 lengths for his first victory since the 2015 West Virginia Derby (G2).
The 19-10 second choice, Madefromlucky took the lead from 11-10 favorite Scuba approaching the far turn for the second time and waltzed home in a time of 2:32.72. Owned by Cheyenne Stables and Mac Nicol, the Todd Pletcher-trained five-year-old paid $5.80.
Testosterstone and Let Me Go First finished second and third, respectively, while Scuba faded to sixth in the field of seven after setting a pace much faster than the one he set in winning the 2016 Greenwood Cup.