August 17, 2018

Divisidero meets Brown duo in Monmouth

Divisidero winning the 2016 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic (G1) over World Approval (c) Coady Photography

Unraced since a rallying fourth in the Shadwell Turf Mile (G1) last October, multiple Grade 1 winner Divisidero will open his 6-year-old season in Saturday’s $200,000 Monmouth S. (G2). He won’t come back from a 231-day freshening in an easy spot, with Chad Brown sending out defending champ Money Multiplier and Grade 2 scorer Projected, and a total of seven runners are entered for the 1 1/8-mile turf affair.

An earner of more than $1.1 million, Divisidero has been transferred to Kelly Rubley and Jevian Toledo picks up the mount. The son of Kitten’s Joy will be making his first appearance at Monmouth Park and has been installed at 4-1 on the morning line.

Money Multiplier likes the local turf, recording a 1 ½-length decision in this event last year and a runner-up finish to World Approval in the 2016 United Nations (G1), and the 6-year-old exits a close third in the February 24 Emir’s Trophy (G1) in Quatar. He’s listed as the slight 5-2 choice and “Jersey” Joe Bravo takes over the reins.

Projected, who is 3-1 on the morning line, concluded 2017 with a 1 ¼-length tally in the Baltimore/Washington International Turf Cup (G2) at Laurel and will make his second start back this year following a fast-finishing second in the April 8 Danger’s Hour to Fire Away, who came back to capture the off-the-turf Dixie (G3) on the Preakness undercard. Jose Ortiz rides the 6-year-old gelding.

Force the Pass has raced sparingly since winning the 2015 Belmont Derby (G1), but the 6-year-old returned from a lengthy layoff with a victory in the May 5 Cliff Hanger at Monmouth. Paco Lopez will be up for Alan Goldberg. A two-time graded winner last year, Frostmourne is also part of the mix. The Christophe Clement-trained 4-year-old colt will try to improve upon a fifth in the Maker’s 46 Mile (G1) and regains the services of Joel Rosario, who was last aboard for a convincing win in the Kent (G3) last summer.

One race earlier on the card, Shaft of Light will try to carry his speed two turns in the $100,000 Salvator Mile (G3). Entered for a $30,000 tag earlier this season, the 7-year-old gelding has really come on in his last two starts for Jorge Navarro, including an 8 ¼-length win over allowance/optional claiming foes that netted a 104 BRIS Speed rating. Shaft of Light was last seen winning the 7-furlong Russell Road at Charles Town by a 5 ¼-length margin and adds a new jockey in Jose Ferrer.

His main rivals include 14-time stakes victor Page McKenney, fourth most recently in the Hardacre Mile (G2) at Gulfstream Park; Sunny Ridge, a two-time stakes winner last year who is eligible to show more after just missing in his 2018 opener; and speedster Chip Leader, who exits a runner-up finish in the Ben Ali (G2) at Keeneland for Todd Pletcher.

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