August 2, 2021

Warrior’s Charge a potential danger on the front end in Iselin

Warrior's Charge fended off Bankit in the Razorback (Coady Photography/Oaklawn Park)

Warrior’s Charge could face other early speed in Saturday’s $200,000 Philip H. Iselin Stakes (G3) at Monmouth Park, but class might see the 4-year-old through in the 1 1/16-mile event.

A game, wire-to-wire winner of the Razorback H. (G3) by a head over the same distance in February, Warrior’s Charge proved second best to By My Standards when stepping up in trip in the Oaklawn H. (G2). Last out, the son of Munnings was beaten only two lengths by Vekoma in the Metropolitan H. (G1).

Pirate’s Punch is the other potential speed in the Iselin, but the multiple allowance winner faded to seventh in the Stephen Foster (G2) last time and only placed in two other stakes tries.

The most accomplished horse in the field is the multiple Grade 1-winning sprinter Mind Control, trainer Gregg Sacco’s six-time stakes winner who was most recently third in the Alfred G. Vanderbilt H. (G1) over 6 furlongs. A potential beneficiary if the pace gets too heated is another Sacco trainee, Bal Harbour, whose placed in the last two editions of the Monmouth Cup (G3) as well as the 2019 Iselin and Salvator Mile (G3) in recent trips to the Jersey shore.

“If any horse is deserving of winning a graded stakes race it’s him,” said Sacco of Bal Harbour. “He’s had two super works since his last race. We’re very happy where we are going into this race.”

Just Whistle, a stakes winner at Gulfstream two back, ran well below par when trailing in the 9-furlong Monmouth Cup last time.