Two Notch Road, sent off at odds of better than 100-1 in Saturday's $60,000 Continental Mile at Monmouth Park, found his way to the winner’s circle accompanied by a $216.40 win payoff and as partner in a $613.20 exacta. The $1 Superfecta paid $58,343.
Two Notch Road, by Partner’s Hero, out of Capiana by Capote, found running room on the rail, got through and went on to win by 1 1/4 lengths. The winner was bred by James M. Hackman of Middleburg.
The favorite, Mississippi Hippie, led briefly and held on for second. Work for a Cure finished third. Two Notch Road ran the 1 mile on firm turf in 1:35.62 under Shannon Uske. It was his first win in his fourth start.
"I'm always a shoot-for-the-moon type of guy," said winning trainer Glenn Thompson. "This horse was entered last week for a $25,000 tag and threw the rider before the race. I wanted to try him on the turf and this was the next logical spot." Thompson bought the gelding for $2,500 at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Yearling Sale.
Regarding running him for a tag, "I thought I would be smart; I could use a little money and wanted to build his confidence," said Thompson. "During the post parade, he drops Jose Velez, and he goes running off. He stopped at the 3/4 pole and starts to eat grass. It took the $25,000 claimer out of the equation. He was scratched."
The long odds were no accident. Two Notch Road made his debut in late May at Monmouth finishing sixth in a maiden race. He came back in June on a sloppy main track and again finished sixth, this time beaten by 13 ¼ lengths. On July 30, he tried again this time at a mile and was seventh beaten 27 ¾ lengths. That’s when conditioner Thompson decided to try the turf.
In the next race on the card, the $200,000 Monmouth Oaks Gr.III, Edward P. Evans’ Virginia-bred Malibu Prayer set the pace and then held on to be second. It was her second graded stakes placing in as many starts.
(Photo by Femalejockeys via Flickr and http://www.femalejockeys.com/)
To view the Continental Mile Stakes, click here.