From a Monmouth Park release
Crossed Sabres Farm’s Valid sat right off the pace, took control before entering the far turn, and held off 6-5 favorite Bradester to give jockey Nik Juarez his first career stakes win in Sunday’s Grade 3, $150,000 Philip H. Iselin Stakes at Monmouth Park.
Juarez, who lost his apprentice allowance August 26, positioned Valid just outside of pacesetting Albano as the field of six older horses went the opening quarter mile in :23 4/5 and the opening half in :48 3/5. Valid cruised up to, and past, the pacesetter before the field entered the far turn, and the 5-year-old Medaglia d’Oro colt easily held off Bradester to register a 3 ½-length score.
“Once I saw Bradester wasn’t going for the lead, I was able to take my horse out to be nice and comfortable just off the lead,” Juarez said. “Down the backside, he was just dragging me. At the 3/8ths pole, Bradester started to make his run, so I asked my horse and he really just ran strong and held him off all the way to the wire.
It’s the best feeling (winning my first stakes race). It means a lot. It’s really a kick-start to the rest of my career.”
Trained by Marcus Vitali, Valid finished the mile and an eighth on the fast main track in 1:50 and paid $8.80, $3.60 and $2.40. The $2 exacta with Bradester returned $26. The runner-up paid $3 and $2.40. Matterhorn finished a neck back in third and paid $2.40.
Valid is out of the Grand Slam mare Grand Prayer and was bred in Virginia by Edward P. Evans. With the Iselin victory, he has improved his career record to 9-7-6 from 30 career starts with earnings of just under $700,000.
On Sunday, no lone ticket had all six winners in Monmouth Park’s Jersey Shore 6, creating a carryover of $106,979.48 for Friday’s card.