The longest shot on the board, INFORMATIVE, rallied from last to first to capture Saturday's $160K Salvatore Mile (G3) at Monmouth Park, blowing up the tote board to the turmoil of $161.60 to win.
Ridden by Jose Ferrer, trained by Uriah St. Lewis, and owned by Trin-Brook Stables, Inc., INFORMATIVE was bumped at the start before taking his place toward the rear, tenth and last, while GREEN LIGHT GO and NY TRAFFIC tusseled on the front end, pushing opening quarters of 23.98 and 47.27.
INFORMATIVE got into an even stride along the backside, about ten lengths from the leader. He began to pick off horses with three-furlongs to go, splitting rivals to get in contention and saving good ground around the final turn.
"I've ridden horses like this before that looked like they were hopeless and they just pick it up for you," said Ferrer. "Everything opened up for me in the stretch. It was wide open to come through. I knew I had saved ground coming into the lane and I was thinking, `let's see what this horse has now.' Then I saw Paco drifting out and I said, `man, I'm going to get him. I'm going to win this race.'
Down the stretch, it was just NY TRAFFIC with Paco Lopez aboard to catch, racing toward the middle of the track. The rest of the closers—GALERIO, WEST WILL POWER, WAR STOPPER— were floated wide, which dulled their closing kicks.
INFORMATIVE finished strongly from the inside of NY TRAFFIC, going on by to win by a comfortable length at the end. NY TRAFFIC had to settle for second. GALERIO got up for third. The final time for the one mile race was 1:37.01.
"The horse can't read the board so he didn't know (his odds). I've always said you don't have a chance if you stay in the jockeys' room and this is proof of that." said Ferrer.
INFORMATIVE paid $161.60 to win, $37.80 to place, and $15.60 to show. He is by BODEMEISTER out of LUCKY BLACK by HARD SPUN. He wins his Monmouth Park debut and first graded stakes victory. He pushes his earnings to $240,290, and earns a new top speed figure into the bargain.
"I expected this because this horse has been training so good," said trainer St. Lewis.
"The last race he ran at Pimlico (second in a $35,000 optional claimer on May 15) he got blocked, checked and stopped and ran a huge number. I said to myself, `if he can run that number again he can win.' And he did."
Trainer St. Lewis was referring to INFORMATIVE's last-out performance at Pimlico, where he earned a new top speed figure for that effort, even in defeat. It was an indication of INFORMATIVE's readiness entering Saturday's race.
St. Lewis went on to express that he wasn't intimidated by this field, which is why he entered him in the first place, and that thought he could win it.
"When they went down the backside I thought I had no chance," St. Lewis admitted. "But when we got to the top of the stretch and everything opened for him I said `our lucky day is coming.' All he had to do was finish strong and he finished strong. This feels good. I like that price $161.60 to win. Everyone is happy."
Source: Equibase, Monmouth Park Publicity, Horse Racing Nation