Captain's Lover wins Matchmaker

Updated: August 2, 2009, 7:31 PM ET
By Mike Farrell | Daily Racing Form



Captain's Lover, racing on dirt for the first time, beat Princess Haya by 7 lengths on the sloppy, sealed track in the $200,000 Taylor Made Matchmaker for fillies and mares Sunday on the Haskell undercard at Monmouth Park.

Heavy early-afternoon showers ruined New Jersey s biggest day of racing. The three grass stakes the Matchmaker, the Oceanport, and the Jersey Derby were shifted to the main track, triggering waves of scratches.

Captain's Lover completed her three-continent hat trick, having previously won stakes in her native South Africa and in France.

With John Velazquez aboard, Captain's Lover stalked the early pace set by Meadow Saffron before taking charge on the final turn.

"It was a good effort for her first time on the dirt," trainer Todd Pletcher said. "We weren't sure how she would handle it but she had trained well enough on it to give it a try."

Captain s Lover outran four rivals in 1:51.60 for the 1 1/8 miles.

American Border was third followed by Them There Eyes and Meadow Saffron.

* In the three-horse $200,000 Oceanport, Get Serious led all the way to earn his third stakes victory of the meet, and the richest prize of his career.

Get Serious ($3.40), trained by John Forbes and ridden by Pablo Fragoso, beat Kiss the Kid by a neck with Pleasant Strike third. The time was 1.43.02 for the 1 1/16 miles.

* Only four went to the gate as Endymion ($7) beat 2-5 favorite Despite the Odds by 1 3/4 lengths in the $100,000 Jersey Derby for 3-year-olds. The colt, trained by Christophe Clement, improved to 3-for-7 with his first stakes win. Joe Bravo was aboard as Endymion ran the 1 1-16 miles in 1:44.22.

* It wasn't only turf stakes that were impacted. The Regret for filly and mare sprinters on the main track started with eight entrants before scratching down to three. D'wild Ride, the longest shot at 5-2 in the abbreviated field, took the Regret to end a string of three straight seconds. She beat Fearless Leader by a head with Sunday Geisha third. Carlos Marquez, Jr. rode for trainer Joe Orseno as D'wild Ride ran the six furlongs in 1:09.52.

* Fleet Valid, always in stalking position, emerged with the lead midway on the turn and dug in to hold off Keep Laughing by three quarters of a length in the $100,000 Teddy Drone at six furlongs.

A $14,000 claim at Aqueduct in April by trainer Scott Volk, Fleet Valid has won all three races since the barn change. A 6-year-old gelding ridden by Pablo Morales, Fleet Valid got his eighth win in 26 starts. Fleet Valid ($10.20) ran the six furlongs in 1:08.77.

* Actin Good outgamed Acting Zippy by a nose in the $100,000 Majestic Light Stakes. Those two pulled away from the pack in deep stretch, with Actin Good ($12.60) prevailing to give Kent Desormeaux his second win on the card.

Trained by Bobby Dibona, Actin Good ran the 1 1/16 miles in 1:43.76.

* Devil House ($11.40) led all the way in the $100,000 Lady s Secret for fillies and mares with Chuckie Lopez aboard for trainer Bruce Levine. She beat Talkin About Love by 3 lengths, running the 1 1/16 miles in 1:43.47.