OCEANPORT, N.J. -- Discreetly Mine rallied to beat Out of Respect by 1 1/4 lengths on Sunday in the Grade 3, $200,000 Jersey Shore Stakes for 3-year-old sprinters at Monmouth Park.
The victory capped an interesting progression mapped out for Discreetly Mine by trainer Todd Pletcher. He stretched out Discreetly Mine from six furlongs in January to the Kentucky Derby at 1 1/4 miles on the first Saturday in May. During the four-race stretch, Discreetly Mine captured the Grade 2 Risen Star at Fair Grounds at 1 1/16 miles.
Discreetly Mine came up short of the goal in the Derby, running 13th. Since then, Pletcher shifted gears again -- progressively shortening the distances.
In his only other start since the Derby, Discreetly Mine ran second to D' Funnybone in the Grade 2 Woody Stephens at seven furlongs. Another cutback, this time to six furlongs, put Discreetly Mine back in the winner's circle in the Jersey Shore.
After tracking the leaders on the inside, John Velazquez swung Discreetly Mine four wide turning for home and colt finished with a flourish.
"We wanted to come out of there running and get good position, but we got squeezed a little bit three jumps out of the gate," Velazquez said. "I didn't want to drop too far back. I kept him in contention where I wanted to be. Once I pulled him out at the quarter pole and we got clear, he gave me a good run."
The time was 1:09.71 and Discreetly Mine paid $4.80 to win, giving Velazquez his third victory on the card.
Out of Respect, a New York-bred making his debut in an open stakes, turned in a terrific effort to get second. Trained by Scott Volk, Out of Respect set the fractions and fended off a pair of challengers at the top of the lane. He was clearly the best of the rest, at 9-1.
Safe Trip was third followed by Partyallnightlong, the filly Christine Daae and Cool Bullet.
Miss Liberty: Maram overcomes
Maram, the 2008 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf winner, overcame a tough trip to win the $100,000 Miss Liberty Stakes for fillies and mares going 1 1/16 miles on turf.
Breaking from the outside post in the nine-horse field, Maram was bumped and carried wide right at the start. That left her the trailer for much of the race. She found trouble again while gearing up turning for home and was forced to steady while waiting for traffic to clear.
Despite all that, Maram still came charging to beat Strike the Bell by a head with Eye of Taurus third.
"She really wasn't comfortable the whole trip," said trainer Chad Brown. "She kept checking and steadying, yet she found a way to get the job done."
Jose Lezcano was aboard for his fourth win of the day. Maram improved to 5-1-1 in 8 starts and paid $4.40 to win. The time was 1:41.56 for the 1 1/16 miles on the firm course.