Salute the Stars Upsets Kingsbarns In Pegasus Thriller

Salute the Stars (outside) | Sarah Andrew

Salute the Stars continued his rise through the ranks here with a determined victory in the Pegasus S. at Monmouth Park.

Coming into the race riding a two race win-streak which began when he wrapped his juvenile season with a victory against maidens at Ellis on the grass, he moved from John Ortiz to Brad Cox before his seasonal bow last out May 14 in an off-turf allowance. Winning there by a neck, he was made the 5-2 second choice behind Kingsbarns, who was reappearing for the first time since his 14th place in the GI Kentucky Derby. Bumped and steadied at the start, Salute the Stars pulled early for his head, leaving him rank entering the clubhouse turn. Joel Rosario was finally able to reason with his charge as he settled in fourth off the rail on the backstretch, and slowly inched closer from the three path in the final bend. Rallying to the outside of runners, he set his sights on Kingsbarn passing the furlong marker and surged late to run that one down by a neck on the wire.

“I was not feeling good on the backside. He was too aggressive going into the first turn. On the backside Joel did a good job getting him to relax. Even at the three-eighths pole I thought `he's not going anywhere.',” admitted Trace Messina, Brad Cox's assistant. “But when he straightened out he got going. We'll see [on the GI Haskell]. Obviously that's an option. We have a lot of 3-year-olds in this division. But that's a possibility for sure.”

The most accomplished runner of his siblings thus far, Salute the Stars is the first black-type winner for Star Sighting. He has a 2-year-old full-sister Jazz Party, and a 2023 half-sister by Hard Spun. Said dam herself hails from a busy family as the half-sister to MGISW Carpe Diem (Giant's Causeway); GISW & MGSW Farrell (Malibu Moon); MGSP Doncaster Rover (War Chant); GISW J. B.'s Thunder (Thunder Gulch); and GSP Semper Fortis (Distorted Humor). Click for the Equibase.com chart or VIDEO, sponsored by TVG.

PEGASUS S., $150,000, Monmouth, 6-17, 3yo, 1 1/16m, 1:43.87, ft.
1–SALUTE THE STARS, 120, c, 3, by Candy Ride (Arg)
           1st Dam: Star Sighting, by Malibu Moon
           2nd Dam: Rebridled Dreams, by Unbridled's Song
           3rd Dam: Key Cents, by Corridor Key
1ST BLACK TYPE WIN. O/B-Gary & Mary West Stables Inc. (KY); T-Brad H. Cox; J-Joel Rosario. $90,000. Lifetime Record: 4-3-1-0, $210,960.
2–Kingsbarns, 122, c, 3, Uncle Mo–Lady Tapit, by Tapit. ($250,000 Ylg '21 FTSAUG; $800,000 2yo '22 FTFMAR). O-Spendthrift Farm LLC; B-Parks Investment Group, LLC (KY); T-Todd A. Pletcher. $30,000.
3–Howgreatisnate, 122, g, 3, Speightster–Bee Dees Bid, by Tapit. ($67,000 Ylg '21 KEESEP). O-Imaginary Stables; B-B. D. Gibbs Farm, LLC (KY); T-Elizabeth L. Dobles. $15,000.
Margins: NK, 2 1/4, NO. Odds: 2.90, 0.50, 10.20.
Also Ran: Subrogate, Classic Catch, No Confession. Scratched: Alternate Reality, Moreau.

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