New Jersey-bred Sea Streak Dazzles in Long Branch Stakes

Monmouth Park Press Release

Trainer Eddie Owens wanted to make sure that anyone standing within earshot as he made his way to the winner’s circle understood that Sea Streak’s latest performance was simply a statement by a very good horse.

“Don’t let the NJ (New Jersey-bred designation) fool you,” he announced over and over.

In the first local prep for the Grade 1 NYRA Bets Haskell Stakes, Sea Streak stamped himself as a potential contender for Monmouth Park’s showcase race after romping to a 7¼-length victory in Saturday’s $100,000 Long Branch Stakes on the Jersey Shore track’s opening day card.

Ridden by Jairo Rendon, Sea Streak shrugged off all challenges from six other 3-year-olds, including the Todd Pletcher-trained Heartened, the 13-10 favorite who had to settle for second. Crazy Mason was another three-quarters of a length back in third.

Sea Streak covered the mile and 70 yards in 1:41.90.

With the win, the Holly Crest Farm homebred also earned free entry and start fees to the Haskell.

Told that only one Jersey-bred (Thanks to Tony in 1980) has won the Haskell, Owens replied simply: “We’ll try to make it two.”

Sent off at 2-1, the gelded son of Sea Wizard returned $6.40 to win. It marked his first win since a maiden special weight romp at Aqueduct as a 2-year-old five races ago.

“I think I got too big with him early and he was green and running green,” said Owens, who also teamed with Rendon to win the first race on the card with Little Ni. “Today he put it all together. He’s for real.”

Tested early by Lonesome Boy and Sugar Boy through early fractions of 23:78 and 48:10, Sea Streak made his move for the lead then on the rail and took over on the far turn. He was gone after he did so.

“Eddie told me if they let you go to the lead you’ll be on the lead.  But if they fight for the lead let him relax and go at his pace,” said Rendon. “He’s a horse that knows what to do. I got the best trip I could get. I breezed the horse the other day and I knew he was ready to go.  And I knew he could get the distance.

“He’s a Jersey-bred but he’s a very good horse. He has been running against some good horses at Gulfstream and in New York.”

Owens said he would wait to see how Sea Streak, the only Jersey-bred in the field, came out of the race before plotting his next move.

The NYRA Bets Pegasus Stakes on June 15 is the next local Haskell prep.

“We’ll see how he comes back,” said Owens. “If he’s tired I might back off on him a little bit. He didn’t look like the distance bothered him. He looked very good doing what he did today. So we’ll see. It will be the Pegasus if he’s good.”

Sea Streak improved his career line to 2-3-1 from seven lifetime starts, lifting his career earnings to $184,110.

“We had a little speed on the outside of us. I was worried Sugar Boy would go but he didn’t go,” said Owens. “Jairo sat perfect with him. When he was ready to go he went.

“After his last race at Gulfstream (a runner-up finish in a one-turn mile) I talked to (jockey) Jose Ortiz and he told me to run him two turns. He said two turns would be better for him. I was hoping to see this (type of performance) sooner but I was expecting it the whole time.”

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