Oceanport, NJ (SportsNetwork.com) - Post time favorite Itsmyluckyday took the lead at the top of the stretch and ran to victory in Sunday's $150,000 Salvator Mile on the main track at Monmouth Park.
Trained by Ed Plesa Jr. and ridden by Paco Lopez, Itsmyluckyday was sent off as the 6-5 favorite in the nine-horse field of older thoroughbreds.
Itsmyluckyday stalked pacesetter Bradester from the outside with Valid racing second near the rail. The top three were across the track on the final turn until Itsmyluckyday took the lead approaching the furlong-pole.
Owned by Trilogy Stable and Laurie Plesa, Itsmyluckyday opened his lead to three-lengths before Lopez backed off nearing the wire. The 4-year-old favorite posted a 1 1/2-length win over Bradester with Valid finishing third.
Completing the order of finished were Don Dulce, Code West, Raging Daoust, Dawly, Sailor's Revenge and Elnaaw. The entry of Stormin Monarcho and Spa City Fever was scratched as was Big Screen.
The time for the Salvator Mile on a fast track was 1:34.88.
Itsmyluckyday notched his third straight win with the Salvator. The victory was worth $90,000 and brings the colt's career bankroll to $1,022,600 with eight wins in 17 starts.
"This was another test and he passed with an A+," Plesa said. "He was three- wide around the entire turn and still managed to kick away in the lane. He kind of pulled himself up in the end.
"He'll be back for the Monmouth Cup ($200,000, 1 1/8 miles on July 27), barring anything unforeseen."
The win was the second for Plesa in the race. In 2007 the trainer saddled Gottcha Gold to victory.
Earlier this year, Itsmyluckyday registered victories in Gulfstream Park's Best of the Rest Stakes on April 26 and the Majestic Light Stakes May 24 at Monmouth. He began the year with a fourth-place finish behind Palace Malice in the Gulfstream Park Handicap.
As a 3-year-old the colt won the Holy Bull Stakes and Gulfstream Park Derby with seconds in the Florida Derby and Preakness Stakes. He finished a disappointing 15th in last year's Kentucky Derby.
Itsmyluckyday returned $4.40, $3.40 and $2.60. Bradester paid $6.80 and $4.40, and Valid paid $4.20 to show.