The progression of St. Elias Stable’s Dr Post took another stride forward on July 17 as the son of Quality Road swung out widest of all coming into the lane and finished with authority in the final furlong to capture the $300,000 Monmouth Cup Stakes (G3) at Monmouth Park by 1 1/4 lengths.
Trained by Hall of Famer Todd Pletcher, Dr Post finished third in last year’s edition of the TVG.com Haskell Stakes, an effort that came on the heels of his runner-up finish in the 2020 Belmont Stakes (G1). That tease of potential during his 3-year-old campaign has come to fruition during this his 4-year-old season.
Dr Post won the Westchester Stakes (G3) in his seasonal bow on May 1 at Belmont Park before finishing fifth in the Metropolitan Handicap (G1) on June 5. Stretched back out to 1 1/8-miles, Dr Post rated fifth on Saturday through fractions of :23.11 and 46.97 as Bal Harbour showed the way on the front end with 44-1 longshot Justinthenickotime pressing the matter in second.
Race favorite Ny Traffic advanced three wide to make his bid around the far turn, but was immediately engaged by Bankit coming up his outside to take over the lead. Bankit’s sweeping move was done one better by Dr Post, however, as the dark bay colt was finding his best gear on the far outside on his way to covering the distance in 1:47.53 over a track rated fast.
“He had kind of tricky race in the Haskell last year (finishing third) but we felt like we know him well enough to show he’d handle the track,” Pletcher said. “We got a good honest pace and that helped him today. He got into a good comfortable rhythm and then put in a good sustained run.”
Sent off at 5-2 odds, Dr Post earned his fourth win from nine career starts and improved his earnings to $700,635. Night Ops mounted his own rally to get second with Bankit come home third.
Winning jockey Joel Rosario attributed at least some of Dr. Post’s performance to the introduction of blinkers.
“I never rode this horse before but (trainer) Todd (Pletcher) said he has been a little more focused with the blinkers (on for the first time). I think that was the case in the race. He was more focused, more forward even in the backside, and he seemed like he was going pretty easy.”