Corporate Jungle riden by Paco Lopez wins Elkwood Stakes

Paco LopezCorporate Jungle took advantage of a quick early pace and then rallied in deep stretch for a thrilling victory in the $75,000 Elkwood Stakes while conceding six pounds to each of his seven rivals in the field.

Sent off the 3-5 favorite and carrying top weight of 123 pounds including jockey Paco Lopez, the four-year-old son of Giant’s Causeway sat behind fractions of :22 3/5, :45 4/5, and 1:09 set by Successful Mission with Get Serious close behind. Lopez moved Corporate Jungle into striking distance at the three-eights pole and then the four-year-old colt took command inside the sixteenth pole as he covered the one mile distance in 1:32 3/5 over the firm turf.

Successful Mission, the 2011 winner of the Elkwood with Chuck Lopez aboard, was one-half length back and Get Serious and jockey Pablo Fragoso were only another half-length behind. Gourmet Dinner closed strongly from far back and was a head back to take fourth and round out the Superfecta.

“I rode him like he was much the best. I had plenty of horse the whole way around,” said Lopez. I’m glad we were on the outside. Elvis (Trujillo, the rider of Presious Passion) had a little trouble with his horse up the backstretch. I went a little wide turning for home, but I knew I had the winner. He did it all pretty easily.”

Corporate Jungle, owned by Gary and Mary West and trained by Chad Brown, won his second consecutive stakes race and the fourth race in his last five starts. He improved his lifetime record to 4-1-0 from seven starts and upped his earnings to $172,260 with the winner’s share of the purse.

Corporate Jungle returned $3.40, $2.40, and $2.20 while Successful Mission paid $5.60 and $4 to place and Gourmet Dinner paid $6.60 to show. The exacta returned $18.40.

Beau Choix finished fifth while Get Serious faded to sixth, followed by Presious Passion and Concealed Identity.

Live racing continues at Monmouth Park on Sunday – gates open 11:30 a.m., first post 12:50 p.m

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