Monmouth Park: Lopez’s four-win day includes Yummy With Butter’s score in Cliff Hanger

OCEANPORT, N.J. – Yummy With Butter earned a second straight Grade 3 victory at Monmouth Park, drawing off to a 3 1/4-length win over Cherokee Lord on Sunday in the $100,500 Cliff Hanger Stakes on the turf.

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A 7-year-old gelding, Yummy With Butter has been steadily improving throughout the meet for Yvon Belsoeur, who took over the training last winter.

Yummy With Butter was 9-1 when he took the Oceanport Stakes on the Haskell Day undercard. The win price understandably dropped to $5.80 for the Cliff Hanger, the final graded stakes of the meet.

Paco Lopez, who had four winners on the card, sent Yummy With Butter between Sayif and Cherokee Lord, the dueling leaders, rounding the final turn.

Yummy With Butter, bred in Ontario, effortlessly opened up on the pack for his seventh career win in 32 starts.

“He’s really at the top of his game right now,” Belsoeur said. “I don’t know what it is. He’s just getting it. There was plenty of speed in the race and we got an inside trip. Sometimes things don’t work out with that kind of trip, but today things opened up perfectly.”

Sleepless Knight was third.

The time was 1:32.75 for the one mile on the firm course.

Gilded Time: Deputy Fling connects at 7-1

Deputy Fling withstood a bump in midstretch to pull off a 7-1 upset in the $65,000 Gilded Time Stakes for 3-year-old turf sprinters.

Forced to steady after the contact, Deputy Fling shot through an opening between rivals to get up by three quarters of a length over 9-5 favorite Christiesborntorun.

Trained in Maryland by Ferris Allen III, Deputy Fling improved to 3 for 5. The victory was the second straight for Deputy Fling following a state-bred win at Colonial Downs.

Eric Camacho was aboard as Deputy Fling covered the approximately 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:02.53.

Tiger Cat Lilly got third and had to be vanned off the track.

Junior Champion: Slip Along Band proves uncatchable

Slip Along Band and jockey Kendrick Carmouche led gate to wire to capture the $67,750 Junior Champion for 2-year-old fillies going one mile on the turf.

Slip Along Band is now 2 for 2 for Michael Pino as another Maryland trainer captured a Monmouth stakes.

Slip Along Band debuted at Presque Isle Downs in a five-furlong race on the synthetic strip. She was highly professional while stretching out for her turf debut.

“She’s always acted classy,” Pino said. “The first time I ran her five eighths, and I knew that wasn’t her game. She got it done, so I had a lot of confidence in her.

Slip Along Band prevailed by 2 1/4 lengths over Mystic Mama with first timer Tizfirst third.

The time was 1:34.58 as she paid $9.20 to win.