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Horse Racing: No Monkey magic as EUR16m colt is well beaten on belated debut.

Byline: Dan Farley

THE GREEN MONKEY looked anything but a EUR16 million horse on Saturday at Belmont Park, finishing third on his muchanticipated debut in a 6f maiden, writes Dan Farley.

Purchased last year at the breeze-ups at Calder in Florida, The Green Monkey had suffered from repeated physical problems that kept him on the sidelines. When the time to take the wraps off him finally arrived, the public responded with their wallets, making the Todd Pletcher-trained colt the 2-5 favourite in a field of six.

Jockey John Velazquez had The Green Monkey perfectly positioned early, as they sat third behind the front-runners. However, when push came to shove The Green Monkey found little and came home a well-beaten third, seven lengths behind the Bill Mott-trained Roi Maudit, who as a 10-1 chance was making his sixth attempt to break his duck.

"I figured he would be a big favourite because of all the publicity, but I don't think he ran so badly," said Pletcher. "He was outspeeded a little bit, then got some decent position, but after that they kind of spurted away from him at the top of the stretch. From the eighth pole to the wire, he showed a little interest and galloped out well.

"In a perfect world he would win, but we were at a stage where we'd done everything we could to prepare him to run, and then we had to make a decision to run. He didn't run totally different from what I expected, but I thought he would have been a little bit better."

Velazquez said: "Everybody wants to see what EUR16 million can buy you. He was very good, very professional, he's just not very quick. He will need a little more distance."

The EUR16m paid for The Green Monkey by the Michael Tabor-Derrick Smith-John Magnier axis eclipsed the previous record public auction price for a thoroughbred, when Seattle Dancer fetched EUR13.1m as a yearling in 1985.

Wonderful career over

USA Tiz Wonderful suffered a career-ending suspensory injury last week when beaten at Belmont Park, being vanned off the track after a minor race.

Unbeaten at two, the Steve Asmussen-trained three-year-old was regarded as a Triple Crown contender before a tendon injury delayed his return until the Jim Dandy Stakes in July, when he was last behind Street Sense.
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Sep 17, 2007
Words:389
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