Hard Enough wins Grade III Red Bank

Virginia-bred Hard Enough winning the Grade III Red Bank S. Photo courtesy Equi-Photo.

Virginia-bred Hard Enough winning the Grade III Red Bank S. Photo courtesy Equi-Photo.

2013 Champion Virginia-bred Turf Horse Hard Enough has done it again! The 4-year-old son of Hard Spun won the Grade III Red Bank Stakes at Monmouth on Saturday, beating multiple graded stakes winner Slim Shadey in the process.

Bred by Larry Johnson, Hard Enough is no stranger to the winner’s circle. In 2013, the chestnut colt won two back-to-back stakes in 2013. In July, Hard Enough annexed the Jersey Derby at Monmouth by a length and a half, and returned to that venue a month later to win the Restoration Stakes after a gutsy duel in the stretch. In September, he was third in the Grade III Kent Stakes at Delaware.

Hard Enough came into Saturday’s race after a year of highs and lows. He opened 2014 with a 12th-place finish in a Gulfstream allowance, before returning to best similar company by a nose in late February. A DNF in March preceded Saturday’s effort. Hard Enough broke comfortably from the insight and tracked the leaders into the stretch. Despite being three wide on the turn, Hard Enough made a rallying move to pass Slim Shadey and fend off a closing Winning Cause for a 3/4-length victory. Hard Enough was a 9/1 upset in the mile turf contest.

“He showed good versatility and what we saw today was what I’ve been teaching him to do,” winning trainer Bobby Dibona told The Bloodhorse. “We’ll take it one thing at a time, but we’re looking at the Monmouth Stakes (gr. IIT) here for his next start.”

You can watch the race here. The $200,000 Monmouth Stakes, contested at 1 1/8 miles, is June 8.

Owned by Peace Sign Stable, Hard Enough is out of the Mr. Greeley mare Grecian Wings. He is a half sister to the multiple stakes-placed Songandaprayer filly Allwewantforxmas, also bred by Mr. Johnson.

Wardelle Lodges 14th Career Victory

Hard Enough was one of two Virginia-bred winners at Monmouth on Saturday. Wardelle (Toccet – Toe In The Water, by Bertrando) also prevailed, winning a 6-furlong allowance by the better part of 2 lengths. Bred by Audley Farm, Wardelle is now owned and trained by Peter Kazamias.

Wardelle winning a Monmouth allowance May 17. Photo courtesy Equi-Photo.

Wardelle winning a Monmouth allowance May 17. Photo courtesy Equi-Photo.