Where's Sterling used a determined stretch run to score by a length in the $250,000 Philip H. Iselin S. (G3) Aug. 20 at Monmouth Park, and become the 40th career stakes winner for Northern Afleet. The Taylor Made stallion has sired eight stakes winners this season, five in races worth at least at least $200,000, putting him in first among all North American sires in the category.
The nine-furlong Iselin went postward with a field of eight; Where's Sterling was mid-pack between horses for the first six furlongs, then went three wide coming into the stretch. He eventually wore down the leader Southern Ridge to move away in the final strides and finish in 1:48.57 on a fast track.
“I was expecting the early pace to be a little faster,” said winning trainer Nick Canani, “but Paco (jockey Lopez) rode the horse perfectly. He always seemed like a horse that wants to go a mile and eighth, or maybe even longer.”
“I just tried to keep him relaxed early on,” Lopez said. “At the 3/8ths pole I had him in the middle and he was able to get past that horse (runner-up Southern Ridge) late.”
Four-year-old Where's Sterling is now 3-3-0 in eight starts, with earnings of $224,110 for his owner Frank Calabrese.
Bred in Kentucky by Cynthia Knight, Where's Sterling is out of Twinkler, who is a half-sister to Flat Top, a two-time Eclipse Award winning steeplechaser.
Northern Afleet's eight stakes winners have won 12 added-money events this year, and his runners have amassed more than $3,800,000 in earnings.