Park kicked off its 68th
season of Thoroughbred racing on Saturday with a stirring finish to the
Decathlon Stakes, an enthusiastic crowd of 9,636 on hand despite monsoon-like
weather, and a hefty increase in handle over last year.
wagering soared on this first day of a 61-day meeting, reaching $6,192,305, a
gain of 29.8 percent over last year’s all-sources handle on opening day.
“To post a
30 percent gain in handle is incredibly positive, and certainly bested any of
our projections,” said Bob Kulina, president of Darby Development LLC,
operators of Monmouth
Park. “The weather didn’t
cooperate, but all things considered, we couldn’t be happier.
“Last year provided us a good
starting point to build on,” Kulina said, “and today’s figures are hopefully
just the beginning of across-the-board gains throughout the summer.”
Racing LLC’s Pass You Bye Bye rallied on the outside under Julian Pimentel, collared
the leaders in deep stretch and drew off near the wire to win the $75,000
Decathlon Stakes by one length. He raced the six furlongs in a brisk 1:09 1/5
over a track made sloppy by heavy afternoon downpours and paid $8, $4 and $3.20
across the board.
second choice in the wagering, finished second by a half-length over the 26-1
Diski Dance to complete the $27 exacta. Luckysdream paid $3.60 to place and
$3.40 to show, and Diski Dance was $4.60 to show.
Man, the even-money favorite in the field of six, was off badly, failed in his
attempt to mount a midstretch rally, and finished fourth.
trains Pass You Bye Bye, a 4-year-old son of Rock Slide who has won three of
five starts this year. The Decathlon was his first stakes victory and added
$45,000 to his earnings.
really a nice horse,” Pimentel said. “He didn’t care for the dirt coming at
him, but once I got him into the clear, he was fine. Around the eighth pole, he
really kicked in and that was it.”
Monmouth meeting continues with live racing Sunday, Mother’s Day. Through the
month of May, live cards will be run on Saturdays and Sundays, plus a Memorial
Day card on May 27. Starting on Friday, May 31, Monmouth will have live racing
three days a week, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
The 2013 meet goes through Sunday, Oct. 6.