Monmouth Park opens today with a 12-race program as sprinters take center stage in the Decathlon Stakes.
All nine entrants are stakes winners with credentials to make noise in the opening day feature race. Among those entered in the Decathlon are the 2010 winner Congressional Page who will break from post three for trainer Michael Trombetta. Local runners will book-end the field as Wildcat Brief, for conditioner Ben Perkins Jr., has drawn the fence, while Zero Rate Policy, trained by Terri Pompay, will come from post nine. Soaring Stocks, winner of the Sunshine Millions Sprint at Gulfstream Park, drew post position No. 4. The Decathlon will go as race 10 on the card with an estimated post time of 5:18 p.m.
Soaring Stocks, an E. Paul Robsham Stables homebred, is trained by Todd Pletcher and will be ridden by Chris DeCarlo. The son of Trippi finished last in the Duncan Kenner Stakes last time out at Fair Grounds. Soaring Stocks is a winner in four of seven lifetime.
Another son of Trippi in the race is Klaravich Stables and W. H. Lawrence’s Zero Rate Policy, who showed his love for the Monmouth strip last year as a 3-year-old when he won the Rumson Stakes and two allowance sprints.
Trainer Terri Pompay had him ready to roll in Florida last December, and the son of Trippi captured the Sunshine State Stakes at Gulfstream, and then was beaten an inch by Apriority in the Grade 3 Mr. Prospector Stakes after six furlongs in 1:09 1/5.
“That race took a lot out of both horses,” Pompay said. “We both went in the Sunshine Millions Sprint in January, and we thought we’d be the top two, but we were both out of the money.”
Zero Rate Policy was given a break after that, and on April 1 made his most recent start in the Duncan F. Kenner Stakes at Fair Grounds. He finished fifth after six furlongs in 1:08 2/5.
“They were going really fast,” Pompay said, “and Zero was having trouble on the tight turn. He’s a big, long-striding horse and he didn’t handle the turn well at all. But he came out of that fine, and he’s been doing great since we shipped back to Monmouth.”
The 4-year-old gelding has had two works over the Monmouth track since arriving in late April, and both were bullets. He drilled a half-mile in :48 3/5 on April 30, and followed with three-eighths in an eye-opening :35 2/5 on May 6.
“He loves it here,” Pompay said, “and I expect a big effort.”
–Monmouth Park Publicity contributed to this report.
Zero Rate Policy/Coglianese photo