Popular gelding Ribo Bobo continued his remarkable rise from the claiming ranks May 10 in capturing the $79,000 Decathlon Stakes, the opening day feature at Monmouth Park, by a comfortable 1 1/2 lengths (VIDEO).
Trained by Jason Servis for Mr. Amore Stable, the 6-year-old son of Louis Quatorze has won three of his four starts this year and 10 times since being claimed by his current owners for $6,250 on Feb. 21, 2013. Six of those victories have been in stakes, including the Florida Sunshine Millions Sprint Jan. 18 to start his 2014 campaign.
Ribo Bobo came into the Decathlon bidding for a return to his winning from after finishing third in the Sir Shackleton Stakes March 29 at Gulfstream Park.
Dispatched as the 3-2 pick in the Decathlon, Ribo Bobo sat just off the early pace of Joe Tess, who carved out fractions of :21.72 for the opening quarter and :44.03 for the half. Nearing the top of the stretch, Ribo Bobo, in his usual way, drifted out before taking command in the lane and drawing clear, stopping the timer in 1:09.26 for six furlongs.
"He's just a really nice horse," said winning jockey Paco Lopez. "I know him really well and I knew he was the fastest horse out of the gate and fastest in the race. I just let him sit right off in the first part of the race. He tends to get out just a little bit around the turn, but I expected it because I know him so well."
Carrying co-top weight of 124 pounds, Florida-bred Ribo Bobo paid $5, $3.40, and $3.80. Runner-up Joe Tess completed the $62.40 exacta and paid $11.20 and $8.20. It was another 2 1/4 lengths back to Be Bullish, who paid $8.20.
He Can Run, Partyallnightlong, Candyman E, Javerre, and Zealevo completed the order of finish. Freudian Dilemma, Green Gratto, and Royal Currier were scratched.
Rapputi Stables bred Ribo Bobo out of the winning Private Terms mare Private Prom Party. His overall record improved to 18-5-4 from 52 starts. The $45,000 winner's share of the Decathlon purse raised his lifetime bankroll to $774,655.
Monmouth's opening-day attendance of 10,168 represented a 5.5% increase over last year's figure of 9,636.
"What a great start to what we hope is an even greater racing season," said Dennis Drazin, adviser to the New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association and Darby Development, operators of Monmouth Park. "If the enthusiasm of today's crowd is any indication of the meet ahead of us, we can stamp it a success right now."
The track's 57-day summer meet runs through Sept. 28.