This Ones for Phil takes the Decathlon Stakes on opening day at Monmouth.

This Ones for Phil takes the Decathlon Stakes on opening day at Monmouth.

Bill Denver/EQUI-PHOTO

This Ones for Phil, Bravo Shine at Monmouth

Opening day at New Jersey track brings out 10,847 for Decathlon Stakes.

Favored This Ones for Phil captured the featured $75,000 Decathlon Stakes (VIDEO), “Jersey Joe” Bravo won three races, and a crowd of 10,847 enjoyed opening day festivities as Monmouth Park kicked off the 2011 Thoroughbred racing season May 14.
In the six-furlong Decathlon Stakes, This Ones for Phil charged into command at the top of the stretch for Bravo, opened a three-length lead, and then withstood the late charge of Wildcat Brief and Carlos Marquez Jr. for a 1 1/4-length victory. Awesome Son, who set the pace (22.09, :44.80) to the stretch for Francisco Maysonett, finished third, 6 1/2 lengths farther back.

It was the second win of the day for trainer Tony Dutrow, and the third for Bravo, who got off to a great start as he seeks his 14th Monmouth riding title.

This Ones for Phil, owned by Paul Pompa Jr., Jack Mandato, and Michael Dubb, won in 1:09.69 and paid $4.20, $3 and $2.40 as the 11-10 choice in the field of five.

Wildcat Brief, second choice at 2-1, paid $2.60 and $2.20 and completed the $12.40 exacta. Awesome Son returned $2.60 to show.

This was the first start in more than a year for This Ones for Phil, a 5-year-old son of Untuttable--Heaven's Gate, by Septieme Ciel, who won stakes in 2009 and 2010. The chestnut gelding's seventh win in 17 lifetime starts boosted his earnings to $538,360.

“Whatever ailments he had seem to be behind him now,” said Dutrow. “I was impressed, but not surprised. This is a really nice horse. We’ll keep him short --six, seven furlongs. This should set him up nicely for the True North (gr. II at Belmont June 11).”

Bravo, who won the seventh race on the Dutrow-trained All of the Above and the sixth race on the Todd Pletcher-conditioned Turbo Compressor , said, “My instructions were to enjoy myself because I was on the best horse. I don’t think he ran his best race today off the long layoff, and still ended up running 1:09 3/5 on a track that wasn’t that fast.”

Bravo last won the riding title at Monmouth in 2007.