Char-Mari Stable's Park Avenue Ball moved to the lead around the far turn and held off all challengers to win the $265,000 Philip H. Iselin Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. III) by three quarters of a length Saturday at Monmouth Park.
Park Avenue Ball covered the 1 1/8-mile distance on a fast track in 1:49 3/5 for jockey Chris DeCarlo and returned $4.80, $3 and $2.80 as the 7-5 favorite in the field of eight. Survivalist, ridden by Eddie Castro, rallied to complete a $32.40 exacta and paid $3 and $2.80. Master Command, sent off the second choice with Ramon Dominguez aboard, paid $3.40 to show.Sinister G set fractions of :23 2/5, :47 and 1:11 1/5 under Charles Lopez with Park Avenue Ball parked on their outside.
"I saw Chuckie wanted the lead," said DeCarlo. "Once I saw that, I just took him to the outside and waited. He runs the turns really well and, when you ask him, he accelerates. He was able to get away from them turning for home, and that made all the difference."
"He acted up twice in the gate, that had me excited," said winning trainer Jim Ryerson. "He was in good position all the way. When he got by, the question was the distance, but he dug in. Ryerson said he may give the New Jersey-bred colt some time off. "We may sit on him until the Meadowlands Cup. He's been running four weeks, four weeks."
The Iselin win, worth $165,000, boosted Park Avenue Ball's lifetime earnings to $916,600 with a record of 7-5-2 from 17 starts. The 4-year-old colt by Citidancer from the Cahill Road mare Road to the Ball improved his Monmouth Park record to 6-2-1 in nine tries.
It was an all New Jersey combination in the winner's circle following the Iselin. His owners, Charles and Marianne Hesse, residents of Leonardo, bred the colt in New Jersey. Ryerson was born in Long Branch and resides in Oceanport, and jockey Chris DeCarlo was born in Edison and now lives in Monmouth Beach.
Sinister G held fourth, followed by Network, Sinners N Saints, Tap Day, and Zoffinger.