06/03/2007 11:00PM

DeCarlo making most of his mounts


OCEANPORT, N.J. - Chris DeCarlo is off to a sensational start at Monmouth Park, making the most of limited opportunities.

Joe Bravo, not surprisingly, leads the jockey standings through the first 10 days of the meet. "Jersey Joe" is setting the pace with 19 wins from 67 mounts.

DeCarlo is sitting second, with 14 victories from only 32 mounts - bagging winners at a 43 percent clip. It certainly helps that Todd Pletcher, DeCarlo's main Monmouth client, came out firing.

Pletcher leads the trainer standings with nine wins, all ridden by DeCarlo.

"My percentages are mainly due to one guy - Todd Pletcher," DeCarlo said. "His horses are the main reason I'm doing so good right now. They are running right off the TV screen.

"Basically, I'm riding fast horses. It makes my job a lot easier."

DeCarlo was virtually unstoppable last weekend, starting Friday when he went 3 for 4 with a second on his other mount.

He had one ride Saturday, guiding Smart Enough to a stakes-record victory in the Wolf Hill Stakes for trainer John R.S. Fisher.

"He was unbelievable," DeCarlo said. "He did it with only three shoes. He felt a little funny pulling up and Doc Fisher looked down and saw he only had three shoes."

DeCarlo capped the weekend by winning with his lone mount Sunday to complete a 5-for-6 stretch.

"Basically, throughout my career, I haven't ridden a lot of horses," DeCarlo said. "It's not by design. It just works out that way. I can't complain. Everything is running great. I hope it keeps on going."

Pletcher sends out two

DeCarlo will try to keep the momentum rolling with two mounts Wednesday. He is named on both Pletcher horses in the third race, which is for 2-year-olds going five furlongs.

Given Pletcher's overall success with babies, the entry of Atoned and Holidaze figures to be well bet.

Holidaze is the only one in the race to have started, running fifth in late April on the Polytrack at Keeneland. The son of Harlan's Holiday should be fully acclimated to Monmouth, having worked three times here since mid-May.

Atoned was a $170,000 purchase at Ocala in February. He has been training with Pletcher's Belmont division and will debut on Lasix.

DeCarlo's other mount is Dancingupastorm in the eighth race feature, an optional $50,000 claimer for fillies and mares.

Dancingupastorm makes her season debut. She is trained by Doug Fout, who is based in Maryland at the Fair Hill Training Center. The 5-year-old enters the 1 1/16-mile turf race under the third-level allowance provisions.

Breeders' Cup preparations on target

Several major Monmouth renovations for the Breeders' Cup will soon be completed, according to vice president and general manager Bob Kulina.

The rebuilding of the Patio Terrace, complete with rooftop seating, should be finished in early July.

"They might be the nicest additions of everything we're doing," Kulina said of the structure on the clubhouse side of the stands. "It's probably 70 to 80 percent completed."

The expansion of the Lady's Secret Cafe overlooking the paddock is slated to finish by July 4.

A new, permanent tent in the picnic area will open in the next two weeks, complete with televisions and betting machines.

"It's in the most popular area at the track," Kulina said. "I think it will be used a lot."

The rebuilding of the bridge over a creek on the property also should finish by early July. That will allow drivers to again enter the track from Route 36.

"A lot of things are going on, but the finishing touches should soon be done," Kulina said.

* Monmouth finally settles into a five-day-a-week schedule starting Wednesday, after running only weekends and the Memorial Day holiday since May 12. Monmouth now races Wednesdays through Sundays until Sept. 2, with first post at 12:50 p.m.