05/14/2011 5:50PM

Monmouth: This Ones for Phil sharp in Decathlon comeback

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Bill Denver/Equiphotos
This Ones for Phil, making his first start since March 2010, takes the opening-day Decathlon under Joe Bravo.

This Ones for Phil showed no signs of rustiness following 15 months on the sidelines when he rallied to score by 1 ¼ lengths in Saturday’s opening-day feature at Monmouth Park, the $75,000 Decathlon Stakes for older sprinters.

A 5-year-old gelding who has twice won six-figure stakes on the Sunshine Millions program at Gulfstream Park, This Ones for Phil ($4.20) was making his first start since finishing a distant eighth in the Grade 2 Gulfstream Park Handicap in March 2010.

Ridden for the first time by Joe Bravo, This Ones for Phil opened up a three-length lead at the eighth pole and held off a mild late bid from Wildcat Brief while completing the six furlongs in 1:09.69.

Bravo said his job was easy.

“My instructions were to enjoy myself because I was on the best horse,” Bravo said “This horse is going to have a great summer. I don’t think he ran his best race today off the long layoff and still ended up in 1:09 and three-fifths on a track that wasn’t that fast.”

Awesome Son  was a distant third, 6 1/2 lengths behind the runner-up.

This Ones for Phil, racing under the name of Tony Dutrow because regular trainer Rick Dutrow has had licensing problems, is now 7 for 17 lifetime.

“Whatever ailments he had seem to be behind him now,” Tony Dutrow said. “ I was impressed, but not surprised. This is a really nice horse here.”

Dutrow indicated This Ones for Phil will be pointed to the True North on the Belmont Stakes undercard on June 11.

A crowd of 10,847 turned out for opening day, a 5 percent increase over opening day of the 2009 meet. Both ontrack wagering of $700,796, which was up 5 percent, and all-sources handle of $4,534,828, up 6 percent, represented strong gains over the 2009 numbers.

The 2009 meet is more comparable to this season than 2010, when Monmouth ran an elite summer meet with purses of $1 million per day during a shortened 50-day summer meet.