06/09/2011 11:22AM

Monmouth Park: Zero Rate Policy looks strong off last in Rumson


Two horses who ran extremely well in their first starts at Monmouth Park, one early this meet and the other last summer, figure prominently in a pair of $75,000 stakes for 3-year-old sprinters Saturday.

Zero Rate Policy, who won a rapidly run first-level allowance on the second day of the 2011 meet, looks like the prime speed in the six-furlong Rumson (race 5), while Pomeroys Pistol, a Grade 2 winner in Florida in January who romped in her career debut at Monmouth last August, will try to regroup from a dull performance last time out when she drops out of graded company for the six-furlong Just Smashing (race 10).

Zero Rate Policy, who has not been worse than second in his first three career starts, followed up his maiden win at Gulfstream Park by drawing off to a 2 1/2-length victory locally May 15. The 94 Beyer Speed Figure he earned was seven points above par, but his performance may have been aided by an inside-speed bias. The runner-up from that race, Gunfighter, regressed from an 88 to an 80 when he returned to face New Jersey-breds in the John J. Reilly.

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The main threat to Zero Rate Policy appears to be the Todd Pletcher-trained Razmataz, who faces softer company after a pair of fourths in Grade 2 sprints at Gulfstream Park. In his most recent effort, Razmataz was within a head of the lead after the first six furlongs of the seven-furlong Swale.

On the down side, Pletcher is 0 for 13 with dirt sprinters returning from an absence of 61 to 180 days in non-graded stakes.

In the Just Smashing for 3-year-old fillies, Pomeroys Pistol will attempt to regain the good form she displayed last winter in Florida, where she won the seven-furlong Forward Gal and finished a close second in the six-furlong, Grade 3 Old Hat. After more than two months on the sidelines, Pomeroys Pistol was a dull sixth in the Grade 3 Eight Belles at Churchill Downs.

Roman Treasure, a front-runner who has won two of her last three starts, could be the main threat to Pomeroys Pistol. In her most recent race, Roman Treasure was involved in a speed duel, battling through fractions of 21.42 and 43.65 seconds, before drawing clear to win a first-level allowance by a length while racing on a muddy, sealed track.

Amylimehouse, winner of two straight in Florida, and Honey Chile, third in the Eight Belles after putting her head in front after six furlongs, would be contenders if their connections opt to run in this spot. Both fillies are cross-entered in the $200,000 Jostle on Saturday at Parx.