05/11/2013 5:47PM

Monmouth: Pass You Bye Bye splashes his way to Decathlon victory

Bill Denver/Equi-Photo
Pass You Bye Bye, ridden by Julian Pimentel, finishes fast to score a one-length victory in the opening-day Decathlon at Monmouth Park.

Maryland shipper Pass You Bye Bye got a perfect trip stalking a contested pace and drew clear in deep stretch to win his stakes debut in the $76,500 Decathlon on opening day Saturday at Monmouth Park.

A 4-year-old son of Rock Slide, Pass You Bye Bye ($8) settled three lengths off dueling pacesetters Luckysdream and Diski Dance through fractions of 21.72 and 44.43 seconds. Luckysdream, the 2-1 second choice in a field reduced to six by two scratches, put his head in front at the eighth pole, but Pass You Bye Bye finished fast under jockey Julian Pimentel to win by a length.

In winning for the fourth time in eight lifetime starts, Pass You Bye Bye ran the six furlongs on a sloppy and sealed track in 1:09.34.

Luckysdream outfought 26-1 longshot Diski Dance by a half-length for second. Travelin Man, who broke slowly and was last early down the backstretch, made a mild rally along the rail to finish fourth as the even-money favorite.

“He didn’t care for the dirt coming at him, but once I got him in the clear he was fine,” said Pimentel, adding he believed Pass You Bye Bye benefited from the extra yardage of the Decathlon after finishing a rallying second going 5 1/2 furlongs last time out on April 13 at Pimlico. “He needed a little more distance today. Around the eighth pole he really kicked in and that was it.”

Ron Alfano, who trains Pass You Bye Bye for Rickmann Racing LLC, said the early speed duel was an ideal situation for his horse.

“The race set up how we thought with a couple speeds and we were able to sit off.  That’s how he likes to run,” Alfano said.

Despite heavy rain, Monmouth attracted a crowd of 9,636 and all-sources handle was up 30 percent to $6.19 million on the first day of a 61-day meeting.

“To post a 30 percent gain in handle is incredibly positive, and certainly bested any of our projections,” said Bob Kulina, president of Darby Development LLC, operators of Monmouth Park. “The weather didn’t cooperate, but all things considered, we couldn’t be happier."