Updated on 05/12/2012 7:03PM

Monmouth: Ponzi Scheme takes spill-marred Decathlon


Ponzi Scheme, far enough back in the pack to avoid a chain reaction spill involving five horses, ran down Flat Bold in deep stretch to win the opening-day feature Saturday at Monmouth Park, the $75,000 Decathlon Stakes for sprinters.

Zero Rate Policy, the 2-1 favorite, was racing on the lead under Paco Lopez approaching the turn when he took a bad step and went down. Nathan's H Q, in second place at the time of the incident, fell over Zero Rate Policy. Congressional Page and Bank Merger lost their riders, but kept their feet. A fifth horse, Wildcat Brief, pulled up at the outside fence to avoid the spill.

All five of the horses involved in the incident came back to the barn with only superficial cuts and bruises. The riders likewise escaped serious injury. Only one, Angel Serpa, was taken to the Monmouth Medical Center for precautionary X-rays of his right shoulder.

The only horses left running following the multi-horse spill were Flat Bold, who was close to leader, and trailers Ponzi Scheme and Soaring Stocks.

Flat Bold inherited a four-length lead coming into the stretch, but faded as Ponzi Scheme ($27.20) and Elvis Trujillo blew past to score by 2 3/4 lengths. He completed the six furlongs in 1:10.16. Flat Bold held second, 1 1/2 lengths in front of Soaring Stocks. It was one of four wins on the card for Trujillo, the leading rider at Monmouth each of the past two seasons.

“He breezed well in New York last time so I thought he’d run well, but he likes longer distances,” winning trainer Juan Serey said.  “I told Elvis not to send him and he did a good job.  We’ll look to stretch him back out to his normal distances now.”

Saturday’s attendance of 12,008 was an increase of nearly 11 percent over last year's season opener, when 10,847 were on hand.

All-sources wagering on Monmouth’s 12-race card hit $4,768,956 a 5.2 percent gain over 2011, when $4,534829 was bet. The live handle saw an even bigger jump as $764,125 was bet on Saturday, a 9 percent gain from the $700,796 wagered a year ago.

It was the first day of racing under the auspices of Darby Development LLC, which manages the racetrack for the New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association. The NJTHA negotiated a five-year lease from the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority to operate Monmouth Park.

Jan Larroche More than 1 year ago
The only no race I know of is when someone or a horse is down in the track on a round and round or s steeplechase, once you buy your ticket, if your horses start you take your ride
Patricia Doyle More than 1 year ago
Racing is all about risk and as long as three horses were still racing it IS considered a contest. It is sad that Monmouth's opening day was marred by this but, horses do take bad steps and falter. I had money on one of the fallen horses and still am glad that the race continued even though I lost. When we put money on a horse we have to accept risk of a loss due to spills, etc.
Slew32A More than 1 year ago
What's greedy? The race was run. You want to talk about greedy? DRF leaving CD out of the short form.
Joe Greble More than 1 year ago
Slew, that was a joke!!!! I was in a handicapping contest at Delaware Park and Churchill was 1 of the tracks in the contest. What a joke!! Half the time woodbine is in half the time out. I don't know who makes the determination over there but it really is horrible. Delaware and Parx both had horrible cards and they leave churchill out!!!!!!! Joke
illhaveanother9 More than 1 year ago
Tracks that are too greedy to call a race like this a no-contest, in order to avoid having to refund the pools, do not receive any of my betting handle. Half of the field had no chance of winning, and Ponzi Scheme's connections were rewarded because he was slow early, not necessarily because he was best. Bad Call, Monmouth. (For a call equally as bad, take a look at Indiana Downs Race 5 from tonight, 5/12. I doubt a single person watching or involved in the race thought the winner would be left up.)
David Robinson More than 1 year ago
i understand where your coming from, but honestly, how is it fair to call a race a no contest because of a spill midway through the race. racing is racing. and all the people who bet the horses who did finish should not be penalized because the others fell. it was not a technical malfunction. the gate opened and all horses were afforded an equal opportunity to win the race. i have been on the wrong end of many inquiries and spills, and would think it way more unfair to let a few judges determine whether or no not everyone had a fair shake. the horses that finished did nothing to hamper the others. the tracks that do make these decisions, in my mind, are the ones being unfair. as the crowd at the astrodome chanted in the bad news bears sequel, " let them play. let them play!"