05/14/2016 5:58PM

A. P. Indian needs help of stewards to repeat in Decathlon Stakes

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Ryan Denver/Equi-Photo
A. P. Indian (4) finishes second to Delta Bluesman, but is elevated to first by a disqualification to win the Decathlon Stakes for a second time.

A. P. Indian scored a repeat victory in the $75,000 Decathlon Stakes on opening day of the Monmouth Park meeting Saturday, but it was not nearly as pretty as a year ago when he went to the lead and won by 2 3/4 lengths.

On Saturday, A. P. Indian finished second, 1 1/4 lengths behind 9-5 favorite Delta Bluesman, but was placed first after jockey Paco Lopez, the rider of Seeking the Sherif, who finished last in the field of five, lodged a claim of foul against Delta Bluesman and A. P. Indian for interference on the backstretch of the six-furlong sprint.

After reviewing the incident, the stewards disqualified Delta Bluesman and placed him last, elevating A. P. Indian to first.

Delta Bluesman made the lead in the Decathlon under jockey Jonathan Gonzales but drifted inward, forcing A. P. Indian into Seeking the Sherif. A. P. Indian was steadied and Seeking the Sherif checked and quickly dropped from contention.

Delta Bluesman, trained by Jorge Navarro, made a clear lead soon after the incident, then held A. P. Indian at bay in the stretch.

A. P. Indian, after being steadied the first time, steadied again while racing in tight quarters along the inner rail on the far turn, with Fabulous Kid to his outside. A. P. Indian, ridden by Daniel Centeno, got to the outside of Delta Bluesman in upper stretch but could only moderately close the gap between them while clear second-best.

"I do think I lost my chance on the backside," Centeno said. "The 7 [Delta Bluesman] came over on me and I lost position."

Any Court Inastorm rallied from last position early to finish third, 3 1/4 lengths behind A. P. Indian and 2 1/4 lengths ahead of Fabulous Kid, who weakened to finish fourth.

A. P. Indian, trained by Arnaud Delacour and owned by the Green Lantern Stables, paid $7 to win. Delta Bluesman set fractions of 21.85 seconds, 44.26, and 58.57, and completed the course in 1:09.45.

A. P. Indian, a 6-year-old gelding by Indian Charlie, is now 6 for 12 in his career and has earnings of $247,434. He was making his first start since last October at Keeneland.

"I thought that he could run his best race right away," Delacour said. "With his running style, he likes to be right there on the lead and challenge. Today he was taken out of that and it messed him up a little bit, but he certainly ran great."

Attendance at Monmouth on Saturday was 11,416, an increase of 2.5 percent over last year’s opening-day crowd, according to track officials.