Updated on 09/17/2011 10:52PM

Park Avenue Ball proves worthy

Bill Denver/EQUI-PHOTO
Park Avenue Ball, and jockey Chris DeCarlo, win the Grade III $150,000 Long Branch Breeders' Cup Stakes at Monmouth Park.

OCEANPORT, N.J. - It's on to the Haskell for Park Avenue Ball, a dominant winner Saturday in the Grade 3, $150,000 for 3-year-olds at Monmouth Park.

The Long Branch is the traditional prep for the main event of the Monmouth season, the $1 million Haskell Invitational on Aug. 7.

Park Avenue Ball left no doubt he is Haskell material with a 6 1/4-length win over Chekhov, with Golden Man third.

Trainer Jim Ryerson targeted the Long Branch after Park Avenue Ball ran second to Scrappy T in the Grade 3 Withers Stakes at Aqueduct. Making his first start since that April 30 race, Park Avenue Ball was fresh and eager Saturday under Chris DeCarlo.

He settled into a tracking trip right behind the pacesetting Shark. Park Avenue Ball blew the race wide open with a decisive move approaching the quarter pole, and was never threatened in the lane.

"He broke pretty good today," DeCarlo said. "When I asked him to go, he responded really well."

It was the third win of the afternoon for DeCarlo.

The win was Park Avenue Ball's first around two turns, and he now looks like a horse ready to take the next step.

"He ran huge," Ryerson said. "We had our concerns coming in, but Chris rode him perfectly. He pulled up good, so we'll probably go to the Haskell from here."

Park Avenue Ball ran the 1 1/16 miles over the fast track in 1:41.93

* Hotstufanthensome ($8.20) romped to a pacesetting victory in the $60,000 Elkwood Stakes, run at 1 1/16 miles over a yielding turf course. He was clocked in 1:42.54 in the four-length win.

Hotstufanthensome, ridden by Rajiv Maragh and trained by Norman Pointer, posted his second straight win and his seventh in 18 career starts. Cottage was second with Stormy Roman third.