05/25/2002 11:00PM

Sea of Tranquility victorious in Frisk Me Now


OCEANPORT, N.J. - Forget that Sea of Tranquility, the second choice in Sunday's inaugural running of the $50,000 Frisk Me Now Stakes for 3-year-olds and up, hadn't won since Oct. 29, five races back. Four of those defeats came away from Monmouth Park, and as the 6-year-old showed Sunday, he is a totally different horse here, capturing the Frisk Me Now by 7 3/4 lengths over seven rivals.

Sea of Tranquility, whose biggest career win came here last summer in the Grade 3 Salvatore Mile, improved to 5-2-2 in 10 starts at Monmouth. He was making his second start of the meet, having run a traffic-filled third in the John J. Reilly Handicap for Jersey-breds on May 12.

"I knew he was ready for this," trainer Richard Paulus said. "I walked him this morning and he was really feeling good."

Sea of Tranquility ($7.60), with Jose Ferrer aboard, covered the mile distance over a fast track in 1:38.40 before a crowd of 14,956. Tempest Fugit, who set quick early fractions, held on strongly for second, 4 1/2 lengths clear of Jersey-bred Summer Swing, who won the Reilly. The 3-2 favorite Jarf took a brief lead rounding the final turn, but was passed by Sea of Tranquility and failed to fire, finishing fifth.

* Jose Ferrer completed the stakes double, guiding the Linda Rice-trained Sparkling Number to victory in the $50,000 Thomas J. Malley for fillies and mares at five furlongs on the turf. Sparkling Number, a 4-year-old, improved her record at Monmouth to 3-1-1 in five starts. Her previous two victories here came in 3-year-old filly turf sprints last year. Sparkling Number ($13.20) crossed the wire in 56.44, finishing a neck ahead of Merry Princess, who was one length ahead of Maypole Dance.