05/25/2001 11:00PM

Thistyranthasclass easily wins Reilly Cap


OCEANPORT, N.J. - Thistyranthasclass returned to state-bred company and romped to a 2 3/4-length win in the $50,000 John J. Reilly Handicap on opening day at Monmouth Park.

Thistyranthasclass, sent off as the 8-5 favorite, completed the six-furlong race in 1:08.77 over a fast track. He returned $5.40.

Ridden by C.H. Marquez for trainer John Tammaro III, the 4-year-old Thistyranthasclass improved his record to 5-0-2 in 11 lifetime starts. All five of his wins have come at Monmouth, with his only loss here coming in the Grade 1 Haskell last year.

"This race was a confidence builder for the horse," said Tammaro.

Thistyranthasclass broke sharply, then dropped back while Knockout Kid and Red Weasel battled through early fractions of 21.82 seconds and 44.38. Turning for home, Thistyranthasclass swung outside, and stormed three wide by the front-runners to win going away.

Just Beforemidnite was second and Knockout Kid third.

* Her Halo, a 5-year-old mare trained by Allen Iwinski, led from gate to wire with Chuck Lopez aboard to win the $50,000 Politely Stakes for fillies and mares. The mile race was moved from turf to the main track. Her Halo finished three lengths ahead of 3-5 favorite Hemline, who shipped in from New York for trainer Mark Hennig. Final One was third in the five-horse field.

* Despite rain, the opening day of the meet drew a crowd of 18,226, down from last year's first-day figure of 22,651.