Hardacre Farm’s Pomeroy’s Pistol, who broke her maiden at first asking here last year, makes her 2011 Monmouth debut on Saturday in the $75,000 Just Smashing Stakes, a six-furlong jaunt for 3-year-old fillies.
The homebred miss has earned some serious credentials since she last raced at Monmouth, winning the Grade 2 Forward Gal Stakes at Gulfstream in January, and then running third in the Grade 2 Davona Dale in February.
Pomeroy’s Pistol comes into the Just Smashing off an uncharacteristic poor effort, a dull sixth in the Eight Belles Stakes at Churchill Downs on Kentucky Oaks Day.
“I knew we were in trouble when she washed out in the paddock,” said Amy Tarrant, who is breeder, owner and trainer of the filly. “When she gets all worked up before a race, she doesn’t run well. When she comes into the paddock looking like she’s asleep, look out, because that’s when she runs best.”
Pomeroy’s Pistol has put in a couple of solid works since returning to Monmouth, including three furlongs in :36 4/5 last week. Jockey Chris DeCarlo, who will ride her for the first time Saturday, was aboard for the breeze.
“She’s been working terrifically,” Tarrant said, “so I know she still loves Monmouth.”
Last year here, the filly came out flying on Aug. 7, breaking her maiden by nearly seven lengths. She moved to stakes company in the Sorority next out, and bounced a bit to finish fifth. In her final Monmouth start of the year, on Oct. 3, she finished third in an allowance race after a world of traffic trouble.
Pomeroy’s Pistol had a profitable winter in Florida, finishing second in the Grade 3 Old Hat before her win and her third in the Grade 2 events.
“I want to find some graded sprint stakes for her down the line,” Tarrant said. “But my plans will all hinge on how she runs Saturday. She needs more experience and maturity, and this race will help.
“One thing is for sure, she will become my best broodmare when she’s finished racing,” Tarrant said.
ANOTHER LEARNING EXPERIENCE FOR ZERO RATE POLICY
Zero Rate Policy never got to race at Monmouth last year, but he wowed the crowd when he made his Oceanport debut on May 15, rolling to a daylight victory in a first-level allowance event.
So hopes for the future are high all around when he makes his first stakes start in Saturday’s $75,000 Rumson Stakes for 3-year-olds at six furlongs.
“He was just a big old baby last year,” trainer Terri Pompay said. “He was big and gawky, and he just wasn’t ready to race last year. He needed time, and the owners (Klaravich Stables and William Lawrence) allowed me to give him the time he needed to grow up a little.”
Zero Rate Policy, a gelded son of Trippi – Untitled Song, by Unbridled’s Song, made his first start at Gulfstream in March and ran second after battling for the lead.
“He was green,” Pompay said, “but he learned something because the next time he ran (April 23) he broke his maiden.”
The Florida-bred drew off to win by nearly four lengths that day in a swift 1:09 1/5 for six furlongs.
“That race gave him more experience,” Pompay said, “and he kept improving. His last race (the Monmouth win) was his best yet.”
Pompay said the Rumson will serve as a stepping-stone to bigger and better things, possibly including the $150,000 Jersey Shore Stakes (G3) here on July 3.
“He needs more experience before I send him out to play with the big boys,” Pompay said.