Monday Mid-Atlantic Pick-4 Preview – 8/15/22 – By Eric Solomon

The third of six Monday Mid-Atlantic Pick-4 wagers, featuring races from Monmouth Park and Colonial Downs is set to kick off at 3:49 (ET), which is about twenty-five minutes earlier than the first two weeks. All four races in the sequence this afternoon are set to be contested over the grass. Last week’s Pick-4 paid over $4K, and coupled with the low 15% takeout, this is one of the best wagering opportunities on a Monday afternoon. While the weather looks perfect at the Jersey Shore, that was some rain in the area in New Kent, Virginia. If I need to make changes for the Colonial races, I’ll post some updates closer to that start of this wager. 

 

MONMOUTH RACE 5 (LEG A):

In order to have a four race, all turf sequence, the Monday Mid-Atlantic Pick-4 is going to start a race earlier this week (since Monmouth doesn’t like to run back to back races on their turf course). This is an optional $15K claiming/N1X allowance race for New Jersey bred fillies and mares going 1 mile and 1/16. I’m going to try Rob the Treasure (#1) to upset this field today. She is making her second start of the year after returning in a sprint at this level last month. She finished an even 6th that afternoon in a race that was clearly meant to shake the rust off. She ran an improved race last year in her second start of the year, just getting nipped at the wire. She was forwardly placed when breaking her maiden in her last start of 2021. I think she can sit a nice trip and offer some value in a field where I’m a bit suspicious of the shorter prices. Nine year old Postino’s Idol (#6) makes her third start off the layoff and her second start after being claimed at Parx with conditioned $15K claimers. She was a winner as an eight year old when she last raced at this level. Her first two starts this year haven’t been great, and her ceiling clearly isn’t that high at this point in her career. However, she doesn’t have to improve much to be a factor with this group. I’ll cover with two of the shorter prices in this race, Kitten’s Collusion (#4) and Her Name is Lola (#8). Graham Motion trains Kitten’s Collusion who is dropping back to this level after finishing 5th in the Jersey Girl Stakes last month. She’s a three year old taking on older horses so there is definitely room for improvement. However, 2-1 feels like a very short price on this unproven filly. Her Name is Lola was excellent last out when breaking her maiden despite a less than perfect start to the race. She’s had trouble at the break in both of her starts at this meet, which is something that will likely need to change at this level. She’s another three year old that certainly has the potential, but I’m not crazy about taking too short of a price on her with her wide draw while facing winners for the first time. 

 

COLONIAL DOWNS RACE 7 (LEG B):

I don’t think the morning line favorites are very desirable in this $10K N2L claiming race for fillies and mares sprinting 5 and ½ furlongs on the outer turf. I do think that Mamba Queen (#2)has a big shot here though. She drops back to a $10K level where she was claimed out at Charles Town back in May. She came back for Hugh McMahon at the end of July, looking like she needed a race. She was a bit flat-footed out of the gate, especially for a filly that has good early speed. Arvelo was about to lose position, so he had to move early with her, going three wide around the turn, getting close to the leader before fading late. She ran a big race last year in her second race off the layoff when she was competing in Southern California, further supporting my theory that she needed that last start. I think she’s the quickest in the early stages of this race, making her a logical candidate to wire this field from her inside draw. On deeper tickets, I’ll cover with the New York invader, Write This Down (#4) with Trevor McCarthy in to ride. She’s cutting back from a pair of $30K N2L claiming races in longer sprint races at Belmont. She was a winner at this distance with New York bred $40K maiden claimers last summer at Saratoga when she was closer to the early pace than she was in any of her other races. She’s making her third start off the layoff today, and she ran a much better race last time than she did in her April race. I think she’ll need to be a little closer to the early pace to have a chance in this race, however, this is a stout drop in class for this filly who has been a disappointment since being claimed for $40K when winning her only career start. 

 

MONMOUTH RACE 7 (LEG C):

We have a contentious $30K starter allowance race going 1 mile and 1/16 on the lawn here. This is one of those races that is also restricted to horses that have never won twice. I’m going to try to get out of this leg using only three horses, while leaving the morning line favorites off my ticket.I think Ready to Fly (#6) is a sneaky horse in this race. He was 4th in a conditioned claiming race, where  God is Love (#9) and Gun for Success (#1) finished in front of him. Both of those runners had significantly easier trips, as Ready to Fly  was four wide on both turns. He was only making his second career turf route after breaking his maiden in his first turf route with $16K maiden claimers two back. This is a step up in class, but he’s shown that he likes the grass and I liked the way he continued to battle despite traveling a longer distance than those that finished ahead of him. Both Larger Than Life (#2) and Raising Moon (#8) are coming out of a salty N1X allowance race with a full field on the Haskell undercard last month. They broke in the middle of the starting gate and both had disastrous beginnings, getting driven into each other and being relegated to the back of the field. I think Raising Moon has more upside though, so I’ll use him at longer odds. He finished with some interest, despite fanning out very wide in the stretch last time out. He came with a strong closing kick two back to break his maiden on this course. He’s making his third start of the year, running for a sharp barn. Harpoon Harry (#4) has multiple turf races in his form back at Tampa that are likely good enough to put him right there with this group. He’s listed at 10-1 on the morning line after a few disappointing tries on the main track. He could be the quickest of all from the gate and could find himself on the lead today. He makes sense as a value play as a horse that could be overlooked in the wagering. 

 

COLONIAL DOWNS RACE 8 (LEG D):

The Monday Mid-Atlantic Pick-4 sequence will conclude with a N1X allowance race at 5 and ½ furlongs on the outer turf. There appears to be some rain in the area, so the course will be less than firm, which makes Upbeat Melody (#8) one that I’ll be against. Her races on softer courses just aren’t very good. I also think that she’ll take some money coming from the potent Rivelli/Loveberry combination. While never running on a softer course, Button Boy (#1) is interesting to me, making his first start since breaking his maiden in a $75K maiden claimer on the dirt at Keeneland last year. His turf races were solid and Ignacio Correas is very capable with his runners off the layoff. Vincent Cheminaud has shown that he’s a very good rider on the turf in North America, pulling some big upsets this year at Keeneland and winning at a 17% clip. While I think this race might be a prep for Kentucky Downs next month, following a similar pattern to last year, I think he has the ability to beat this group. Shelly Island (#7) lost position after stumbling at the break but rallied with a full head of steam despite swinging out to the eight path off the turn. He got up for third, but was never getting to the winner that day. He’s handled the course well, winning here before. A better break for him should ensure better position, boosting his chances here. E J’s Revenge (#9) just missed in that race at huge odds last time. He was in good position the entire way and should be able to sit a similar trip with this group. He has three turf starts and the last one was clearly his best. He won’t be 46-1 today, but I do think his odds will float up off the 6-1 morning line figure. Sanctified (#3)will be the other one I’ll use on deeper tickets in this race. He was a strong winner in maiden allowance company on this course last month. Being sired by Point of Entry out of a Broken Vow mare, I would think that his future would be in longer races. However, he sat a good midpack trip last out and came to nail Breakwater on the wire. While this race might be a tough short for him, I think he’s another one that could be closing well late. 

 

Leg A B
A 1,6 4,8
B 2 4
C 4,6,8
D 1,7 3,9

 

The caveman ticket using All A’s and B’s would cost $48 with a $0.50 base wager. I do see Mamba Queen (#2, Leg B) as the most likely winner in the sequence, despite the 8-1 morning line. If you’re looking to pare down, that’s where I would start. I do think this sequence will be paying well today because singles will be hard to come by. If you have a strong opinion in one of the races, I’d definitely suggest playing this wager aggressively because of the field size and wide open nature of these grass races. 

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