The second Monday Mid-Atlantic Pick-4 featuring races from Monmouth Park and Colonial Downs is set to kick off at 4:17 (ET). This wager has a low 15% takeout and all four races should be run in less than a hour.
MONMOUTH RACE 6 (LEG A):
The first leg of the Monday Mid-Atlantic Pick-4 sequence is a five furlong turf sprint for $20K-$18K claimers who have never won three times. Stanhope (#2) is the kind of horse that I’ve been trying to beat over the last few days, and the kind of horse that has been beating me. He ships in from New York and is dropping in class for Bonnie Lucas today. He ran twice against better fields at Saratoga and was off the board both times. He drops in class and cuts back to a five furlong race, which I think will suit him quite well. He’s the speed of the speed in this race, and with the rails at 36 feet in these five furlong dashes, that has been a good thing. I will swallow the fact that Lucas is 0-24 in turf sprints this year, and hope that the presence of apprentice Jose Gomez, who is an aggressive rider who has ridden well in New York, will help her get off the duck with this one. It turns out that Caribbean Gold (#3) may be better suited to sprinting as he pulled off a considerable upset to win at 11-1 with conditioned $16K-$14K claimers last out. He’s another runner that seems to run his best race when he has a target to run at. If he can duplicate his trip from last out, he could make things interesting in the stretch here. Beach Warrior (#5) ran nine days ago against open $12,500-$10,500 claimers and finished 4th that day. He’s shown some glimpses that he’s grown and improved as a four year old. He’s another one that should be forwardly placed, which should upgrade his chances over some of the others. The Predicament (#7) is the morning line favorite that I’ll be trying to beat. While I like betting on Daniel Centeno when riding in turf races, I don’t think his runner has enough early speed to be better than 5th in the early stages. He finished 4th at this level last month and cutting back in distance to five furlongs is not ideal.
COLONIAL DOWNS RACE 7:
The first race in the sequence from Virginia is an optional $10K claiming/$6,250 starter allowance race for fillies and mares, sprinting six furlongs on the main track. There are four longshots in this race that appear to be seriously overmatched. Of the remaining six, I think three of them are much better suited for the six furlong distance than the other three. Lady Ave (#5) is the deserving morning line favorite for Steve Asmussen. She’s won 13 of 28 career starts, with four of them coming at this six furlong distance. She has been racing at shorter distances at Horseshoe Indianapolis and Lone Star in her last three starts, dominating a similar field in Texas two starts back. She has some early speed, but doesn’t need the lead. I think she can sit a good trip and will be tough to beat in her local debut. Larry Rivelli sends out Long Tall Woman (#3) here to make her first start away from the friendly confines of Hawthorne Race Course. Jareth Loveberry, spending his first summer in Virginia, is the leading rider at the meet at the moment. This Illinois bred filly has never finished off the board in 10 career starts and is very comfortable at this distance. She ran well in a similar race when facing open company in her last start back in June, finishing second. Her figures may need to improve a bit to win here, but I think she’s fast enough to set the pace and I trust these connections to have her ready to fire. Dr. Ann (#1) is the other runner that makes a lot of sense to me here. She has a win over the course, winning a race under similar conditions when going seven furlongs last month. She’s looking to win her third straight race and has won 14 of 51 career starts so far. Apprentice Yan Aviles is two wins behind Loveberry in the jockey standings, winning with 24% of his mounts at the meet. He’s a very capable choice to replace Samy Camacho who is riding at Monmouth this afternoon.
MONMOUTH RACE 7 (LEG C):
The featured race on the program is an optional $30K claiming/N2X sprint for New Jersey breds, three and up. The morning line favorite is Pianzi (#1) for Jamie Ness, coming back to state bred company for the first time in two years. He ripped through the state bred conditions in 2020, winning three straight races at this track and distance. After that, he went on a long losing streak while facing open company. He was claimed by Jamie Ness back in December and was on the shelf until June. He cleared the open N1X allowance condition last time out, winning for the first time in nearly a year. He doesn’t seem to have the same early speed that he showed as a two year old, and I think that, along with his rail draw could be problematic today. I’m going to try to beat him today, giving the edge to Counterfeitcurency (#6) with hopes that this four year old gelding is going to continue to be in top form. He’s been very good in his last two races, and seems to be getting along quite well with Samy Camacho. That was his first win since October of 2020 for him, but he’s been trending up after a disappointing three year old season where not many things seemed to go right. I think he’ll be very tough to beat today. Dr. Doyle (#5) will be where I’ll backup, coming back nine days later after being claimed by Claudio Gonzalez. I’m not sure that will be enough time to get him back to his 2021 form, which was very good. However, I do think he’s quicker than a lot of these in the early stages of the race, which could put him in the garden spot here. He does have a win at this condition in the past, so like Pianzi, he’ll be running with the $30K tag.
COLONIAL DOWNS RACE 8 (LEG D):
The final race in this wager is a $25K N2L claiming race for fillies and mares going one mile on the inner turf course. Of the four legs in the sequence, this one definitely feels like the most wide open contest. I think Joya Del Sur (#9) has a big shot in this race, getting back on the turf after a pairt of dirt sprints at the meet to start her four year old season. She broke her maiden on the grass with maiden special weight company at Tampa on December 26th. She was away for six months before returning in a very tough optional claiming/allowance race against the boys here on July 11th. She faced another salty field at the same level, but against fillies and mares two weeks later. She comes back to a route race on her preferred surface, while dropping in class. I think she could easily be overlooked in this race as she’s 15-1 on the morning line. High Vibes (#5) is another price horse (8-1 ML). She’s another runner that earned her only career victory on the turf, coming back at Tampa in February with $16K maiden claimers. She ran well there again in April in an optional claiming/starter allowance company. She has hit the board in some of those races on synthetic at Gulfstream, and is coming off a tough seven furlong dirt effort there last time. There’s no turf racing in Florida right now, as they’re doing work on the turf course at Gulfstream. She ships here in order to get back on the lawn, while also dropping in class. I’m a little surprised to see Maxine Machine (#10) in for a tag in this race for Brad Cox. She’s sired by Pioneerof the Nile and foaled by Grade 1 winner, Emma’s Encore. Her half sister, sired by Justify, finished 5th in her debut yesterday at Saratoga. I would think this three year old filly would be a good broodmare prospect, so showing up in this spot is a bit odd. She’s definitely getting class relief for Brad Cox as she makes her second start off the layoff. Perhaps the softer competition will be the key for her. On deeper tickets, Safe Travels (#6) is also worth using. She was caught late by a next out winner in her first start at the meet, while facing a softer group of $16K N2L claimers. She has improved considerably since employing front end tactics. I think she still needs to learn how to ration her speed to save something for the stretch. I expect to see her in front as they turn for home, so it’s simply a matter if the others can catch up to her.
The caveman ticket using all the runners here will cost $36. In addition, I’ll back up the ALL A ticket for $1.00, taking the total wager to $48 today.