Monmouth at the Meadowlands Racing Preview – 9/16/23 – By Eric Solomon

Day 2 of the Monmouth at the Meadowlands meet begins with a six race, Saturday night program. The 6th and final race is the featured N1X allowance race for three year olds and up, sprinting five furlongs on the grass. The rails are set at 0 feet, so as many as 12 horses can run in each race tonight. First post is 7:00 PM (ET).


Race Top Pick A B C Exotics Menu
1 1 1 2,8 DBL, PK3, PK6
2 11 8,10,11 DBL, PK3, PK5
3 8 6,8 7 DBL, PK3, PK4
4 3 3 1 7 DBL, PK3
5 4 2,4 12 9,13 DBL
6 6 2,6 4



Race 1:

The night starts with an eight horse, $7,500-$6,500 N2L claiming race going five furlongs. I think Sedona Rocks (#1) is going to be tough to beat in this spot, while taking on the boys. There should be some cheap speed in front of him with Tin Sento (#2), Rockin the Bank (#3), and Little JP (#7) all likely to be vying for front end supremacy in this one. I think Melissa Iorio can get her to sit just off the front end and make a play for the front at the top of the stretch, assuming she doesn’t get buried in behind runners. While I’ll concede that the five furlongs might be a touch too short for her, I think she’s better than many of these runners. Ti Sento is one of two that Kathleen DeMasi is sending out in this race. He’s a three year old that was given a little time off after falling out of form at Gulfstream this spring. He broke his maiden at Listowel in Ireland as a two year old going six furlongs, but he’s never sprinted on the grass in North America. He has decent speed, so this feels like a reasonable spot to try. I think his rail position and his foundation gives him an edge over the other two speed horses in this one. Show Em The Lights (#8) is an interesting price play in this race. He’ll be making his first start in a turf sprint tonight and his second start on turf overall. He ran a career top speed figure on grass last out at long odds when going two turns on the grass at Monmouth. He finished 8th that afternoon when facing a better group than he’s seeing this evening. I could envision him getting a stalking kind of trip and coming with a wide move late. His route foundation may help him finish better than some of the others in this race. 

Race 2:

Two year old fillies are going one mile in this maiden special weight contest. Chad Brown has a pair of runners entered in this spot. He’s started five two year old first time starters at the Meadowlands over the last five years and has only hit the board with one of them. The fact that Competitive Threat (#3) is not debuting at Aqueduct for significantly more money is a little concerning to me, so I’ll be siding against that one. It’s Hot in Here (#10) ran well to be third in her debut at Saratoga, and while I’d also prefer to see her running at the Big A this time of year, you can’t discredit a horse from this barn who is the only runner in the field with distance experience. She’ll be on the A line for me, but I’ll use a pair of mid-Atlantic based first timers for good first out barns on top. Brittany Russell sends out Bold Look (#11), who is a daughter of Demarchlier. This freshman sire is off to a sharp start with his two year olds and Russell has already won over 100 races this season. She didn’t race a ton of horses in New Jersey summer, but the ones that she brought to Monmouth were live runners. She is the first foal to run from a dam that ran one time in her career finishing a game 4th in a maiden special weight on the turf at Belmont. She;ll have to overcome a tough post, but I like this filly here. Michael Stidham sends out Forever Hopeful (#8), who is sired by West Coast. 11% of his runners on grass have been winners, and his dam won her only career race on the lawn. The works at Delaware are solid, so I could see her having an impact in this race as well. 


Race 3:

The winning effort from Hardscrabble(#8) in his last race at Monmouth when he cleared the N2L condition is better than it looks on paper. It’s not easy to clear the field from Post 11 in 5 and ½ furlong races at Monmouth, but he accomplished that and was able to wire that group in his first turf try. He has been on the shelf since that race at the end of May, but he’s won his last two starts and should be quick enough to set the pace from his outside draw at this level. Devils Only Friend (#6) makes a lot of sense in this one, where he’ll likely go into the starting gate as the favorite. He rebounded nicely after a pair of efforts in stakes company earlier in the year where he was in over his head. He was unchallenged with $16K-$14K N2L company last out and his recent Beyer figures are better than his competition. My one concern is that he might find himself battling for the lead in between horses, which can be an uncomfortable place to be sometimes. I’ll back up with Truebelieve (#7) here, getting back on the turf after faltering in an off the turf route at Monmouth last week. His two turf sprints In New York last year were two of his best races. He returned after a long layoff with an okay effort back in June. The five furlong distance might be a little too short for him, however, if he can comfortably negotiate the tighter turns here, a trip like he got at Saratoga last summer could prove to be a winning one with this field. 


Race 4:

This $30K-$25K N2L claiming race for fillies and mares features three horses that broke their maidens in their last starts, and both Queen Deymar (#2) and Pimenova (#5) should take some attention at the windows. However, I wasn’t wowed by either effort, soI’ll be looking to beat them. Fearless Kristie (#3) figures to be tough in this race, coming in after finishing near the back of the pack in allowance company last week at Delaware. That was her second start on turf after breaking her maiden at Monmouth in August with $40K maiden claimers, pulling clear from Queen Deymar in the stretch. This his her third start on the turf and she figures to be able to take a step forward after pairing her last two Beyers. Red Hot Chick (#1) looks to rebound after a tough effort at Saratoga last month when facing $50K N2L claimers there. She has had to deal with ground loss in all of her turf starts, so drawing the rail could be a good thing for her. However, she’ll have to prove that she can be comfortable inside of horses with her rail draw. I think she’s a contender, but 5-2 feels a bit light in this race. If her odds float up a touch, she’d be more interesting to me. Oscar Gaze (#7) is the longest shot on the board, but could be an interesting horse to use underneath. She’s sired by Oscar Performance, so getting back on the grass could be what she’ll want to do. I’ll forgive her effort in her only turf start, which came in a maiden allowance race in her career debut. She came back to beat $40K maiden claimers in a dirt sprint at Tampa but was flat in her four tries on the dirt at Monmouth this summer. She’s a three year old so there could be some upside. If her odds float over her 15-1 morning line price, I’d be willing to make a small win wager on her, however, I’ll mainly be trying to connect with her in the bottom parts of the vertical exotics. 


Race 5:

A full field of 12 (+2 AEs) are set to dash five furlongs in this $10K maiden claiming race for fillies and mares. There are some deep droppers like Get Loaded (#9) and Filly Phanatic (#13) that certainly could win this race. I’ll use them as back ups because both are taking steep drops in class after showing enough promise to compete at a level a little higher than this one. I’ll try the Finger Lakes invader, Ruler of the Night (#4), getting on the turf for the first time for Jeremiah Englehart. She’s a New York bred that has struggled to break through in open maiden allowance company there. She has some early foot, which is certainly a positive in a race like this. She’s sired by Midnight Lute, who gets 12% winner switch turf sprinters and the dam has produced two horses that have won races in turf sprints. Bingo Star (#2) looks to rebound after a dull effort in her most recent start. She was on the outside in a full field of 12 in a 5 and ½ sprint at Monmouth. However, I’d argue that effort was a little better than it looks on paper. She was pinched back at the break, and was forced to try to come from last in a large field. She did make some moves, trying to weave through traffic, however, it was clear early on that it was not going to be her day. She handled breaking the rail when running her best career race three starts back. I think she fits nicely with this group tonight. Without a Net (#12) is a live longshot that I’ll consider using from the far outside gate. She debuted on the turf with state bred maiden special weight company back in July. She broke from Post 8 that afternoon and showed some early interest, but was caught four wide coming off the dogleg in the 5 and ½ turf chute at Monmouth. She was having to work harder to keep pace and was in tight. She was forced to back off and never really ran on when facing a better group that what she’s seeing this evening. She came up empty on the dirt in her last start, so I don’t mind the return to the grass. Horses sired by Daredevil have won 18% of their races in turf sprints over the last five years. I think 8-1 (ML) is a little light, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see her odds float up a bit.


Race 6:

The featured race is a N1X allowance for three year olds and up, going five furlongs. Fadethenoise (#6) might be a sneaky play in this race, possibly flying under the radar for Mike Maker. He crushed maidens last summer as a two year old when trying the turf for the first time at Ellis. After that effort he ran in three consecutive stakes races, and was well-beaten each time. He dropped to this level back in June at the Churchill at Ellis meet where he was a solid 4th. Ignore his last in an off the turf race in July and he should fit nicely with this group tonight. Outlaw Country (#2) has been a revelation since trying the turf for the first time three back. He has won all three starts on the lawn while facing conditioned claiming fields downstate. He moves up the class ladder into allowance company where he faces a solid, but unremarkable group. He figures to be a player with these. Playground Legend (#4) is an improving three year old with three nice efforts on the grass this year. He broke his maiden at Monmouth in May and ran well to be third behind Outlaw Country in his most recent try. He found himself a little too far back in the early stages last out and I’m worried that he’ll be in trouble at this distance today if he does the same. I’d like to see Rivera try to put him in play a bit earlier today.


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