Monmouth Park Racing Preview – 6/30/23 – By Eric Solomon

The last day of racing in June is an eight race, Friday afternoon card where the four odd-numbered races have been carded for the turf. After a pattern of sporadic stormy weather rolled through the Jersey Shore last week, drier weather has prevailed throughout the end of this week. First post this afternoon is 2:00 (ET). 


I’ll be covering the Monmouth Park meet for the third straight year on the ITM Blog, along with posting some updates and thoughts from time to time on Twitter @EricSolomon718. Feel free to reach out!


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



Race 1: 

The week begins with the first race at 1 mile and ⅛ on the turf course this season. There’s a decent amount of early speed signed on for this conditioned $40K-$30K claiming race, so I’m looking for a horse that can come from off the pace. I think Capture My Dreams (#1) has a good shot to be that filly in her second race of the year. She was an even 4th at this level at the beginning of the month when making her first start since her dominating maiden score last fall at the Meadowlands. Jairo Rendon had her loping along at the back of the pack that evening before unleashing her rally at the top of the stretch. She opened up to win by over six lengths in that race. She was a little closer to the early pace last time out, which could be expected after drawing the rail for her first race in nine months. She was a bit keen in the early stages as she was chasing Influentialous (#8), who was hustled to the front that day. With a longer run into out of the chute, I think Jairo Rendon can get her to relax off the pace, especially in a race where as many of five runners could stake their claim for the early lead. Royal Dame (#4) could be a part of that pace battle, but I do see her as the most talented horse in this group. She came here riding an impressive three race win streak at Tampa. Two of those races were on the grass, including a seven length romp in optional claiming/starter allowance company when facing straight three year old fillies. After she shipped here, she was second in N1X allowance company on the dirt and 6th in a turf race at that same condition when facing older horses for the first time. She gets class relief today while trying nine furlongs for the first time. She has shown the ability to rate in some of her previous outings, which is likely going to be the best kind of trip for her today. Collective Gold (#5) is another runner that could be running on the later stages of this race. She faced a softer field of conditioned $16K-$14K claimers last out and she just missed in that race, losing by a head as the post time favorite. Since going to the turf in two turn races, she has not run a bad race. Howard Brown claimed her from that race and moves her up in class. He has decent numbers first off the claim and definitely fits from a pace perspective here. 

Race 2:

Five three year old fillies and one five year old mare have been assembled for this maiden special weight race, carded at one mile on the main track. Todd Pletcher and Chad Brown have the principal players in this one, sending out half of the field. Pletcher unveils Silver Ticket (#5) for her first career race, and he employs Paco Lopez for the occasion. Her dam was a debut winner and her only other foal to race, Rue de Bac, won her debut last year at Turfway. There isn’t a lot of early speed in this race, at least on paper, so I assume that she’ll be put into the race early. Both of the Chad Brown runners debuted on the turf and both finished non-threatening fifths in those races. While Samy Camacho rides first call for Brown at this meet, and he lands on Duke Girls (#6), I think Double Dream (#1) has a better pedigree to have success on the dirt. Her dam foaled the winner of the 2013 Haskell, Verrazano. She also foaled El Padrino, who won the Risen Star Stakes and competed in the 2011 Kentucky Derby. Her recent foals haven’t had the same level of success, but I do see this filly as a horse that could move forward in her first start on the main track. There’s not a ton of depth in this field, and her debut at Belmont wasn’t terrible. I think she’s got a better chance than her stablemate in this one. 


Race 3:

There are some familiar faces in this conditioned $16K-$14K claiming race, going five furlongs on the turf. Five of the eight runners in this race ran in the June 3rd race at this same condition, going 5 and ½ furlongs. Mispelled Mooon (#4) was the heavy favorite that day, making her first start since October, while dropping in class. She drew the rail and bumped her rival out of the starting the gate, possibly costing her valuable position, as Whatchamacall (#2) had an easy path to make the front end that day. Mispelled Mooon didn’t appear to be very comfortable being behind the leaders, while buried along the rail. She didn’t respond immediately when she was asked to go by Jorge Vargas. She did get into the bit at the midpoint of the stretch and rallied to be within less than a length of the winner, but that felt like too little too late. She stays at the same condition, and gets off the rail, which might be a plus for her. There really is not much early speed signed on to challenge the top two runners, which should be beneficial to her. If she can improve slightly from her last, I think she’s good enough to win this race. Whatchamacall was awful when running back six days after her game second place finish at this level. She did move up in that 6/9 race, but she was not facing a particularly deep field for that conditioned $40K-$30K claiming race. Perhaps the short turnaround was too much for her, because she folded badly that day when she was never able to get in front of All That Magic. That one came back to crush a N1X allowance field at Penn National on Wednesday. The pace scenario suits her well in this race, and while I think Mispelled Mooon is the better filly right now, the five furlong distance might level the playing field a bit. Big Brown Eyes (#9) is stuck on the AE list, but she’s dropping in class for her first start as a six year old, if she does get to compete. Her turf races are clearly better than her dirt races, and she wasn’t terrible against significantly better runners last year in her two starts at this distance at Pimlico and Parx. This will be her first start for a tag since breaking her maiden with $20K maiden claimers in 2021. At long odds, she’s more intriguing than some of the other prices in this race. 


Race 4:

New Jersey bred two year old fillies sprint 4 and ½ furlongs in the first state bred maiden special weight race of the meet. Bingo’s Birkin (#6) is bred to win early, as her dam and two of her runners all won on debut. She’s sired by Sea Wizard, who has three debut winners with eight career starters thus far in his brief sire career. However, he looks like he could be a productive New Jersey bred sire for years to come. She’s been working well and gets Samy Camacho to ride. Her trainer, Jose Delgado is 0-11 with two year old first time starters in the last five years. However, it’s not like his horses have run poorly, as five of those 11 runners finished in the money. Most recently, Bingo’s Girl, for the same connections was second, beaten only a half length here in open maiden special weight company at the beginning of the month. Andrew Simoff was very sharp with runner’s he brought here in 2021, but he wasn’t able to replicate that success in 2022. He typically brings his Jersey bred runners to Monmouth, while running most of his other horses at Delaware in the summer. The only other runner he’s raced at this meet so far is Fixed Odds, who broke her maiden in May and finished third when facing winners for the first time earlier this month. He sends out Beachfront Breeze (#5), a runner from the freshman crop of Coal Front. Coal Front sired his first winner with a horse at Evangeline Downs two weeks ago. He’ll be the 6th horse to start from this class. Her dam, Quick Breeze, has foalked a few winners, two of which debuted on the turf, but were more effective sprinting on dirt. Paco Lopez agreeing to ride this one suggests that she has a decent shot here. We see it every year where a horse with race experience in these two year old races beats a field of first time starters. I’m not going let Viva Artiste (#7) knock me out of the Pick-5’s here. She was a neven 4th in her debut with open company. She was beaten by a well-meant runner from the freshman crop of Omaha Beach. That wasn’t a particularly fast race, but I do think that filly has some ability. She gets an outside draw for her second start, and while Chuck Spina hasn’t won with a second time starter since 2019, his horses tend to improve with more races under their belts.  


Race 5:

We’ll wrap up the Win-Early Pick-5 with a $40K-$30K maiden claiming contest for fillies and mares going one mile on the turf. I’m going to be against both of the professional maidens in this race, morning line favorite, Girly The Butcher (#6), and third choice, Office Etiquette (#7). Both fillies have had several chances to break their maidens, and while their speed figures are a little better than the others, they typically run down to their competition. They are both runners that make sense in the bottom of the exotics, but neither do anything for me as win candidates. E.M.’s Treasuregirl (#4) was claimed by Gerald Bennett after finishing 3rd with $25K-$20K maiden claimers at Tampa last month. She’s finished in the money in all four career starts, narrowly missing in a photo three starts back. Bennett gave her four works locally before entering her in a race, which is above her claiming tag from last out. I could see this four year old Treasure Beach filly taking a step forward in her local debut. Romping (#5) is sired by Runhappy, who only gets 4% winners with his turf routers over the last five years. However, his dam was a talented horse that broke her maiden at Keeneland on turf and cleared the N1X allowance condition at Saratoga in a two turn turf race. She makes her third career start after a pair of dull efforts with maiden allowance types. Athena’s Wisdom, who beat her last time out, came back to crush a starter allowance field here on Sunday. She stretches out and changes surfaces for Kent Sweezy, whose barn has been heating up at this meet. Paco Lopez rides, so the 6-1 on the morning line feels like a bit of a pipe dream, but I could play her at 4-1 or better. Lendhercredit (#1) isn’t the most consistent runner, but if the better version of her shows up here, she’s going to be a handful for her seven rivals. She has the rail and she likes to go to the front, so I expect Isaac Castillo to have her on the lead. Her two races at Gulfstream with maiden/optional claimers were strong, efforts where she gave way in the final 1/16 of a mile. I do worry about her getting caught late, so 3-1 (ML) might be a shade too low for me, however, this is the softest field she’s faced to date. 


WIN-EARLY PICK-5, $54 Ticket:

The All A/B ticket will cost $54, but I’d be okay, cutting that number in half by using Mispelled Mooon (#4, R3) as a single in the third race. I think there’s a decent chance to hit with a price in this first leg of this sequence, as I think a pace meltdown in that nine furlong contest could be a likely outcome. If that develops, my money would be on either Capture My Dreams (#1, R1) or Collective Gold (#5, R1) to pick up the pieces. 


Race 6:

The only runner in this conditioned $30K-$25K claiming race that would qualify as a three year old with more than one win is Coal Mine (#2). Typically, I like these horses in races like this, but this is a three year old filly taking on male runners at a higher class level, for a new trainer that has poor numbers first off the claim. There’s too many strikes for me to use her in this spot. I don’t love the favorites, but the longer prices in this race leave little to be desired. I’ll try Face Abarrio (#5) to exact revenge on the heavy favorite, One America (#4) in his second race on the dirt. Little Luca was simply better than these two last out who had no answer once he took the lead. That was the first race on traditional dirt for Face Abarrio, who was a solid third that day, a length behind One America. Paco Lopez rode the winner that day and now he hops over to One America, who is listed at 3-2 on the morning line. He’ll likely go off at even money or less, which is a tough price to take on horse that has lost all nine starts since facing winners. He has some in the money finishes in that span and his closest finish was on the turf. He still fits at this level, but I can’t get too excited about him at even money. 


Race 7:

I found it hard to find a viable option to beat Golden Haven (#7) in this conditioned $16K-$14K claiming race, going 1 mile and 1/16 on the turf. She is facing winners for the first time, but I’m not sure this is a huge bump up in class. Kent Sweezy brought her to Parx after a dull effort here in maiden special weight company back in May. She found a field where there was no early speed signed on and Paco Lopez exploited that weakness while having this daughter of Bolt d’Oro crawling on the front end. She broke her maiden while racing with a $25K tag, so the drop in claiming tag feels about right. I don’t see anyone with any real interest in keeping her honest in the early stages, She feels like a comfortable single in this spot to me. Rob The Treasure (#2) is going to be where I’ll back up in this spot. She was not good when making her first start of the year against state bred N1X allowance types. Historically, she’s been a horse that needs a race off the layoff before she’s at her best. I do think this spot is a small amount of class relief for her, so I see this six year old mare and the most appealing option outside of the morning line favorite. 


Race 8:

The day will end with a $12,500-$10,500 claiming race for fillies and mares that have never won three times. This is another spit where the favorite appears to be too good for this group. The Sweaty Fox (#6) ran well with $25K starter allowance types three weeks ago, finishing third that afternoon. She’s quicker from the gate than the second time starter, Parisian Vibe (#5) who would be better served if this race was on the grass. Both fillies want to be involved early, but I don’t think Parisian Vibe can keep up with The Sweaty Fox. Paco Lopez, who could be in line for another big day, gets the assignment. Boss Lady Kim (#4) does interest me a bit in this spot. She was sharp as a two year old in both of her dirt races at Delaware back in 2021. She was competitive in three of her four races at the N2L claiming condition back in 2022, but all of those races came on the Tapeta surface at Gulfstream. She makes her first start for James Frangella after being with Saffie Joseph for the first eight starts of her career.


Meet Statistics/Notes:

Top Pick Winners: 37/173 (21.4%) – $215.80/ $1.25 ROI


There’s not a bunch to say about Sunday’s card, as weather was once again the big story. All of the turf races, including the featured Tale of the Cat Stakes, were taken off the turf and moved to the main track. Chad Brown chalked up another stakes win at the meet, sending out Power in Numbers (#7), who came from last to first to beat a decimated four horse field. 


Samy Camacho, who had been in a bit of a slump this month, tallied three winners on the Sunday program, gaining two races on Paco Lopez, who still holds a nine win advantage. On the trainer side, Chad Brown has sent out less runners than the trainers that are 2nd-6th on this list, however, after two wins on Sunday, he moved two wins ahead of Kelly Breen, who has quietly had a very solid start to his Monmouth meet. 


Share this

Leave a Reply

Further reading