Monmouth Park Racing Preview – 7/2/23 – By Eric Solomon

The weekend of racing will wrap up with a strong ten race Sunday program at Monmouth Park. The featured race is the 5th, which is the $100K Boiling Springs Stakes, which drew a half dozen three year old fillies, who will be going 1 mile and 70 yards on the main track. Outside of the feature race, turf sprinters are going to be showcased in four races today. Three of those races are competitive allowance contests and the 4th is the first race for two year olds in a maiden special weight on the turf. Two year olds are also running on the dirt in a maiden special weight race, going off as the 8th of the afternoon. 


I’ll be covering the Monmouth Park meet for the third consecutive 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 2 2,6 1 5,8 DBL, PK3, PK5
2 2 1,2 DBL, PK3, PK4
3 4 1,4 6 DBL, PK3
4 1 1,5,12 3,14 6 DBL, PK3
5 1 1 6 DBL, PK3, PK6
6 6 1,3,6 DBL, PK3, PK5
7 2 2,3 8 DBL, PK3, PK4
8 7 7 4 DBL, PK3
9 4 4 8 3 DBL
10 1 1,3 2


Race 1:

I think this is a very good N1X allowance race for fillies and mares, sprinting 5 and ½ furlongs on the turf. The rails on the turf course are out at 24 feet today. Lost My Sock (#1) is the morning line favorite, and a horse that I’m going to have covered on some tickets. However, she has slipped into a pattern of running competitive, but not winning races. I had contemplated trying to beat her altogether in this race, however,  Ido see a lot of early speed signed on, which was not the case in her last start. She has also drawn a better post after going four wide out of the chute in her most recent try. She’s on the B line for me in this race, while I’ll make Insatiable (#2) my top pick. I liked a lot of her turf sprint races last year, including her debut win and her 4th place finish in the Blue Sparkler Stakes, two weeks removed from losing her rider in her second career start. She ran well two weeks later at this level in July but struggled in her last start of the meet. She joined Todd Pletcher’s barn for a three race stint where had her slotted in two turn races in Kentucky and Florida. She rejoined Greg Sacco’s barn and got involved late to be third, about three lengths behind Lost My Sock. She’s making her second start of the year, so I do think she’ll be more fit for this race, and I am expecting a more contested pace battle on the front end, which should help her cause. I think she’ll rebound nicely in this spot today. Lady Irvine (#6) was ultra-impressive when trying the turf for the first time at the end of May. She jumped out to the lead and was confidently handled by Jose Ferrer for a gate to wire score. She’s likely to have company on the front end, but she might be quick enough to clear. While she’s bred to enjoy longer distances, she may have found her niche in turf sprints. On deeper tickets, Tapestry Colors (#5) and Catalon (#8) are two horses that I’d consider. I thought Tapestry Colors was a better fit in some of the other races she was entered in. She’s been trying for over a month to make her frost start since her maiden score last August. Weather caused her to scratch in May and she was a vet scratch last month. Lady Irvine drawing along side of her is less than ideal, however, I do think this second time starter has some definite ability. If her odds start floating up from her 6-1 morning line, I’d start to consider her more. Catalon is a runner that will be totally overlooked in this race, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see her odds go up over 30-1 when the starting gate opens. She is making her second career start on the turf and her first in a turf sprint. This is a big step up in class, but she’s finished in the money in six straight starts, showing patterns of improvement. Her dam did her best work on the turf and her sire, Creative Cause has had 11% winners in turf sprints. She’s a sneaky horse underneath in this race, for trainer Michael Moore, who has won 6 of his last 12 turf sprint races. 


Race 2:

All seven runners in this $12,500-$10,500 claiming qualify under the N2L condition. I see Verbier (#2) as an interesting player in this race. He’s getting back to dirt after a pair of failed efforts on the turf against better fields. He was in consistent form over the winter at Parx, running several races in a row against better fields, all of which would likely be very competitive with this level. I’m expecting a rebound performance while getting some class relief today. Financial Strength (#1) is facing winners for the first time after a strong effort to break his maiden last month. He dropped to the bottom in his first race over this course, while he was still racing for Chad Brown. He was third that day, beaten seven lengths by Rerally, who beat winners for the first time in his next start. He was privately purchased by Beast Mode Racing and he now runs for Robert Falcone who has seven winners from 20 starters at this meet. I like the steady improvement pattern of speed figures for this one, and I think he’ll handle the rise in class. 


Race 3:

6-5 (ML) feels way too low for Brasstown (#6) in this $8K starter allowance race, going 1 mile and 70 yards. He’s won his last two starts, including a win at this level, but both of those wins were narrow, getting the best of the bob both times. Jorge Delgado has him back in good form after tailing off last fall. I’ll use him, but I think there’s value trying to beat him. The new face at this condition is P H Factor (#4) who has been a win machine on every surface throughout his 44 race career. He’s had his photo taken a whopping 20 times, most recently at Keeneland when facing $25K claimers. He only beat two rivals that day as scratches decimated that field. However, he’s 3 for 5 in his career on a fast track and I see him as the controlling speed in this race. Vikram (#1) is an interesting runner as well. He seemingly popped a huge race out of nowhere last time out, dominating a field at this condition at 32-1. The big question will be if he can do it again? Unlike some other horses that run these big races out of nowhere, he some races on the NYRA circuit earlier in his career that do stack up with the effort that we saw last time out. All of weaker efforts came when running for Silvino Ramierez. While in no means is that a knock on the trainer, his new trainer, Jose Hernandez, may have found what makes this horse click. He was well-regarded early in his career, fetching $225K at the OBS Two Year Olds in Training Sale in April 2020. There’s enough there that would make me think he could do it again, and at 6-1 (ML) or better, I’d be willing to take that chance. 


Race 4:

Two year old fillies dash five furlongs on the turf for the first time at this meet. There’s some interesting turf pedigrees in this race, but many of them look like they would be better suited at two turns. I like the speed influence from Munnings with Victoria’s Dancer (#1) breaking from the rail. While I don’t love the rail draw, I would assume that the mission for Carlos Olivero will be to let her roll on the front end. Juan Avila has had a productive meet, winning with 7 of 39 starters thus far, and he’s more than capable with first time starters. Her dam was a stakes winner going one mile on this course back in 2011. Bingo’s Girl (#5) has two starts under her belt for Jose Delgado and finished second both times, while pairing her Beyers in both races. Her dam was a decent turf sprinter and her sire, Yoshida, was a Grade 1 winner on both turf and dirt. He’s looking for the first winner from his freshman crop and this filly might be has best chance to date. Permed (#12) needs a defection to get in, but she’s sired by Street Boss out of a Curlin mare, whose dam’s sire was Kitten’s Joy. She ran well in her debut on the dirt at Belmont, but I think she’ll be better on the grass. Pletchers tabs Paco Lopez to ride if she is able to draw in off the AE List. Goats on a Tree (#14) is another runner that will need some defections in order for her to participate. However, She’s from a good debut barn who has had success with the limited numbers of startersthat he’s brought to this meet. H M S Victory (#3) may be flying under the radar for Russell Cash. This may be a prep for a state bred maiden special weight at Saratoga, as she was bred in New York. Her dam, Old Harbor, was a multiple stakes winner on the grass. While her sire, Lord Neslon, doesn’t have great numbers with turf sprinters (8% winners), the speed influence is there. If the two AE’s aren’t able to draw in, Byrd of Eden (#6) might be an interesting addition. She definitely has a turf forward pedigree, as she’s sired by Street Boss out of a Royal Academy mare. Her debut on a wet fast course in the rain wasn’t good, but I do think that was more of an education experience for her. Spina’s horses usually need  kore than one start before they’re at their best, but I do see her as a candidate to move forward on grass. 


Race 5, The $100K Boiling Springs Stakes:

Three year old fillies take the spotlight in the featured race, which is run at 1 ile and 70 yards on the main track. I think it’s going to be hard to beat Shidabhuti (#1) in this spot. She returns to the races after a wide third place finish in the Grade 2 Gazelle back in April. She was a daylight winner in her first three starts, including an impressive maiden score on this oval when making her debut last September. While I typically prefer Practical Joke horses in one turn races, I like the stamina influence from the Candy Ride mare, A.P. Candy. I think she’s too good for this field and she’s worthy of using as a single. My backup plan is Miss New York (#6) who ran well to be third against older fillies and mares in the Lady’s Secret Stakes. That was her first route on the dirt and she was definitely pace compromised with her wide post. She draws wide again while facing fellow three year olds, and I do think she might do her best running on the main track. If the favorite falters, she’s the one most likely to pick up the pieces. 


WIN-EARLY PICK-5, $45 Ticket:

I going to be be singled to Shidabhuti (#1, R5) who I think is the best runner in that race. She was dominant in her lone start on this course and I think she can handle this field. I want coverage in the two year old turf race prior to the feature, as I think there are several chances there. There’s a pair of runners on the ticket that are on the AE list, so this ticket may need to be edited if they can’t draw in. 


Race 6:

The Late Pick-5 begins with a $12,500-$10,500 N3L claiming race, going 5 and ½ furlongs on the main track. Do note that Bayou Shack (#3), who is the 5-2 morning line favorite, scratched out of his race yesterday, and it appears he will run in this spot instead. I like Lost a Legend (#6) in this spot, coming back to the dirt after a respectable try with better on the turf. Abe Honestly, who was the winner that day, came back to run well at long odds in allowance company on yesterday’s card. He was third, behind both Bayou Shack and Thejigisup (#7) when facing $7,500-$6,500 N3L claimers back in May. He has the feel of a horse that is knocking on the door of better performance. Bayou Shack has been in very good form at this current  putting in three strong efforts in a row. I do wonder if he has peaked, however, he doesn’t need to be his very best to win this race. Starlight Walker (#1) is also playable in this race, making his third start off the layoff for Marcial Navarro. He was very sharp last spring, but has not yet shown the ability to get back to that top form. He had a tough trip last out, losing ground at the start when he was in tight quarters. 


Race 7:

This N1X allowance race for three year olds and up, sprinting 5 and ½ furlongs on the turf has been split into two divisions, this being the first and the 9th race being the second. I’m not buying the morning line favorite, Etnico (#4), who is trying the turf for the first time. I think there’s other speed in this race and he doesn’t have a pedigree that screams turf. This feels like a bit of an overaction after an abysmal effort in state bred stakes company on the dirt last out at Belmont. Being forwardly placed has been agood thing in turf sprints of late and Just Jeremy (#2) has the speed to contend at this level. He’ll be happy to move away from Grooms All Bizness, who has vanquished him in both of his last two starts. He’s been racing above his class level, so he’s dropping in class without diving in for a claiming tag. He was in between three runners in an aggressive pace duel last time out in the Get Serious Stakes. He backed out of the picture and faded to 6th. He’s run well on this turf course over the last year and he benefits from an inside draw in this race. Patriarch Artie (#3) ran a big race last month in his first start since the 4th of July in 2022. He was acting up before the race, but he closed with a strong run to get up for second, only a half length behind the winner. Other than his 7/4 race where he had a miserable trip, he’s never finished off the board since moving to the turf. He moved forward off his first race off the layoff in the past two years, so there’s reason to believe that this lightly raced five year old will be able to move forward once again. Playground Legend (#8) has two very good races on the turf, breaking his maiden here at this distance on May 28th. The runner-up, Captain Quick (#1), came back to break his maiden in his subsequent start. He’s taking a step up in class and he’ll need to move forward off his last race, however, Samy Camacho sticking around is a good sign. 


Race 8: 

Even though the two year old races at thismeet thus far have been tought to predict, I’m not going to try to get cute here. Under the Overpass (#7) debuted in a 4 and ½ furlong maiden allowance race at Pimlico at the end of May. He drew the rail for that race and broke awkwardly. He found himself last early on, spotting the frontrunners almost nine lengths at the first point of call. He closed with great interest, while having to alter paths in the stretch. He was clearly tyhr best horse in that race and shouldn’t be a maiden much longer. Brittany Russell had her first win of the meet yesterday, and this Malibu Moon colt could make her Jersey Shore weekend even better. Gran Yaco (#4) is the logical back up for me in this race. He’s been working like a horse that has some ability int he mornings. He’s sired by City of Light, who is winning at 19% with his dirt sprinters. The dam’s first two foals to race have yet to win, but this one appears to have more ability, as he fetched $135K last year at the Keeneland September Sale. 


Race 9: 

Horses that don’t have a lot of early speed have struggled when breaking from outside posts in these 5 and ½ turf sprints. I think that is going to make things difficult for Biz Biz Buzz (#9) and Paco Lopez in the second division of the N1X allowance for three year olds and upward. He’s clearly the most consistent runner in this field, finishing in the money in his last six starts. He’s been running steady Beyer Speed Figures throughout that time period, but he’s only found the Winner’s Circle once in that span. I think this is a tall order for him today. Conversely, I thought the effort from Speed Warning (#4) last month at Delaware was huge. He came within a length of a very nice Brittany Russell trainee, S. Muffin. That was his first effort on the turf, and it was a good one. He’s only three, so there is reason to believe that he can back up that effort here. If he can replicate his most recent race, I would think he’d be under consideration for some of the turf sprint stakes races restricted to three year olds at Saratoga. Kelly Breen has been intetersted in getting Raise the Rent (#8) on to the turf course. He was a much the best winner with $12,500 claimers in a 5 and ½ furlong race that was taken off the turf here in May. He backed up that effort with a strong runner-up performance in a very speedy starter allowance race here last month. The dam has produced two winners on turf, albeit both of those races came in routes, It is worth noting that this one does possess more sprinter’s speed than those two did. Destin’s Mission (#3) didn’t strike me as a horse that was screaming to get on the turf coursem however, that was definitely the case two weeks ago when he was a much the best winner with conditioned $16K claimers. This is a considerable step up in class, so to be comfortable using him. I’d likely need every bit of his 8-1 morning line.


Race 10:

The day ends with a nice maiden special weight weight sprint for three year olds and upward. I believe the maiden special weight race here on 6/11 was one of the better ones. Todd Pletcher brought in a speedy Belmont invader that took the bulk of the money, but he could do no better than third. Just Beat The Odds (#1) looked like he was going to go right by Vespucci, but that winner was dead game that day. He lost by a head on the wire, but ran very well on debut. Isaac Castillo is likely going to want to get her off the rail and into the outer lanes, as closers that tried to come through the inside yesterday seemed to be running in quicksand compared to the runners in the outer flow. Penzance (#3) makes his career debut for Michael Stidham. He’s been working well at Delaware and I like that he has some five furlong foundational drills over the last few weeks. This is not the easiest spot to debut, I do think he’s going to be tough to handle here. Straight Arrow (#2) dueled on the front end in that same 6/11 race. He was bumpled pretty good in the stretch while he was trying to battle on, but I don’t think that affected his outcome on debut. There’s some other speed signed on, but he might just be quicker than in the first furlong. 


Meet Statistics/Notes:

Top Pick Winners: 40/190 (21.1%) – $230.00/ $1.21 ROI


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