Eight more races are on tap to conclude the week of racing at Monmouth Park. The feature race is Race 6, which is an optional claiming/N1X allowance race for three year olds and up going 1 mile and 1/16 on the main track. That race will also kick off the third Monday Mid-Atlantic Pick-4 which will get underway at 3:49 (ET). First post on this Monday afternoon will be 2:00 (ET).
I’ll be covering the Monmouth Park meet for the second 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||5,6,7||DBL, PK3, PK5|
|2||1||1||3,7||DBL, PK3, PK4|
|3||1||1||DBL, PK3, PK6|
|4||4||4||1||DBL, PK3, PK 5|
|5||1||1,6||4,8||DBL, PK3, PK4|
We’ll start the day with two year olds going one mile on the main track in a $40K-$30K maiden claiming contest. The morning line favorite is R B’s the Boss (#2) shipping in from Laurel after a respectable third place finish in an optional maiden claiming race where he was eligible for the waiver. This strikes me as an odd spot for this one though, as he could continue to run in Maryland with the waiver as opposed to risk being claimed. From a pedigree standpoint, two turns feels like a reach for this son of Holy Boss. His sire never attempted a two turn race and his dam never won at two turns in a career where most of her races were at one turn. I’ll pass on this one today. On the other hand, A B Chevy (#1), for George Weaver certainly has a two turn pedigree. I feel he was entered on the turf here last month strictly because it was a two turn race and regardless of surface, the horse was ready to run. There’s very limited options for two year olds going two turns at the moment. He was bumped at the start and was never really involved in the race that day. I think getting on the dirt while also getting class relief is a recipe for success. Completed Storm (#5) makes his 5th career start today, stretching out after a seven furlong race last month at Laurel. He was 5th beaten 10+ lengths that day, so the drop for a tag seems like the right decision from Claudio Gonzalez. He’s hit with five of his last 15 runners that are dropping from maiden special weight races to maiden claiming company. Shadow Chaser (#6) opted out of the turf race yesterday in favor of this spot, which was probably the right decision. He took a step forward from start one to start two, despite stumbling at the start. I do think he’d be a candidate to improve at two turns, and I like that he has a two race foundation before doing so. The same could be said for English Ivy (#7) in the outside stall. He was third last out after coming up empty on the turf at Belmont in his debut. Claudio Gonzalez does well with runners stretching out to two turns. He has won with 21% of his two year olds in their first route race. I don’t love the outside draw, but I do think he’s worth using.
We saw a race two weeks ago at this same time restricted $8K-$7K claiming condition, at the same 5 and ½ furlong distance on the main track. The course was labeled muddy that afternoon and Street Tail (#7) and Mojac Kat (#3) were both on the pace and both were narrowly defeated on the wire, finishing second and third respectively. Slippy (#4) and Arcadia Calls (#6) were chasing the whole way around, never really gaining ground on the top pair. Pointer (#5) also ran that day, but faced a tougher group. He also has some early foot. With all of this speed signed on, Classified Info (#1) could be the beneficiary. He’s not the most consistent type, but I liked his effort two back when he moved early into a fast pace with a full field in better company. This Parx invader was dull last out, but he was running better races, many of which would put him right in the mix here. I’ll cover with the Mojac Kat and Street Tail since they were quicker than their rivals last out, and if speed is playing well today, they could keep finding late.
The first turf contest of the afternoon is for $30K-$25K maiden claimers going 1 mile and 1/16. Quarterflash (#1) is the morning line favorite dropping in after a pair of respectable tries in maiden special weight company. Two starts back, he finished 5th in a race when sprinting on the grass. He followed that effort up by finishing 4th, beaten 3 and ½ lengths when trying a route for the first time. He drops back in for a tag and he finds himself in a race devoid of any real early speed on paper. Unless one of the others is ridden aggressively from the gate, I think he winds up on the lead and will take this group gate to wire. He feels worthy of being a single.
There was a $5K starter allowance carded at a mile 2 and ½ weeks ago, where Coach Adams (#4), Abuelo Nono (#7), and Flipping FIsh (#2) ran first, second, and third. All three are back today with four new challengers thrown in the mix. Abuelo Nono stepped up to run a solid race that day when breaking from the rail. He used his inside draw to secure the early lead on a day where he was stretching out from a sprint race. He set a moderate tempo and led until the final 1/16 of a mile or so when the heavily favored Coach Adams wore him down. Today he draws the outside post and he has Petulant Delight (#6) breaking in the stall next door, who also seems to want to go for the lead. With these two runners from the outside stalls wanting to go, I’m not sure Abuelo Nono will have the luxury of running a comfortable 24:1 first quarter mile like he did last time. The table should be set once again for the heavy morning line favorite, Coach Adams. He’s won two straight starts and three of his last four. It took a monster effort from another runner to defeat him in his only loss at this year’s meet. He might be the shortest price on the card, and while he only beat Abuelo Nono by a length last out, I think he has a greater tactical advantage today. I will cover with No Salt (#1) in this spot, hoping that his last race was just an aberration from his strong form in the winter and spring at Aqueduct. He cleared the state bred N1X allowance condition last December and proceeded to run big efforts in salty optional $45K claiming/N2X allowance races, including a strong second place finish when going 1 mile and ⅛ in February. He’s tailed off in his last two starts at Belmont, however one was on grass and the other was in a salty starter handicap race. He’s been given a little time and has had a few workouts over the local course to get adjusted to his new surroundings. I see him as the logical candidate to take down the heavy favorite.
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.
WIN-EARLY PICK-5, $48 Ticket:
I’ve put together a $48 ticket for this wager this afternoon. I do think there are some races that could be chalky here. I’m hoping that Quarterflash (#1, R3) can anchor this ticket in the middle leg where she looks faster than her opposition. I will take a hard stand against the morning line favorite, R B’s the Boss (#2, R1) in the first leg. I think he’s a horse that will struggle at two turns, so I’ll go four deep there. I’ll also go four deep in the last leg, taking a 10-1 longshot, Rob the Treasure (#1, R5) as my top selection.
Today’s featured race is this optional $16K claiming/N1X allowance contest going 1 mile and 1/16 on the main track. Visual Artist (#4) and Styner (#5) appear to be the speed in this eight horse race. Both appear to be intent on making the front end so the potential for a duel is there. I think Styner is better equipped to win the battle with Visual Artist, but I’m not convinced he can win the war. I’ll cover with that one on deeper plays, but I’m looking at a pair of runners who came up just short in a speedy race at this condition on the Haskell undercard. Centurion (#1) gets the narrow call, making his second start of the meet. He was running at Oaklawn over the winter and spring, breaking his maiden in his 14th career try back in April. He followed that effort with a respectable try in starter allowance company before shipping her. Lindsay Schultz has done very well with her runners in their second races off the layoff, and I think this Pioneerof the Nile gelding is finally starting to figure some things out on the track. Our Lucky Man (#2) is another runner that has had some quirks. He’s struggled when breaking from the outside stall, veering out when there’s not another runner to his outside. He was on his best behavior last out when drawing post four. He’s in the two hole today, so I’m thinking that he’ll be on his best behavior. He’s trending in the right direction, but taking too short of a price on him is a bit risky with his past transgressions. I’ll also use the Delaware invader, Rod Two Rod (#6) on the A line. He’s making his third start of the year after taking a sizable step forward last time out. He was clearly second best that afternoon, but he showed he belongs at this level. If Camacho can find a spot just off the leaders going into the first turn, he could get the right trip to win this race.
We’re back on the grass with this $30K starter allowance race going 1 mile and 1/16. This is one of those races that is also restricted to horses that have never won twice. 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, especially if he’s overlooked pari-mutually.
The week ends with a maiden special weight race for three year olds and up, going six furlongs. I think the betting public is going to back both Frosted Faith (#2) and Triple Elvis (#3) here. Both are well meant runners that cost their owners a significant amount of money ($500K and $700K). They look like the pacesetters here, but I’m a little concerned that both runners were designated a vet scratches in their last starts. I think the intent was to try Triple Elvis around two turns, but after the scratch, this became the backup plan. Frosted Faith was headed to the turf, a week after his return from a lengthy layoff, but was pulled out of his race as well. If they both run, I think they might be each other’s undoing, setting the table for Crack the Code (#6) to swoop by in the final furlong. He makes his 4th career start today while showing a steady improvement with his speed figures, finishing third in that two turn race that Triple Elvis was scratched out of. I like him better at this distance today though. I think both of the first time starters in this race are interesting and both are deserving of long looks. Tie Breaker (#7) draws the outside post for his debut. Jose Sanchez is 7-14 at this meet and has hit with 20% of his firsters since 2021. He has some solid drills on this course. Equalizer (#1) is shipping South for John Terranova today. He has been very shrewd with the runners that he’s chosen to bring here from Upstate New York. As a result, he has four wins with six runners at the meet, with his other two starters finishing second and third. He drilled a bullet on the training track at the Spa last week as he tries to be the second debut winner for Terranova at this meet.
Top Pick Winners: 103/396 (26.0%) – $773.40/ $1.95 ROI