Monmouth Park Racing Preview – 8/28/21 – By Eric Solomon

The Monmouth Park Saturday card is another fourteen race marathon at the Jersey Shore. There are two $100K stakes on the program, both of which are carded for the turf. Race 11 is the Rainbow Heir, which is a turf sprint for three year olds and upward that was brought back from the cancelled Sunday card. Race 13 is the Miss Liberty Stakes for fillies and mares, three year olds an upward, at 1 Mile and 1/16. In addition to the stakes races, there are some very good allowance races on the grass on this card as well. The weather forecast isn’t great at the moment, however, the rain and storms that are forecasted are spotty. Some areas could get significant rain a week after heavy rains from Henri, where others might not get anything at all. If changes need to be made because of a surface switch, I’ll try to update in the morning. One more quick note, my allergies are getting the better of me today and I don’t have much of a voice at the moment to record a video today. Hopefully, with some meds and rest, I’ll be back tomorrow.

Race A B C Exotics Menu
1 2,5,8 1   DBL, PK3, PK5
2 3,5     DBL, PK3, PK4
3 3 2   DBL, PK3
4 4,5,9     DBL, PK3
5 8 1   DBL, PK3, PK5
6 2,4,6 1,7   DBL, PK3, PK4
7 1 2,6,7   DBL, PK3
8 3 1,7 2 DBL, PK3
9 6   3 DBL, PK3, PK6
10 8 9,10   DBL, PK3, PK5
11 3,4,9     DBL, PK3, PK4
12 4 5 3,7 DBL, PK3
13 1,2     DBL
14 3,7   1  






Race 1: Top Pick: 2

The card starts with a ten horse field of $16K-$14K maiden claimers going 1 Mile and 1/16 on the turf course. I feel like this is a race where coverage is going to be important. I’m not loving the local horses that have been competing at this level. I’ll try the Colonial shipper, Malibu Heaven (2) on top. He has been steadily improving while facing tougher maiden claiming fields on the grass at Pimlico. He made his third career turf try in Virginia last month and ran a solid second at this level. I think he has another forward move. Loulovestheriver (5) is still a maiden after nine career starts, all in New York facing state bred company. He makes his second start off a brief layoff and comes in from Saratoga where he turned in a wide and dull effort at the state bred $40K maiden claiming level. He has better turf efforts in his past and he is still getting class relief by coming here into open company. High Print (8) is another Saratoga invader that is coming to the Jersey Shore. He was well beaten in an open $40K maiden claiming contest in his debut there. Those races are always tough, as there usually high priced horses that are dropping in class to run in those races. A Chad Brown/Klaravich horse, Digital Software, was the winner that day. If he can take a small step forward off his debut, he’ll be tough at this level. Paco Lopez, who was at Charles Town on Friday night, is back Saturday, and his first mount is on Spiritual King (1). This one was dull with $30K-$25K maiden claimers here at the beginning of the month, so the drop in class could be expected. He’s drawn well and has some better efforts in his form lines. However, 3-1 is a tough price to take on a horse that is winless in twelve tries.


Race 2: Top Pick: 3

A half dozen three year olds go one mile on the main track in the N1X allowance contest. The heavy morning line favorite is Spun and Won (5), who is looking for his second victory in his third career start. He handily defeated a strong maiden special weight in his debut on the Haskell undercard last month. He followed up that performance with a solid second place finish behind Brice, who ran his eyeballs out in that race. He comes back three weeks later and finds a softer field that is exclusive to three year olds.  I expect him to be to very tough, but I’m not sure 4-5 is fair value on this son of Hard Spun. Shoo Shine (3) may be the value play for me in this spot, His last race was a win at Parx in optional claiming/starter allowance company. He dominated that field winning by over four widening lengths. He has improved on the main track since the spring and could be able to take this group gate to wire.


Race 3: Top Pick: 3

Unless someone steps up to run a monster race out of the nowhere, this $7,500-$6,500 N2L looks to be reasonably formful on paper. La Castiglione (3) plummets to this level after being a voided claim when she was eased last out with multi-conditioned $25K-$20K claimers last time out. She never looked comfortable on the track that day and once she started to backpedal, she was eased up and allowed to walk home. Ferrin Peterson replaces Paco Lopez on this one. Tiz Herself (2) is the main danger here, coming off of a distant third place finish last out. She was claimed at this level two back. She has the best late speed of anyone in this race, so if the longshots can push the tempo on the front end, she may be one that can benefit.


Race 4: Top Pick: 9

Two year old maidens run with a $25K-$20K tag, sprinting six furlongs here. Mike Dini sends out a pair of first time starters, and the one that I prefer is Fierce Warrior (9). He has been working consistently for the last six weeks, and he has been on the work tab since April. His AM drills are steadily improving for a barn that knows how to get first timers ready. His pedigree definitely favors dirt sprints and his outside draw should be advantageous for his debut. Willy The Shoe (4) was working well here for Greg Sacco, and was bet down to the post time favorite in his debut at this level at Delaware. He likely started there as he was eligible for the waiver, and therefore not eligible to be claimed. He faced ten others that day in a race where he broke well, but faded to finish 6th, 10+ lengths behind the winner. He has a bullet work since that effort and adds Lasix for his second try. Spettro (5) ships in from the Spa after a pair of dull efforts with New York bred maiden special weight foes. His debut at Belmont two back was strong when racing in the mud. He struggled at the beginning of the month at Saratoga on a fast track in his most recent outing. He drops in class and goes for a tag with open company, which, as a $120K purchase, isn’t what you love to see. However, his speed figures are better than any other horse who has raced, so he figures to be in the mix with this group.


Race 5: Top Pick: 8

DRF and Equibase say that there is a third Pick-5 wager that starts in this race today, in addition to being the last leg of the Win Early Pick-5. This race is carded as a $16K-$14K multi-conditioned claiming race for three year olds or older horses that have never won three times. However, there are no three year olds entered, so everyone racing in this spot is entered under the N3L condition. Ventriloquism (8) feels like the one to beat in this race, as he has been facing the toughest company. He exits a dull effort at Penn National with optional claiming/N2X foes going 5 Furlongs there. He has a pair of solid efforts at Delaware, finishing 5th against a strong group of optional claiming/starter allowance foes in his first start off the layoff this year. You’ll see that he was the beaten favorite that day, but his stablemate, Dubini, who was the open lengths winner, was the one the public was betting. I think he fits nicely at this level, running in a claiming race for the first time in his career. He does stretch out to 5 and ½ Furlongs for the first time, but I think that he can get that distance. I’d be comfortable using him as a single on a lower budget ticket. Hay Boy (1) could be worth adding if your budget permits. He was a strong winner off the layoff last year at Laurel at this distance, and Paco Lopez gets the call today. I don’t love the rail draw for him, but if the top pick does struggle with the distance, this is the most likely candidate to be running him down.


Win Early Pick-5: $48 Ticket

Race 1: 1, 2, 5, 8

Race 2: 3, 5

Race 3: 2, 3

Race 4: 4, 5, 9

Race 5: 1, 8


Race 6: Top Pick: 2

We have another two year old maiden claiming race, this one for fillies carrying a $25K-$20K tag. This is a tough race to get a read on as four of the eight are coming off a debut where they broke slowly. I’ll want as much coverage in this leg of the multi-race exotics, as I could probably build a case for hitting the “All” button. I ended up with Our Electra Guitar (2) as my top pick. She was away slow at this level at Gulfstream, while breaking slow from post 11. She was wide most of the way and never was a factor. Carlos David does very well with second time starters, winning 41% of the time. She had a bullet at Palm Meadows before shipping up here. Rolin N Controlin (4) debuted in a very salty maiden special weight on opening day at Saratoga. She was away slow and never involved in a race where Echo Zulu was a very impressive winner. She ships here and drops for a tag, which I don’t love for a horse that they paid $80K for. However, she will definitely find this group easier than her last and the price could be right. Don’t Tell Grandma (6) finished second, beaten less than a length at this level in her debut here. She is another on that didn’t get a clean break, but she recovered and was game while wide. You could argue that she was the better horse in that race, where she was beaten by Kingdom Queen, who had a competitive race under her belt prior to that start. Office Etiquette (1) is coming off a respectable turf sprint effort at Saratoga with maiden special weight company. I would prefer to see her sprinting on the turf, as I think that could be where she could be her best. She wasn’t bad in her debut in an off the turf race here back in July. She’s in for a tag for the first time, and I’d like her a little more at a price better than her 3-1 morning line. Cup of Life (7) debuted at Delaware with $40K-$35K maiden claimers where she broke last and never really looked like she was going to have an impact in the race. She was third, beaten over 10 lengths in that spot. Breen is another trainer that has good numbers with horses in their second starts, so she’s yet another live runner in here.


Race 7: Top Pick: 1

This is a very good optional claiming/N2X allowance race for fillies and mares on the turf. There are many live runners here, but I think Kissin Frogs (1) is going to be the one to beat for Bill Mott. She was very sharp at Gulfstream winning once in December and narrowly missing with a better field in March. She shipped to Belmont where she struggled at 10 Furlongs, and then was outkicked in a one turn 1 Mile and 1/16 race there, which was won by Chad Brown’s Kalifornia Queen. That one came back to run a big race in defeat in the Matchmaker Stakes here last month. She has proven to be more effective at two turns, and this looks like a good spot to get her back on track. This is a big step up in class for Triple Digit (7), but she is a perfect 2-2 on a firm course. Her only loss on grass came on a soft course at Delaware in the Christiana Stakes last month. She was considered for the Riskaverse Stakes at Saratoga, but Ed Allard opted for this spot instead, as that race came up pretty salty (which is never a surprise at the Spa). She’s a three year old taking on some talented older horses, but I do believe she has some talent and certainly is capable of pulling the upset or adding value to the vertical exotics. My Sweet Wife (6) has more career starts that were rained off the turf than actual turf starts. Her three career turf tries have been good though. She’s been away since June and ships here in hopes of getting to run on grass. She was only a length behind Kissin Frogs in her last turf start at Gulfstream in March. Saratoga Affair (2) comes here for Chad Brown and makes her first career start at two turns. She’ll likely be a short price in a strong race because of her connections. She was very good two back when going the one turn mile at Belmont. While she’s definitely capable, she’s doing something new for the first time, and she’s being asked to do it while facing a group of several sharp horses. She’s one that I’ll cover, but I think there’s value in trying to beat her.


Race 8: Top Pick: 3

There are many ways to go in this $5K multi-conditioned claiming contest, but I’m leaning toward House Arrest (3) to rebound after a dull effort when he was cooked in pace duel with better last out. He was a winner at the $8K-$7K N4L claiming level two back when he defeated a next out winner, Plato(7), who is back with him today. He finds a field where he clearly has the best early speed, and Montalvo might be able to get away with some slow fractions. He has 4 wins in 6 starts on this oval, so you know he likes racing here. Plato finally cleared the N4L claiming condition last out and was claimed again out of that race by Carlos David. That was his first win in over a year and he’s never won two races in a row. He draws the outside while running with a claiming tag that is lower than what he was claimed for last out. Allied Invasion (1) has been decent at this meet, winning twice already. His game is coming from off the pace, and he got the right setup last out when he cleared the N3L claiming condition, scoring at 15-1. For him to be at his best, he’ll likely need Gio d’Oro (5) to push House Arrest early to have a legitimate chance of winning, but he still is a player underneath, especially on a wet track. William Crotty (2) was running quality races with similar fields at Tampa over the winter. His starts at this meet have been up and down. His last was not good, but he had trouble at different points in that race, so his dull effort could be forgiven. If the price is right on him, he could be upgraded as well.


Race 9: Top Pick: 6

I’ll be all-in on Contained (6) in this N1X allowance race for fillies and mares going 1 mile and 1/16 on the turf. I’ve been waiting to see on the turf here after she ran a big race to defeat open $62,500 claimers at Belmont in a seven furlong turf sprint in June. She scratched a few weeks ago out of a similar spot when it came off the turf. She has grown physically from her two year season to her three year old season, and is bred to be a good turf horse at longer distances. She faces a field where there are some horses that are in good form, but they have been running well against lesser rivals. If she goes off near her 9-2 morning line, I’ll likely make a decent win wager on her. The morning line favorite, Miss Dracarys (11) has never traveled farther than 6 and ½ Furlongs on the turf, and she draws the far outside for her two turn debut. I’ll pass on her in this spot, hoping that she’ll take a lot of action at the windows. On deeper tickets, I’ll look to Equal Measure (3) who has some big races on the grass in her form lines. Her last two have not been good though, but I can forgive both as she was sprinting at Belmont and running in the slop in an off the turf race last out. I think she can turn things around here, and she’s definitely worth playing underneath if she goes off anywhere near her 10-1 morning line figure.


Race 10: Top Pick: 8

There’s an interesting mix of horses in this 11 horse multi-conditioned $5K claiming contest that kicks off the late Pick-5 sequence. I like Cobh (8) who was a big longshot in a very good starter allowance field last out, He finished 6th, but certainly wasn’t embarrassed in that spot when he went off at 52-1. He drops back to this level where he finished second two back after a disastrous break. He was a horse that I wrote about as a horse to watch in the ITM newsletter last month, and this looks like a good spot to play him back. Higher Purpose (9) is one of a handful of class droppers that could have an impact in this race if they are right. He was crushed two weeks ago when running in allowance company at Pimlico. He was claimed two back for $5K with open claimers at Pimlico, where he was second. Open $5K claimers are always tougher than these restricted races. Paco Lopez riding for Kieron Magee is certainly a winning duo as well. Buddy’s Run (10) is another class dropper than walked home against significantly better last out. It was an odd race for him to make his seasonal debut, as he was going one mile in his first race since October. He is a better sprinter though, and had some big efforts in 2020 at shorter distances on the main track. He’s in for the $5K tag, so I doubt he’ll be running those big races, but he still could be good enough to factor at this level.


Race 11: The Rainbow Heir Stakes: Top Pick: 3

When this race was carded last week, there was some uncertainty as to who would run, as the Parx Dash was carded for last Tuesday. Both races were postponed and brought back this week. Shekky Shebaz (4) and The Connector (8) are cross entered over at Parx on Tuesday, where they’d have to face The Critical Way, who won the Wolf Hill Stakes here on Haskell Day. Regardless whether those horses go here or not, I’m on Belgrano (3) as my top pick. He has been off since pulling off the upset in the first leg of the Malouf Starter Series here in June when he sat off a torrid pace duel and blew by the pacesetters on the turn to win in dominating fashion. He can run on a course with some give in it, as he won the Virgil “Buddy” Raines Stakes here last fall at this distance on a good course. Shekky Shebaz was claimed by leading trainer, Wayne Potts for $80K at Saratoga fifteen days ago. He intends runs him back in stakes company, whether it’s here or at Parx. He’s not the same horse that he was two years ago when he dramatically improved in the Jason Servis program. He was winless for Christophe Clement in six tries for him after being moved to his barn following Servis’ indictment. He’s still been good enough to compete with this group as the sharper mid-Atlantic sprinters are entered in the graded stakes in Philly. Grateful Bred (9) is an improving Maryland bred that is stepping in to open company following two straight wins in restricted allowance and stakes company. He’s won half of his career starts and is third off the layoff, so there’s reason to believe this five year old has another forward move.


Race 12: Top Pick: 4

This $30K-$25K multi-conditioned claiming race is yet another contest that was brought back from the cancelled Sunday program. Even though some of the faces changed, there is a still a decent amount of early speed signed one which should set this race up nicely for Race Craft (4). He came within a length of getting to Algebraic in allowance company last out when they finished 4th and 3rd, respectively. Algebraic, who has been very good at this meet, was second yesterday in an optional claiming/N1X allowance race (That Race Craft was entered in, but scratched out in favor of this spot). He drops in class and should get another favorable set up here. Portal One (5) is a little interesting if he’s able to rate off the early speed in here. He’s won his last two dirt races at Penn National and Laurel. He came here last out and tried the turf for the first time, where he finished an even fourth. He shifts back to his preferred surface, where he’ll need to avoid a duel with shorter priced like R Goodtime Charlie (3) and Don’tlosemymoney (7). He makes his first start of the Kelly Breen claim today. R Goodtime Charlie has traded blows with Don’tlosemymoney in their last two starts. R Goodtime Charlie has been more consistent where Don’tlosemymoney might have the higher ceiling. I’m good using the top two choices and trying to beat these guys. I’ll save them for the deeper tickets.


Race 13: The Miss Liberty Stakes: Top Pick: 2

On paper, the two favorites seem to have the upper hand on this field. Vigilante’s Way (2) is a graded stakes winner on this course this year, when she won a competitive edition of the Grade 3 Eatontown Stakes in June. She drew post 12 that day and she was given a great ride by Paco Lopez, keeping her out of trouble, and not losing too much ground despite her wide draw. She took a swing in the Grade 1 Diana last month and wasn’t up to that level of competition. She comes back here where she should be able to get a decent front running trip in a race that is lacking a lot of early speed. She might have the tactical advantage over Chad Brown’s Miss Teheran (1), who is coming off a sparkling allowance win at Saratoga on a good course at the beginning of the month. She earned the right to slide back into stakes company, and could be moved up if the course is rated less than firm. While she’s been off the board in her three North American stakes races, she’s never been beaten more than a length and a half in each of those races.


Race 14: Top Pick: 3

Will too Shy (7) has been entered as a main track only horse in few races at the $16K-$14K maiden claiming level where he was claimed at on 8/1. He was scratched yesterday as the race he was entered in did go on the turf. He comes here, where he’s running with a tag that is $6K less than what his connections paid for him 27 days ago. He tries the dirt for the first after a respectable try on the turf. 3-2 feels like an awfully short price on this one. He might still be the most likely winner, and I’ll use him in the multi-race exotics, since this field is not very deep. However, there’s too many questions to make him my top pick. I’ll go with D Tachyon (3) in here, getting back on the main track after a few turf tries. His last two dirt starts at Tampa haven’t been that bad. He’s getting a little bit of class relief from those races in this spot. His connections, Gary Wales riding for Arnoud Dobber, together won their first races a jockey and trainer at the meet yesterday, when the connected with 50-1 longshot, Viva Victory in the 4th race yesterday. On deeper tickets, I think Diamente de Oro (1) is better than what we saw from him two weeks ago. He was away slow and then had traffic trouble on the backside before levelling off to finish 4th. He’s shown more in the past and could be a factor with a better trip.


Meet Stats: 102/370 (Top Pick Winners) – $643.10 / $1.74 ROI per $2 win bet



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