Monmouth Park Racing Preview – 8/6/22 – By Eric Solomon

The Saturday card at Monmouth is highlighted by a very good renewal of the Jersey Shore Stakes for three year olds sprinting six furlongs. This is a race that has been won by horses like Smoke Glacken, City Zip, Henny Hughes, and Idiot Proof over the years. There’s a ten horse field for this wide open stakes race featuring many promising three year old sprinters. All in all, this is a very good Saturday betting card, with many wide open races, and some live longshots. First post is 12:15 (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 6 3,5,6 7 DBL, PK3, PK5
2 3 3 4,7 DBL, PK3, PK4
3 3 3 7 DBL, PK3
4 5 5 DBL, PK3
5 4 3,4 1,6 DBL, PK3
6 3 3,8 7 9 DBL, PK3, PK6
7 2 2 4,8 DBL, PK3, PK5
8 5 5,7 6 DBL, PK3, PK4
9 8 8,9 7 5 DBL, PK3
10 6 4,6,8 DBL
11 3 3 5




Race 1:

As maiden special weight races go, this is not the strongest group of fillies and mares. Prudent Song (#7) makes a lot of sense as the most accomplished runner in the field. However, she doesn’t have a ton of early speed in a race that seems devoid of that. She’s also tried and failed eight times so far. Having seen all of her local races, I am certain that, on paper, this is the softest field she’s seen on this course. She’s definitely worth covering, but at short odds, I have to try to beat her. I’m going to come out swinging and try Little Jessie (#6) on top at 20-1 on the morning line. She was making her first start since September when she faced a stronger field for this condition. She showed interest when breaking from the rail and was advancing when another runner came in on her, forcing her to check sharply, all but eliminating her from that race. She wasn’t ridden hard after plummeting to the back of the field, so I’ll give her a pass there. Her pedigree doesn’t scream turf sprint, but Kent Sweezy has good numbers second off the layoff, so I’ll give her a shot, hoping the experience last out was helpful. Michelle Hemingway has had a solid meet, and she sends out French Kissing (#5) for her debut today. She’s a Violence first timer who has been working well in the mornings. While horses sired by Violence have only won 4% (2-51) of the time sprinting on turf in their debut, that stat is a bit misleading.  Seven other runners (14%) finished second, beaten one length or less. In addition, horses sired by Violence have an overall winning percentage of 13% in turf sprints. Her dam has foaled three winners on the turf, including one that was a multiple winner in turf sprints. Epic Queen (#3) took a decent step forward when making her first start on grass last time out. She closed well to be third, about two lengths behind Prudent Song. She gets off the rail after drawing the one hole in her last two starts. I think she’d be well served if Samuel Marin was a little more aggressive with her from the break. 


Race 2:

This is an interesting $50K starter allowance race for horses that have also never won two races, sprinting six furlongs. Four of the seven are facing winners for the first time today. Aztec (#3) couldn’t go with Senate Chamber in the early stages in a four horse optional claiming/starter allowance race last month. He was third that day when facing two faster opponents. He’s been facing winners in his last two starts, which might give him an edge over the recent maiden breakers. I’m conflicted what to do with Smarty John (#4) in this race. He will likely be well backed by the public after a dominating 10 length win at Laurel three weeks ago. That was a big figure jump for him, so he’s definitely a bounce candidate while facing winners for the first time. However, he was very comfortable rating in second behind a runaway leader. He moved up willingly, without being asked as the frontrunner began to tire. The second choice in the wagering, ranged up with a menacing move on the turn, but when Angel Cruz asked him to go, he was full of run, drawing off impressively. All of the major players here want to be on or near the lead, so that race may prove to be an important experience. Jomar Torres and Claudio Gonzalez are winning at a 24% clip when teaming up. Jamie Ness claimed a few horses at Churchill this summer and The Judge and Jury (#7) is the second one that he’s brought here off the claim. Abuelo Nono didn’t run a great in his first start for him, but he was a strong second behind a much better horse in starter allowance company last week. This son of Klimt broke his maiden in his 9th start, when taking a significant drop to the $20K maiden claiming level. He’s run some solid races, but he’s also thrown in some clunkers. He might be the fastest in the early stages here, so the outside draw could work to his advantage. He’s another runner that is live in this tricky race. 


Race 3:

Time restricted $8K-$7K filly and mare claimers go 1 mile and 1/16 on the main track here. Wildcat Cartridge (#3) takes a significant drop in class in this race, which should give her an advantage over her peers. She’s a modestly bred eight year old mare that has been stakes placed in Pennsylvania bred races this year. She was claimed for $15K back in March, and despite not yet winning for Silvino Ramirez, he’s made his money back with this one. He risks her being claimed for $8K, but this is a drop that while large, I don’t see it as a red flag. The main threat to this one is the five year old mare that is moving up in class, Princess Betty (#7). She was a winner last out with conditioned $5K claimers, which allows her to remain eligible for this time restriction. While there are many in this field that haven’t won in awhile, she’s won twice now in her last seven starts. She might be more effective at the one turn mile, but she handled her business just fine as the heavy favorite last out when going two turns here. 


Race 4:

We go back to the turf for an optional $30K claiming/N2X allowance for fillies and mares going 1 mile and 1/16. Star Seeking (#5) will probably be a short price when going into the gate, but this feels like her race to lose. She makes her third start off the layoff for Todd Pletcher after a failed experiment when going 11 furlongs last month at Belmont. She didn’t run her race two back there, but you could chalk that up to the one turn mile or maybe just not liking the surface there. Her Gulfstream efforts on firm courses this winter were very sharp, and that’s the kind of course she should be getting this afternoon. I think she controls the pace, and has plenty left in the stretch. 


Race 5:

New Jersey bred fillies and mares go 1 mile and 70 yards on the main track in this optional $15K claiming/conditional allowance race that will wrap up the Win-Early Pick-5. This is a tricky race seeing how this field collectively has one win in 45 combined starts in 2022. I ended up making Bamboo Garden (#4) my top pick, making her first start since being re-claimed by Patricia Farro. She ran well enough when Farro had her last year, winning a race at this level last August. She makes her third start off the layoff this afternoon, while facing a relatively soft field for this condition. Rachel Caroline (#3) is the morning line favorite, and while I really don’t want to take 5-2 on anyone in this race, she does make some sense here. She’s hit the board in her last two tries at this level. She had a wide trip last out, so drawing post three here should help her work out a better trip today. Muzzle Tough (#1) has shown absolutely nothing in her first two races this year. She made her first start in nearly two years at the beginning of June and didn’t run a step. She came back two weeks later and showed some brief early interest before fading badly. Breen gave her a little extra time, and her last two works have been okay. There’s not a lot of early speed in this race, so perhaps she can get away with dictating a slow tempo on the front end. I’ll also include Princess Georgia (#6) on this ticket, making her first start off the Claudio Gonzalez claim. He claimed her two weeks ago, so I’m not sure how much of an impact he could have had in that time span. Her last two efforts have been disappointing, but if she can get back to her two races at the beginning of the meet, she figures to be right there with this group.

WIN-EARLY PICK-5, $48 TIcket:

I’ve put together a $48 play, that uses Star Seeking (#5, R4) as a single. I think that filly has a pace and class advantage in her race that will make her tough to beat. I do think the 20-1 shot on the morning line, Little Jessie (#6, R1) has a chance to blow up this ticket in the first leg. While I’ll use the heavy favorite, Prudent Song (#7, R1) in that race, she’s hardly a win machine, so coverage is valuable for me here. The second, third, and fifth races are all reasonably wide open, so barring any scratches, money should be well spread out in those races.


Race 6:

The Jersey Shore 6 starts off with an open $22K-$18K claiming race going 1 mile and ⅛ on the turf course. The morning line favorite in this race, Artemus Bridge (#9) hasn’t won a race in over two years. While trainer Rob Atras has good numbers off the claim, I don’t love that he claimed this one at Belmont and brings him here for a slightly lower claiming tag. He is third off the layoff and his lone race on this course back in 2020 was solid. I’ll cover with him on deeper plays, but I’m looking to try to beat him vertically. Big Beautiful Wall (#3) was running races on the turf earlier in his career that makes him competitive with this group. He was claimed in June of 2021, and ran on the turf at Delaware, running a dull race on a course that can be tricky for shippers. Since then, he’s been strictly running in dirt races. Many of those races have been in the mid-Atlantic during the months where turf is not an option, but I’m surprised to see that he hasn’t been on grass sooner. Haleem Lee claimed him for $7,500 two starts back and tried him in a starter allowance race last month at Parx, where he ran a sharp third. Lee has done well with the few horses he’s brought here, and I think he can upset this field. 10-1 (ML) feels more than fair to take a chance with him. Justintimeforwine (#8) comes in riding high on a two race win streak for Patrick Reynolds. He beat an optional claiming/starter allowance field two back, and he scored a gate to wire victory with $25K starter allowance company last month. While there are some other speed threats here, including the stretch out sprinter J P Hellish (#4), I think he has enough early foot to make the lead and clear this field in the longer run from the top of the chute. Luis Rodriguez has a pair of wins at this meet and has been the pilot for his last two wins at Parx. Dazzling Truths (#7) is likely to take some attention at the windows here in his third start off the layoff. He was a close up 6th in the Malouf Group Starter Series last month. I liked him in that race, but he had a tough trip that day. I’m a little concerned that Darien Rodriguez opted to enter him in this spot, as opposed to the next leg of that series, which is carded for the same distance on tomorrow’s card. While he’s certainly capable, I do wonder if he saves his best work for Tampa where he’s won four of his six career turf victories. 


Race 7:

$25K-$20K maiden claiming fillies and mares sprint six furlongs here. Rolin and Controlin (#2) just missed at this level last August. She followed up that effort with a dull try at two turns in maiden special weight company at Delaware, ending her two year old season. She’s run three times this year, struggling in her return at Parx, when facing $40K maiden claimers. She was third in a very sloppy course here in June when facing a much stronger field for this condition. She tried the grass last time out, finishing midpack. She’s back at this level and she figures to sit the perfect trip, just behind some of the speed. On deeper tickets, I’ll cover with the other shorter prices in this spot, Santafe Express (#4) and I’m a Cutie (#8). I do think these are the two that will be battling early, but I’m not sure how much staying power either will have down the stretch. I’m a Cutie is making her first start since fading late with $40K maiden claimers at Tampa in February. She was a credible second when making her first start there off a similar layoff in the start before that. Santafe Express ran a big race to be second with $16K-$14K maiden claimers in her most recent start. She fought gamely that day, and while this looks like a jump up in class on paper, this field is comparable to the field she saw last out. My concern is that she’s never shown the ability to match two big efforts in back to back races. 


Race 8:

We go back to the turf for a $16K-$14K N4L claiming race for fillies and mares at 5 and ½ furlongs, which will kick off that Late Pick-4.  Itsy Bitsy Betty (#5) had a tough journey in her first turf try two starts back. She was steadied hard leaving the chute and had to tap on the brakes a second time when heading into the turn. She still ran on with interest along the rail, narrowly missing third. She won her last start on the dirt and comes back to the turf for Lindsay Schultz, who has had a nice first local meet with a limited number of runners. I think she’s eligible to take a step forward in this race. Bucky’s Drama (#7) is dropping in her class for her first start since October. Her three starts last year here and at Delaware weren’t very sharp. However, two of them were on the dirt and the lone turf start was on a good course at Delaware. She’s run well on firm courses and she’s been working well in the morning, signaling that she might be quick enough to get the jump on this field early. Gerald Bennett continues to have a strong meet, finding the Winner’s Circle 15 times and winning with 22% of his runners. Speed Salsa (#6) figures to be the one that is rolling late here. She might get the right trip, especially if Bucky’s Drama is extra keen or if Donya’s Magic (#4) can force the issue early with that one. She’s cutting back from a pair of two turn races to start her meet here. She ran well when sprinting on this course last season, winning at this distance on closing day. I do think the rails being at 24 feet today (they were at 0 feet when she won) makes her task tougher. 


Race 9: The $100K Jersey Shore Stakes:

This six furlong dash for three year olds is one of the best betting races in the country this afternoon. There are 10 entered, five of which have already won a stakes race in open company, and plenty of different ways to go. Tyler Gaffalione is named to ride Nakatomi (#6), who is the morning line favorite, but as per Marcus Hersh, he’ll be scratched out of this race in favor of a race at Saratoga next week. I think Of a Revolution (#8) can turn the tables on Lightening Larry (#7), who beat him in the Limehouse Stakes earlier this year. Of a Revolution was a solid third behind My Prankster in the Grade 3 Swale two starts back. He was off for four months and returned a winner at Gulfstream in his last start in June. He’s shown the ability to sit off a quick pace and make his charge through the stretch. Tyler Conner, who is based at Penn National, gets the call for Saffie Joseph. Senbei (#9) is a New York bred that might be quick enough to run them off their feet. Reeves Thoroughbred Racing paid $280K for him at Keeneland in January of 2020, and that investment has already paid dividends as this one has banked over $419K in his first six starts. He’s 3-3 at this distance, most recently winning the Gold Fever Stakes at Belmont in May when making his first start as a three year old and his first start in open company. Samy Camacho, who has been heating up, gets the call for Christophe Clement. Lightening Larry is the only graded stakes winner in the field, and he’s 6-1 on the morning line. He was very sharp when winning the Chick Lang on Preakness Day in his last start. He’s another one that has saved his best races for this six furlong distance. However, having Senbei breaking to his outside might make this a tougher assignment for him. Don’t sleep on the lightly raced Pass and Stow (#5) in this spot. He’s still eligible for a N1X allowance race, but he was very sharp when winning on debut here in June. He came back in a very tough N1X heat where he faded late to be third behind Be Better and Cyberviking. The latter came back to win in his next start last weekend. He’s sired by Medaglia d’Oro out of the Grade 1 winning sprinter, Paola Queen. 


Race 10:

The condition for this nine furlong turf race is a $16K-$14K N2X claiming race for fillies and mares. Up Her Sleeve (#6) is a three year old filly and the only horse with more than one career win. All of the other runners are entered under the N2L condition. Up Her Sleeve is the morning line favorite, coming off a win with similar last out. Chantal Sutherland, who is in town to ride Lightening Larry in the previous race for Jorge Delgado, is named to ride this filly. She has some good tactical speed and was the beneficiary of a heads up ride by Nik Juarez last out to save some ground after breaking from a high draw. Like with all of these, the added distance will be a question mark, but she’s coming in with good form and figures to be tough again in this spot. I keep trying to connect with Rainout (#4) in these races, as she has been long odds in her last two. She’s not that far behind her peers though, and I thought her last race was an improvement. She was too far back in the early stages once again, especially last time when the rails were at 36 feet. She swung wide and was gaining late. Lasix is added and the extra distance should be to her benefit. I still would like to see her a little closer in the early stages today. Exculpate (#8) also came with a wide bid in the same race. She drew in off the AE list that day. Samuel Marin dropped her back early to try to save some ground going into the first turn, but she was forced to be wide all the way around the second one. She was running hard, but was never close to the winner that day. She’s another one that has some upside in this field where many don’t seem to have that winning move. 


Race 11:

The Saturday nightcap is for time restricted $16K-$14K claimers going six furlongs. I’m not going to try to beat the morning line favorite, R Rajun Bull (#3) here. He came back off the layoff, entered with a $25K tag in an optional $25K claiming/N2X allowance race. The winner of that race, Feast, came back to win again last weekend with similar company. This five year old gelding won three straight races to end his 2021 campaign, including a strong win with conditioned $20K-$18K claimers at this distance on this course in September. He faded late behind a horse that ran huge last time, and while this is a considerable drop in class, it’s not one that I see as suspect, based upon races that he was running last year. Kate’s Golden Dude (#5) at 5-1 on the morning line is a bit interesting and one that is worthy of covering on deeper plays. Consistently has been an issue for this Parx invader, but when he’s right, he can run big races. There’s a decent amount of speed signed on, so if he can replicate his effort from 5/24 at Parx, he could be dangerous. I would like to get slightly better odds than his morning line figure, due to the lack of consistency. He’s one that I’d consider more if went off at odds closer to 8-1. 


Meet Statistics:

Top Pick Winners:88/338 (26.0%) – $689.10/ $2.04 ROI

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