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

The second week of Monday racing at Monmouth offers an eight race card highlighted by an optional $30K claiming/N2X allowance race for New Jersey breds, sprinting six furlongs on the main track. 10 of the 11 races yesterday were won by horses that were on or near the front end from the start. That’s definitely a trend to keep an eye on today, as it’s forecasted to be another hot and humid day at the Jersey Shore. The Monday Mid-Atlantic Pick-4, which is a wagering featuring two races from Monmouth and two races from Colonial, will be offered again, with Leg 1 being the 6th Race here. The post time for the first race is 2:00 (ET) and the Monday Mid-Atlantic Pick 4 wager is scheduled to start at 4:17 (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 1,3,7 DBL, PK3, PK5
2 5 2,5 3 DBL, PK3, PK4
3 3 3 1,6,7 DBL, PK3, PK6
4 1 1 DBL, PK3, PK 5
5 3 3,5 2 DBL, PK3, PK4
6 2 2,3 5 DBL, PK3
7 6 6 5 DBL
8 4 4,7

 

 

 

Race 1: 

The day begins with a $12,500 starter allowance contest for fillies and mares going 5 and ½ furlongs on the main track. Unlike the $12,500 starter allowance carded yesterday, this one is only restricted to horses that have started for a $12,500 claiming tag or less in 2021 or 2022. There figures to be a lively pace on the front end with the runners in gates 1-5 having a decent amount of early foot. I do think Bahamian Moon (#1) is fast enough to be able to secure her rail position, which might prove to be beneficial in this race, assuming she can withstand the pace pressure. She was unable to hold off Wedontbelieveher (#3) last time out in a similar race. She was able to hold her rail position that day, but I don’t think the inside part of the track was as good that day as it’s been over the last two weeks. She was a winner in the slop here two starts ago and has finished first or second in 13 of 22 career starts. I’ll give her the slight edge today, while also using Wedontbelieveher. She loves the local course, winning three times and finishing second twice in six career starts here. She likes to be close to the pace, but she’s able to sit just off it and score, as she proved back in June. This barn is firing on all cylinders right now. This does look like a race that could be headed for a pace meltdown, and if that scenario occurs, Little Ms. Scarlet (#7) stands to the beneficiary. She’s a six time winner that is coming in for leading trainer, Claudio Gonzalez, after scoring with a similar group at Laurel last month. She’ll be making her first career start over this oval, which was not particularly kind to closers yesterday.

 

Race 2:

Conditioned $30K-$25K filly and mare claimers go six furlongs in the first leg of the Early Pick-4. R Funny Bizness (#2) was set to try two turns for the first time in a similar race yesterday, but after drawing Post 10, Darien Rodriguez called an audible and entered her in this race, where she’s the heavy morning line favorite while facing only five rivals. She was 5th last out in her first start off the claim when running in N1X allowance company. She faced a solid field that day, where the runner up came back to win in her subsequent try this past week. Her best career race came in the slop though, and the forecast looks dry at this point. She’s definitely a contender at this level, but I’m also concerned that she doesn’t have much speed in a race where there isn’t a ton of early pace. I think she’s worth using, but at short odds, I’ll look to use Only Danielle (#5) on top for Jerry Hollendorfer. She showed some decent ealy foot on the dirt last summer when running at Emerald Downs. Her only two starts in 2022 have been on the turf, trying two turns at Turf Paradise in April before joining this barn and winning in a sprint here last month. She comes back to the dirt for her second local start and gets Jose Ferrer, who is a very good gate jockey, to ride. I think she’s capable on the main track, and I believe that she has a decent chance to go from gate to wire with this field. I’d like Jezebel Jade (#3) more in this spot if there were more early speed signed on. She left herself too much work to do in her last start when facing winners for the first time at Parx. She still closed well to be third that day. She was a little closer to a slower pace at this distance when winning her debut with $16K maiden claimers at Parx back in May. She definitely has some upside though, and if her odds go higher than her 6-1 morning line, she might be worth a small stab.

 

Race 3:

This six furlong sprint is a $5K starter allowance contest which wouldn’t be the worst spot in the world to hit the ALL button. I do think Fran’s Worrier (#3) has a decent shot here though. He faded late after dueling hard on the front end in an $8K starter allowance race at Parx last out. That level is so deep and competitive there and the track in Bensalem that afternoon seemed to be deeper and more tiring than usual. The final time of 1:18 for the 6 and ½ furlongs is on the slower side, especially seeing as how he just missed at that distance three starts back on a day where they stopped the clock in 1:16:4 (when facing weaker company). He’s won 13 of 42 career starts, but he is 0-9 on this course with three second place finishes and three third place finishes. I’ll give him a pass for that though, seeing as how all of those races were in 2019 and he’s a much better horse at this point in his career. I think the 2022 version of this horse will find this course to his liking. Hushion (#1) just missed to Federal Case (#4) at this level last month, getting nailed on the wire. He’s a horse that is likely fast enough to maintain his rail position throughout the race, which certainly has been advantageous over the last few days here. Tio Will (#6) was the winner last out in that Parx race where Fran’s Worrier struggled. He’s a seven time winner in 25 career starts that will be making his first start on this track and his first for Angel Castillo. He’s trying to win his third straight race today. Marvin (#7) is another one that was a winner last time out. He’s moving up in class to a protected spot after being claimed for $5K last out. He’s been in a class freefall prior to this start, so perhaps the victory will provide him some much needed confidence. 

 

Race 4:

This five furlong turf sprint race for $12,500-$10,500 claimers is all about Odramark (#1) for me. She was very good when sprinting on the grass last season, beating N1X allowance foes at 5 and ½ furlongs here and winning at this five furlong distance over at Colonial Downs when entered for a tag in optional claiming/allowance company. She was running two turn races at Gulfstream on the synthetic, which didn’t seem to be her game. She came back off of a four month layoff to win at this level when sprinting 5 and ½ furlongs last month. Cutting back to five furlongs should only help her cause, while making her first start for Jose Delgado, who is ultra sharp with runners first off the claim. I see her as the most likely winner on the card. 

 

Race 5:

Conditioned $7,500-$6,500 claimers dash 5 and ½ furlongs on the main track here. I’m not sold on either Hoboken Jack (#7) or Tiz Handsome (#8), who are two of the shorter prices in this spot. Danny Gargan is set to send out his third starter of the meet with Hoboken Jack after the first two haven’t really shown interest over the local course. This is a horse that was claimed for $50K back in October and has earned less than $4K on track since. There’s clearly been some physical issues for this one that was a nonfactor at short odds with $16K N2L claimers in his last start in the spring at Aqueduct. Tiz Handsome was claimed for $16K two back and was very dull when running with time restricted $12,500 claimers last out. He takes another drop for Bonnie Lucas, who has been cold at this meet this year. I’ll be playing against both in this spot. I think there’s a better effort in the works from I Make the Rules (#3) here. He won the battle on the front end with Cajun Lover (#1) last time out going six furlongs, but he lost the war, as he was softened up by the duel and beaten by Shanghai Warrior (#5). He shortens up a bit and gets a rider switch to Jose Ferrer. When he teams up with Jose Delgado, they’ve won at a 28% clip at Monmouth and a 33% clip overall since 2021. Shanghai Warrior was an upset 19-1 winner at this level last out, making him the only two time winner in this group of eight. He’s a horse that seems to run his best race when he has a clear target on the front end. When he’s misfired, he’s either been too keen early or too far back. He should have every chance to get his kind of trip today with both Cajun Lover and I Make the Rules back at this level. Samy Camacho has been riding very well over the last few days and he gets the assignment today. Mr. Extension (#2) is a logical runner in here, running for a red hot Juan Avila. He was third last out when facing a better field at this distance. His only career win came on the turf and his dirt efforts are a bit of a mixed bag. He should be a contender at this level, but there’s always a concern as to what version of himself will show up on race day. 

WIN-EARLY PICK-5 – $36 Ticket

This $36 play is centered around Odramark (#1, R4). I think she’s faster than her rivals early, and she has enough stamina to take them gate to wire while taking the shortest way around the track. While I’m not certain how some of these races will be wagered on, I’m only using one morning line favorite, R Funny Bizness (#2, R2) on this ticket. 

Race 6:

The first leg of the Monday Mid-Atlantic Pick-4 sequence is a five furlong turf sprint for $20K-$18K claimers who have never won three times. Stanhope (#2) is the kind of horse that I’ve been trying to beat over the last few days, and the kind of horse that has been beating me. He ships in from New York and is dropping in class for Bonnie Lucas today. He ran twice against better fields at Saratoga and was off the board both times. He drops in class and cuts back to a five furlong race, which I think will suit him quite well. He’s the speed of the speed in this race, and with the rails at 36 feet in these five furlong dashes, that has been a good thing. I will swallow the fact that Lucas is 0-24 in turf sprints this year, and hope that the presence of apprentice Jose Gomez, who is an aggressive rider who has ridden well in New York, will help her get off the duck with this one. It turns out that Caribbean Gold (#3) may be better suited to sprinting as he pulled off a considerable upset to win at 11-1 with conditioned $16K-$14K claimers last out. He’s another runner that seems to run his best race when he has a target to run at. If he can duplicate his trip from last out, he could make things interesting in the stretch here. Beach Warrior (#5) ran nine days ago against open $12,500-$10,500 claimers and finished 4th that day. He’s shown some glimpses that he’s grown and improved as a four year old. He’s another one that should be forwardly placed, which should upgrade his chances over some of the others. The Predicament (#7) is the morning line favorite that I’ll be trying to beat. While I like betting on Daniel Centeno when riding in turf races, I don’t think his runner has enough early speed to be better than 5th in the early stages. He finished 4th at this level last month and cutting back in distance to five furlongs is not ideal.

 

Race 7:

The featured race on the program is an optional $30K claiming/N2X sprint for New Jersey breds, three and up. The morning line favorite is Pianzi (#1) for Jamie Ness, coming back to state bred company for the first time in two years. He ripped through the state bred conditions in 2020, winning three straight races at this track and distance. After that, he went on a long losing streak while facing open company. He was claimed by Jamie Ness back in December and was on the shelf until June. He cleared the open N1X allowance condition last time out, winning for the first time in nearly a year. He doesn’t seem to have the same early speed that he showed as a two year old, and I think that, along with his rail draw could be problematic today. I’m going to try to beat him today, giving the edge to Counterfeitcurency (#6) with hopes that this four year old gelding is going to continue to be in top form. He’s been very good in his last two races, and seems to be getting along quite well with Samy Camacho. That was his first win since October of 2020 for him, but he’s been trending up after a disappointing three year old season where not many things seemed to go right. I think he’ll be very tough to beat today. Dr. Doyle (#5) will be where I’ll backup, coming back nine days later after being claimed by Claudio Gonzalez. I’m not sure that will be enough time to get him back to his 2021 form, which was very good. However, I do think he’s quicker than a lot of these in the early stages of the race, which could put him in the garden spot here. He does have a win at this condition in the past, so like Pianzi, he’ll be running with the $30K tag. 

 

Race 8:

I’m interested to see La Costa (#4) coming back in this optional $10K/starter allowance race. She made her turf debut on this course in June and was a winner on a day where she was claimed for $30K. She moved up to allowance company where I thought she had a sneaky chance when she was 15-1 on the morning line. She was bet down to 5-1 that day, and broke well. However, she found herself in tight and clipped heels with a rival forcing her to be pulled up out of the race. She drops in class today, but remains protected from being claimed. Assuming she can recover from that rough trip, I think she’s an enticing alternative to the heavy morning line favorite, No Valla (#7). If this four year old Mshawish filly does win, it certainly wouldn’t be a surprise. She was a winner in a similar race two starts back at Parx, doing most of the heavy lifting on the front end. She tried allowance company last time out and found herself shuffled toward the back of the field in the early going. She still finished with interest to be a fast closing third. She’s run her best races when she has been forwardly placed, so I assume Jorge Vargas will try to find a good spot for her, not too far back in the early stages of this one. 

 

Meet Statistics:

Top Pick Winners: 90/359 (25.1%) – $696.70/ $1.94 ROI

Leave a Reply

Further reading