The Saturday card is highlighted by the Rumson Stakes, which is an interesting five furlong dirt sprint for three year olds and upward. There’s also a pair of two year old maiden special weight races carded for the turf at one mile that should be fun. Yesterday’s card was surprisingly taken off the grass after some Thursday showers brought a little more rain than expected. The weather was warm and breezy all day yesterday, so I’m thinking the turf course should be good to go for today’s program. Just a note than I’ll try to have the Win-Early pick 5 video linked in the morning. (EDIT: Linked at 9:30 ET)
|1||4,5||DBL, PK3, PK5|
|2||6||1||DBL, PK3, PK4|
|6||4||3,6||1||DBL, PK3, PK6|
|7||6||DBL, PK3, PK5|
|8||5,6||3||7||DBL, PK3, PK4|
Race 1: Top Pick: 4
Maiden claiming two year old fillies that run with a $25K-$20K tag, start the day here at Monmouth. I think the favorites are going to be tough in this spot, with the slight edge going to Rock Rose (4) coming out of maiden special weight company. She faced a strong group in her debut on 8/7. The winner of that race came back to run second in stakes company, and the second and third place finishers went on to break their maidens in their subsequent efforts. She regressed a bit off her debut when she was brought back two weeks later. She drops in for a tag for the first time, facing some first time starters that have some slowish workouts and horses that have run facing maiden claiming foes before. Cup of Life (5) is the narrow morning line favorite after improving off her debut in her first race over this oval at this level. She made her move on the turn and was caught in the final 1/16 of a mile that day. Nik Juarez rides for Kelly Breen here.
Race 2: Top Pick: 6
I really like Guns Blazing (6) in this optional $50K claiming/N1X allowance for three year old fillies. This Firing Line filly was caught late last out when disappointing her backers, going off at 4-5. She also had a dull effort on the turf two back. Prior to that, she was in very good form, running big races here at Pimlico. She was claimed in her last and now runs for the Breen and Juarez team. I think she can rebound for her new connections and get the job here. I’ll plan to use her as a single on most tickets, trying to beat the morning line favorite, Greatest Love (5). That one ran a huge race last week, hitting a career top figure in her first race off the claim for Wayne Potts. She moves up in class and is scheduled to make her third start in 26 days. I’m betting there will be some regressions. On deeper tickets, I’ll cover with Chloe Rose (1) making her first start off the claim for new trainer, John Toscano. Toscano has had a slow year, but his numbers are good with runners that make his first start for him after being claimed. She has the ability to sit off the pace, and with all the speed on the outside, she could work out a solid trip.
Race 3: Top Pick: 1
All seven runners have entered this multi-conditioned $5K claiming races under the time restricted, non-winners of a race in six months condition. I think Hooray for Harvey (1) has a big shot in this race dropping in class and going back to two turns. He was closing late at long odds to finish a strong third with optional claiming/starter allowance foes that day. He was well beaten two back when facing a very good optional claiming/N1X allowance field, where the winner, Brice, earned a 94 Beyer figure. He ran a better race when facing a very good horse, Sneakiness, last week, when facing time restricted $12,500- $10,500 claimers going six furlongs. He’s 0-8 at the 1 Mile and 1/16 distance, but I can look past that as he has a few wins at the two turn one mile distance earlier in his career. There’s not a lot of speed signed on and has enough tactical speed to go from the rail. Indian Gulch (4) also ran last week, and lost all chance at the break when stumbling and spotting the field some ground going into the first turn. That was a better group in optional claiming/starter allowance company last out. He returns to the level where he was claimed out of two back. He has run well at this level in the past and he has some good races on this oval. Paul the Waiter (7) is likely to offer little value after being claimed out of this level last month by Wayne Potts. He was a beaten 9-10 favorite that day, finishing 7th of 9, never looking like he was in contention. Potts brings him back two weeks later and adds Paco Lopez. I’ll be playing against him again in the vertical wagers, but he’s been good enough in the not-so distant past to cover with him in the multi-race wagers.
Race 4: Top Pick: 2
This maiden special weight race for two year olds at one mile on the turf is definitely one where I’ll want coverage. I think the short priced first time starters, Board Certified (2) and Rio King (3) are going to be tough. I’ll side with Board Certified for Jorge Duarte and Colts Neck Stables here. He’s a homebred gelding sired by Fed Biz out of a Van Nistlerooy mare who has been working steadily since the beginning of July. This barn is winning with everything they are sending out right now at this meet, and they really have been doing well with their first time starters this year. Rio King debuts for Chad Brown after working steadily here since June. He’s bred to be a two turn turf horse, so I’m not totally concerned that his works are a little slower than some of the other horses that Brown has been working here. Nik Juarez has done well riding for Brown, but Paco Lopez, who does not have a mount in this race, usually winds out on Brown’s better horses. Shimmering Leroid (1) is a live longshot who was a troubled trip 5th place finisher in his debut here two weeks ago when sprinting on the turf. He’s bred to be better at longer distances, so the mile should be right up his alley. He drew the outside in his debut, and now gets a rail trip for his first start at two turns. Chief Engineer (5) exits the same race where he closed well down the outside part of the course to be second. Looking at his pedigree, (Midshipman out of a Freud mare), I’d prefer him trying a longer sprint race at Belmont, maybe going 6 or 7 Furlongs, however, his last effort was strong enough to consider using him here.
Race 5: The $100K Rumson Stakes: Top Pick: 4
This $100K featured stakes race today is run at 5 Furlongs on the main track and features six horses, all of which want to be on the front end. I’m going to try to beat the favorite, Francatelli (5) who might not be quite as quick as some of these in the early stages. I’ll try Readyforprimetime (4) on top, making his dirt debut today. He’s sired by More Than Ready out of a Gone West mare, so dirt racing should be okay for him. All 14 races in his career have either been on the turf or synthetic. He moves to the Jeremiah Englehart barn for the first time. He excels with runners that switch to the turf to the dirt, winning at a 39% clip over the last two years, with a strong $3.55 ROI. His dirt works at Saratoga since joining the new barn are solid, and I think that he might be the best candidate to rate off the speed and make a run late. Quick Tempo (3) and Foolish Ghost (2) seem to be the two most likely to be the fastest of the fast in here. Both have led in races at 6 Furlongs with sub 44 opening quarters, and both have kept finding in the stretch in those races. Quick Tempo is a three year old that is coming off a tough outing at Del Mar in the Grade 1 Bing Crosby. His effort while facing older sprinters at Prairie Meadows two back in the Iowa Sprint was strong. He definitely has some upside, as well as a sharp 3 Furlong blowout work on this course last week. Trainer Christopher Davis and jockey Sophie Doyle teamed up to be second in a stakes here last week. Foolish Ghost did all the heavy lifting three back to beat a nice field in optional claiming/N2X allowance company. He beat New York bred sprinters in the slop in the John Morrissey at the Spa two back. He faded last out in the Tale of the Cat stakes two weeks later. He’s had four weeks off since that effort and could be ready to fire another strong race here.
Win Early Pick-5 Play: $36.00 Ticket
Race 1: 4, 5
Race 2: 6
Race 3: 1, 4, 7
Race 4: 1, 2, 3, 5
Race 5: 2, 3, 4
Race 6: Top Pick: 4
This is the second division of the maiden special weight race for two year olds going a mile on the turf. Chad Brown sends out two more in here that could be live, but I think the race runs through Street Fight (4). He ran a brave race near the front end at Saratoga, finishing 6th, beaten only three, after exerting a lot of energy when fighting with Cancel early on in that race. The two turn speed figure for the grass is considerably better than anyone else has ran in here. Draw a line through his last when he took an unnecessary swing in the Hopeful last week. His forwardly placed style was winning a lot of races here on the grass last week. Chad Brown sends out two, Big Skipper (1) and Unanimous Consent (3). Of the two, I prefer Unanimous Consent in his debut today. He’s bred top and bottom to run longer races on the grass, so a debut race at one mile is reasonable. Like many of Brown’s local runners, he has been working steadily on the main track for a while. Big Skipper was dull in his dirt debut, but the expectations are likely higher, as his connections paid $590K for him last year at the Keeneland September sale. He’s from the freshman sire, Arrogate, who had his first two winners last weekend. Turf is an unknown for him though, and I would have liked to have seen a little more in his debut. There Are No Words (6) makes his third career start after pairing his Beyers in a turf and dirt sprint to start his career. He’s a New Jersey bred son of California Chrome, so any surface could be in play. He closed a decent amount of ground in a turf sprint in his debut after a slow beginning, so there’s a thought that he could be better on the stretch out in his third career start.
Race 7: Top Pick: 6
The kickoff leg to the late Pick-5 is for New Jersey bred fillies and mares that run under the N1X allowance condition or for a $15K claiming tag. To me, this feels like a good spot to single, using Beatubyachubinose (6), who was a non-factor against the boys in the Charles Hesse Handicap two weeks ago. Her last two races at this level of competition have been 8 length victories, both of those efforts coming at this current meet. She’s struggled when facing stakes company, but this kind of race is in her wheelhouse. Many of her rivals are better when they’re sprinting, so she feels like she has a clear advantage in this two turn contest.
Race 8: Top Pick: 6
Fillies and mares go 1 Mile and 1/16 in this $7,500-$6,500 N2L claiming race. Politely Crowned (6) has been gradually improving over her first three starts of this year. She’s been getting better while sprinting against similar rivals at this rivals and now she goes back to two turns on the dirt for the first time since October of 2019. She faces a fairly soft group with some definite question marks, so I think she’s very playable at or near her 5-1 morning line figure. La Castiglione (5) is likely to be the odds on favorite in this spot and certainly is the horse to beat. She was claimed out of a race at this condition two weeks ago when she finished 2nd beaten four lengths, going off as the 1-2 favorite. I thought she was a little vulnerable that day, and I have the same feeling again today. However, this group is a little softer than group she last faced. She was definitely in better form earlier in the meet and could have a forward move off her last. Crystal Orb (3) is a longshot to consider on deeper tickets and definitely a horse that I’m thinking about underneath at long odds. She’s a horse that has run awful races when she’s been spotted over her head, however, she’s been competitive when racing in the right spots. She was favored when she won her first her with $10K maiden claimers here two starts ago. She went on to be embarrassed when facing significantly better fields in her last two starts. If she can find her better form with softer company, she could be a factor. Liesel (7) is the fresh face to this group, shipping in from Gulfstream. Her recent dirt form is okay, by the standards of this group. She is dropping and getting some class relief here, however, the two turn distance is a question mark, as most of her races have been at the one turn mile in South Florida. I’m not willing to take too short of a price on this one.
Race 9: Top Pick: 3
This $5K starter allowance for fillies and mares feels like another place I’d be willing to single. Lovely Lady Lexi (3) figures to get the perfect trip off the early speed, and I think she’ll come home the winner. Paco Lopez is riding Baby Ice (7) who is the morning line favorite at 6-5. That feels like a sign that she’ll be hammered at the windows. She’s won her last two races, but she’s had very favorable setups when doing so. She has other speed to contend with today, and must avoid going too fast. Lovely Lady Lexi, on the other hand, is coming off a dull effort at Finger Lakes. Her prior efforts on the NYRA circuit would likely make her very competitive with this crew. She was a winner in her only career spin over this oval back in October. I think she can right the ship here.
Race 10: Top Pick: 10
The late double starts with a multi-conditioned $12,500-$10,500 claiming race on the turf. Croi Mor (10) is the morning line choice and it looks like he’ll be very tough on the drop in class this afternoon. His last three have been solid efforts with better. He was leading late before being caught in the final sixteenth last time out. He’s been moved into the Wayne Potts barn and gets the services of Paco Lopez this afternoon. Lopez continues to dominate the jockey standings at the meet, winning 30% of his races so far. He’s been on his share of favorites, but he’s been winning so many races by putting his horses in the right spots to win. Awesome Launch (6) is playable getting back on the turf this afternoon. His lone turf start was a disaster, when he ran into to traffic issues and had to avoid a spill. He’s an improving three year old that looks sharp on the main track. Kathleen DeMasi claimed him last out and moves him up in class while also switching surfaces. He’s not necessarily bred for grass, but he still has some upside. Large (7) stretches back out to two turns after a few respectable efforts with similar while sprinting. His turf route was a solid try, leading most of the way, before fading late to finish 4th, beaten less than two lengths. He may be offensive minded and go to the front after going shorter distance in recent races.
Race 11: Top Pick: 2
The nightcap on the card is a $10K claiming race at 1 Mile and 1/16 on the main track. I think the trio on the inside is the way to go in this race. John McAllen has a pair, and the one that I prefer slightly is Wicked Grinch (2). He ran a credible race at this level two starts back. He tried the grass again with better and was a non-factor. He drops back and comes to dirt, which may be where he’s going to be better. Our Luck Man (1) is his stablemate, and he’s making his first start in two months. I don’t particularly love this angle with older maiden claimers, however, he’s run well enough on the NYRA circuit while facing better rivals. Uncle Skeets (3) is the X-factor in here. He was dull when making his first start in 19 months at Saratoga three weeks back. He was bet like a good thing that day, but finshed 3rd, beaten double digit lengths. He’s a logical one to be dropping a bit off that try, but I’m still not certain if he have a horse that he is ready to run his best races.
Meet Stats: 122/429 (Top Pick Winners) – $810.20 / $1.89 ROI per $2 win bet