We missed our double yesterday with the key horse in the Red Bank Stakes, Synchrony, compromised by a very slow pace when several riders grabbed back, handing an easy lead to winner Irish Strait.
Irish Strait is a Jersey-bred, 3/4 brother to Wood Memorial winner and Belmont Stakes candidate Irish War Cry.
Let’s look at a Pick-3 on today’s card that we’ll play into a single in the Blue Sparkler Stakes.
Race 6 – 3/up, Claiming $12,500, 8 furlongs, turf – We said this yesterday for the Red Bank and got burned, but there is some speed in this race, which should feature a solid pace. Our top play is #10 Act of Madness (6-1) for trainer Kathleen O’Connell. In his last race, a starter allowance at Tampa, he rallied well in a race that was dominated by two runners that ran 1-2 all the way around the track and gets top rider Antonio Gallardo today.
The race flow should also benefit favored #12 Exclusive Strike (5-2), but he is hard to trust off a five month layoff at age 10, though he often fires and likes Monmouth. #4 Barter (10-1) is a major player that should benefit from the expected race shape as well. He was prepped at Tampa for his New Jersey summer by John Tammaro III and ran a few decent races here last year against tougher. #3 Chamois (3-1) has Joe Bravo, who likely takes just off the pace and should get a good trip. he’s also been facing much tougher. Finally, he’s probably not good enough, but #11 E Biscuit (20-1) should get some pace and has races from last summer that give him a shot. Barter dusted him at the Meadowlands in the fall but for most of that meet, you had to at least spend part of the race on the inside, which E Biscuit did not do.
Race 7 – F&M, 3/up, OC 50k/n3x, 6 furlongs, dirt – This is a pretty difficult race. Our top pick is #3 Appealing Maggie (7-2), making her first start for Lacey Gaudet. She ran some good races last year including a stakes win over this track. Her first start of this year was forgivable with an inside post (you want to be outside at Laurel), a bad break, and a rush up to challenge. #5 Court Dancer (6-1) might be the speed of the speed and has the best pace figures in the field for Jason Servis. She comes back off a three month layoff following a very difficult spot, going with Hot City Girl through very fast fractions in a NY-bred stakes race. Jersey-bred #7 Bustin Out (5-2) is 7-13 at Monmouth and is drawn well outside, but comes back on eight days rest and this is a much tougher field. She’ll deal with more pace today. If things get too hot up front, we prefer #2 Bodacious Babe (3-1). Paco Lopez should be able to get a good trip behind the pace battle.
Race 8 – F&M, 3/up, Stakes $60k, 5 furlongs, turf – This play runs through #5 Miss Matzoball (6-1) for trainer Roy Lerman. Five furlongs might be a touch short, but she should get a fast pace to attack here and she did win twice going five at Gulfstream last year. The concern is the layoff, but there should be enough pace to set her up and her turf sprints – against the likes of Lady Shipman and Exaggerated – have come against much tougher fields.
Here’s the play (DRF Ticketmaker).