NYRA runs a few NY-bred showcase cards throughout the year, with this one coming together a few years ago when they moved the Met Mile off Memorial Day. Personally, these cards are great, and the late pick-4 sequence today is very good.
Let’s take a look, and hope that we do a little better than the awful Pick-3 play we had yesterday at Monmouth.
Race 7 – Mike Lee – 3yo NY-breds, 7 furlongs, dirt – This race lost a few players with Bobby on Fleek and Bavaro coming out, but there should still be a very fast pace. #6 Syndergaard (2-1) is the favorite but ran very poorly in the Walker at Churchill in his return this year. He had a little bit of trouble, but still should have run better and it’s fair to wonder if he comes back the same this year as he was last year. The expected pace should set up well for #1 T Loves a Fight (5-1), who certainly looks like the best closer in a race that sets up for that running style. He ran well behind Gold For the King last time, who would have been second choice in here. We’ll use Syndergaard a little bit of #8 Sal The Turtle (10-1) but mostly will be leaning on T Loves a Fight.
A – 1
B – none
C – 6, 8
Race 8 – Commentator – 3/up NY-breds, 8 furlongs, dirt – #5 Diversify (5-2) is the favorite and will have to deal with some other pace horses in here, though he’s run well all but once and last time was a good second to Met Mile-bound Rally Cry. Still, there should be some pace in here and that could help #10 Empire Dreams (12-1) who makes his first start for George Weaver. Last time, he had little chance behind Send It In while making a very wide move in the Alex Robb on New Year’s Eve. #9 Governor Malibu (5-1) had his form really tail off at the end of last year and his return race wasn’t especially strong either, but he likes wet tracks and should get a good trip today. #8 Weekend Hideaway (6-1) did win this race last year, though probably an easier version. However, he loves a wet track, is drawn well outside, and ran very well last time pressing a fast pace that would fall apart while he held on well for fourth. #6 Royal Posse (4-1) is one that we’ll toss in late but think he prefers two turns and 8.5 – 9 furlongs, rather than this one-turn mile.
A – 5, 8, 10
B – 9
Race 9 – Kingston – 3/up NY-breds, 8 furlongs, turf – #1 Macagone gets in and ensures a solid enough pace, plus he gets some give the ground, but he also tends to run better at Aqueduct. #2 Lubash (5-1) ran very well last time at Gulfstream behind the solid War Correspondent, and while he prefers very firm going, we won’t let him beat us. #8 Offering Plan (4-1) always puts in a run and Chad Brown will have him ready to go off the layoff. He had a few tougher trips last year too. #10 Kharafa (5-1) gets his preferred turf, with some give in the ground and was stuck in traffic last time behind Disco Partner. This is obviously a wide open race, but Offering Plan and Kharafa are our top two (we were also going to use Get Jets before he scratched).
A – 8, 10
B – 1
C – 2
Race 10 – Bouwerie Stakes – 3yo NYB fillies, 7 furlongs, dirt – This race starts with #3 Bluegrass Flag (3-1) who is very fast and the favorite for Tom Morley. She ran a huge race last time, setting a strong pace and drawing off. It’s hard to find anyone else in this race capable of going with her early, and while she has to get another half-furlong, that shouldn’t be too much of an issue. If Bluegrass Flag falters, we prefer #7 North End (4-1). She ran well with trouble in her debut, then blew out an overmatched field going a two-turn mile on March 17th. We can forgive her try in the Gazelle, where she had no chance on a speed-favoring track in a race that held together. Back against NY-breds, she offers a little value behind the favorite. #8 Holiday Disguise (7-2) has received some strong paces in her last two wins. #9 Noble Freud (5-1) was no match for Bluegrass Flag last time but now makes her second start for Chad Brown. The horse we’ll oppose is #1 Swing and Sway (6-1). The inside is not the best spot to have drawn going 7 furlongs and trainer Ron Moquett tends to perform better at Oaklawn than New York.
A – 3, 7
B – none
C – 8, 9
Below the fold, one bonus play at Monmouth Park.
We have one bonus play at Monmouth, a card that had four quality races taken off the turf, but there is a strong NY-bred allowance race that goes eighth.
Monmouth Park – Race 8 – 3/up NJ-breds allowance, 5.5 furlongs, dirt – This is a tough Jersey-bred allowance that includes a few stakes winners from last year. But one thing it doesn’t have in abundance is pace, and that might help #1 Cozy Lover (12-1) who has the inside. They’ll likely send to the lead and he might just be able to clear this field. #2 Chubble Maker (3-1) is likely the best of the other speed horses but his form went way off at the end of last year and even on his best he might not be as fast early as Cozy Lover, our pick to wire the field.
Update – Cozy Lover is scratched.