Monmouth has a nice sequence to finish their card on Friday. Let’s take a shot at the late pick-4.
Race 5 – 3/up, Maiden Claiming $20k, 9 furlongs, turf – This race is a mile-and-an-eighth, and that extra 16th of a mile could come into play. The favorite is #8 Piazza del Campo (8-5), who is 0-9 on grass with four seconds and his best races seem to be at a flat mile. There is a trouble line from his last start, but he basically saved ground all the way around and was only in tight in the last stride. Overall it was a good trip.
Our top pick is #7 Nsventeen (15-1). I doubt we’ll get 15-1, but his turf races were against Maiden Special company and substantially tougher competition. It’s a little concerning that they never tried to put him in a turf maiden claimer, rather dropping him all the way down to Maiden-10, but the price should still be solid enough. #1 Emoticon (9-2) drops down to Maiden-20 after a poor effort at Aqueduct in April but that was against much tougher and this is only his second try on turf. #3 Royal Ruse (7-2) also drops down to maiden claimers for Jonathan Sheppard. The dam hasn’t produced much but was a PA-bred stakes turf runner and that alone is enough in this field.
A – 3, 7
B – 1, 8
C – none
Race 6 – 3/up, F&M, J-bred Maiden Special Weight, 6 furlongs, dirt – This is a fun field of 11 Jersey-breds and our top picks come out of the same slow-paced race on June 3rd (that was a Maiden-40 but there’s not a big difference between a Jersey-bred maiden-40 and a Jersey-bred Maiden Special). #10 All Even (9-2) rallied from fifth in there in her first start since January. #1 Countess Geraldine (6-1) rallied from sixth to third but she had one prior start at the meet and is 0-12 with three seconds and five thirds.
#8 Ebony Ball (4-1) should improve second time out but was aided by a slow pace in her debut. #11 Pleasant Talk (12-1) has been off since August but missed the break in her debut and has some good workouts for trainer Tim Hills. Several horses come out of the Pier Village race, but that was was so slow (42 Beyer) that even though Pier Village came back to win, he did so stretching out on a slow pace, so we’ll let Beach Tag, Mission Good Karma, and Sensational Toy beat us.
A – 1, 10
B – 8
C – 11
Race 7 – 3/up, Alw n1x, 8.5 furlongs, turf – The pace of this turf route should be honest enough and we’ll lean on two off-the-pace runners. This might be a little short for #7 Sunset District (9-2) but we like him here after using him last time at Belmont in a tougher heat. He was compromised by a very slow pace that day (1:16 for 6 furlongs!). His comeback race at Monmouth also had some trouble (shuffled back top of the lane and had to steady in the stretch) and his races last year are good enough. #6 Muggsamatic (3-1) ran pretty well in the Pennine Ridge, also a slow-paced race, last time at Belmont. He hung in there until the last furlong and getting back to 8.5 furlongs should help him.
#1 Holiday Bonus (5-2) will take money for Graham Motion but Sunset District ran better with a tougher trip despite finishing just behind this one on May 20th. #2 Don’t Over Look (2-1) has been running 9 and 9.5 furlong races and might deal with a tougher pace scenario in addition to the tougher field.
A – 6, 7
B – none
C – none
Race 8 – 4/up F&M, Clm $12.5k, 1-70, dirt – #5 Dancin Debbie (8-5) is favored off the claim and will be the clear speed but has to stretch out to two-turns – she’s won twice going two turns but much slower races. Dancin Debbie has run two figures in her last two races good enough to win here but one was in the slop and one was on the lead on what could well have been a strong rail. The question is, if she can’t get the distance, who do you want?
We’ll back up with #2 Dame Amour (6-1). Her last race was one that featured a preposterously slow pace that aided the top pair and she has back races at Monmouth with her current trainer Joe Pierce that are good enough. Maybe over the winter, when she ran for Patricia Farro, she just didn’t like Parx and is back at her favorite track. #3 Unlimited Resource (7-2) is probably facing the weakest field she’s faced since she broke her maiden at Parx.
A – 5
B – 2
C – 3
The Play – We’ll play our All-A ticket for $1.50 with the 3A/1B, 2A/2B, and 3A/1C tickets for $1. This is a $60 play. Good luck!