The Racing Biz is pleased to welcome Shore Bets and 19-year-old John Piassek into the fold. John will provide weekly full-card handicapping of Monmouth Park.
by John Piassek
Race 1: Maiden Claiming $20,000, 3yo and up, Fillies and Mares, 6 Furlongs[su_column]
- #6- Candy Portena (8/5)
- #3- Key d’Oro (9/5)
- #2- Action Tonight (6/1)[/su_column]
Has the 6, Candy Portena, finally found a race that she can win? It looks like it. Her last three BRISnet figures are 73, 75, and 75, which no one else in the field can touch. Her record is 0-19 lifetime, with four seconds and five thirds. However, the majority of those races were against maiden special weight company, where she was facing much better. Now, she drops down to the maiden claiming level, where nobody else is close to her. She also moves into the dangerous barn of Kelly Breen, who hits at 28% when training a horse for the first time. Overall, Candy Portena will be hard to beat here.
Horses to consider using underneath her include the 2, Action Tonight, who showed a lot of early speed at this level last out. She stopped to finish second there, but may continue to improve in her fifth career start. The 3, Key d’Oro, is the only other member of the field to run figures in the 70s.
Race 2: Claiming $12,500, 3yo and up, 6 Furlongs[su_column]
- #5- Gypsy Baron (4/1)
- #4- How Convienent (7/2)
- #6- Lucky Rascal (3/1)[/su_column]
On the surface, the 7, Moneyinyour Pocket, looks like a contender. He’s run competitive figures, and he’s trained by David Jacobson and ridden by Andre Worrie. He looks like a “shore” thing, right?
Wrong. There’s a big red flag with this horse’s form. This is a horse who had been running for $62,500 tags in allowance/optional claiming races all winter, and had been in stakes last year. On April 4, he was claimed for $40,000 by Jacobson, who entered him at that level next out. He was dull there, and now is being dropped for $12,500. Why would a trainer who just bought a horse for $40,000 want to dump him for not even half that amount ten weeks later? Furthermore, this is a route horse, who finished a credible second at 1 1/4 miles last year, now he’s in at 6 furlongs. Everyone else may make him the favorite, but I’m more interested just to see if he makes it all the way around the track.
With the likely favorite tossed from the analysis, all of a sudden, this is a competitive betting race. I’ll go with the 5, Gypsy Baron. He ran well at 6 furlongs last out, hanging in until the end to run a respectable third. He turned in a great work on June 13 in preparation for this one, and his figures are among the best in the field. He’s my choice to round out the double.
The 4, How Convienent, is also dangerous. He’s been running ascending figures at Delaware, plus is trained by the red-hot Jamie Ness.
Race 3: Claiming $5,000, 3yo and up, Fillies and Mares, 5 1/2 Furlongs[su_column]
- #1- So Frank (5/2)
- #8- Cafe Au Lait (9/2)
- #10- Rocket Dee (8/1)[/su_column]
Among the twelve entered in this race, only two have run a figure above 70 in recent times. My pick will be one of them: the 1, So Frank. Her last two figures, of 74 and 71, are the two best in the field. She didn’t run badly at this level last out, rallying up the inside to score second. She’s making her third start off the layoff here, has the inside draw, and looks to be the best in the race.
The other horse to eclipse the 70 barrier is the 8, Cafe Au Lait, who ships in from Parx. She’ll be ridden by the hot Orlando Bocachica, and is definitely worth a look. The 10, Rocket Dee, broke through the gate before her last start, a forgivable excuse for her dull last-out performance. Before then, her figures were competitive. Watch for her.
Race 4: Maiden Claiming $40,000, 3yo and up, Fillies and Mares, 5 1/2 Furlongs (Grass)[su_column]
- #4- Get Air Lex (5/2)
- #1- Lost Sonnet/1A- Sharon Jones (9/2)
- #2- Thinking of Dad/2X- Thinking of Mom (8/1)[/su_column]
Check out the names of the 2 and the 2X in here: Thinking of Dad and Thinking of Mom. Well played, Richard Schibell. Well played.
Anyway, beyond those two, it’s a tough field, with a lot of first-time starters. I wound up settling with the 4, Get Air Lex. She ran a big race in her first start of 2015, missing by only 2 1/2 lengths, while earning a figure of 84. That’s something nobody else in the field has come close to matching in recent times. As long as she runs back close to this figure, she’ll win laughing.
Of the aforementioned coupled entry, Thinking of Mom has the better form, having run well in maiden races at Belmont last year. However, she’ll have to draw off a long also-eligible list to get into this race.
Race 5: Allowance Optional Claiming (n/w1x), 3yo and up, Fillies and Mares, 6 Furlongs[su_column]
- #3- Thepartyneverends (7/5)
- #2- Saturday Storms (7/2)
- #6- Hazel Eyed Girl (5/1)[/su_column]
I’ll take the 3, Thepartyneverends. She broke her maiden in impressive fashion last out here at Monmouth, drawing off to win by 4 1/2 lengths while earning a figure of 99. That’s the best in the field by a lot. I expect a similar effort to last time–although even a decline by a few points would likely mean victory–and a promising career for this filly.
Also of note is the 2, Saturday Storms, who has been either first or second in all of her last five dirt starts. The 6, Hazel Eyed Girl, ran well while racing wide in her first start off the layoff in her last race.
Race 6: Maiden Claiming $20,000, 3yo and up, Fillies and Mares, 1 1/16 Miles (Grass)[su_column]
- #6- Reason (2/1)
- #9- Feisty Valentina (5/2)
- #5- Imperial Cut (6/1)[/su_column]
This is not an easy race to handicap. Indeed, it’s hard to find many positive things to say about anyone in the field. Because of that, I’ll land on the 6, Reason, who didn’t run terribly last time out. Yes, she was sixth, beaten by nine lengths, but was only a half-length off of the third-place finisher. That third-place finisher, Discreet Concorde, came back to win her next start. Her figure of 68 is the second-best among last-out numbers, and she’s got the Todd Pletcher-Paco Lopez combination. She’s a strong contender, but may be overbet. If she’s too low of a price (anything less than her morning line), don’t bet her to win, but use her in multi-race bets regardless.
Also of note is the 9, Feisty Valentina, who ran well in her debut at Belmont Park. The 2, Tricky Game, has the dangerous Vitali-Bocachica combination, but hasn’t raced on the grass in almost two years. The 5, Imperial Cut, has earned figures a slight cut below Reason, but is making her second start off the layoff. She may have room to improve.
Race 7: Claiming $6,000, 3yo and up, Fillies and Mares, 6 Furlongs[su_column]
- #4- Dirty Blonde (3/1)
- #1- My Cousin Fay (3/1)
- #8- Casual Elegance (7/2)[/su_column]
My pick is the 4, Dirty Blonde. She ran well at the $5,000 level in her last start, rallying three-wide in the stretch to get up over favored Idontknowgoaskanni. That horse came back to win her next start, vaildating Dirty Blonde’s form. Her figure of 79 is the best last-out race in the field, and it was earned off a four-month layoff. She’s likely to improve with a recent race, and had a great workout in preparation for this spot on June 13 to boot.
The 8, Casual Elegance, has good sprinting form, but neither Elvis Trujillo nor David Jacobson have been great shakes lately, yet their very presence en”shores” she’ll be overbet. Buyer beware for anyone playing her to win. The 1, My Cousin Fay, ran a big race at Tampa last out, but her form is inconsistent.
Race 8: Starter Optional Claiming $7,500, 3yo and up, 1 1/16 Miles (Grass)[su_column]
- #1- Precious Metal (6/1)
- #3- Saturday Special (9/5)
- #8- Pulpit’s Express (5/1)[/su_column]
The late pick 5 begins with a single, in the 1, Precious Metal. Without figures, his last race would look less-than-impressive, as he finished last. However, in that race, he earned a figure of 92, which towers over the rest of the field. As a matter of fact, his previous two grass starts registered an 86 and an 89, something that nobody else in the field does consistently. I’ll take the idea that it’s his first start off a layoff, and he may need a race. However, even if he declines a little bit, he should still win it. At a 6/1 morning line, his odds should be tantalizing.
Race 9: Allowance (n/w1x), 3yo and up, Fillies and Mares, NJ-bred, 1 Mile 70 Yards[su_column]
- #2- Rmilliondollarbaby (4/1)
- #3- Groovy Dancer (9/2)
- #7- Goldiebuxx (7/2)[/su_column]
I’ll go with the 2, Rmilliondollarbaby, who switches from grass to dirt in this one. In her two recent dirt starts, she earned figures of 86 and 77, the best in the field. That form includes a win over the dirt. She’s stepping up into allowance company from the claiming level, and trainer Allen Iwinski is a solid 20% with that angle. She’ll be my choice to kick off the late pick 4.
The 3, Groovy Dancer, has been running well at Parx, and is a candidate for the exotic spots. The 7, Goldiebuxx, stretches out from a sprint to a route, and makes her second start off the layoff. Her figures indicate she has a good shot.
Race 10: Claiming $35,000 (n/w2L), 3yo and up, Fillies and Mares, 1 Mile (Grass)[su_column]
- #2- Midnight Bounty (3/1)
- #8- Skipperdee (6/1)
- #3- Twist ‘n Bake (3/1)[/su_column]
My pick here is the 2, Midnight Bounty. Making her grass debut in her last start, she was three-wide down the backstretch, and had to rally four-wide into the stretch. She only missed by half a length, earning a figure of 85. With a more ground-saving trip, she should win this one easily, and hopefully improve her figure.
The 8, Skipperdee, ran a big race at Gulfstream in January, but hasn’t run since. The 3, Twist n’Bake, was disappointing in her last effort, but her figures are still competitive.
Race 11: Red Cross Stakes, 3yo and up, Fillies and Mares, 6 Furlongs[su_column]
- #6- Tea Time (9/2)
- #7- Legal Laura (6/1)
- #3- More Than a Party (7/2)[/su_column]
It’s a wide-open renewal of this race, and all nine horses in here have a case. I’ll pick the 6, Tea Time, in here. Last year, she won back-to-back stakes races, earning figures as high as a 101. She took the winter off, and came back in the My Juliet Stakes at Parx. She earned a figure of 91 there, which would be good enough to win this race. Since that race, she’s been firing bullets in preparation for this race, so she looks to be in top form for this race. And for her, “top form” means an easy victory.
Also worth a look is the 7, Legal Laura, who drew off to win easily last out here at Monmouth, earning a figure of 94. The 3, More Than a Party, won the Open Mind against Jersey-breds last out, and steps up into open company for this one.
Race 12: Maiden Claiming $10,000, 3yo and up, 6 Furlongs[su_column]
- #1- Naughty Delite/1A- Powered by Sun (7/2)
- #9- No Brody No (4/1)
- #2- Yourthekingjimmy (3/1)[/su_column]
I’ll try to get out with the 1, Naughty Delite. In his last race, he made a bold rally down the stretch, just missing by a head. He earned a figure of 77 in that one, which is the best last-out number in the race. His form has been getting stronger, and I think he’s finally going to get his long-awaited first career win in this race.
The 9, No Brody No, was third in his last race after making a big rally around the turn. If he makes that same big rally again, it may result in a victory.