The Racing Biz is pleased to welcome Shore Bets, with a revolving cast of Monmouth Park handicappers.  Today, Rob Harding takes a swing.

by Rob Harding

Race 1:

  1. #6 Literary Lady 9-5 ML
  2. #4 Culminating 4-1 ML
  3. #1 Momma’s Favorite 7-2 ML

It is tough to get around #6 Literary Lady off the claim for Ness. Looks to have the most speed in the field and there doesn’t look to be a whole lot of ability in here… #4 Culminating goes first off the claim for 1 for 25 conditioner, but based on prior form is a use in here… #1 Momma’s Favorite is another speedy type, but did best work in an off the turf event where the field was scratch-ridden. Cannot take for the top spot but could hang around for a piece.

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Race 2:

  1. #5 Mt. Etna 7-2 ML
  2. #2 Bank Fraud 8-5 ML
  3. #1 Sandman Cometh 4-1 ML


I am going to give #5 Mt. Etna one more chance sprinting. I really thought she would enjoy the stretch out to a mile but she completely folded in that last race. Now gets back to sprinting and if Serpa is able to keep her reasonably close, I think there is enough cheap speed to set up her closing kick… #2 Bank Fraud is 0-12, seems to show speed and quits. Although she looks far the best on paper, these horses figure out a way to lose… #1 Sandman Cometh’s best game is to try and get to the front and do what she can from there. She wasn’t able to do that in the last. The extra half furlong should help and the pace shouldn’t be as swift as in the prior race and may be dictated by #1.

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Race 3:

  1. #7 Always Dear 8-1 ML
  2. #6 Stately Defence 3-1 ML
  3. #4 Flashy Zee 7-2 ML

#7 Always Dear makes second start at the Monmouth meet, and encountered a bit of trouble in the last. Fits well at this level based on prior efforts at Tampa and is a square price… #6 Stately Defence comes in off a strong effort last time out and a repeat of that makes him the one to beat.. #4 Flashy Zee has run well in two starts off the claim for trainer Iwinski and makes sense for an exotic play… I am taking a stand against #5 Boheme de Lavi. Why is Navarro dropping this horse to 12.5 off a win at the 22.5 level by 4 lengths? Navarro doesn’t seem to do the “Jacobson” as I call it, or the drop and win. Rather, he seems to move his horses up once they get good. Something smells here, and at 5-2 or lower, I have to pass.

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Race 4:

  1. #5 Beijing House 12-1 ML
  2. #3 Siena Indian 9-5 ML
  3. #7 Gerry with a G 5-1 ML

Seems like a lot of the logical contenders have a lot of speed in here, which could help set it up for a horse who could sit off and make one run. #5 Beijing House has been facing better 5k claimers, and bounced some off that decent 3rd two back. In a race where it is really hard to take a short price on anyone, it makes sense to try and get some value… #3 Siena Indian crushed and should be able to repeat if doesn’t get caught up in a crazy speed duel… The cutback should benefit #7 Gerry with a G, who is 2 for 6 with a 2nd at the distance of 5.5F

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Race 5:

  1. #3 Royal Almighty 9-2 ML
  2. #5 Will 7-2 ML
  3. #1A Up with the Sun 3-1 ML

Trainer Dennis Ward shows a nice ROI with his debuting maiden claimers, #3 Royal Almighty has good works, and should be ready to fire first time. #5 Will gets Bravo and trainer does well with these types. #1A Up with the Sun was in against much tougher first time, should relish the class relief and is a legitimate contender.

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Race 6:

  1. #6 First Ronin 4-1 ML
  2. #7 Iron Dale Al 10-1ML
  3. #3 Rasta Friend 10-1 ML

#6 First Ronin took a ton of pace pressure last time with splits off 22 and 44 and 4/5. I do not foresee the pace being quite as swift tomorrow, and so a gate to wire job for this one could be in order… #7 Iron Dale Al and #3 Rasta Friend are coming out of the same race, and both are capable of outrunning their odds with slightly better performances. #1 was claimed off of Eddie Plesa, while #5 was claimed off Claudio Gonzalez. Both are short prices and could fit here, but I’m afraid #1 could bounce off the big effort first off the claim while #5 showed nothing in the slight step off first off last time. At short prices, I am looking elsewhere.

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Race 7:

  1. #1 Lasso 5-2 ML
  2. #7 Cut to Order 2-1 ML
  3. #6 Skiffs Brewmeister 12-1 ML


#1 Lasso looks like the lead could be his for the taking if #7 Cut to Order shows similar tactics to last race. If that ends up happening, could be a real threat to take this field wire to wire… #7 Cut to Order showed a new dimension in rating last time, and you just don’t know what tactics Centeno will put forth tomorrow… If a duel ensues, #6 Skiffs Brewmeister only needs an honest pace to bring his best run at a big number tomorrow.

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Race 8:

  1. #8 Scuba Sue 7-2 ML
  2. #3 Chatt Hills 3-1 ML
  3. #4 Captain Munnings 5-2 ML


#8 Scuba Sue was a reclaim by Steve DiMauro and jumped up considerably first off claim to run a nice second in an optional 40. Drops to the 25k level here, but still well above the 16k claim price. Looks to be fast enough to get the lead if Ferrer wants it, but might behoove him to sit right behind #3 Chatt Hills, who looks like the fastest horse in here and is a threat to take the field wire to wire for Navarro… #4 Captain Munnings didn’t like the slop last time, but should bring a better run on fast dirt tomorrow.

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Race 9:

  1. #11 Whodathunk 12-1 ML
  2. #6 One Buck Roma 8-1 ML
  3. #2 Didn’t Take It 6-5 ML
  4. #5 Big Tomatoes 15-1 ML


#11 Whodathunk has a trainer who excels in turf sprints, and looks to be rounding into his better form after closing nicely last time to finish 4th. Will need a scratch or two to draw in, but if he does, do not ignore… #6 One Buck Roma hasn’t shown much in two turf starts, but they were against much better fields. Willing to give this one a shot at a turf level in which he fits… #2 Didn’t Take It always run his race, and should be right there at the wire when the running is finished today… #5 Big Tomatoes ran OK in the lone turf sprint of his career a while back, but based off the decent turf effort going longer last time, the grass definitely looks like this one’s preferred footing.

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Race 10:

  1. #2 Sky Gold 3-1 ML
  2. #4 Aix En Province 4-1 ML
  3. #3 Savvy Sassy 5-2 ML

#2 Sky Gold was wiped out at the start last time out in a stake, but with a better break is a major contender here on the drop in class… #4 Aix En Province also gets serious class relief and has races prior that fit really well here… #3 Savvy Sassy returned off the layoff last time and didn’t do much running, but worktab is good has to be considered for Clement and Bravo on the drop in level.

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Race 11:

  1. #3 Expected Ruler 15-1 ML
  2. #4 Full Salute 7-2 ML
  3. #10 Formal Summation 9-2 ML


Race 11 is the Tyro Stakes for two-year-olds, and it is always a fun race to handicap because a lot of these haven’t had a chance to turf yet. With that being said, why not take a chance on #3 Expected Ruler at 15-1 ML for trainer Liam Benson. Horse has nice works, and is out of Leroidesanimaux, which is always a plus on the grass. It is an aggressive spot but this homebred might have some talent… #4 Full Salute looks like the one to beat off the impressive maiden score here last time, and Speightstown does well with his turfers… #10 Formal Summation enters the O’Connell barn off the 75-1 shocker first time out. In Summation is a fine turf sire and I would not dismiss purely based on the big price first time out.

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Race 12

  1. #10 Jersey Joe C 5-1 ML
  2. #5 Little Tom 7-2 ML
  3. #4 Just Ace 8-1 ML

#10 Jersey Joe C returns off a long layoff but with best effort this one easily fits here for owner trainer Kevin Fields… #5 Little Tom looks like the speed of the speed and is a logical contender… #4 Just Ace was claimed last time by Doug Nunn who is quietly having a very good meet (30-3-6-4) and could improve on the trainer switch.