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

As the month of August comes to a close, Monmouth Park only has a few more weekends of live racing before heading to the Meadowlands for a short fall meet. It has been quite the meet, headlined by American Pharoah, but other performances by Bradester and Kharafa certainly stand out. Onto today’s card…

Race 1:

  1. #5 Brother Chub 7-5 ML
  2. #1 Irace 7-2 ML
  3. #2 Winds of Peace 20-1 ML

Tough to get around the #5 Brother Chub in here, as he takes the drop from MSW down to Mdn 10 and looks to have the most early speed by quite a bit… #1 Irace ran into a horse who absolutely clobbered the competition last time, but if #5 doesn’t fire, he looks to be the most logical of upsetters… #2 Winds of Peace showed nothing in the debut, but was 14-1 in that race and now drops from Mdn 25 to Mdn 10, with blinkers going on. He will be my longshot play in exotics.

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Race 2:

  1. #7 Allstar 4-1 ML
  2. #5 Miami Music 12-1 ML
  3. #4 Gypsy Baron 3-1 ML

#7 Allstar was claimed by Bruce Alexander, who is hitting at better than 30% on the year and at the meet. He doesn’t have many horses anymore, but he saw fit to put down 10,000 two starts back, and the first off the claim was a fine effort. With another step forward today, he will be very tough… #5 Miami Music likes to win, and win at a price (I see 31-1 and 19-1 just this last winter at Parx). Easily disposed of a Jersey-bred allowance field two back, but was obliterated in his last start. That was against tougher, and he returns in five weeks, so hopefully he can show the ability he has previously in his career at another big number… #4 Gypsy Baron should be on or near the lead tomorrow, and is 5 for 13 first or 2nd at today’s distance. I will take a shot against #2 Divine Child in here, once a very solid horse, his form has really gone south as he has tumbled down the class ladder. Although this race might fit him well at this stage of his career, at even money or lower I will look elsewhere.

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Race 3:

  1. #6 Abundant Faith 8-1 ML
  2. #5 Shoo Daddy 5-1 ML
  3. #1 Wildcat Runner 2-1 ML

#6 Abundant Faith is trending in the right direction, which is a positive for the winless Holly Harris barn. Will try the grass for the first time tomorrow after showing speed the last two times out against weaker. One thing I have learned is to not ignore speed on the turf in these dash races, and Abundant Faith looks to have some nice value at 8-1… #5 Shoo Daddy has been off a year, but was a big 150k purchase, is out of Scat Daddy who’s progeny do well on the turf, and in that initial race he faced off against Stanford. Tony Wilson has had a terrific meet and I hope that continues today… #1 Wildcat Runner was eased over four months back at Gulfstream Park, and the fact this one returns off such a long layoff doesn’t inspire confidence. Additionally, this guy is 0-12, but Cibelli is 20% off these type of layoffs. A tepid use for me.

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Race 4:

  1. #4 Discreet Concorde 5-2 ML
  2. #5 Blind Devotion 7-2 ML
  3. #3 Caroline’s Comedy 2-1 ML

#4 Discreet Concorde goes turf to dirt, a move which Pompay shows a positive ROI with, and takes a slight drop in class… #5 Blind Devotion easily disposed of a field in the initial try, but that was against much softer competition, but the running line does say he was a bit “green” so there may be more where that last race came from… #3 Caroline’s Comedy should be on the lead and bug Gudiel will try and repeat the last race maiden breaking score.

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Race 5:

  1. #3 Delta Bluesman 5-2 ML
  2. #8 Snowday 5-1 ML
  3. #6 Deterrent 4-1 ML

I will preface this analysis with the fact that I will be going all in this leg in the P4 or P5 if I do decide to play it, because it is just that hard to peg the winner. #3 Delta Bluesman should sit right behind a wicked speed duel and be able to take off in the lane, but will have to hold off the closers… #8 Snowday was a nice claim by Willard Thompson, as this one ran a really nice 2nd on the slight step up last time, and seems to like the Monmouth Park turf… #6 Deterrent is the speed of the speed, and could hang on for a piece.

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Race 6:

  1. #7 Morning Miracle 20-1 ML
  2. #1 Gorgeous Sunrise 7-2 ML
  3. #2 Moon Vision 5-2 ML

I hope that I might have found my Willard Thompson price horse for the meet in tomorrow’s 6th race with #7 Morning Miracle. The race three back was a solid 3rd, toss the route after that, and in the last where he lost by 30 there were excuses “bumped, steadied.” In a race where I am really not in love with anyone, I am going to take a stab at a number… #1 Gorgeous Sunrise has run two very solid races back to back after being put back on the dirt for conditioner Carlesimo. When he gets a horse in shape, they usually stay good for a little bit and will be my other logical use… If I had to pick a third horse, I guess I would have to go with #2 Moon Vision on the drop, and the fact that McCarthy chooses this one over the Ness horse.

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Race 7:

  1. #4 Dance with Gio 6-1 ML
  2. #2 Miss Benburb 20-1 ML
  3. #7 Big N Toasty 5-2 ML

#4 Dance with Gio was my top pick in a similar spot before it was rained off last weekend, and I will go to the well one more time. Gudiel takes the call for low profile barn Kopaj who is 12/27 ITM at the current meet. The cutback to a mile should also be appreciated… #2 Miss Benburb ran some decent turf races at Mountaineer last year, and looks to be cycling back to that good form based off the decent effort last time… #7 Big N Toasty takes the big drop, but was just dreadful last time. Hopefully the drop can wake her up but I am going elsewhere for the top spot.

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Race 8:

  1. #6 Al’s Jubalee 6-1 ML
  2. #3 This Cat Has Bling 3-1 ML
  3. #2 A Sixties Tune 12-1 ML

#6 Al’s Jubalee will show speed from the bell, but hopefully Ferrer will get this one to relax better than Juarez was able to in that effort three back. He didn’t completely fold in that effort, and with a little better handling, I can definitely see him going wire to wire tomorrow… If a duel does ensue, #3 This Cat Has Bling could be the one that benefits most as a stalking trip behind the leaders is looking probable… #2 A Sixties Tune easily disposed of a much weaker field last time, but if the pace is hot, I could see him taking back today and making one run. Notice the efforts going two turns are much better than those going one turn for this one.

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Race 9:

  1. #7 Carey Princess 15-1 ML
  2. #4 Red Letter 8-1 ML
  3. #3 Ansible 3-1 ML

#7 Carey Princess truly never runs a bad race. Her worst beat in the last 12 races was by 6 lengths, and returned off the layoff last time to run a very respectable 3rd to a lone speed horse, while encountering trouble near the wire. Additionally, checkout 12 percent Harvatt’s numbers 2nd off a 45-180 day layoff… 22% with a 3.60 ROI. Harvatt had a 30-1 shot on the grass win around this time last year, so let’s hope he has this one ready to fire tomorrow… #4 Red Letter got away with an easy lead alone up top last time, and I could see it happening again as there just isn’t a whole lot of speed in here… #3 Ansible is the most logical, but a tough one to take for the top spot on the step up in class off just a neck victory.

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Race 10:

  1. #6 Laura Lucy 15-1 ML
  2. #8 Banana Anna 2-1 ML
  3. #1 Channel Surfing 15-1 ML

#6 Laura Lucy has shown the tendency to show speed and quit badly, but this is the weakest field she will meet to date, and she could show some courage up top if unchallenged… #8 Banana Anna should be in the mix for a piece, but was in contention late before being unable to seal the deal late… #1 Channel Surfing hasn’t done much in the last few, but the races before that could put this one in the mix at another solid number.

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Rob Harding is an avid horseplayer who recently completed his Masters in Accounting from Fordham University. He is a big Mets and Giants fan, and now lives in New York City. His favorite horse of all time is Animal Kingdom. Rob can be found on Twitter @Harding_Rob.