Shore Bets: Monmouth Park May 13
Shore Bets returns for a new year of handicapping the racing at Monmouth Park!
by John Piassek
The sign that summer at the Jersey Shore has started: opening day at Monmouth Park! 107 horses were entered for 11 races, highlighted by the $60,000 Wolf Hill Stakes. The weather forecast calls for less-than-ideal conditions, so all races are handicapped with the assumption that they will be off the grass.
Race 1: Maiden Claiming $12,500, 3yo and up, Fillies and Mares, 5 ½ Furlongs
4- Jeanjeannie: Has shown respectable off-track form in the past, struggled when stretching out to a mile last out, cutting back in distance should be a help.
3- Sassy Silk: Slowly improved last summer, with brisnet figures reaching into the upper-50s, makes her first start since October today.
5- Mood Swing: Takes a bit of a class drop coming in from Aqueduct, struggled after battling for the pace last out, hoping for an easier lead this time.
Race 2: Claiming $5,000, 3yo and up, 1 Mile 70 Yards
1- One Sided: Showed much-improved form in last two races, including a very strong figure of 86 two races back at Aqueduct, Jason Servis hits at 42% with horses dropping two levels, Nik Juarez picks up the mount.
7- Model Citizen: Takes very big class drop, having run for $25,000 two races ago, coupled with form decline in last two races, one to be leery of at low odds.
6- D’Marin: Has hit the board in sixteen out of twenty-three starts at Monmouth, makes first start since February at Parx, showed signs of promise over off-tracks in the winter.
Race 3: Maiden Claiming $40,000, 3yo and up, 1 Mile
4- Fake Frontier: Has run in the 70s in each of his last four dirt races, lost by ¾ of a length with sharp closing rally at Parx two races back.
9- Nonno: Another Parx invader, this one figures to be on the pace and has hit the board in three out of his last five.
5- Lead Investor: Was last seen at Delaware Park back in October, has been working steadily since early April for fourth career bow, room for improvement in three-year-old debut.
Race 4: Allowance Optional Claiming (n/w1x), 3yo and up, 1 Mile 70 Yards
5- Talk Logistics: Finished sixth in Florida Derby last out, was runner-up in two stakes at Gulfstream Park earlier in the year, should enjoy the class relief.
2- Offlee Brawn: Makes first dirt start in almost a year, has inside speed and post position one, both huge pluses.
1- Doctor Peter: This one looks to be the stronger half of the Shea Stuart entry, won for $25,000 at Oaklawn Park two back with a great figure of 94, hopes to rebound off dull last race.
Race 5: Claiming $16,000 (n/w2L), 3yo and up, 1 1/8 Miles
2- Stony Brook: Dirt figures tower over the rest, including a 79 when dominating an off-track race at Aqueduct last out.
8- Lookin Up: Broke maiden in 18th try last out at Parx, with a career-high figure of 80, not sure if he can win two in a row after such a long run of futility.
11- Circle City: Struggled in last few against n/w3L company at Gulfstream, ships up here and could catch a piece of the exotics at a big price, if nothing else, has more dirt experience than most of these.
Race 6: Claiming $7,500 (n/w2L), 3yo and up, 6 Furlongs
2- Recapitulation: Was hung very wide last out after breaking from post 11 and struggled as such, draws closer to the inside here and should have a much better trip.
8- Single Heist: Will show early speed from the outside, tired after pace battle last out, but held on for a respectable third-place finish.
5- Twice Oaked: Has been running figures in the upper-60s when sprinting, which fits right in with these, should beat out Single Heist for the lead from his post closer to the rail.
Race 7: Allowance (n/w1x), 3yo and up, NJ-bred, 6 Furlongs
7- JR’s Rhythm: Makes third start off the layoff, ran a strong second over an off track against open company at Laurel Park two races back.
3- Lucky Six: Showed great form at two, running three figures in the 80s from four races, has worked steadily since March in preparation for three-year-old debut, Juarez climbs back aboard.
6- Credo: Was second three times in a row at this level last year, runs for the first time since mid-July.
Race 8: Claiming $25,000, 3yo and up, 1 1/16 Miles
11- Racetrack Romance: Stakes-placed back in February and ran a 96 over the Monmouth dirt last summer, should have this off-track group at his mercy.
1A- Unrepenting: Hopes to rebound off two disappointing starts in a row, ran three straight races of at least an 87 over the winter at Parx.
4- Patrioticandproud: Has shown good form on both dirt and polytrack, including a gate-to-wire score at Woodbine last fall.
Race 9: Allowance Optional Claiming (n/w2x), 3yo and up, 6 Furlongs
2- Defer Heaven: He’s undefeated at Monmouth Park, and has never run a figure worse than 101 here, the clear-cut one to beat.
8- Gambler’s Ghost: Consistently runs in the mid-90s and loves the six furlong distance, may have a rough time showing early speed from the outside post.
4- Cloudy River: Oaklawn invader has been close-but-no-cigar in recent races, will also be vying for the lead, has been first or second in four of six on a wet track.
Race 10: Wolf Hill Stakes, 3yo and up, 5 Furlongs
11- Futile: Disappointed as the Pelican Stakes favorite when last seen, prior to that, had reeled off three wins in a row, including an off-track score at Delaware Park, makes first start in almost three months.
3- Rainbow Heir: Won this race last year by almost eight lengths, Jersey shore veteran will be a sentimental favorite.
2- Blue Y Gold: This will be the first start since October for the Argentinian-bred, lone win at Monmouth last year came over a wet surface.
Race 11: Maiden Special Weight, 3yo and up, 6 Furlongs
9- Glindas Good Karma: Turned in a strong performance on debut at Parx, closing from far back to miss by ¾ of a length, John Bisono comes in for the ride.
7- Exclusive Package: Never missed the board in four dirt races, trainer Derek Ryan 0-for-27 with first-time blinkers.
2- Malibu Action: Hopes to regain promise he showed as a two-year-old, when he lost two in a row by less than a length, mid-70s form should be good for the exotics.