Shore Bets: Monmouth Park June 3
Shore Bets returns for a new year of handicapping the racing at Monmouth Park!
by John Piassek
For the first time this year, we’ve got a 12-race card on tap at Monmouth Park, and it’s a great one. The headliner is the Eatontown Stakes, featuring a full field of filly & mare routers. That will go as the eleventh race, scheduled for 6:00 PM EDT. The first race will go off at 12:50 PM EDT, as usual.
Race 1: Claiming $10,000, 3yo and up, 5 ½ Furlongs
4- Great Lou: Trainer Jorge Navarro returned to his old form last weekend, winning eight races. This one makes his first start for the Navarro barn, and runs for the first time since January 5. He excelled at the $12,500 level last fall in New York.
1- Surfing USA: Made a strong rally last out at Parx, to come from eleventh and miss by ¾ of a length. I don’t know if he’s a win candidate, with his close-but-no-cigar running style, but will be a factor in the exotics.
5- Wizardly: This is another one that will be coming from way out of it. He’s cutting back in distance to 5 ½ furlongs for the first time, and has excellent speed and late pace figures.
Race 2: Claiming $25,000 (n/w2L), 3yo and up, 6 Furlongs
2- Create a Windstorm: He won at 6/1 last out when crossing over to the inside and taking them gate-to-wire from post six. He’s got a much better post position today, and faces a lot of the same rivals who couldn’t catch him last time.
4- Our Sarge: Hung very badly in his first start off a long layoff last time out, while losing to Create a Windstorm. He must improve second time off the bench.
6- Map Room: He’s hit the board in seven out of ten lifetime, and has been working strongly for his first race since a start at Tampa Bay Downs back in April.
Race 3: Claiming $16,000 (n/w3L), 3yo and up, 1 1/16 Miles (Grass)
10- Enroute: Finished up the track in an off-the-grass contest, ran a field-best 74 brisnet figure in his last grass race, back at Tampa Bay Downs in April.
5- Old Sport: Returns to the grass, after a string of less-than-impressive races on the dirt. He peaked at an 86 over the winter at Gulfstream Park, and picks up Monmouth stalwart Jose Ferrer.
9- Paper Street: Almost wired the field at 28/1 in his 2017 debut last out, has great late pace figures and will be a strong contender.
Race 4: Maiden Claiming $10,000, 3yo and up, 5 1/2 Furlongs
6- Fast Flying Fred: Showed early speed against $25,000 horses last out at Tampa Bay Downs, but hung on to finish third, with a very good figure of 67. He earned a 73 two races ago.
1- Noble Dave: He was hung wide in his season debut last out, but still ran a 67. His inside post position today should help him out.
5- Coral Ridge: This Belmont shipper picks up the riding services of Nik Juarez for his Jersey debut. He was impossibly wide last out at Belmont Park, and showed a lot of early speed before tiring at Aqueduct two races back.
Race 5: Claiming $16,000, 3yo and up, Fillies and Mares, 1 Mile (Grass)
4- Shakesperian Dream: Aqueduct invader finished last against $32,000 horses last out, but ran a great figure of 81 in that race. She’s been working strongly at Saratoga in her first race for a new trainer, the only problem is a switch to an obscure jockey.
7- Luckystrikedelcoco: This shipper from Tampa Bay Downs ran an 80 in her third start off the layoff last out, has finished in the top two four times from six starts at Monmouth.
11- Zouzou: She makes her third start off the layoff here, and ran a career-high 83 when finishing second at Tampa Bay. Figures to stalk the pace on the outside.
Race 6: Maiden Special Weight, 2yo, 4 ½ Furlongs
5- Schianti: In a race full of inexperienced two-year-olds, any horse trained by Wesley Ward is automatically dangerous.
3- Jimmy Idontknowya: The lone horse in the race with experience finished fourth at Gulfstream Park in his debut, runs for the Miguel Vera stable for the first time.
4- Phonemyposseagain: He looks to be the better of the Chuck Spina two-year-olds, has good workouts and picks up Jose Ferrer for the debut.
Race 7: Claiming $16,000 (n/w2L), 3yo and up, 1 1/16 Miles (Grass)
2- Fried Baloney: He broke his maiden for $20,000 three races ago at Gulfstream, with a big figure of 86. Ran well two more times at the winter meet, and comes in here making his second race off the layoff.
7- Cavity: The Navarro-Juarez combination can be a lethal one. This one has a “second-itis” streak, with plenty of runner-up finishes, but the move to Navarro and Juarez’s aggressive riding makes this one an appetizing proposition.
1- Versed: Gets Lasix for the first time, trainer Michael Matz has three wins at the Monmouth meet from just five starters.
Race 8: Maiden Claiming $40,000, 3yo and up, NJ-bred, 5 ½ Furlongs
2- Crazy Daisy: She makes her second start off the layoff here, after a fourth-place finish on opening weekend. Gets a jockey switch to Nik Juarez, and should improve off the last-race figure of 64.
4- Countess Geraldine: 0-for-11 mark is major cause for concern, as is her finishing in the top three without a win in her last four. She’s a strong exotics contender, but don’t take too low of odds on her.
3- All Even: Drops back into Jersey-bred company for her first race since January. Her only two in-the-money finishes came at Monmouth.
Race 9: Claiming $25,000, 3yo and up, 1 Mile (Grass)
2- Souperfast: He’ll make his first run on the grass since last July, when he almost wired an allowance group at Laurel, earning a big 95. He’s working well for his return, and should show plenty of early speed from the inside.
4- Riviere du Loup: Rallied to finish third in season debut last out against similar, now drops down into straight claimers.
1A- Laythatpistoldown: He’s run in the 90s in three out of his last six races, and looks to have a good trip stalking from the outside.
Race 10: Allowance (n/w1x), 3yo and up, NJ-bred, 5 ½ Furlongs
5- Lucky Six: Battled for the pace and finished a solid second last time out in his first start off the layoff. He will get a fast track for this one, and has a race under his belt.
3- I Am the Man: Broke his maiden at first asking last out at Parx, with a big figure of 87. Sonny Leon ships in for the mount, if he can duplicate his debut, he will be very tough.
4- Follow the Rainbow: Trainer Jason Servis has been white-hot at the meet, hitting at a 36% rate. This horse makes his first start since last August, and while he has promise, he might need a race.
Race 11: Eatontown Stakes, 3yo and up, 1 1/16 Miles (Grass)
12- Light in Paris: She ran big last out while winning a stakes at Aqueduct last out, earning a figure of 104. Chad Brown in a grass stakes automatically merits respect.
2- Bishop’s Pond: This one was run down by Light in Paris, just missing a chance to wire the field at 34/1. Will show early speed from the inside, and should get a good trip in that spot.
1- Quiet Kitten: Held her own in graded stakes company over the winter at Gulfstream Park, runs for the Tom Morley barn for the first time.
Race 12: Claiming $7,500 (n/w2L), 3yo and up, 6 Furlongs
9- Giant Two Step: Broke his maiden for $10,000 in his first start off a long layoff last out. His figures tower over these, and he still looks like he could be a decent sort as he makes his 3rd career start.
5- Honorable Service: Seeks to rebound off a disappointing race at Parx, after he broke slowly. Finished second at Laurel in his two races prior to that, and that kind of form would make him a strong contender here.
1- Naughty Delite: Ran a much-improved third against similar horses last out, the much stronger half of the Manuel Berrios entry.