Shore Bets: Monmouth Park June 17
Shore Bets returns for a new year of handicapping the racing at Monmouth Park!
by John Piassek
It’s Salvator Mile day at Monmouth Park! Eleven races are on the schedule for today’s card, headlined by a nine-horse field for the feature race.
Note that, because of the chance for wet weather this weekend, selections will be made for both dirt and grass when applicable.
Race 1: Maiden Special Weight, 3yo and up, 1 Mile 70 Yards
1- Intent to Strike: This lightly raced Motion trainee ships in from Woodbine. Last time out, he was wide throughout, but was beaten less than three lengths with a respectable brisnet figure of 75.
3- British Bulldog: He’ll make his first start of 2017 in this race. Last time out, he was eased up against maiden company at Aqueduct. His average speed figure would crush these, but trainer form plus slow workouts suggest that he needs a race.
5- Valentino’s Day: Jersey-bred Navarro horse makes his second start off the layoff, and his first run around two turns. His late pace figures suggest he won’t mind added distance, and the trainer jockey of Castro-Navarro is a dangerous one.
Race 2: Maiden Claiming $10,000, 3yo and up, 1 1/16 Miles
7- Lil Needy: He’s got the most experience around two turns in this field, including a very strong 72 at Parx going 1 mile 70 yards last out. Trainer Pat McBurney has quietly been having an excellent Monmouth meet, with 28% winners.
2- Spider John: Ran well going two turns last year at Delaware Park, makes 2017 debut here, may elect to show speed from the inside.
5- Naked Lines: Earned a solid 71 going two turns last out at Parx against $20,000 horses, and now drops to the $10,000 level. However, jockey Shannon Uske and trainer Russell Cash have struggled for victories all meet long.
Race 3: Claiming $35,000 (n/w2L), 3yo and up, Fillies and Mares, 1 1/16 Miles (Grass)
7- Stella Street: She’s a Chad Brown-trained horse on the grass, which is always dangerous, plus, jockey Joe Bravo is having a renaissance meet, with 28% winners. She looks as likely a winner as you’ll find.
2- Veblen Gold: She made up solid ground at Laurel Park in her last grass race, finishing third and earning a figure of 78. Her last race was washed off the grass; will hope to avoid the same situation here.
4- Bella Vincenza: This is another filly who had her last attempt to run on grass get washed away to the dirt. She ran figures in the high 70s and low 80s as a two-year-old last year, will hope to improve as a three-year-old.
2- Veblen Gold
6- Miss Bob
Race 4: Allowance (n/w1x), 3yo and up, Fillies and Mares, NJ-bred, 6 Furlongs
2- Cee Bee Gee Bee: This stakes-placed filly was third in her 2017 bow last out after a bad break. Comes in here with that race under her belt, and retains the riding of Nik Juarez.
3- Golden Earrings: Almost wired a Jersey-bred group going 1 mile 70 yards last out, had a rough trip in a pace battle in her last try at six furlongs.
4- Bay Rum: She usually runs figures in the mid-70s, and figures to get a piece of the exotics at the very least.
Race 5: Claiming $12,500, 3yo and up, 1 Mile (Grass)
5- Unspoken Quality: He finished fourth at this level last out, making up solid ground at 52/1 odds. You should get another square price should you want to try him out today.
2- Promise Illgetyou: Gets a big jockey upgrade to Jose Ferrer, ran figures in the low 80s last spring at Parx, another contender at possibly a decent price.
1- Spring About: Ran figures in the mid-80s last winter at Gulfstream Park, but hasn’t been seen since April of 2016.
7- Noble Road
2- Promise Illgetyou
Race 6: Claiming $5,000, 3yo and up, 1 Mile 70 Yards
7- Giroux: Made his first start off a long layoff last out at Monmouth, and finished second with an excellent figure of 77. He retains Nik Juarez in the saddle, and should sit a trip from mid-pack.
2- D’Marin: He had a big lead in the stretch but tired out after going wide throughout in his last race. Makes his third start off the layoff here, and will hope to save more ground from his inside post.
5- Model Citizen: Ran as high as a 90 over the winter, but declined into the low 70s in his last few races. Makes his first start off the claim for Navarro, which should benefit him.
Race 7: Claiming $16,000, 3yo and up, Fillies and Mares, 1 1/16 Miles (Grass)
3- Luckystrikedelcoco: She ran a brave race last out, battling on a solid pace and holding on to finish second. Hoping for an easier lead today for this one; a draw close to the inside is helpful.
5- Shakesperian Dream: Despite beating just two horses in her last two races, her figures have been in the mid-70s and low-80s, and keep her competitive in this field. Will likely go off at a very bettable price.
7- Arabian Queen: Finished fourth as the favorite against similar last time out, makes second start off the layoff here.
4- Twin Lights
6- Scottish Sweetie
5- Shakesperian Dream
Race 8: Allowance Optional Claiming (n/w2x), 3yo and up, Fillies and Mares, 6 Furlongs
1- True Romance: With the exception of a dull race at Parx last fall, she’s run in the 90s in all of her recent dirt starts. Most recently, she wired an allowance group at Keeneland in her first start off the layoff, before being beaten less than three lengths in the Blue Sparkler Stakes at Monmouth. A bullet three-furlong workout last Sunday should have her ready to go.
4- Little Cherie: She has not finished worse than fourth in any of her five dirt tries this year, with figures in the mid-80s every time out. However, jockey Carlos Hernandez has not exactly been a world-beater thus far, and trainer Charles Harvatt is 1-44 in 2017. This is one to use for underneath spots, but is not the best win proposition.
3- Everything Magic: Scored a gate-to-wire victory at Laurel in her first race off a long layoff two races back, before turning in a clunker after racing wide over an off-track last out at Parx. Juarez picks up the mount, and should have this filly sitting a good stalking trip behind the leaders.
Race 9: Maiden Claiming $16,000, 3yo and up, 1 1/16 Miles (Grass)
7- Bobby the Bull: Finished a close second in his seasonal grass debut last time out. He outran heavily favored Hat in the Ring—who also returns in this spot—and ran a strong 68 on the grass as a two-year-old last year. Look for further improvement.
5- Hat in the Ring: Ran third at 3/5 against similar last out. Gets an upgrade to Antonio Gallardo from Paco Lopez (who has had a shaky start to the meet), and Navarro looks as if he’s finally heating up. I wouldn’t bet at too low of a price, but he could sneak under the radar in the wagering.
10- Lead Investor: Made mild ground to finish fourth in grass debut last out. Runs for the third time off the layoff, and looks better bred for dirt than grass.
10- Lead Investor
6- Perfect Harmony
7- Bobby the Boss
Race 10: Salvator Mile, 3yo and up, 1 Mile
6- Name Changer: Fourth-place finisher in the Pimlico Special ran a huge figure of 106 in that race. Scored in the Richard Small Stakes last fall at Laurel. If he runs his race, he’ll be very difficult to beat.
2- Majestic Affair: Won the Jazil Stakes in gate-to-wire fashion over the winter at Aqueduct; enters here off a runner-up score in the Turning for Home Stakes at Parx. Has early speed and will battle for the front end from his inside post.
1- Red Dragon Tattoo: He will be the primary challenger to Majestic Affair’s quest to get the lead. He made his 2017 debut last out, and took an allowance field gate-to-wire. He’s never won a race without getting the early lead, so Paco will be gunning him right out of the gate.
Race 11: Maiden Claiming $35,000, 3yo and up, 5 Furlongs (Grass)
6- Nina’s Patience: Tampa Bay Downs invader improved her figure in all three of her starts at the winter meet, peaking at a 77 with a third-place finish last time out. She’s hit the board in all three tries at five furlongs.
1- Harlan’s Quest: Cuts back in distance from a mile, and turned in a bullet four-furlong workout last Sunday to round into top racing form.
8- Catapult Jack: He finished second twice against NY-bred maiden claimers last fall, and makes his first start on grass since October in this race.
3- Straightaway May
4- Lil Love Machine
8- Catapult Jack