Free Picks & Analysis — Who Do Ya Like
Saturday, May 9, 2015
On Saturday, it’s OPENING DAY at Monmouth Park! The card is loaded with 12 races and we’ve got FREE PICKS & ANALYSIS from returning guest handicapper Rob Harding (@Harding_Rob).
We thank Rob for taking the time to put together these selections for us today on DanonymousRacing.com and we welcome you all to play along. Good luck! Take it away, Rob…
When the weather turns in the Jersey Shore area, you know it’s time for racing at Monmouth Park. Though it’s a short meet based on racing dates, when they do race, there should be full fields and great betting opportunities. Some new faces on the backstretch include Gerald Bennett, among others. Joe Bravo is back after a one year hiatus in NY, and Paco Lopez and Jorge Navarro are back to defend their titles. So, without further ado…
Race 7 #5 Behr in the Woods (7-2 ML)
Race 12: #5 Quiet Ray (15-1 ML)
INDIVIDUAL RACE SELECTIONS
Race 1: Top pick in here for me will be #4 Greed is Good. Russell Cash always has his horses ready to go early and often during the first few weeks of this meet, and this one doesn’t look any different. Was outrun in a MSW but returned with a much better effort at the Meadowlands on the grass, and now goes back to the dirt. Workouts are encouraging, and horse should hopefully be ready to go off the layoff. #7 Just Ace is clear horse to beat off of numerous Parx efforts, but can’t take a short price in a field like this. #8 Sandman Cometh should be involved from the start, and is coming out of a reasonably quick race for the level where he wasn’t able to keep up, Drops to the Jersey bred company and could keep on going if the splits are fair.
Race 2: I like three horses at first glance in here, none of which are the ML favorite #6 Van Fraasen. #5 Cherokee’smoonbeam will be the top pick. Horse should be on or near the pace with that effort back in September at Delaware being plenty good enough to beat these types. #4 Marvelous Chester is just a neat horse. He was a pretty decent turf sprinter earlier on in his career, but has lost a step but is still an effective horse for Claudio Gonzalez. Another one that should benefit from the cutback from 1/16. If any sort of pace duel ensues, #1 Bo Badger could suck around for a piece at a number.
Race 3: The 3rd is a complete grab bag for me. I cannot seem to separate any of these, so consider these tepid choices. #1 Fiesta Rose was a shrewd claim by Dennis Ward for 25k. Horse came back and immediately won 2 75k AOC races after the claim before being way overmatched in a stake. Horse looks the fastest on paper, and Monmouth tends to play like a conveyor belt at times. #2 Midnight Bounty was an impressive winner for Pompay at Gulfstream in March. Tried tougher off the win and was crushed, now drops back to a much more reasonable spot and gets Paco in the irons. #7 My Little Darlings should get a beautiful trip in behind the speed and wouldn’t really surprise me at 2-1 with Bravo aboard for the ride. Watch the tote, and take the best price is my advice.
Race 4: #7 Prince Pomeroy was claimed by trainer Derek Ryan in February, doubled in claiming price for a start on both the dirt and turf, and is now back back to the claim level. Looks to be a decent amount of pace signed on here and Ryan adds the blinkers for tomorrow’s effort. I see this one sitting just off the expected pace duel with very capable Centeno in the irons. #8 Antoine’s is very interesting for me, and probably would’ve been the top pick if I didn’t expect some competition up front for the early lead. If horse is able to shake loose, could be dangerous at a price for newcomer Bennett. Finally, #2 Indian Fighter looks most logical on paper, taking a big drop in class, but who wants 2-1?
Race 5: #2 Village Warrior looks tough in here, but lets give a look to #6 Ring it Up for McCarthy and Aristone. Aristone is usually pretty live when he ships in to Monmouth from his Parx base. No apparent excuses in the last two, but encouraged by the aggressive placement here. Without those last two races, this ones ML might be halved. In any case, it might be moot because #2 Village Warrior looks ultra logical for Paco and Pletcher taking a plunge from stakes company at Aqueduct. #4 Box Office has run well over the Monmouth strip, with a win and a 2nd in two tries, and looks to have a slight chance for 26% trainer Servis.
Race 6: #8 Iamahandsome Man doesn’t look all that good on paper, but wow, take a look at that workout at Monmouth on Derby Day, 2nd best of 65. Ryan also puts blinkers on this one and Centeno rides back after riding this one in the maiden voyage. #7 Comic Bird is fast, and debuted in a stakes race for Tim Ice. Failed as the 2-5 favorite in the 2nd race after a really impressive run in the aforementioned stake, but doesn’t meet the greatest field here, Bravo aboard also can be seen as a positive. Finally, #1 Charlesbrecknridge ran great considering he hopped at the start in his maiden race this spring at Keeneland, finishing 2nd. With a better break, should be able to come with another strong effort.
Race 7: Another tough race here. Top pick will be #5 Behr in the Woods for Robert Reid Jr and Eddie Rivera. Just missed in an allowance at Parx, now meets softer Jersey-bred company and looks to be one of the main players at a relatively short price. Horse is also 1/1 at Monmouth. #6 Downtown Ball has been training forwardly for the return off the long layoff and returns to Jersey-bred allowance company after being non winners of 2 in a life 10k claimers in the 2014 finale. This horse either runs lights out or up the track, so we should know pretty early on. Finally, #1 What the Chub comes in off an impressive win against 4000 n2y at Penn off the layoff in March. A return to that effort puts this one in the mix at a number. Chub is also 5/10 ITM at Monmouth.
Race 8: #10 Pirradazis ran a very respectable 2nd as the favorite first time back off the bench. Horse ran well in tougher spot here last June, and is a decent price at 9-2. McCarthy was aboard for that effort, and he rides back today. #9 Broadway Zen was claimed by Dibona from the Ramseys a few starts back and has run well, but has yet to see the winners circle. I don’t see a whole lot of speed in here, so if Bocachica is able to slow it down early, watch out. Price play for me will be #8 My Enigma. Claudio Gonzalez is a very good trainer (26 percent) and this ones lone turf try was 5F on the grass. Worth a small price play at 15-1 ML. I don’t like the idea of Phil Serpe shipping #1 Stableford to Monmouth. He rarely runs any horses at the meet, and I see this is a negative being that most of his stock is probably at Belmont right now.
Race 9: #6 Hazel Eyed Girl could be a really nice one for Greg Sacco. Horse ran lights out in the debut winning relatively easily in a great time on a deep track that day. Horse will have to stretch that ability an extra half furlong today, but Bravo hops aboard, and that final workout at Monmouth really catches the eye. ITM #4 Liberty Fuze comes in for Steve Klesaris, who RE-claimed this one (a personal favorite angle of mine) after losing him to Jeremiah Englehart. Horse is in good form and should grab a piece today, Paco hopping aboard should be looked at as a positive. #3 Misszipptyslewda takes a big drop for Jacobson, is in good form and makes sense at a short price.
Race 10: Not really in love with anyone here, but #3 Fort Boonesborough is intriguing at a number. Horse ran a real gutty race last August on the Monmouth grass, and hasn’t seen it since. In a wide open race, Im inclined to see if this one can get back to that nice turf form at 8-1 ML. The #1/1A entry for Rudy looks menacing, with the #1 coming off a win/long layoff while #1A Treasury Devil’s race at Saratoga last July fits here. I’ve been chasing #2 Wild Billum for awhile now, and while he could win, Im inclined to watch the tote as I wont be better him unless hes 8-1 or better after finishing 2nd last time out.
Race 11: Another edition of the Decathlon has attracted a lot of really nice sprinters. In an impossible race to figure, I will take a shot with #13 Tenango for Jacobson and McCarthy. They teamed last year to win a stake with a horse that escapes my memory at this meet last race, but in any event horse flopped big time in the return off the layoff, but I am encouraged Jacobson keeps in stakes company. Additionally, 6F seems much more like his ones came then 7 (4/12 W, 9/12 ITM). #5 Oliver Zip was turning into a really nice horse early last year before being shelved. Return was a flop, but came back with an impressive win at Laurel. That race doesn’t win this, but those races early last year certainly figure. #10 AP Indian should be flying late off a blazing expected pace.
Race 12: Well, if Derek Ryan has a good day tomorrow, then I will have had a great day. #5 Quiet Ray has been bet both times, both times was rained off the grass, and ran up the track. Now takes a drop from MSW to Mdn40 and SHOULD hopefully get some nice weather tomorrow. I’ve seen this dirt to turf move work incredibly well for Ryan over the years, and so let’s see if hes got another one tomorrow. #8 Strike Em Down has been facing tougher, has a nice race over the Monmouth turf last year and should get an honest pace up front. Bravo in the irons. Finally, #2 Directory is interesting for me. This horse has done squadoosh in the career, aside from those two really nice efforts at Monmouth last summer. When Boniface ships into Monmouth his horses usually run well (Lily of Johar comes to mind off the top of my head). 15-1 is a nice price on this one and should be sitting just off the pace.
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