Free Picks & Analysis — Who Do Ya Like?
Friday, July 10, 2015
On Friday, we’re headed back out to Monmouth Park, where we’ve got FREE PICKS & ANALYSIS for the entire card from our friend Dan Gonella (@DanGonella).
We thank Dan for taking the time to put together these selections (and EXTREMELY THOROUGH analysis) for us today on DanonymousRacing.com. Take it away, Dan…
Thanks for allowing me to do this write up, Dan! I’m happy to say that I witnessed my first, and definitely not last, United Nations on Sunday. I hope Main Sequence is able to bounce back off of a disappointing performance; it is hard not to root for him and Graham Motion. It’s going to be pretty hard to follow last weekend between the Fourth of July festivities and the great racing, but lets hope for some good weather and some racing luck as we look to start the weekend off right. Sunday’s results will give us a carryover of $12,509 and in the twenty cent Jersey Shore Six, so good luck to those of you looking to play it. Lets hit them hard on Friday!
Race 1: 3-5-1
Sloppy Track: 3-5-7
Per usual, we start the day off with a maiden race; this one being a five and a half furlong special weight for two year olds. Only the 5 horse, Runaway Train, has any prior racing experience, which should prove valuable. In two career starts, Runaway Train has run gamely with two second place finishes, but was not able to close ground on horses that were both able to wire their respective fields. I would imagine veteran jockey Tommy Turner will try to sit right off, if not on, the lead, since the Monmouth track tends to favor speed horses. #1 Aubrees the First, with some decent works from the gate, may try to take the lead early for trainer Derek Ryan. Aubrees the First has arguably worked better in the mornings than the rest of the field, but the inside post may prove to be an obstacle for a trainer who does not thrive with first time starters. #3, White Knuckle Ride, with the combination of Eddie Plesa and Paco Lopez looks the one to beat and you can anticipate she will likely go off favored in this field. According to DRF Formulator, Plesa and Lopez win at a 35% rate with first time starters in two year old maiden dirt races. Don’t be shocked to see a hand ride under Lopez for the well-bred White Knuckle Ride in the first.
Race 2: 3-2-5
Sloppy Track: 3-2-4
Like the first race, this eight and a half furlong $5000 beaten claiming race looks to be rather chalky. Taking a large drop in class and the likely favorite will be the #2, Keep the Cannoli, for Greg Sacco and Paco Lopez. Sacco is beginning to heat up as him and Lopez are winning at a 20% clip over the past 30 days at the Monmouth meet. As the class of the field, Keep the Cannoli put up a decent speed figure and won in similar conditions two races back, as he just edged out a 21-1 shot while closing into a pretty fast pace. I am not sure he will have quite as fast of a pace in front of him on Friday, although the pace should be moderate with the #1 and the #7 likely wanting the lead. Assuming a moderate pace, I am siding with #3, Laghubaar, for Patti Farro and Orlando Boccachica. I like that Boccachica stays aboard for Farro while Marcus Vitali, the trainer he rides first call for, is also in the race. After just missing in his local debut two starts back, he broke slowly last out, spotted the field ten lengths and went wide to beat a similar field; visually more impressive than Keep the Cannoli’s win, in my opinion . Being that Laghubaar has run well at higher class levels for three other sharp barns, I am not that concerned with the last speed figure as he remains with a solid trainer in Patti Farro. With a clean break, anticipate Laghubaar to revert to stalking tactics and take first run at the pace setters; hopefully he has enough in the tank to hold off Keep the Canoli. At a price, look for #5, Purple Pegasus, to do some late running while being set up by his likely pace setting stablemate, Big Thief. I expect Purple Pegasus to battle it out with Key to a Cure to round out your trifecta and or superfecta.
Race 3: 4-2-1
Off Turf: 11-9-10-8
In this field of maiden claimers, it is hard not to be enticed by horses dropping in from the special weight level. With that being said, this race looks to set up nicely for #4, Saint Abbey. Saint Abbey has run a couple of respectable races for trainer Jane Cibelli, so the major drop in class and cutback to five furlongs should put her right in contention; I wouldn’t be surprised to see her a little closer to the two probable pace setters- the 2 and the 6. If Saint Abbey does not offer much betting value, I am going to take a shot on the inside with the #2 Village Reward. Village Reward will be carrying at least nine pounds less than all other runners as apprentice Javier Felix Jr will likely try to wire the field for trainer Dave Nunn. Village Reward has the pedigree to enjoy these conditions; the sire won at first asking on the grass in Europe, and eventually ran competitively in multiple European stakes, while the broodmare sire, Defrere, was an extremely fast horse who also won at first asking. He will have to hold off the likes of Saint Abbey, and #1, Thinking of Dad who are both dropping in class from the maiden special weight ranks. Like the #4, Thinking of Dad is also cutting back in distance from her first career start in which she ran competitively throughout the first five furlongs while running wide the entire race; she should appreciate the cutback and class relief.
Race 4: 8-5-2 (Same if sloppy track)
This was a tough race for me to have a strong opinion, but I’m going to go to the outside with the #8 Hold Everything. For a sire with a stud fee of only $4,000, he must have shown something while breezing at the April 2013 Ocala Breeders’ Sale to go for $140,000. Patti Farro may have tapped into this horse’s potential as he breezed a bullet four furlongs, which also happens to be his best work out of the year, in his first published work for the new barn. Hold Everything looks to be the only speed signed on and with veteran jockey Ramon Moya aboard I like his chances if he is able to control a slower pace here. #4 Brother Mark is the recipient of a positive rider change here as he appears to be facing an easier bunch than any he has faced in recent memory for the always dangerous Claudio Gonzalez. Brother Mark has had trouble closing into quick fractions, albeit against stronger competition, but he may struggle to close ground on a slower pace here. Also dropping in class is #2, Gerry With a G. Gerry fired a solid workout on July 3rd and he should sit nice off of the leader here.
Race 5: 6-4-8
Off Turf: 9-7-5
There looks to be a healthy amount of speed signed on in this mile and a sixteenth maiden turf race; it appears as if the 4,7,9 and possibly the 1 may all prefer to be on the lead here. With that being said, I am siding with #6 Rain of Fire, for Skip Einhorn and Tommy Turner. Rain of Fire stepped up big time while trying the grass and two turns for the first time. Her connections decided to try the maiden 20,000 level after debuting at the maiden 10,000 level and she will remain at that level after closing some ground late in a nice effort. #8, Holy Scat, should have first run at the pace-setters for a tandem that wins together at a twenty two percent rate. Out of the potential pace setters previously mentioned, I think #4, Never Say No Girl, is most likely to change tactics and take back a little bit. If that is the case, I think she has a big shot in here.
Race 6: 2-1-3
It is hard to assess what to do with some of these runners as it appears that many of seen better days. I fell on the #2, Palm Island, who drops in to this $10,000 claiming race after having some serious trouble last out in the optional claiming ranks. Wilmar Garcia, who has been heating up at the Monmouth meet, will get the mount after winning two races in four starts for today’s trainer, Claudio Gonzalez. In the past five years, Gonzalez is three for nine when dropping a horse into a claiming race from an allowance in the second start after a claim. With a clean trip, the versatile Palm Island should show improvement off of his most recent start in which he really didn’t run all that badly. The entry here must be respected for Trevor McCarthy and Jamie Ness. An improvement is expected for both How Convenient and Dancing Lion; both have run against better and both would benefit from running under Trevor McCarthy, who is one of the best riders around. When it comes to today’s morning line favorite, Percussion, I’ll just be window shopping today. Navarro, like Claudio Gonzalez and Jamie Ness, is absolutely lethal first off the claim, but I just don’t know what to make of Percussion’s form as he attempts sprinting for the first time since 2013.It is possible that this race essentially serves as a paid workout in preparation for some route races down the road. However, I would expect a sharp effort from the #3, Steve’s Adventures. Steve’s Adventures looks versatile here following a sharp return to the races; he should be the recipient of a nice stalking trip right off of the pace-setters.
Race 7: 3-7-5
Off Turf: 9-2-8
In what should be a solid betting race, I will side with #3, Stableford, for Abel Castellano Jr and Jorge Navarro. I was present for the win off the layoff two starts back and it was visually very impressive. Last out, in his first start for Navarro, Stableford was steadied and was so on the muscle that he rushed himself to press the lead; he eventually tired, but overall it was a respectable race with a tough trip in a tougher field. The #7, Dude About Town, adds blinkers and projects to be the only speed in the race. Dude About Town has run some decent races over the grass and if Paco Lopez does not challenge him for the lead on George Cross, Elvis Trujillo will have a good chance to wire this field. Although I bet Bazinga Rules last out and I like him a lot, I think Joe Bravo has a better shot closing into a slow pace aboard #5, Hudson Miracle. I am skeptical that Hudson Miracle, just like rival George Cross, may not like to win, but he has to be respected based on his connections and prior races.
Race 8: 3-1-2
Sloppy track: 1-3-2
In one of the tougher races on the card I fall on the morning line favorite, #3, Bama Bound for Orlando Bocachica and Jorge Navarro. Bama Bound is cutting back to six furlongs and taking a large drop in class; both are changes that should help him. There looks to be a solid amount of speed in this race, so his stalking ability makes him the selection here. You have to respect #1, Right on Course, for Trevor McCarthy and Jamie Ness. He looks to have one running style, which is to be on the lead, which is the reason he is not the top pick for me in here. Right on Course should be pressed on the lead by the #4 and #6. However, he looks to be more talented than the other two speed horses, so if McCarthy is able to let the other two take the lead, he may have a better shot at winning this one. Also looking to stalk will be #2, Cho Time.
Race 9: 7-5-2
Off the turf: 12-11-3
Today’s feature is a mile and one sixteenth allowance optional claimer over the turf course for fillies and mares. In terms of value, this appears to be the best betting race on the card. My three selections each have one thing in common, being that each jockey is taking the trip up to Monmouth with only one scheduled mount today; when it comes to doing some human handicapping, this is one of my favorite angles. Moving on, in what looks to be a pretty good field I will side with #7, Nisharora, who will be ridden by hall of fame jockey Edgar Prado. Nisharora has shown solid improvement as a four year old while coming out of a race that appears to be much tougher than this off of a layoff. I think American Girl will be pushed for a moderate pace which should set up beautifully for Edgar Prado and Nisharora. Being that the likely pace setters do not seem to fit in this bunch, one must respect #5, American Girl, for Alan Goldberg and Pablo Fragoso. Alan Goldberg had quite the weekend as his colt Force the Pass looked like as dominant as Bill Goldberg in romping the grade one Belmont Derby over the Belmont Park Turf Course. American Girl impressed last out as she wired a field and won by 7 at Parx. Her most recent work is one to take note of as she breezed just half a second slower than stablemate Means Well who was last seen running a respectable fifth to millionaire Coffee Clique. #2, V V Goodnight, ships up from Fairhill for trainer Tom Proctor after a respectable effort second off the layoff at Churchill Downs. The jockey and trainer combination has won four out of six races together this year, and they appear to have a good shot at winning another as they exit some tougher races.
Race 10: 11-7-6 (Same on sloppy track)
Today’s finale looks like a chalky exacta to me as #11, Twist and Turn, looks logical in here for Greg Sacco and Nik Juarez. Twist and Turn will drop in class and add blinkers while also being given a weight break in this field. Two out of her three races most likely would’ve been victories against this group and I think Nik Juarez will be able to do what he wants with this horse, as there is some speed signed on. However, with the weight allowance and blinkers Juarez may just take the lead and dare the others to catch him; I like that he has options, so I’ll side with him. #7, Senora Quatorze, cuts back to a sprint and will hope for a dry track for a barn that has been very live this meet. Her two races over the Monmouth dirt last summer definitely make her competitive here as she projects to close in on what should be at least a moderate pace. A horse to look out for is #6, Kellyslittlesecret, for Paul Kopaj and Andre Worrie. Kelly returned to the races after nearly two years off with a mile race that essentially served as a paid workout; she had no shot as the winner won by more than fifteen lengths. Kopaj wheels this one back a week later, a move that has helped him hit the board twenty nine percent of the time over twenty one starts in the past five years. At a price, expect a decent run out of Kellyslittlesecret.
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