Free Picks & Analysis — Who Do Ya Like?
Sunday, May 15, 2016
On Sunday, we’re headed back out to Monmouth Park where we’ve got FREE PICKS & ANALYSIS from John Piassek (@theyreoff)!
We thank John for taking the time to put together these selections for us today. His picks and analysis at Monmouth Park will featured on DanonymousRacing.com every Sunday this summer. We encourage you to give John a follow on Twitter – he’s one of the sharpest and hardest working young handicappers in racing.
Take it away, John…
After the excitement of opening day passes, there is always a second day to mark the beginning of the grind of the season. That’s what encounters us here at Monmouth Park: ten races greet the bettors on the Sunday card, meaning plenty of chances to make money.
For anyone local, Sunday at Monmouth will be what they call “Mom’s Day”, as the season does not include Mother’s Day this year. There will be a brunch in the Turf Club, a raffle to win some prizes, as well as a free $2 voucher for all women in attendance. If you’re in the area, be “shore” to check it out!
Race 1: Claiming $6,000, 3yo and up, 1 Mile and 70 Yards
The trick of this race is to find a horse with good form and the ability to take it a distance. The one who fits the bill the most is the 6, Paddington Express. He did not win a race in eight tries at the Tampa Bay Downs meet where he wintered, but nonetheless ran well, running brisnet figures of 76, 80, and 76 among his last four outings. Unlike a few others in the race, he’s experienced at a route, having run around two turns numerous times. He figures to sit just off the pace, and run away from his mostly mediocre rivals.
The 4, Wise Child, won at the $5,000 level last out at Tampa Bay, running a 75 while doing so, and earning a 79 two races back. His problem is that he tends to come from way, way out of it; he’s been as far as eighteen lengths off the lead in his races. In a small field, he may be closer to the pace, and it’ll be a huge part of if he wins or not. The 5, CD Gold, won two out of his last three while sprinting. He has far more early speed than anyone else in the race, so it’s just a matter of whether or not he can take his speed around two turns.
6- Paddington Express
4- Wise Child
5- CD Gold
Race 2: Maiden Claiming $12,500, 3yo and up, Fillies and Mares, NJ-bred, 6 Furlongs
It is not exactly the highest quality of horseflesh assembled here. Nevertheless, I forged ahead and made a selection, eventually settling on the 1A, Malala. She’s only run three dirt races, and all of them occurred last year. Still, they were all relatively promising, as she finished a decent third while earning a 65 last time out. She’s had two workouts while preparing to return from the layoff, while trainer Willard Thompson has a respectable 14% hit rate with horses off the layoff.
The 4, Miss Modela, has only raced on dirt twice, but they were relatively decent, earning figures of 64 and 56 in those two races. She’ll run for the second time of the layoff, so she’s a bit fresher than most of these in here. The 2, Twofour Six O One, ran two races in the mid-50s over the winter at Tampa Bay, and figures to sit close to the pace from her inside post position.
1- Ruthless T/1A- Malala
4- Miss Modela
2- Twofour Six O One
Race 3: Claiming $12,500 (n/w2L), 3yo and up, Fillies and Mares, 1 Mile
The early pick 4 begins here. My pick among these will be the 5, Awesome Challenge. She’s hit the board in four out of her last five, with two of those races being at today’s distance of one mile. Her figures have also been strong, with a 71 last out, and a very strong 79 two races ago. She had a bullet workout a few days ago to prepare for this spot, and will get the riding of one of Monmouth’s best, Nik Juarez.
The 3, Arched, was second at this level at Tampa Bay last out. She ran a 76 while breaking her maiden on the lead, so it will be interesting to see if she is put on the lead here. While it’s not terribly likely, she’d be much more dangerous if that was the case. The 2, Candystand, makes her first start beyond six furlongs here, but has been steadily improving in each of her last three races.
5- Awesome Challenge
Race 4: Claiming $16,000 (n/w2L), 3yo and up, Fillies and Mares, 1 1/16 Miles (Grass)
We’ll go to the grass for the first time on this program. I’ll look towards the outside with the 8, Starship Hostility. She made her 22nd career start her first winning one last out, defeating a maiden claiming field at Gulfstream. Usually, I’m leery of picking such horses, but she looks to be a cut above the rest anyway. She earned a 77 in that maiden win, a 71 two grass races ago, and a 77 three back. Nobody else has run better than a 74 in any of their last three grass races. As long as she keeps doing what she’s been doing, she’ll beat up on this mediocre bunch.
The 1, Durant, was a strong-closing second last out at Tampa Bay, earning a figure of 71. She’ll make her first start for the Keith Dickey barn. The 3, Where’s the Risk, ran a decent 70 in her first race off a long layoff last out at Laurel, against starter optional claiming foes. She’ll take a further drop down in class here, where she has the best average late speed among the field.
8- Starship Hostility
3- Where’s the Risk
8- Starship Hostility
6- Queen Fiddle
Race 5: Maiden Special Weight, 3yo and up, Fillies and Mares, 6 Furlongs
The 4, Bodacious Babe, looks like much the best in here. Before her last race, she had been in great form, running figures of 88 and 83 in maiden company at Gulfstream. She was very dull in her last race, finishing a non-threatening sixth while seeing her figure drop sharply. However, that was primarily because she was in an extraordinarily tough maiden race. The winner of that race, Lightstream, returned to win the Beaumont Stakes at Keeneland in just her second career start. The second-place finisher, Kareena, broke her maiden next out at Keeneland by five lengths, going six furlongs in an impressive 1:10. Third-place finisher J La Tache also came back to break her maiden next out.
Since that race, Bodacious Babe has been given a freshening, she’s working very strongly, and picks up Paco Lopez. With a lot of class relief in this spot, she’s “shore” to run much better.
The 6, Molly and Lo, missed by a neck in her debut at Tampa Bay back in March, and trainer Tom Proctor is 19% with horses off a 46-90 day layoff. The 1, Sheikh and Sleek, finished seventh in that extremely good maiden race that Bodacious Babe exits, and came out of it to run a decent second in a Florida-bred maiden race, earning an 80 figure. She picks up Joe Bravo for the riding assignment, and trainer Eddie Plesa is always dangerous at Monmouth.
4- Bodacious Babe
6- Molly and Lo
1- Sheikh and Sleek
Race 6: Maiden Claiming $40,000, 3yo and up, Fillies and Mares, 1 1/16 Miles (Grass)
The late pick 5 begins here, and I’ll begin it with the 5, Quigley’s Corner. She comes to Jersey from Keeneland by way of Santa Anita, and her two career grass races look very strong. She earned an 80 last out while finishing seventh at Keeneland, and was a close sixth two races ago in California, running a 76. She’ll get a lot of class relief in here, picks up a new jockey in Daniel Centeno, and should get the job done against these inferior foes.
The 2, Wednesdays Only, performed well off the bench last out, missing by only 2 ½ lengths against straight maiden competition. That was her route debut; she had earned up to a 78 sprinting on the grass. The 1, Gem, has run at least a 70 in four out of her five career races. She lost by 1 ¼ lengths after a traffic-filled trip last out at Gulfstream, and with clearer sailing here, she’s bound to improve.
5- Quigley’s Corner
2- Wednesdays Only
5- Quigley’s Corner
Race 7: Claiming $25,000 (n/w2L), 3yo and up, 6 Furlongs
Do I dare pick against a Todd Pletcher-trained, Paco-ridden horse? In this case, yes. On the surface, the 5, Roll Tide Roll, looks much the best. He may be coming off a long layoff, but his form last year looks vastly superior to anyone else’s: in five races, the lowest figure that he’s ever run is an 86. Only one two other horses in the field have run above that figure in their careers. Besides, Pletcher hits at 28% with horses off a long layoff. What’s to think about here?
My primary concern with Roll Tide Roll is that he never ran for a claiming price all last year. Now, he’s dropping from n/w1x allowance company to $25,000 claiming first off the layoff. That’s a bit suspicious. With this heavy of a favorite, I’m inclined to pass.
Rather, I’ll take a shot with the 4, Sugimoto. His figures in his last three at Laurel have been excellent: he’s run an 86, an 87, and an 86. He’s been close every time out there, with one third and two seconds. Among those in the field who have raced recently, he’s got the best form, so I’ll choose him to spring the upset.
5- Roll Tide Roll
2- Bully Proof
Race 8: Claiming $20,000 (n/w3L), 3yo and up, Fillies and Mares, 1 Mile (Grass)
My pick here will be the 4, Holy Scat. She showed a lot of good form over the winter at Gulfstream, winning at the n/w2L level last out there, earning a strong figure of 83. Her whole Gulfstream meet was excellent; in four races, she won one and came in second twice. She figures to rate off the pace, then sit off the pace and, if nothing else, get a share of the purse.
The 6, Scottish Sweetie, hasn’t raced on grass since December, but ran two good races over the Monmouth grass course last year, running two figures of 80 or above. The 7, Garden Games, disappointed over the Tampa Bay grass two races ago, but has run up to an 81 on the grass beforehand.
4- Holy Scat
6- Scottish Sweetie
7- Garden Games
6- Scottish Sweetie
9- Red Parasol
Race 9: Allowance Optional Claiming (n/w1x), 3yo and up, 6 Furlongs
If you toss out his last race, the 1, Still Krz, would be a standout. Excluding his dismal last outing, he has run four straight races with a figure of at least 90. He’s got the top trainer and jockey in David Jacobson and Paco Lopez, so there wouldn’t be many problems, except for that last race. Last out at Aqueduct, he threw in a clunker, finishing dead last against similar horses as today. Since that race, he’s worked three times, showing that whatever bothered him that day has passed, and he should be ready to fire a top effort here.
The 3, Blue Y Gold, won two in a row in dominating fashion last fall at Parx, including a race where he won by nine lengths and earned a figure of 102. He hasn’t raced since December, but even 90% of that last race may be good enough to win here. The 5, Mach My Day, narrowly missed last out at Gulfstream when coming from just off the pace. He’s come in second two times in a row after racing wide, so he’ll hope to save ground here.
1- Still Krz
3- Blue Y Gold
5- Mach My Day
Race 10: Claiming $7,500 (n/w2L), 3yo and up, 6 Furlongs
I’ll take a bit of a stab in the finale with the 3, Rocket Man Richie. He hasn’t run since the last Monmouth meet, but he ran well there. He earned figures as high as 80 last meet, and ran in the 70s within his last three. He’s also got a lot of early speed, so he can go out to the lead, control the pace, and possibly leave the rest in the dust.
The 10, Ideal Quality, was running figures in the 80s earlier in the year, which would absolutely annihilate this field. However, he ran a very dull race last time out for no apparent reason, and he hasn’t shown a workout since. Now, that 66 he earned there may win this race anyway, but I can’t quite put him on top. The 8, Speed Running Wild, consistently ran in the mid-70s last year here at Monmouth, but he hasn’t raced since January, and trainer Manny Berrios is a dismal 0-41 with horses off a 90+ day layoff.
3- Rocket Man Richie
10- Ideal Quality
8- Speed Running Wild
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