We head to Monmouth Park on Wednesday afternoon for horse racing action.
Race 3 - Claiming $12,500 (Purse - $35,000) Ten 3-year-old and upward male runners, along with four also-eligibles, will go one mile on the turf.
13 Juan Pablo (ML 3/2) appears to be the best here, but he is an also-eligible, so it is possible that the 4-year-old gelded son of Street Sense will scratch. Juan Pablo has been markedly consistent since moving to Jose Delgado’s barn off of a claim. The Kentucky horse takes a drop-in class, and While he has run well at this distance and Monmouth overall, Juan Pablo is still searching for his first victory in NJ.
#7 Total Tap (ML 9/2) has performed decently well since moving to Michael Stidham's barn off the claim five races ago, cashing twice, including one win. The 6-year-old gelding has five wins and seven top-three finishes overall at this distance and is 4-1-1-0 lifetime at Monmouth.
#1 Sadler Bay (ML 5/1) seemingly likes Monmouth Park, registering five cashes in seven starts, and has three second-place finishes over his last five outings.
#10 Kitten Street (ML 8/1), who also loves saddling up at Monmouth, and #8 King of Ranch should also be considered in exotic bets.
Best Picks: I will go with a win bet on the #13. I will also go with an exacta box of #13, #7, #1. Additionally, I like a value show bet on the #10, particularly if there is a scratch among my top three selections.
Race 4 - Maiden Claiming $40,000 - $30,000 (Purse -$30,000) Twelve 2-year-old fillies will sprint six furlongs. There is not a lot of speed in the field, leaving the race pretty wide open.
#4 Timed Out (ML 3/1) returns to the natural surface after closing well to nab a fourth-place finish in her first turf race the last time out. The Kentucky-bred horse is also returning to this level for the first time since she made her debut on Aug. 20. She has the best ESpeed rating (65) of all of the competitors in the field at this distance and recorded a third-place finish in her last try at six furlongs. I don’t expect Timed Out to be among the top flight at the beginning of the race, she should be right there at the wire.
#3 Nora Radd (ML 8/1), who has produced three solid workouts recently for trainer Kathleen O’Connell, is making her debut. O’Connell’s female horses have fared well their first time out, winning 16% of the time while producing a 41% WPS percentage overall.
# 10 Katies Courage (ML 6/1) is coming from the 10 hole, but if she is able to get off to a good start, expect her to be a contender. She had a difficult time at the gate in her debut but broke quickly at the start and was a contender against $50,000 claimers before weakening and finishing a distant third on Aug. 26. Trainer Jeremiah Englehart has an 18% strike rate with horses coming off of 31-60 days off.
#11 Crystal Orb (ML 10/1) and #12 Pulling Strings (ML 9/2) could also be involved despite their outside post draws.
Best bets: I like a win bet on the #3. I also will like a $1 exacta/trifecta box on #4, #3, #10. Additionally, a show bet on the #3 and #10 could return some value.
Race 8 - Allowance (Purse $50,000) Eight 2-year-old runners, including one filly (Exogen), will go six furlongs in what should be an extremely competitive race with five strong contenders.
#5 Inner Ghost (ML 4/1) is making his debut on the dirt. However, the Kentucky gelding is cutting back from a mile and is coming off a 44-day rest -- trainer Michael Stidham’s horses have a 19% strike rate over the past year when coming off a 31-60 day break. I expect the son of Ghostzapper, who is coming off two solid workouts, to be in the top flight of the race in the early going. Plus the Stidham-Hector Diaz Jr. combo has been pretty successful over the last 365 days.
#4 Basso (ML 2/1) followed a fabulous debut with a strong rally to finish third -- just 3 lengths behind Pickin Time in the Smoke Glacken Stakes at this distance the last time out here at Monmouth (Sept. 27).
#2 No Cents (ML 7/2) could be a huge factor if he can avoid trouble that has plagued the son of Goldencents the past two races. The New Jersey colt followed a second-place finish -- despite getting off to a slow start -- in his debut with a six-length victory in a $59K maiden special weight event the last time out at this distance. Jockey Nik Juarez, who has a 38% career WPS with 2-year-olds, gets the ride for the third straight race.
#1 Heir Port (ML 6/1)is cutting back from a mile and has jockey Joe Bravo, who is 11-5-1-1 during the current meet at Monmouth, in the saddle. Heir Port also has produced two good workouts for trainer Dale Bennett whose horses have fared well coming off a break of 31-60 days.
#6 Singlino (ML 4/1) is stretching out to the current distance for the first time but is coming off two straight victories.
#8 Exogen (ML 12/1) has her work cut out but is coming off a victory in her debut. Racing under trainer Kelly Breen -- who has a 31% winning percentage off the claim -- for the first time, the daughter of Dialed In has trained well recently though she is stretching out from five and one-half furlongs in her last outing.
Best Picks: Since this race is so wide open, the best pick may be to go with a #5, #4, #2, #1, 10 cent superfecta box. I also like an exacta box of #5,#4, #2. In addition, I like a show bet on the #5.