PAUL'S ANALYSIS FROM Belmont Park and Monmouth Park for Saturday 27 May
The feature race on At The Races Stateside on Saturday comes from Monmouth Park. The Red Bank (Grade 3) is a turf event run over a mile. All Included, who had been running well in defeat in top company until winning a Grade 3 last month, is the horse to beat. He may be on the wrong side of even money. With likely slow fractions to chase down, I was leaning towards a price chance on a more forwardly ridden horse.
The Red Bank is one of a trio of races from The New Jersey venue previewed below. There are also a quartet from Belmont Park. The one stake is scheduled to be run on turf over seven furlongs. After heavy rain on Thursday and Friday’s turf races getting cancelled, let’s hope for a good drying period.
Belmont Park Race 4 (8.04pm)
Allowance Optional Claiming – 3 year olds and upwards – 1 1/16 Miles - Dirt
Adulator (4) is just about the pick on form. he ran some big races at the end of last year and improved second time back this term. He now races in blinkers first time in effort to get his first win since last August. His main rivals all ran in the same starter stake over nine furlongs at Aqueduct in early April. Testosterstone (2) was a closing winner. The form of that race got a boost when runner up Hard Study (3) went one better next time. The third Stormin Monarcho (1) faded late on after making a mid-race move. The cut back in distance and to one turn will suit him. He’s been working well lately.
Like Hard Study, Shuffle Up (5) is an improving four-year-old. He is on a hat-trick after a starter and an entry level allowance victories.
Stormin Monarcho (1)
Belmont Park Race 5 (8.36pm)
Allowance (entry level) – New York bred 3 year olds and upwards – 6 Furlongs - Turf
Hopefully this race will stay on the turf. If not, main track only entrants Duquesne Whistle (11) and Cause For Surprise (8) look the pair to concentrate on. On grass, Shiraz (6) looks the one to beat. He’s ran two nice races since returning to the turf last month. He ran third in a stake over a mile at Gulfstream. Four weeks later, he missed by half a length at this level over course and distance.
Manifest Destiny (5) has had some time away after a couple of fading efforts over a mile at the turn of the year. He’s well worth a try over sprint distances such as today’s. Likewise Heavy Meddle (1). He rounded out 2016 with a wire to wire maiden breaker in a productive event over a mile. He sprinted well before and has been working well for his return at Saratoga.
D' Eloquent (10) is one of a few wild cards in here. He faded badly in the slop on his 2017 comeback. His turf form is much better.
Monmouth Park Race 7 (8.53pm)
Allowance Optional Claiming – 3 year olds and upwards – 1 1/8 Miles - Turf
This turf course traditionally plays well towards speed. The problem in this event is three of the seven runners entered are seen to best effect on the front end. That doesn’t have to mean a destructive speed duel but it is a definite possibility. That may soften up Infinite Wisdom (5) who comes off a fine third in a similar event at Gulfstream last month. Class And Cash (4) was in brilliant form at the same venue rattling up a hat-trick win wire-to-wire fashion since February.
Divine Oath (6) seems to have the right late running style for this. He has gone a long time since he won a race. So has Lucky Lindy (7) but that’s because he’s been away since back to back Grade 3 victories in autumn 2015. He’s been back in full work for some time breezing in Maryland after wintering in Florida. He may need this first run back but was successful on his three-year-old debut.
Lucky Lindy (7)
Monmouth Park Race 8 (9.23pm)
Starter Optional Claiming – 3 year olds and upwards – 6 Furlongs - Dirt
Dreaming Of Neno (3) and Rare Art (7) run first time via a claim for sharp operators. Jorge Navarro has freshened up the former since a big effort at the end of March. He looks an obvious wire-to-wire contender. His trainer has made a surprisingly quiet start to this meet. It will be Juan Carlos Guerrero’s first runner here this year. The former Fair Grounds-based runner needs to improve a little but may be capable of it.
Johnny U (1) made a satisfactory return at Churchill earlier this month. He won twice at this meet in 2016. He’s playable and so is Palace Barista (2) who over-achieved at 50/1 when second in a stake for Florida breds at Tampa in April. Sammy's Mineshaft (5) went one better at the same venue but in an allowance optional claimer
Dreaming Of Neno (3)
Monmouth Park Race 9 (9.52pm)
The Red Bank (Grade 3) – 3 year olds and upwards – 1 Mile - Turf
All Included (2) had ran well in defeat in decent company last year and this winter. He won his first race for a long time when taking a Grade 3 at Gulfstream in April. Based on that run and a third in a Grade 1 in February, he is the runner to beat. Todd Pletcher’s six-year-old has to give 7lbs all round. That may be less of an issue than the likely race flow. Although he has a strong finish off even fractions, his best efforts have come chasing down a hot pace. He hasn’t got that much in hand and at his likely odds, it may be worth shopping around for a price.
Can'thelpbelieving (4) won a Grade 3 here last August before going to the sidelines. He was entitled to need the run in a Grade 1 on The Kentucky Derby undercard. The worry with him is his rider is likely to set up stall even further back than All Included. That may be the wrong place to be. On the other hand Rose Brier (5) could be the ‘trip’ horse. Last year’s third may be sat just off possible leader Schoolofhardrocks (10) or even on the front. He’s likely to pinch a few lengths off his main rivals and still have a bit left for the stretch.
Rose Brier and Irish Strait (8) finished behind Synchrony (3) in a stake run on yielding ground at Laurel last month. The going may not have suited Rose Brier but it was still a fine effort from Synchrony. He has now ran big in both starts since a belated switch in March. Like a few in here, he’ll be trying to close late on.
Irish Strait (8) and Special Envoy (9) have ran some of their best races at Monmouth.
Rose Brier (5)
Belmont Park Race 8 (10.13pm)
The Paradise Creek – A stake for 3 year olds – 7 Furlongs - Turf
Big Handsome (8) has looked much improved since trainer Tony Dutrow tried him on the turf. He broke his maiden by four lengths at Gulfstream in March. A month later, he bettered that. He wired Have Another (2) by slightly further posting the best speed figure of this filed. He steps up a furlong today as well as getting a class test. With only the rail drawn runner having early speed, he is unlikely to be used up early on.
The pacey Derek's Smile (1) can be given a Mulligan for his comeback in a Grade 3 at Churchill. He was ‘unprepared at the start’ losing 10 lengths out of the gate, losing all chance. He wired a stakes field at Gulfstream prior to that in February. He and Big Handsome could be unsuited to rain affected turf if it is energy-sapping. By contrast, Kitten's Cat (4) may thrive in the conditions over a distance arguably short of his best. He is a dual stakes winner and has excuses for his last two starts.
Mongo Nation (7) has been freshened up since back to back victories in February and March. Take out the last run of Big Handsome and his speed figures are as good as any in here. Saratoga stakes winner as a juvenile Harlan's Harmony (6) is interesting on his three-year-old debut.
If this stake comes off the turf, much of the attention will be on main track only Line Judge (3) who faded in a Grade 3 over two turns on his last start as a juvenile. Small Bear (5) comes off a career best when second in an allowance event over seven furlongs on the dirt. He’s a chance at a likely decent price.
Kitten's Cat (4)
Reversed Exacta (2 Bets) Kitten's Cat (4) and Big Handsome (8)
Belmont Park Race 9 (10.45pm)
Allowance (entry level) – Fillies and Mares - 3 year olds and upwards – 6 Furlongs - Dirt
Eloquent Riddle (3) is looking to rebound after a one paced eighth in a Grade 2 at Gulfstream on her three-year-old debut. All her runs as a juvenile were fine ones. A maiden breaker on debut was followed by placed efforts in stakes events. In terms of speed figures, her best run came over today’s distance. This is a big drop in class from a deep Florida Grade 2 to an entry level allowance event.
Sky Gesture (2) went to the sidelines after fading badly in a Grade 3 Eloquent Riddle ran third in back in November. That was the second time a mile looked too far for her, at least until she learns to settle. On her only other start, she looked filly with a future, breaking her maiden sprinting on debut at Saratoga.
There are some interesting last time maiden winners in here. Downtown Mama (1) won at first asking at Laurel last month. So did Nocturnal Mission (8) on her career debut at Aqueduct. Sheplaysthefield (5) posted a bigger speed figure on her graduation at Keeneland. She did have the benefit of three previous outings.
Bow Town Cat (7) is a threat to steal this. Riot Worthy (6) has earned he connections almost $300,000. A lot of that has come in place money. She has similar claims here.
Eloquent Riddle (3)