Race Preview: Monmouth Stakes - Monmouth Park, June 9, 2013

Matt Carter

June 9th, 2013

The feature race on Sunday at Monmouth Park is the Grade 2 Monmouth Stakes at nine furlongs on the turf. The $200,000 race drew a field of nine with Boisterous the 5-2 morning line favorite.

Things didn't go as fully planned on Saturday for the Phipps Stable and trainer Shug McGaughey, but they will regroup and tackle the Monmouth field with Boisterous, who is coming off a second place finish in the Grade 3 Ben Ali over the Keeneland polytrack. Boisterous is a Grade 2 winner on the turf and with the stablemate Point of Entry running in and winning the Manhattan on Saturday, Boisterous ships south to Jersey. The six-year-old horse rarely runs a bad race and is a must use in any trifecta play. Perhaps the one knock, if this can be considered a knock, is that he hasn't brought his game to the next level to win a Grade 1.

The lone Grade 1 winner in the field is Wrote, the Irish-bred winner of the 2011 Breeders Cup Juvenile Turf. He only ran in four races after that, his last coming in June 2012. Not sure how he is off the long layoff making his first start for new trainer Andrew Mitchell. Mitchell also trains Learn, another Irish-bred that was formerly in the Aidan O'Brien yard. Learn has a start this year and should be better fit, second off the layoff. The two run as an uncoupled entry.

Big Blue Kitten and Rahystrada exit a one-two finish in an allowance race at Churchill Downs last month and can hit the board to spice up the exotics. Rahystrada has a bit of back class, winning the Grade 3 Arlington Handicap in July 2012. Big Blue Kitten and the favorite Boisterous should have a favorable pace scenario with at least three horses in the race that like to free wheel it up front. Tune Me In is probably best of the front-runners, but will need to dig in deep late to hold off the favorites.

Post time for the Monmouth on Sunday is 5:26 pm ET.