Race Preview: Red Bank Stakes - Monmouth Park, May 17, 2013

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Matt Carter

May 18th, 2013

While most eyes will be on Pimlico and the Preakness, there is another graded stakes race taking place just up 95 then a right to the Jersey shore and Monmouth Park where the Grade 3 Red Bank stakes will be run. The one mile turf race drew a field of 12 with Za Approval the 3-1 morning line favorite.

Za Approval has not run since he took the Grade 3 Appleton at Gulfstream Park in late March. It was the fifth win of his career and the first stakes win. He only has two workouts since that race and has a better record second off the layoff so he may prove to be a vulnerable favorite on Saturday. If he needs one, there are plenty of other contenders to choose from.

Monument Hill, Finale, Tune Me In, Javerre and Bad Debt are all either 6-1 or 8-1 on the morning line with Sleepless Knight, Hobbs, Mezzano and Utley at 10-1. Needless to say, but contention runs deep.

Monument Hill just won an allowance race over Finale at Gulfstream Park, but two starts back finished behind Finale and Bad Debt. Finale is one for one over the Monmouth turf course having won the Continental Mile as a two-year-old. Tune Me In loves the Monmouth turf course with five wins, four seconds and three thirds in 13 career starts. He won the Grade 3 Oceanport and Grade 3 Cliffhanger over the track last year. Navarre is making his first start over the turf while Sleepless Knight has not won since before November 2011, a streak that is at least 12 races.

That leaves Utley, a new face into the stakes race. The five-year-old son of Smart Strike was highly thought of as a juvenile and has come into his own over the past year. Since 2012, Utley has won four times in seven starts. Like his name sake, Chase, Utley will try to hit one out of the park at Monmouth on Saturday.

Post time for the Red Bank is 6:00 ET. Plenty of time to get some extra cash for a wager on the Preakness.