How to bet the 2022 Salvator Mile Stakes
A strong field of seven will contest the $150,000 Salvator Mile (G3) at Monmouth Park on Saturday. The finale on a big day of racing is led by Grade 1 winner #3 Hot Rod Charlie, who is the undoubted one to beat in the field.
While the Oxbow colt will not be fully cranked up for this tilt in his return from the desert, I still find it impossible to go against him in this offering.
Hot Rod Charlie had a superb sophomore campaign, placing in two Classic races, as well as producing his signature score in the Pennsylvania Derby (G1), and he picked up right where he left off in 2022. The dark bay colt kicked off his four-year-old season with a daylight victory in the second round of the Maktoum Challenge (G2), prior to finishing an excellent runner-up in the Dubai World Cup (G1) last time out.
Trained by Doug O’Neill, the future stallion has posted a handful of morning drills in anticipation of his comeback, and he has been consistently excellent since last year no matter where he lands. He will be forwardly placed from the start Mike Smith coming in to guide the star.
I am especially intrigued by the decision made by trainer Roger Attfield to run #5 Shirl’s Speight in this spot. By Speightstown, the Grade 1 winner on the lawn bagged the Maker’s Mark Mile (G1) at Keeneland two back, prior to checking in fourth in the Turf Classic S. (G1) at Churchill Downs on Kentucky Derby Day.
Shirl’s Speight didn’t fire in his lone dirt run to date and is still an obvious question mark on the surface, but the five-year-old obviously has a lot of class to him, and I will never question the moves made by his exquisite conditioner. The bay has a versatile running style, but I envision him taking back and making one run in the lane in his Monmouth debut. Emma-Jayne Wilson will be in the stirrups.
Multiple Grade 1 winner #1 Mind Control is not overly consistent, but the Todd Pletcher trainee can be very good on his best day, and he merits a lot of consideration in the event. The six-year-old son of Stay Thirsty owns a win and a third from a pair of tries on the oval, and the Kentucky-bred has also run some of the best races of his lifetime at eight furlongs. John Velazquez riding adds to his appeal.
Salvator Mile Wagers
- $30 exacta: 3 with 5 ($30)
- $10 exacta: 3 with 1 ($10)
- $5 trifecta: key 3 with 1, 5 ($10)