Monmouth Dirt Stakes Spot Plays for July 23
Three stakes races on the main surface help comprise the signature day of the summer meeting at Monmouth Park on Saturday. Conditioner Chad Brown has imposing horses in each of the contests and I think that he will sweep the dirt stakes races.
Race 8 – Monmouth Cup S. (G3)
Brown has a formidable duo in the 1 1/8-mile contest. I will give a slight edge to #6 Pipeline (3-2) as I like his chances of enduring the distance a bit more than his stablemate. By Speightstown, the four-year-old colt had a solid three-year-old season and commenced 2022 with a smashing allowance tally when going a one-turn mile at Aqueduct.
Pipeline posted a healthy 99 Brisnet Speed figure in his lone two-turn try to date, and I feel that he will appreciate the nine-furlong voyage on Saturday. Manny Franco retains the ride atop the talented colt.
Race 10 – Molly Pitcher S. (G3)
A classy field of seven fillies and mares will go postward in the 1 1/16-mile affair. Brown’s #3 Search Results (3-2) is the clear one to beat in my opinion, and I expect the talented four-year-old to deliver.
The 2021 Acorn S. (G1) heroine exits a fine third-place showing in the loaded Ogden Phipps S. (G1) last time out, and a repeat of that showing will make her super tough on this occasion. Flavien Prat will guide the Flatter filly.
#1 Leader of the Band (6-1) is two-for-three locally and comes off a gritty score in the Lady’s Secret S. when running down a clear one on the oval. The John Servis pupil is not overly consistent, but she runs well at Monmouth and gets the nod to complete the exacta in this spot.
Race 12 – Haskell S. (G1)
Although there are four Grade 1-winning sophomores in the field, I simply can’t go against #7 Jack Christopher (3-2) for Brown. The electric three-year-old has cruised home a clear winner in each of his four races to date, and while the Munnings colt has never run two turns, I don’t imagine that the distance will pose a problem to him. The chestnut will prompt the pace from the start under regular rider Jose Ortiz.
I also think that #6 White Abarrio (5-1) is a live contender in this endeavor for Saffie Joseph. The Florida Derby (G1) victor had a very good prep for Saturday when second against a solid cast in the Ohio Derby (G3) in advance of his local bow. The son of Race Day has good tactical speed and will get first run on the deep closers turning for home.