Monmouth Park: How to bet the Monmouth Oaks
At first glance, Saturday’s Monmouth Oaks (G3) appears to be a rematch of last month’s Delaware Oaks (G3). The top six finishers from Delaware Park’s signature race for sophomore fillies are back to wage battle at Monmouth Park.
But the Delaware Oaks unfolded in surprising fashion. The 37-1 longshot, #6 Project Whiskey (6-1), dug deep in the stretch to defeat the rallying #1 Dream Marie (9-2) in a driving finish, with #2 Princess Cadey (6-1) not far behind. The favorites — #5 Piece of My Heart (7-2), #4 Hopeful Growth (6-1), and #7 Comical (6-1) — all came up empty when the real running began and weakened to finish out of the money.
We could spend our handicapping time dissecting the Delaware Oaks form, in an attempt to split hairs and separate which of these fillies is most likely to produce a winning. Or we could take a contrary approach, toss them all for win purposes, and favor the accomplished newcomer, #6 Lucrezia (4-1).
A daughter of leading sire Into Mischief, Lucrezia won the Sandpiper S. and Suncoast S. during the winter at Tampa Bay Downs. She proved her worth against high-class competition in the March 28 Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2), where she battled to a runner-up effort, behind top Kentucky Oaks (G1) contender Swiss Skydiver, and finished eight lengths clear of Dream Marie.
Lucrezia came up empty when she returned from a three-month layoff in the Acorn (G1) at Belmont Park, but her large margin of defeat isn’t as bad as it appears. The Acorn saw Gamine win in record-shattering fashion, by 18 3/4 lengths, so Lucrezia can be forgiven for chasing Gamine’s fast pace and weakening down the stretch.
A drop in class for the Monmouth Oaks should help Lucrezia rebound in her second start off the layoff. She has turned in a couple bullet workouts at Fair Hill in preparation, and hot jockey Paco Lopez (26-for-77 at Monmouth) has picked up the mount.
A simple win bet on Lucrezia will be our main wager, but we’ll also play her over fellow newcomers #3 Market Rumor (12-1) and #9 Eve of War (10-1) in the exacta, just in case we can beat the Delaware Oaks form completely and catch a lucrative payoff.
$22 to win on #6 Lucrezia
$4 exacta: 6 with 3,9 ($8)