Monmouth Park Turf Stakes Spot Plays for July 23
A trio of turf stakes races will take place at Monmouth Park on Saturday.
Race 3 – Wolf Hill S.
The 5 1/2-furlong dash attracted eight. I believe that #3 Proven Strategies (7-2) may have found his niche as a turf sprinter following a huge try on the course when runner-up in the Select S. last time out.
The Mark Casse trainee has long flashed ability going longer, but I loved his try most recently when rallying from well back early to just miss under the wire on the cutback in trip. The gelded son of Sky Mesa is very appealing to me with Nik Juarez in the silks.
Race 9 – Matchmaker S. (G3)
The nine-furlong affair attracted an ultra-competitive field of eight fillies and mares in one of the more challenging handicapping puzzles on the entire card.
#8 Core Values (8-1) endured a solid three-year-old campaign and seems poised to run her best race of 2022 in this affair. Trained by Vickie Oliver, the daughter of Honor Code comes off a decent run in the New York S. (G1) last time out and will enjoy the cut back in distance on this occasion.
Core Values has a nose for the wire when she is in contention, and I like that trait in a field with numerous contenders that often settle for minor awards. Florent Geroux riding adds to the intrigue. I will use her with nearly every other contender in the cast.
Race 11 – United Nations S. (G1)
A total of 10 turf stayers will travel 1 3/8 miles in the grassy contest. #10 Gufo (3-1) is a gem for conditioner Christophe Clement and I will side with the five-year-old in a competitive field.
The 2021 Sword Dancer S. (G1) victor has put in a trio of very solid performances this season and will be super tough to hold off with his top showing on Saturday. He has the tactical speed to overcome drawing widest in the field, and the chestnut colt possesses arguably the best turn of foot in the field as well. Regular rider Joel Rosario will be in the stirrups atop the consistently good Otter Bend color bearer.