Player Quick Pick - Monmouth - 9/6/2014

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D.S. Williamson

September 5th, 2014

By D.S. Williamson

There’s a 60% chance that the rains hit Monmouth Park on Saturday, September 6. That shouldn’t affect the race that I highlight below, though, because all 9 entrants have run over, and has had success over, off tracks. The Charles Hesse III Handicap is also shaping up as one of the most competitive on the card.

Monmouth Park 8 | 4:28 pm ET Charles Hesse III Hcp 3&UP NJ Breds going 1-1/16 mi.

7 – Silent Appeal – 5/2 – Yes, the race is competitive, but it’s still hard to look past the morning line favorite, Silent Appeal. The Claudio Gonzalez trainee has an excellent record. From 35 lifetime races, Silent Appeal has won 10 while finishing second and third 3 times each. The six-year-old gelding has won 3 out of its last 4 races and absolutely loves the Monmouth dirt surface with 6 wins from 20 starts. Silent Appeal is also 2 for 2 on the off going. Expect jockey Gabriel Saez to park Silent Appeal on the throat latch of Dancing Lion if not take the lead right from the gate. Either way, Saez is sitting on the likeliest winner in the eighth race at Monmouth on Saturday.

5 – Carl’s Only Vice – 4/1 – It’s not often that you find a closer that excels over the Monmouth dirt. Carl’s Only Vice is one such closer. The Macho Uno four-year-old gelding has won two in a row. In both races, the gelding was behind by at least 8 lengths at the first call. By the second call, Carl’s Only Vice was behind by 2.75 lengths in his last race and behind by 4 lengths two races ago. Trainer Stephen DiMauro is winning at 22% at the Monmouth Meet and jockey Victor Santiago has ridden this gelding before. The only knock is that Carl’s Only Vice has won two races in a row. Is he really good enough to win three? We’re going to find out.

4 – Dancing Lion – 7/2– Jockey Paco Lopez has a brilliance that cannot be overlooked. Dancing Lion lost two races by a combined 28 lengths before Lopez hopped aboard and guided the four-year-old son of Touch Gold to a second place finish in a state-bred $55K allowance. Paco is turning into one of the best jockeys in North America if not the world. His dominance at Monmouth Park is also impressive. Lopez wins with 29% of his mounts at the New Jersey track. What separates Paco from a lot of other jockeys among other things is his ability to ration a horse’s natural speed and his feel for pace during a race. That makes it very difficult to beat Paco when he’s on the front end aboard a horse that naturally likes to run on the lead like Dancing Lion. Silent Appeal is the better horse, but there’s no doubt that Lopez will add a couple of lengths to Dancing Lion’s chances in this race. If Saez aboard Silent Appeal let’s Paco get away with an easy lead, Dancing Lion will win the Charles Hesse III on Saturday.