Player Quick Pick: Monmouth for 7/12/2014

Molly Jo Rosen

July 12th, 2014

by D.S. Williamson

Two great turf races deserve the attention of horseplayers at Monmouth on Saturday. Race 8 is a route over the grass while Race 10 is a 5.5 furlong turf sprint.

Monmouth Park 8 | 4:10 pm ET Claiming (30) 3&up going 1 mi. (T)

8 – Tom Kitten –  Now seven-years-old, this 10 race lifetime winner is on the verge of breaking the $200K earnings level. Tom Kitten needs less than $3,000 to do it. That would be a nice accomplishment for the gelding. Jockey Orlando Bocachica knows him well and he’s tried different tactics, running on the pace in one race and closing from behind in the other. Neither tactic put Tom Kitten into the winner’s circle. In fact, the horse hasn’t finished first, second or third, in any of his 3 races over the Monmouth turf. The pace should be swift on Saturday, though. So, the tough closer has a big shot to get his picture taken.

2 – Fort Boonesborough – This five-year-old gelded son of Pioneering steps up in class, but should get a nice trip stalking the front-running chalk, Street Game. Trainer Patrick Marrotta doesn’t saddle them often, but when he does, they’re almost always live. He’s won 6 out of 12 this year. 4 of those victories came at Monmouth where he has saddled 6 horses. The move up in class is a sign that Marrotta thinks he’s got another with a shot on Saturday. Fort Boonesborough breaks from post-position one, which could be advantageous if jockey Pedro Cotto Jr. gets him out of the gate and right behind the speed before the first turn.

4 – Dr. Goldfarb – This Orientate five-year-old gelding goes first time for trainer Patrick McBurney. McBurney wins 20% first off the claim. McBurney also claimed Dr. Goldfarb right back after losing him to Patricia Farro two races ago. It’s always nice to see a trainer claim a horse right back after losing him. Jockey Angel Serpa could use Dr. Goldfarb’s speed to press up front but it’s more likely that he keeps the winner of over $116K in the second flight, close to Fort Boonesborough. That could prove to be winning tactics in this tough to handicap event.

Monmouth Park 10 | 5:12 pm ET Optional Claiming (20) 3&up going 5.5f (T)

2 – Ginger Goose – Trainer Edwin Broome ran this one at the open $40K claiming level on May 24. That race was switched from the turf to the main track and Ginger Goose had all sorts of trouble at the beginning of the race, which is why he ended up losing by 12 lengths. Back on his preferred surface, the four-year-old gelding should be tough because he’s got enough speed to stick with the front-runners from the outset. Jockey Gabriel Saez steps aboard the tractable two time winner that shows 3 works since the May 24 run.

6 – Didn’t Take It – The gelded son of Put It Back has a case of the dreaded, debilitating, seconditis. Out of the 38 lifetime races, Didn’t Take It has run second 10 times. The percentage that Didn’t Take It has finished second in his life is almost exactly the same, 26% to 27%, as trainer Jorge Navarro’s win percentage. Both second place finished under Navarro were at 5.5 furlongs and over the turf. Is this the day that Didn’t Take It finally gets into the winner’s circle again? Possibly, but at the expected short odds I’m going to pass to play to win.

1 – Wildcat Creek – Paco Lopez, who continues to win races at an incredible percentage at Monmouth, will pilot this Eddie Plesa trainee that drops from the $30K claiming level to this $20K optional claiming level. Paco should be aboard the speed of the speed and if he gets separation early, then forget it. Wildcat Creek will most likely be gone. Like Didn’t Take It, the odds should be too short for a win wager on Wildcat Creek.