Player Quick Pick: Monmouth for 7/5/2014

Molly Jo Rosen

July 5th, 2014

by D.S. Williamson

On Saturday, Monmouth’s feature is the $100,000 Long Branch Stakes for three-year-olds. The dirt race should serve as a decent betting warm-up for horseplayers to the Grade 1 United Nations on Sunday.

Monmouth Park 9 | 4:49 pm ET Allowance (52) for 3&up NJ F&M going 6f

4 – Even So – This daughter of Stephen Got Even goes first time for trainer Hugh McMahon. McMahon wins at 17% first off the claim. What horseplayers should really like is how this filly came on along the rail in a 5.5 furlong race in her last before finishing second by 1.75 lengths. There’s a ton of speed in here. If she can make out a trip, she could surprise. One thing to note is that McMahon really jumps her in class. Horseplayers can either take that as a positive or a negative.

6 – Birch’s Creek Bigd – Trainer Daniel Lopez wins at 0% with his last out maiden winners, but this Stonesider sired three-year-old filly was ultra-impressive in her maiden score. She attracts the services of Paco Lopez and for that has to be taken very seriously in this. Paco could keep Birch’s Creek Bigd about 3 lengths off of the likely fast pace before making a move to the wire. Like Even So, the race appears to set up for this presser.

7 – Cookie Cookie – A drop to state-bred maiden claiming $10K led to a 7 length score. Sure, this is much different than the maiden victory and trainer Manuel Barrios isn’t known for winning right back, but this race is wide-open and jockey Orlando Bocachica can make magic happen with long shots. It wouldn’t be wise to bet the farm, but putting Cookie Cookie into your exotic wagers makes all the sense in the world.

Monmouth Park 11 | 5:54 pm ET Long Branch 3yo going 1-1/16 mi.

4 – Misconnect – Todd Pletcher has been incredible at Monmouth. He’s winning at 30% and he has a good shot to increase that win percentage with Misconnect who looked like a winner as they turned for home in the $150K Easy Goer Stakes on Belmont Day only to fade to fourth. Kid Cruz won that race after Misconnect made a daunting move to get into contention. There are no Kid Cruz’s in this field and Misconnect might be in perfect position along the backstretch since the likely pace-setter, Encryption, breaks from post-position 1. Joe Bravo takes the call. We all know how good Joe is at Monmouth, making Misconnect the bet of the day at the Jersey Shore on Saturday.

1 – Encryption – The other speed is to the outside of Encryption, meaning that it’s likely that the four-year-old colt sired by Exchange Rate gets the lead as soon as they break from the gate. Paco Lopez rides, which only helps matters, and since Encryption breaks from post-position 1, Paco should not only get the lead but he should be able to save all of the ground. If nobody goes with Paco early, then he can definitely take this one gate-to-wire in the Long Branch Stakes.

2 – Irish You Well – The third place finisher in the Peter Pan was brilliant when breaking his maiden after 9 tries in his last race. Wayne Catalano has a 2-1-1 record out of only 5 starters this meet. He’s definitely placing his horses well. Jockey Orlando Bocachica takes over for Joe Bravo who jumps to Misconnect. Irish You Well is talented enough to win this. He only finished 6.75 lengths behind Tonalist in the Peter Pan. If the $170K 2012 Keeneland September Sale purchase learned something in the maiden score, don’t be surprised if he beats both Encryption and Misconnect.