Monmouth Park's 50% Chance

Molly Jo Rosen

August 2nd, 2014

by D.S. Williamson

There’s close to a 50% chance of rain hitting Monmouth Park on Saturday. That could affect the feature, Race 11, the My Frenchman Stakes, a 5.5 furlong race on the turf. Let’s handicap that one for the turf but come up with picks for the dirt.

Monmouth Park 10 | 5:29 pm ET OC (30) for 3&up going 6f

2 – Italian Rules – This nine-year-old pro has banked close to half-a-million dollars and now runs first time for trainer David Jacobsen after finishing third in a $40K claimer for Chris Englehart. Italian Rules has run for John Sadler, Bill Spawr and Eric Guillot in addition to Englehart. Is there enough in the tank to pull off the upset on Saturday? I think so. Italian Rules’ greatest asset has always been his speed. Jockey C.C. Lopez will use that speed to its full effect and trainer David Jacobsen wins 26% with horses running for him first time. I’m inclined to take a shot on this guy.

6 – It’s A Bang – This three-year-old gelded son of Great Notion got pulled up and walked off of the track in the $50k Oh Say B stakes at Delaware in his last. Before that, he had won 2 out of 3 at Laurel Park and displayed the type of speed that could put him into the mix at Monmouth. Horseplayers have to like the fact that trainer Donald Barr doesn’t put him up for the claim in this and the horse does have a work on July 22, meaning, hopefully, that he’s bounced back from whatever caused the issue in the Oh Say B.

7 – Evolution Rocks –  He figures to take a lot of money at the windows. That makes him tough to put on top in this spot since this is a very deep field. The work on July 21 was spectacular, but he’s had a tendency to tire in his last 3 races and trainer Jorge Navarro does put him up for the claim. Jorge’s as cagey as they get. So, this guy could not only get claimed but also win this race, but I’ll only use in exotics as the price most definitely will not be right.

Monmouth Park 11 | 5:59 pm ET My Frenchman for 3&up going 5.5 furlongs (T)

2 – Partyallnightlong – This Put It Back seven-year-old has won 10 out of 22 and usually puts in a good run no matter what the surface. Partyallnightlong lost interest in his last after getting bumped and brushed on the backstretch. But, and here’s where it gets interesting, the old pro always bounces back after making a bad run. He did it by winning the JJ Reilly after losing the Decathlon and he could do it here. If the pattern holds expect him to be tough no matter what the surface on Saturday.

7 – Petey Cramer – Trainer Jorge Navarro really knows how to spot them and this gelding has won three in a row, all over the turf, and all at distances of 5 to 5.5 furlongs. Sure, those races were in optional claimers, but there isn’t a huge jump from an optional claimer on the turf to a $60K turf stake race. If this gets washed off, he has no shot over the dirt and will most likely scratch, but if it stays on the turf, he might be the one to back because some horseplayers could misread the supposed class jump and let his odds drift past the 4/1 morning line.

9 – Heaven’s Runaway – Trainer James Toner wins 30% with horses running second time for him and Heaven’s Runaway is sort of taking a step down in class after finishing fourth by 3 lengths in an $80K optional claimer at Belmont Park. The horses he faced in that raceshould set him up well in this. The race has to stay on the turf, but if it does, think about putting this guy on top if you’re convinced the pace will be swift because he figures to get the jump over the other closers while staying close enough to run past the speed.

Dirt:  2-Partyallnightlong, 1/1A-Bye Bye Birdie, Bern Identity, 10-Last Heartbreak