Full Card at Monmouth Park

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D.S. Williamson

September 28th, 2014

By D.S. Williamson

It’s closing day at Monmouth Park on Sunday. The Oceanport, NJ track offers a full card of 10 races for horseplayers. The best on which to bet appears to be Race 9 where an abundance of speed might set things up for my final pick at the Monmouth meet.

Monmouth Park 9 | 4:42 pm ET

OC (20) 3&Up F&M going 5f (T)

3 – Runway Ready – 3/1 – Jockey Angel Serpa is going to really have to make a trip breaking from post-position 2, but if he can, then Runway Ready should be the horse that crosses the finish line first in Sunday’s ninth race at Monmouth. The Gary Contessa trainee has banked over $106K by sprinting over the turf. Her last was a fantastic fourth place finish going 5.5f over the lawn in an optional claiming $85K race at Saratoga. Jockey Julien Leparoux rode her beautifully in that race, barely missing by a length. This field isn’t nearly as talented as that one. In fact, Runway Ready enters into her lowest level since a neck loss in a 5 furlong $25K event at Gulfstream Park in March. Trainer Contessa wins 16% with shippers and put a nice 3 furlong work into Runway Ready just four days ago. With all of the speed signed up for this one, Runway Ready looks to be an attractive play.

7 – Hot Squeeze – 7/2 – Top jockey Paco Lopez takes over for this Latent Heat sired three-year-old filly. With Lopez on her back, Hot Squeeze figures to be the speed of the speed and if Lopez is allowed to nurse this one through a first quarter any slower than: 21.3, she figures to hold off all comers. She’s incredibly quick, definitely the quickest in this race, and most horseplayers would agree with me that the Monmouth turf usually plays faster than the Saratoga turf. After running a half in :44 at the Spa in her last, Hot Squeeze just didn’t have enough in the tank and ended up finishing seventh by 4.5 lengths. She gets to run a half-length less in this, picks up a top jockey for the meet, and should be incredibly difficult to run down.

8 – Subtle – 5/2 – The last is a complete throw-out since it washed off the turf. Subtle, who has recorded 5 wins and a second place finish out of 14 lifetime starts, returns to her favorite surface in this, picks up Gabriel Saez, and could be the closest to Hot Squeez as they turn for home. She’s won over $216K and trainer John Servis is not only winning at 29% at the meet, but he also wins at 31% with his last out beaten favorites. The problem, and it could be a big one, is that for a hugely successful horse, and a possible broodmare, Servis is giving her up awfully cheaply. $20,000 just doesn’t seem like enough money to ask for a horse that ran in a $62K optional claimer in early August. But before writing off her chances, horseplayers should recognize that Subtle is 2 for 2 over Monmouth’s turf and 5 out of 9 at the distance. The six-year-old mare could make her presence felt on closing day.