Pro Player Picks - Monmouth - 8/24/2014

D.S. Williamson

August 24th, 2014

By D.S. Williamson

Big Blue Kitten will be the chalk in Race 11, the Grade 3 Cliffhanger Stakes on Sunday. Is he the play, or will Winning Cause or Plainview ruin the favorite’s day.

Monmouth Park 10 | 5:09 pm ET

OC (20) 3&UP going 6f

2 – Scatter Joy – 3/1 – Trainer Eddie Plesa Jr. has really placed this horse well when putting him into races where he can pick up paychecks but where he can’t get claimed. The same situation arises in this race where Scatter Joy, coming off of a smashing 5.25 length victory, keeps Paco Lopez and runs in an optional claimer. Paco can go right to the front or run just off if the pace is too swift early. Either way, Scatter Joy has a good shot to win his fifth out of eleven.

9 – Evolution Rocks – 7/2– The 3-1-1 record out of 8 lifetime races at Monmouth puts Evolution Rocks into the thick of this, but trainer Jorge Navarro drops him in class and puts him up for the claim. That’s not a good sign considering that the horse has won 9 out of 28 races and has banked over $205K. Still, he’s awfully fast and should be the one with the best chance of beating Scatter Joy at the top of the stretch.

3 – Coolusive – 7/2 – The stone cold closer will need Scatter Joy and Evolution Rocks to run fast early, but if that happens, then Coolusive could win the fifth race of his career. His record of 3-2-1 out of 8 lifetime races at the 6 furlong distance is a good sign and having Trevor McCarthy ride won’t hurt his chances at all.

Monmouth Park 11 | 5:41 pm ET

G3 Cliffhanger Stakes 3&Up going 1-1/8 mi (T)

7– Big Blue Kitten – 3/2 – It’s tough to get past the chalk in this Grade 3. The six-year-old horse sired by Kitten’s Joy has been stellar in his career with 11 wins from 20 races. That’s more than a 50% win rate. He actually took home both the United Nations and the Sword Dancer in 2013. This year, trainer Chad Brown has taken his time with Big Blue Kitten since this is only his second race in 2014. A big win here might put Big Blue Kiten back into the Breeders’ Cup.

6 – Plainview – 9/2– This super-fast Street Cry gelding can go gate-to-wire on any given day. He ran 6 furlongs in 1:10.2 in his last and only lost to Big Blue Kitten by 1.5 lengths. The brilliant Edgar Prado takes the call. If he can nurse Plainview on the lead to a 1:12 or even 1:11 6 furlongs, everybody else in this could be running for second.

2 – Winning Cause – 3/1 – This Todd Pletcher trainee took a lot of money in the $100K John Call in his last only to finish fourth by a length. That appears to be this son of Giant’s Causeway’s modus operandi since he has 4 wins out of 21 races but no victories in his last 10 races. The low odds seem assured because of his stellar speed ratings. A victory doesn’t.