Monmouth Park: August 13, 2017, By Brian Leckie

Race 1 

Selections: 7-6-2

#7 Trevino finished in front of Valentino’s Day last time but was disqualified for drifting out in the stretch. Valentino’s Day returned to finish third in a claiming race yesterday at Monmouth, getting bet down to 3/2 and holding his own while being pressured on the lead before giving in after a mile or so. Trevino’s speed figures are much better than anyone else in the field and is a prime candidate to break his maiden fairly today. #6 Rogue Warrior ran a great race two back, though not sure what happened last time but I’ll chalk it up to a dislike of the good surface. I also like the jockey switch from Maysonett to Hernandez. #2 Talented Zealous is an enigma yet again. He gets a big class drop and stretches out to a mile. Trainer Enrique Arroyo is trying to pull out all the stops here to turn this horse around, including the addition of blinkers. Will all this be enough to put this horse on the right track? We’ll soon find out.

Race 2

#1 Nothin But Trouble gets a huge class from drop $50k maiden claimers to $25k maiden claimers with speed figures that tower over this field. He should win easily. I’m wouldn’t play against him, despite the presence of Navarro first time starter #3 Great Rhythm.

Race 4

Selections: 3-4-1

#3 Madison Blues was second by a neck to Frosty Lady, who took a $25k maiden claimer next out at Saratoga on July 31. Madison Blues also won at the $16k level two back under Eddie Castro, and granted while he got a dream trip saving ground along the rail, he is drawn near that post and has speed drawn to his inside. I think he is a good candidate to repeat again in his current form. #4 Scottish Sweetie took a $20k claiming race last time and is stepping down to this level where he won three back going an extra 1/16. Brisnet speed figures are just a bit light compared to the top selection, though. #1 Luckystrikedelcoco hasn’t run out of the money at this level on the turf going back ten starts. He should get a good ground-saving trip from the rail and I can easily see him running in the trifecta again.

Race 7

Selections: 3-7-4

#3 Credo faced intense pace pressure in each of his last three starts, but there isn’t much competition on the front end of this race so he should finally get a breather. This makes him a dangerous candidate to wire this field. Toss the last as it was against a very salty Jersey bred stakes field. I’m going to be keying him in doubles. #7 Unruly Heir won impressively last out against open company and returns to state breds today. I’m picking him second because of how I think the expected pace is going to unfold. Uh oh, we’ve got an unknown here with Navarro claiming #4 R Jolley Dreamer for $12k and stepping him way up to state bred allowance company. Eddie Castro is 73% in the money for Navarro over the last two months. Is Navarro trying to mess with our heads here? The strangeness of this leads me to think you have to use him. But I, too, think he is up against it from a pace perspective as he is primarily a closer.

Race 8

Selections: 1-3-7

#1 Thirsty Actor just broke his maiden, but that was a very impressive start first time out on the turf and he exploded to a big new top Brisnet speed figure. Maybe he’s found a new calling? I picked him last time at 12-1, and I’m going to pick him again. #3 Passport to Chaos ran very well two back at this level and Nik Juarez has yet to finish out of the money on him. Nik and Jason Servis are also 72% in the money together over the last two months. I would use this horse as a trifecta key in all slots. #7 Minister’s Strike is Mark Casse’s first starter this meet and is looking for class relief here away from stakes company and very competitive open claimers at Saratoga. But will this be good enough to right the wrongs? The figures fit.

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