Monmouth Park Horse Racing Picks for Saturday 7/18/20
With most of the sports world on pause, it's a great time to dive into horse racing, and FanDuel Racing gives you the chance to do just that.
Starting at 12:00 p.m. EST, we have 14 races at Monmouth Park. Using our numberFire projections as a guide, here are some of the best bets.
As always, check the program for scratches and changes, and check the weather and track conditions.
(I will reference Equibase's Speed Figure in selected races, which tells you how fast a horse has been running in each of its races -- adjusted for track, distances, and conditions.)
Core Beliefs and Math Wizard, Race 10
FanDuel Racing Odds: 12/1 and 10/1
Race 10 is the $300K Monmouth Cup (G3) with 10 runners going 1 1/8 miles. It should be one of the best races of the day.
The favorite Monongahela (3/1) for EPO trainer Chad Brown has leading Monmouth rider Paco Lopez in the irons. Guaranteed Tip Sheet likes Monongahela and notes Paco has finished 5-5-3 in his last 14 mounts – that’s five wins and five runner-up finishes with 13 in-the-money. We’re still not picking him to win, but Daily Horse Picks has Monongahela on top followed by Bal Harbour (7/2).
Core Beliefs (12/1) must be included running third off a long layoff last month, which followed nine straight graded stakes races and some solid runs and results, and he popped a 103 speed figure off the layoff.
Harper’s First Ride (12/1) will come from off the pace, as well. He’s been dominating at Laurel Park, and Super Screener notes he’s the only horse showing top recent form. He has six wins in 10 starts, including two straight off a layoff and four straight triple-digit speed figures. He steps up in class but is capable at a price.
Find room to add Math Wizard (10/1) at these morning line odds, He won the Grade 1 Pennsylvania Derby last fall with a 121 speed figure. Off a layoff last month, he hit 101 speed figure but missed the money. This is a Breeders’ Cup Classic runner who finished fifth last year and will be closing from off the pace.
There have been some sharp works for Senior Investment (10/1) in July, and he won back in March in minor stakes. Had four straight triple-digit speed figures until his poor race last month off a layoff in the mud.
Jovia (20/1) won in January, and he finished third in last year’s Belmont Stakes. He has not been good in two early-year races and missed the board last month but showed improved speed. He's a presser who is 2-for-2 over this track.
Global Campaign (9/2) can be very good, and the distance suits him.
Corelli and Muggsamatic, Race 11
FanDuel Racing Odds: 10/1 and 8/1
Race 11 is the $300K United Nations (G1) with nine runners going 1 3/8 miles on the turf. It's a wide open affair with good payoff potential.
The favorite Arklow (5/2) should be considered going longer on the turf for EPO trainer Brad Cox. Mike Smith rides and will likely be coming from off the pace, but Arklow’s disinterest at times like last race just six days ago has you wondering if he can fire better like he did in June with a 114 speed figure.
Corelli (10/1) adds blinkers and Lasix. He’s a closer and showed well overseas last summer. His U.S. debut last month at this distance produced a 105 speed figure, but he missed the board at 5/1 odds.
Standard Deviation (7/2) is a contender who will be closing and is 2-for-2 on this turf course. He moved to trainer Graham Motion from Chade Brown the end of last year and is 0-for-2 in 2020.
Sometimes when a trainer tries something new and the horse responds, it can really help the horse move forward. Paret (6/1) had been a sprinter but has found his groove going longer. He’s hit the board in five straight races and won his only start this year, going wire-to-wire at very long odds and a fast pace on the Belmont turf last month.
Muggsamatic (8/1) should be pressing Paret, and he’s bred to go long. It can’t hurt to have EPO trainer Mike Maker feeding you. Muggsamatic has won four of his last six starts the past year, running mostly in minor stakes races, and his lowest speed figure was 99. Add in two runner-up finishes, and he should be included in exotics and horizontals in case, too.
Authentic, Race 12
FanDuel Racing Odds: 4/5
Race 12 is the $1 million TVG.com Haskell Stakes at 1 1/8 miles. There are just seven entries for this “Win and You’re In” Breeders’ Cup series race with the winner earning entry to the $7 million Breeders’ Cup Classic at Keeneland November 7. And for the first time ever, the Haskell is a Kentucky Derby points race with the top-four finishers earning Derby points (100-40-20-10).
The favorite is Authentic (4/5), who we’ll endorse but not with a ton of backing at this price. His implied odds at FanDuel Racing suggest a 56% probability of winning. Authentic probably won’t win the Kentucky Derby, which he’s already qualified for, as his breeding probably won’t get the distance like others. Authentic has won 3-of-4 starts but showed some weakness when running 1 1/8 miles for the first time in the Santa Anita Derby. He couldn’t hold the lead and slowed in the stretch to finish second as the heavy favorite. Authentic still hit a triple-digit speed figure for the third straight time with a best of 113 back in January.
His biggest challenger is the second choice Dr Post (5/2), who showed he can close and go longer when finishing second in the Belmont Stakes. I don’t see Ny Traffic (9/2) showing enough improvement to overtake the top two, and Ny Traffic has yet to hit triple-digit speed figures.
Both numberFire and Daily Horse Picks (DHP) have the race playing to form with Authentic and Dr Post finishing 1-2, and DHP gives the speed and class advantage to Authentic.
A longshot capable of hitting the board is Jesus’ Team (15/1), who won a pair of races during the pandemic and then finished second last race against better with a career-best speed figure of 106.
Here is some more information on the Haskell Stakes
Archidust, Race 13
FanDuel Racing Odds: 7/2
The minor Wolf Hill Stakes at 5 1/2 furlongs in the turf drew 12 entries. Nearly half of them are seven-year-olds or older, and Archidust (7/2) is cycling up to his best performance. The Steve Asmussen four-year-old won a turf sprint here last summer and is 3-for-3 hitting the board in turf sprints. HRN's Super Screener notes his balanced energy distribution and upside to come from off the pace and win.
The favorite Shekky Shebaz (5/2) will be pressing a pair of front runners for new trainer Christophe Clement. He's the top choice of numberFire. Shekky Shebaz has been off four months and likely is not the same horse after getting his extra fill from EPO trainer Jason Servis.
Dubini (9/2) is a closer and is one of the older horses in this race. He should get a fast pace to run into and will have to be his best in his second outing off a long layoff.
Smart Remark (10/1) is another closer to consider at a price. He was scratched from a tougher stakes race last weekend and offers value with a good late run.
Lonhtwist (8/1) has shown a strong turn of foot and has faced better. Lonhtwist had a sharp recent work and is a closer who could also benefit from the fast pace.
Royal Flag and Vault, Race 14
FanDuel Racing Odds: 3/1 and 9/2
Race 14 completes the card with the $250K Molly Pitcher (G3) at 1 1/16 miles. Eleven fillies and mares crank it up, and Royal Flag (3/1) can get it done as the second choice behind favorite She’s a Julie (5/2). They break from the two inside posts, and Royal Flag gets the extra boost of EPO from trainer Chad Brown (just sayin’). She’s improved and is the lightest raced runner in the field with Guaranteed Tip Sheet placing her on top. She's got balanced energy, and a big move forward is projected in her second start since February.
It's likely a hot pace is in order, and She’s a Julie will be tough if she repeats her last career-best 106 speed figure in winning the Ogden Phipps (G1) last month at Belmont. She also won a Grade 1 last summer.
Vault (9/2) will likely benefit from the fast pace and sit off and be ready to pounce. She is 8-for-8 hitting the board at this distance and is one to include in exotics and horizontals with solid win potential. Mike Smith picks up the mount, and his runner can Vault forward for EPO trainer Brad Cox.
Horologist (5/1) is 4-for-4 at Monmouth and gets leading rider Joe Bravo for new trainer Bill Mott. She breaks from the far outside and comes from off the pace and is the second choice at numberFire behind She's a July. Horologist is capable if she runs back to two races ago, and longshot Queen Neika hits the board going by numberFire's projection.