By Brian Monzo
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With Memorial Day Weekend here, the racing gets better throughout the Tri-State area.
Belmont Park has features on Sunday and Monday. Monmouth Park is filled with some solid races, as well. Monmouth also is having a Food Truck War.
Last week, we hit a few winners. I’m going to look deep into Sunday’s Belmont card and find a few value horses worth playing.
Sunday at Belmont:
Race 8: 57K Allowance, 6 Furlongs on the Turf
Countknickerbocker hasn’t run since September but the competition here can be beaten. He could find himself close to the lead, and with Javier Castellano on the mount, a win off the bench is very possible. Would love to see 4-1 as the price. The Big Deluxe tries winners for the first time, after winning his turf debut last month. He has one at this distance, and if he improves off the win, off the ML of 20-1, could be a solid exacta / trifecta add on. Owen Rico may go off as the chalk, and should be sitting 5-6 lengths off the lead. If the pace is slow, he will be hard from late.
Sunday at Monmouth Park:
Race 10: 75K Monmouth Beach Stakes, 1 mile and 70 yards on the dirt
Winiliscious is 8 for 14 career and 5 for 6 at Monmouth Park. She should be close to, or on the lead and if speed is holding up, she has a huge chance. Could be 5-1. Zucchini Flower is coming off a nice claiming win at Pimlico. Graham Motion knows where to place horses and this race could be where he gets this horse back to winning good races. She’s hit at this distance and is a major threat to win. Clarinda gets Joe Bravo on the mount and is trained by Christopher Clement. With the potential of the ground being moist, and her track record on a wet surface, she has to be considered. She has hit the board all three times when running on the wet ground. If she returns to form from three and four back, and coming off the pace, she will be heard from late. I am willing to throw out the last two bad races.
Let’s look at the Met Mile at Belmont on Monday:
Race 10: $750K Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap (Met Mile), 1 mile on the dirt
Flat Out is a perfect 4 for 4 at Belmont, and will likely be the chalk. Hard to argue with his gritty effort in the Grade 3 Westchester last month. I think if he is close to the lead down the stretch, and there is little to believe that he won’t be, he has the edge in experience to get it done. Top pick. Mark Valeski has hit the exacta 8 of 9 tries, and while he hasn’t run or won at a mile, he has won sprints and longer races. He is versatile and will have to run a big one but I think he cannot be overlooked. Sahara Sky is the closer of the group and gets Joel Rosario on the mount. His speed numbers are tremendous and if there is a fast pace, I can see him catching the leaders late. Huge threat here.
I will be Tweeting all weekend picks, so be sure to check them out on Twitter: @BMonzoWFAN.
Next week we will dive out west and start looking at California races.
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