Monmouth Park Saturday: Former Derby Hopefuls Return

Chris Adams

Written by: Chris Adams

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Read Time: 7 minutes

Monmouth Park Saturday: Former Derby Hopefuls Return cover


Saturday’s feature at Monmouth Park is the Grade III Philip H. Iselin Stakes. The dirt route race will see the return of recognizable names.

The Iselin Stakes

The Iselin Stakes, a prestigious Grade III thoroughbred horse race, is one of the major events at Monmouth Park during the summer meet.

Distance and Surface

The Iselin Stakes is contested over a distance of 1 1/16 miles, providing a captivating middle-distance challenge that tests the speed and stamina of its participants. This Grade III event takes place on the dirt surface of Monmouth Park’s racetrack, offering a true test of a horse on a surface that demands both power and finesse.

Given the distance and surface the race is often littered with names that even casual race fans will recognize from previous runnings of the Kentucky Derby.

Purse and Prestige

With a purse of $250,000 attracting top-tier competitors, the Iselin Stakes is a race that not only garners attention but also rewards excellence. Horses and connections strive to secure victory in the Iselin Stakes, for glory and to secure breeding value.

Famous Winners

Code of Honor wins the Iselin at Monmouth Park
Code of Honor wins the Iselin at Monmouth Park

Over the years, the Iselin Stakes has seen the rise of legendary champions that have left an indelible mark on the racing world. Names like Skip Away, Ghostzapper, and Code of Honor grace the list of past winners, each contributing to the event’s illustrious history.

Successful Jockeys:

The Iselin Stakes has attracted some of the most skilled jockeys in the sport, each adding their expertise to the pursuit of victory. Renowned riders like Jerry Bailey, Eddie Maple, and Chris DeCarlo have triumphed in the Iselin.

Local jockey Paco Lopez leads all active jockeys with three wins in the race dating back to 2011.

Successful Trainers

Behind every successful horse stands a dedicated trainer, and the Iselin Stakes has witnessed the brilliance of several prominent trainers who have guided their charges to victory.

Trainers such as Todd Pletcher, Bobby Frankel, and D. Wayne Lukas have demonstrated their ability to prepare horses for the race. Pletcher can tie for the most wins in the event if Weyburn can get the job done in the 2023 edition.

Full Card Analysis

Full Card Selections
Full Card Selections

Monmouth Park- 1

Scheduled Start: 12:40 PM ET; Distance: 1 1/16 miles; Surface: Turf; Purse: $19,000; Maiden Claiming; Field Size: 14

  • #9 APEROL SPRITZ (7-2) receives the top selection. Anticipate a formidable effort in the final stretch despite the challenging situation. There’s a chance she could rally with a strong run.
  • #4 PIMENOVA (4-1) appears primed for contention in this context. Recent performances have demonstrated remarkable consistency, setting the stage for a notable showing here.
  • #2 BOLT OF PARADISE (5-1) presents itself as a marginal contender in this competition. The pedigree aligns well with the race demands, suggesting it might lead the field in terms of class.
  • #3 NEVER SO LUCKY (5-1), showing room for improvement after the initial start, might be best utilized as a support choice on most tickets. Like Aperol Spritz, she could make a compelling push in the stretch if things align favorably.

Selections: 9 – 4 – 2 – 3

Monmouth Park- 2

Scheduled Start: 1:07 PM ET; Distance: 1 1/16 miles; Surface: Dirt; Purse: $24,000; Claiming; Field Size: 6

  • #6 COAL MINE (4-1) earns the top pick. Previous demonstrations of handling similar conditions indicate its competence. Its past races have been of a caliber to outperform the current group.
  • #5 BODIL (15-1) represents an intriguing long-shot candidate with potential competitiveness. An even running style could bode well under the right pace scenario.
  • #1 SAWEETIE GIRL (3-1) carries the chance to contend in this race. An even pace approach might be a fitting strategy, and being trained by David with Olver in the saddle adds to the appeal.
  • #3 LOOKINATLIGHTENING (2-1) stands as a marginal contender. Previous successes in similar conditions make it an interesting prospect, and its power rating leads the group.

Selections: 6 – 5 – 1 – 3

Monmouth Park- 3

Scheduled Start: 1:35 PM ET; Distance: 5 furlongs; Surface: Turf; Purse: $55,000; Maiden Special Weight; Field Size: 13

  • #6 CAMILA T (9-2) debuts with a promising outlook and secures the prime spot. Avila and Olivero’s partnership enhances her credibility. Her pedigree aligns aptly for this contest.
  • #3 AMY MULE (6-1) displays the potential to improve from its inaugural run, solidifying its position as a fringe contender. Successes in comparable conditions establish its competency.
  • #13 BYRD OF EDEN (5-1) positions itself as another fringe contender. Holding a strong class position, it could potentially dominate the field’s early pace.
  • #5 BINGO’S DREAM (15-1), a long-shot prospect, should be considered for secondary ticket placements. Under Delgado’s guidance with Torres as the jockey, it holds promise after recent robust performances.

Selections: 6 – 3 – 13 – 5

Monmouth Park- 4

Scheduled Start: 2:03 PM ET; Distance: 6 furlongs; Surface: Dirt; Purse: $22,000; Claiming; Field Size: 7

  • #4 MISS CASEY (3-2) takes the lead among the contenders. Boasting the highest overall power rating, it’s expected to be part of the leading runners and a formidable presence down the stretch.
  • #3 DEL REY DOLLY (5-2) positions itself as a marginal competitor with notable class credentials. Situated in the second tier of runners, it could execute a well-timed charge toward the front.
  • #6 TAKE CHARGE ERICA (4-1) should be factored into secondary tickets. Its early pace contribution might present a challenge for the frontrunners. It’s a potential threat if it establishes a lead.
  • #7 SALSA RITA (8-1) holds potential for secondary ticket inclusion. It could pose a threat by securing an advantageous lead position.

Selections: 4 – 3 – 6 – 7

Monmouth Park- 5

Scheduled Start: 2:31 PM ET; Distance: 1 mile; Surface: Turf; Purse: $27,500; Claiming; Field Size: 14

  • #14 GRADED ON A CURVE (4-1) assumes the top position. Its past performances are of a caliber to surpass this group. It’s a sensible pick for the board.
  • #2 DREAM LINER (7-2) possesses potential despite challenges. It might need a strong late run, but it’s not out of contention.
  • #8 CORDUROY ROAD (8-1) carries hopes of a competitive outing. Distance isn’t expected to be an issue, enhancing its likelihood to perform well.
  • #9 DUBBY DUBBIE (4-1) is worthy of consideration for secondary tickets. Its speed figures support its inclusion.

Selections: 14 – 2 – 8 – 9

Monmouth Park- 6

Scheduled Start: 2:58 PM ET; Distance: 1 mile 70 yards; Surface: Dirt; Purse: $60,000; Allowance Optional Claiming; Field Size: 8

  • #3 ROADTRIPTONOWHERE (3-1) emerges as the standout choice. With the Moore-Lopez partnership, it holds consistency in pace figures that align well with a moderate-paced race.
  • #2 CATCH THE SMOKE (5-2) establishes itself as a key contender. Being the class leader and maintaining consistent pace figures positions it well.
  • #6 BEYOND BEST (4-1) is expected to contend effectively. Consistent pace figures make it suitable for this moderately paced event, fitting into the competition.
  • #7 YOUR ANALYSIS (7-2) is a competitive entry. Its speed figures lend support, with the combination of Gonzalez and Torres enhancing its appeal.

Selections: 3 – 2 – 6 – 7

Monmouth Park- 7

Scheduled Start: 3:27 PM ET; Distance: 1 1/16 miles; Surface: Turf; Purse: $57,500; Allowance; Field Size: 12

  • #1 THE CLASSY ONE (9-2) seizes the lead as the top choice. It should handle the distance well and could benefit from a heated pace upfront.
  • #2 RUDA (7-2) is a strong contender. A mid-pack strategy with a strong late run could position it favorably.
  • #4 NO VALLA (3-1) appears to be the class leader. Its superior power rating reinforces its standing as a major player.
  • #5 PANOTTI (8-1) presents a marginal candidacy. Its previous performances are solid enough to rival the competition.

Selections: 1 – 2 – 4 – 5

Monmouth Park- 8

Scheduled Start: 3:56 PM ET; Distance: 1 1/16 miles; Surface: Dirt; Purse: $250,000; Philip H. Iselin Stakes; Field Size: 6

  • #1 WEYBURN (5-2) earns the leading position. It enters the race in excellent form, guided by the Pletcher barn and Lopez in the saddle.
  • #4 ZOZOS (6-5) is expected to contend prominently. Consistent pace figures and an overall power rating dominance set it apart.
  • #3 FAR MO POWER (10-1) emerges as a possible surprise contender. Its consistent pace figures align well with this moderately paced race.
  • #5 TRADEMARK (9-2) remains competitive. Its consistent pace figures suggest suitability for this race pace.

Selections: 1 – 4 – 3 – 5

Monmouth Park- 9

Scheduled Start: 4:25 PM ET; Distance: 1 1/16 miles; Surface: Turf; Purse: $57,500; Allowance; Field Size: 10

  • #6 SAMBURU (6-1) leads the field. It exudes class and displays performances capable of surpassing this competition.
  • #4 HOKU (7-2) holds a strong position as a major contender. Its top overall power rating reinforces its candidacy.
  • #5 RONSTADT (6-1) emerges as a key player. With suitable speed figures, a mid-pack position and late charge could be effective.
  • #9 COSMIC SPECULATION (3-1) is well-poised to compete. Its speed figures and the Orseno-Lopez partnership enhance its credibility.

Selections: 6 – 4 – 5 – 9

Monmouth Park- 10

Scheduled Start: 4:54 PM ET; Distance: 6 furlongs; Surface: Dirt; Purse: $22,000; Claiming; Field Size: 8

  • #2 SONG SAVER (9-5) captures the lead position. Past successes in similar conditions support its selection.
  • #7 BULLET ON TAP (5-2) emerges as a contender. Distance is not expected to be a hindrance for this entry, which has shown ability to handle comparable conditions.
  • #3 DANCE STEP (5-1) holds prominence as a contender. Consistent pace figures align well with the race pace, making it a compelling choice.
  • #5 ANNA VOLANTE (7-2) presents itself as a viable contender. Speed figures are in its favor, positioning it as a sensible selection.

Selections: 2 – 7 – 3 – 5

Chris Adams
Chris Adams

Chris first got introduced to horse racing in 2009 at Canterbury Park (Shakopee, MN). Along with handicapping and betting, Chris has worked as a teller at his local track and participated in ownership partnerships. He now enjoys sharing his passion with his wife and two young daughters who love going out to the track each and every summer.

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