By Tom Quigley
$300,000 Monmouth Cup (G3) at Monmouth Park
Race 10 (Saturday, July 18, 2020: 4:40 p.m./ET; 1:40 p.m./PT)
Mile and an eighth on the main track (three-year-olds and upward)
Last year’s Monmouth Cup (G3) was won by the versatile and gutsy gelding WAR STORY and this year’s edition attracted 10 similar talented older horses. It’s a terrific betting affair, so let’s try to cash big with the following analysis:
#1 GLOBAL CAMPAIGN ran a disappointing race as the favorite in his most recent start, the Blame Stakes at Churchill Downs, where he finished sixth behind G1 placed rivals OWENDALE and EVERFAST. His three-year-old season last year was a solid one, winning the Peter Pan (G3), finishing third in the Jim Dandy (G2) and running fifth behind Grade I winner’s CODE OF HONOR and VEKOMA in the Fountain of Youth (G2). Blinkers come off today for this son of Curlin.
#2 MONONGAHELA made his first start for the Chad Brown barn over a muddy racetrack and ran poorly. Brown thrives with runners making their second start in the form cycle and this gelding should get a fast track to compete on today. His lone career start at Monmouth resulted in a Grade 3 victory while earning a triple digit Beyer Speed Figure last year.
#3 SENIOR INVESTMENT had a three-race win streak snapped last time out when running poorly over a muddy surface. But he has never run well over a wet surface, so one can be forgiving for his last effort. Two of his aforementioned victories came in allowance races at Laurel Park and Parx while the third victory was recorded in a minor stake racing at this distance.
#4 HARPERS FIRST RIDE looks to win his third race in a row after a pair of 94 Beyer Speed Figures and back-to-back wins against allowance competition at Laurel Park. He sports a strong 6-for-10 lifetime record, but this is by far the toughest field he has ever competed against.
#5 MATH WIZARD makes his second start off a layoff for trainer Saffie Joseph Jr., who wins at a strong 25% clip with his trainees making their second start between 61-180 days. Son of ALGORITHMS failed to make an impression in a starter handicap race at Gulfstream Park last month and has been unable to hit the board in his last three races. As a three-year-old, he won the Pennsylvania Derby (G1) and was in-the-money in both the Ohio Derby (G3) and Indiana Derby (G3).
#6 CORE BELIEFS is another who makes his second start off a layoff. Son of QUALITY ROAD finished third in an allowance race at Churchill Downs last time out and should be set for a peak effort, albeit against a tougher group. He holds two stakes wins to his name: victories in the Ohio Derby (G3) and the New Orleans Handicap (G2).
#7 JOEVIA has lost by double digit lengths in his last three races. However, both career races over the Monmouth Park oval have resulted in trips to the winner’s circle. His last win came in an allowance race at Aqueduct four starts ago, so he’ll need to run a lot better than he has in his most recent afternoon appearances.
#8 JUST WHISTLE was all heart to win the Sunday Silence Stakes at Gulfstream Park in May before a poor performance against TACITUS two weeks ago on July 4 in the Suburban (G2) racing 10 furlongs. Earlier in the year, he finished second ahead of #10 BODEXPRESS in the Hal’s Hope (G3). His best race puts him in the hunt.
#9 BAL HARBOUR makes his 2020 debut for trainer Gregory Secco, who is 1 for 9 (11%) with trainees making their first start off a layoff over 180 days. Note he ran third, beaten seven lengths, by top class older handicap horse TOM’S D’ETAT at Keeneland last October as well as almost winning this race last year (lost by a head).
#10 BODEXPRESS went off favored in the Hal’s Hope (G3) at Gulfstream and had to settle for third, finishing a half-length behind #8 JUST WHISTLE for second. He is the controlling speed and very well may clear off up front. He ran at this mile-and-an-eighth distance in the Florida Derby (G1) last year and finished as the runner up behind MAXIMUM SECURITY (as a maiden).
1. #1 GLOBAL CAMPAIGN - Excuse his last start and he has some great races on the page.
2. #9 BAL HARBOUR – Back class is there.
3. #6 CORE BELIEFS - Two-time stakes winner should be ready for his best effort.
LONGSHOT VALUE PLAY - #3 SENIOR INVESTMENT-Speed figures stack up with the rest.
I’ll box all four selections in trifectas, play an exacta box with my top three choices and make a straight win bet on my top choice.
BANKROLL PLAY ($50 Budget)
$1 Trifecta Box: #1 GLOBAL CAMPAIGN and #3 SENIOR INVESTMENT and #6 CORE BELIEFS and #9 BAL HARBOUR ($24).
$1 Exacta Box: #1 GLOBAL CAMPAIGN and #6 CORE BELIEFS and #9 BAL HARBOUR ($6).
$20 Win: #1 GLOBAL CAMPAIGN
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