By Tom Quigley
$200,000 Monmouth Oaks (G3) at Monmouth Park
Race 11 (Saturday, August 1, 2020: 5:31 p.m./ET; 2:31 p.m./PT) Mile and a sixteenth on the main track (three-year-old fillies)
A marathon 13-race card on Saturday at Monmouth Park is highlighted by the Monmouth Oaks (G3) for sophomore fillies on the dirt, with the winner receiving 50 valuable KY Oaks (G1) points. Let’s do our best to pick out the cream of this crop:
#1 DREAM MARIE stalked the pace before eventually getting outfinished by #8 PROJECT WHISKEY in the Delaware Oaks (G3) on July 4 in a Beyer Speed Figure career best effort for her. Earlier in the year, she finished third behind multiple graded stakes winner TONALIST’S SHAPE in the Davona Dale (G2). One of the top jockeys at Monmouth, ‘Jersey Joe’ Bravo, retains the mount.
#2 PRINCESS CADEY was clearly third best when finishing behind #1 DREAM MARIE and #8 PROJECT WHISKEY in the Delaware Oaks (G3). She outran her 14/1 odds but unless she runs a career best, a minor award may be her ceiling again.
#3 MARKET RUMOR makes her first start after a five length runaway victory against maiden special weight rivals at Keeneland on July 12. This is not an easy spot first out against winners, but she won handsomely. Wouldn’t totally discount.
#4 HOPEFUL GROWTH adds blinkers for trainer Anthony Margotta Jr., who is 4-for-13 (31%) with such an equipment change. This daughter of TAPITURE went off as the 5/2 second choice in the Delaware Oaks (G3) and disappointed, sitting off the pace while failing to fire in fifth. Her best races have come when she is close to the pace, so expect her to be in the topflight with the equipment change and best running style in mind.
#5 PIECE OF MY HEART came out of the Delaware Oaks (G3) starting gate as the 9/5 favorite and ran fourth after setting the pace with pressure. She looks to be the quickest filly in this race and may prove tough to reel in if she can establish a clear early advantage this time. Before her most recent stakes try, this McLean Robertson trainee won an allowance and minor stake at Oaklawn. A rebound effort off her last start makes her live.
#6 LUCREZIA put up a much better than looked effort when finishing as the runner up behind next out Grade 2 winner SWISS SKYDIVER in the Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2) two starts back. She freshened up after that and returned three months later in the Acorn (G1), losing by many lengths to superstar talent GAMINE. This is a much easier spot, she makes her second start off a layoff and picks up the services of leading Monmouth jockey Paco Lopez. She fits.
#7 COMICAL lost by double digit lengths in the Delaware Oaks (G2) for trainer Steve Asmussen. In previous races, she has finished behind #5 PIECE OF MY HEART and #6 LUCREZIA, losing a total of eight races in a row. Not for me.
#8 PROJECT WHISKEY routed for the first time in the Delaware Oaks (G3) and beat the field at massive odds (38/1). She’ll need to prove that score was no fluke as her two other career victories came as a two-year-old at Parx when sprinting seven furlongs.
#9 EVE OF WAR gets back to dirt for trainer Todd Pletcher after an off-the-board finish in the Regret (G3) on turf at Churchill Downs. We know she can be effective on the main track because she broke her maiden by six lengths on dirt in her career debut at Gulfstream. Her best efforts have come when she makes the lead, so she may be set to take on #5 PIECE OF MY HEART for the lead.
1. #5 PIECE OF MY HEART - Versatile and the best filly with her best race.
2. #6 LUCREZIA - Drop in class will help.
3. #9 EVE OF WAR - In Todd We Trust.
LONGSHOT VALUE PLAY-#3 MARKET RUMOR - Recent maiden win was eye catching.
I’ll make a straight win bet on my top pick and box my top two picks and longshot value play in exactas.
BANKROLL PLAY ($50 Budget)
$20 Win: #5 PIECE OF MY HEART
$5 Exacta Box: #3 MARKET RUMOR and #5 PIECE OF MY HEART and #6 LUCREZIA ($30).
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