$150,000 Eatontown (G3) at Monmouth Park on Race 5 (Saturday, August 29, 2020: 2:29 p.m./ET; 11:29 a.m./PT) Mile and a sixteenth on turf (fillies and mares, three-year-olds and up.)
Another 14-race card is on the docket for Monmouth Park on Saturday, and the premier race of the day, the $150,000 Eatontown (G3), features a trio of Chad Brown runners set to take on five other runners. So the handicapping question becomes, will the East Coast turf master continue his winning ways or will another horse figure out a way to spring the upset against the Brown army? Let’s try to answer that question:
#1 LA AUSTRALIANA freshens up after a neck victory in the Treasure Coast Stakes at Gulfstream Park on June 7th. Before that 14/1 upset, this filly finished off the board in five straight races. Expect her to sit well off the pace and make one sustained run.
#2 REPATRIATED GEM (GB) comes off an allowance win as the favorite on August 1 over this turf course. She sports a bullet work leading up to this for trainer Mike Stidham, who has won at a 27% clip (8-for-30) this meet.
#3 NOOR SAHARA (IRE) is the first of three starters in the field for trainer Chad Brown, who is 7-for-20 (35%) at the meet. This Irish bred filly lost by a neck in her most recent afternoon appearance, the De La Rose Stakes at Saratoga. Joe Bravo rides and he and Brown win at a 29% clip together.
#4 TAPIT TODAY makes her second start off a layoff for the (you guessed it) Chad Brown barn. Last time out, this daughter of TAPIT lost by a length-and-three-quarter to stablemate #7 NAY LADY NAY in the Matchmaker (G3) over this turf course. Will likely go off as the highest price of the three Brown runners.
#5 MADITA (GER) makes her North American stakes debut after an off-the-board finish in her most recent start, a second level allowance race at Belmont. Even if she runs back to her two-back effort, speed figures indicate she’ll need to run a career best to win.
#6 VALIANCE last raced at Colonial Downs for trainer Todd Pletcher and won by a nose in a second level allowance race. Last year, this filly won the Open Mind Stakes here and is a perfect two-for-two over this turf course.
#7 NAY LADY NAY (IRE) went off favored in the Matchmaker (G3) for Team Brown and was all out to beat stablemate BEAUTIFUL LOVER and next out winner FEEL GLORIOUS. Another that has won both career races over the Monmouth turf, this daughter of NO NAY NEVER is a picture of consistency, with four wins and one second from seven lifetime starts. The likely post time favorite.
#8 VALEDICTORIAN set the pace in last month’s Matchmaker (G3) before weakening to sixth. Although she has won four-of-six starts over the Monmouth Park turf, she possessed much better form in 2019 and will need to run back to that form in order to win this race.
#9 GOTHAM GALA is a main track only entrant and there is a possibility this may occur as there is projected rain throughout the day. She is winless in two starts on turf, but is four-for-eleven on dirt, so clearly she is best on the main track (but has never competed over a sloppy track).
#10 SUPER TIGRESS is another main track only entrant and would need complete form reversal to be competitive with these.
1. #3 NOOR SAHARA – Has won over soft turf before.
2. #7 NAY LADY NAY - Strictly the one to beat.
3. #4 TAPIT TODAY - Not out of the question.
LONGSHOT VALUE PLAY - #6 VALIANCE - Well-bred filly has won a stake on this course before.
I’ll box my top three picks in exactas and make a straight win bet on my top choice.
BANKROLL PLAY ($50 Budget)
$5 Exacta Box: #3 NOOR SAHARA and #4 TAPIT TODAY and #7 NAY LADY NAY ($30).
$20 Win: #3 NOOR SAHARA
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