Category : News
Fri 27/05/2016 – 13:11 EDT
With a field of nine veteran sprinters set to contest the six furlong John J. Reilly Handicap May 28 at Monmouth Park, the morning line odds may suggest more about the competitive nature of the race than any other handicapping tool.
With Green Gratto tabbed as the 3/1 morning line favorite, contention runs deep in what could be a juicy payout for handicappers able to develop a solid opinion. Green Gratto ships from New York for trainer Gaston Grant and takes a sharp drop in class to return to the ranks of state-restricted New Jersey breds. The confirmed front-runner finished third in the Diablo Stakes May 8 at Belmont after competing in three consecutive graded stakes events. Green Gratto won the Grade 3 Fall Highweight last November at Aqueduct, but hasn’t been quite as sharp in 2016. Anything close to his best form would make the six year-old the one to beat.
Chub facing better
Chubilicious (4/1) has won 5 of 12 career starts and steps up in class to confront his first stakes field. The Jorge Navarro trainee finished fifth last out in an allowance race at Parx and will surely need to show up with a better effort to have any say in the outcome.
Saucy Don returns from layoff
Saucy Don is also listed at 4/1 on the morning line and should give a good account of himself as the veteran runner has hit the board in 17 of 27 career starts. The Teresa Pompay trainee may need a race, however, while making his first start since a third place effort last September in the New Jersey Breeders’ Cup Handicap.
The field is set for the $1 million Haskell, where Nyquist will be trying to re-stake his claim as the top three-year-old in the country.
On Sunday at Monmouth Park, the featured race is the $300,000 United Nations Stakes. Scheduled to be run at a mile and three-eighths on the turf, the Grade 1 event has drawn a field of ten colts and geldings.
On Sunday at Monmouth Park, the featured race is the $150,000 Pegasus Stakes, a key prep race for the Haskell Invitational (G1). The Grade 3 event will be contested at a mile and a sixteenth and has drawn a field of seven three-year-olds.
With five grade 1 races and a grade 2, the undercard for the June 11 Belmont stakes could be the best single day of racing on the calendar outside of the Breeders’ Cup.