The 11th running of the Grade II, $200,000 Monmouth Stakes is set for Saturday at Monmouth Park. A field of eight will fight it out over 1 1/8-miles on the turf course. Post time for the Monmouth Stakes, Race 11 on a 13-race program, is 5:32 p.m. ET.
#7 SYNCHRONY (5-2, morning-line favorite) should be able to bounce back off a dull seventh in the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic in Saturday’s Monmouth Stakes. This race represents a drop in class for SYNCHRONY, who won four graded stakes on grass in 2018 and added another to his résumé this February. Two of those victories were in Monmouth’s Oceanport and Red Bank Stakes last summer. SYNCHRONY is drilling well for this for Michael Stidham, who names Trevor McCarthy to ride. He should get an honest pace to close into with MARKITOFF, UP THE ANTE and IRISH STRAIT all preferring to be forwardly-placed.
#5 IRISH STRAIT (9-2) fits in the Monmouth on the horse-for-course angle, if nothing else. He’s 12-4-2-4 all-time at the New Jersey oval, with four of those placings occurring last summer. IRISH STRAIT is 2-for-3 to start 2019, with a stakes score at Laurel (the Henry Clark) to boast. Jorge Vargas Jr. maintains the assignment on the probable pace-presser.
#1 MONARCHS GLEN (8-1) was unlucky in his stateside bow, breaking slowly before attempting to rally seven-wide in the Opening Verse Stakes at Churchill Downs. He made up over eight lengths from the start to the wire but could only manage to be sixth. However, MONARCHS GLEN stands to benefit from that effort as he shook off the rust from an October layoff. He’ll also pick up a needed extra furlong. MONARCHS GLEN was 3-2-1-0 at the nine-furlong trip in his native Great Britain. Jose Lezcano has the call.
The play: $5 exacta 7/1,5 ($10)
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