It will be another hot day at the Jersey Shore, with temperatures hitting 90 degrees with a chance of a few isolated thunderstorms.
Sunday’s featured race is the $100,000 Long Branch for three-year-olds going 1 1/16 miles on the main track.
The co-feature on the 11-race card is the $75,000 Mr. Prospector, which drew a field of eight runners who will go six furlongs on the main track.
My Best Plays Report for Sunday includes my eight strongest plays from Belmont Park and Monmouth Park.
We had a few surprises on Saturday, as I did not anticipate either Mucho Macho Man running so well or To Honor and Serve and Agave Kiss running so poorly.
The biggest surprise had to be Agave Kiss in the Victory Ride (G3). The filly was sent off as the 2-5 chalk as she was seeking her seventh consecutive win to start her career.
She was hammered in the show pool, and as she faded to finish a well beaten fifth.
The winner Emma’s Encore came flying late as the biggest price in the field, returning $80.00 for a $2 win wager.
Bridgejumpers are either still floating in the Hudson or they drowned. The winner paid $61.00 to show, runner up Jamaican Smoke paid $18.60, and third place finisher Tu Endie Wei returned $25.60.
Emma’s Encore was saddled by 83 year old hall of fame trainer Allen Jerkens, known as the “Giant Killer” for numerous upsets throughout his long career.
“I saw her break [on the television monitor], and then I couldn’t find her because I didn’t have the energy to walk out here,” Jerkens said in the winner’s circle. “I finally made it. I thought I was going to pull a Walter Brennan. Remember that movie [“Kentucky,” released in 1938]? He died when he got to the winner’s circle.
“It’s so nice to be back and win one. [Owner Brenda Mercer] sent her to me [in Florida], I never knew the lady before, and then after she won she sold a half interest to Mr. [ Peter] Berglar. I guess he’s pretty happy now, too. I know I am.”
Jerekens said next up for the upset winner may be the Prioress (G1) at Saratoga on August 4.
Emma’s Encore Sends Bettors Jumping Off Bridges
To Honor and Serve was my top pick in the Suburban and the Bill Mott trainee tracked the early pace in good position and had nothing left in the tank in the stretch, fading to finish fourth.
Mucho Macho Man, who won the Sunshine Millions Classic and Gulfstream Park Handicap (G2) bounced back nicely off his third place finish in the Alysheba (G2) at Churchill Downs on May 4 to win the Suburban in impressive style.
Sent off as the fourth choice in the field of seven, the Kathy Ritvo trainee returned his backers $13.60 with the late running Hymn Book landing second, the $2 exacta paying $73.00
Mucho Macho Man Rolls in Suburban
Michael Dempsey provides his selections for Belmont Park each racing day. Mike’s Best Plays Report is available each weekend, with his strongest plays and selections including the top stakes races.
Let’s head out to Monmouth Park for Sunday’s featured race of the day:
Monmouth Park Race 11 The Long Branch (Post time 5:48 ET)
7 Macho Macho 5-2
5 Done Talking 5-1
2 My Adonis 7-2
6 Good Morning Diva 3-1
Analysis: Macho Macho made a mild late rally to finish third last out in the Matt Winn (G3) at Churchill Downs in his first go in stakes company. The Steve Asmussen runner was a good looking winner two back going seven furlongs against Alw-1 optional claimers. He earned a solid figure in that win and the effort was flattered when the third place finisher Mile High Magic came back to beat Alw-1 foes in his next outing on June 9 at Hollywood Park. The cot faces a bit easier here and figures to move forward in his second start around two turns.
Done Talking won the Illinois Derby (G3) three back with a good late run which put him into the Kentucky Derby (G1) where the colt was not much of a threat in a 14th place finish, getting a bit of a tough trip. Ham, Smith decided to try him in stakes company just two weeks later and he ran evenly in a seventh place finish. It looks like he came back a bit too quick and the trainer said it was not exactly a wise move. The colt has worked smartly since his last outing and should bounce back with a better effort in this spot. The barn is 21% winners (with a +ROI) moving runners from turf to dirt.
My Adonis makes his first start since running eighth in the Belmont (G1). The colt looked like he was Derby bound after a third in the Holy Bull (G3) and a second in the Gotham (G3) but he failed to fire his best in the Wood Memorial (G1), tracking the early pace and fading to finish seventh. The cut back in distance along with the class drop should suit this guy.
WIN: #7 to win at 5-2 or better.
EX: 5,7 / 2,5,6,7
TRI: 5,7 / 2,5,6,7 / 1,2,5,6,7