Monmouth Park Picks & Analysis for May 28

Monmouth Park opens its doors for the first time in 2021 on Friday
Monmouth Park opens its doors for the first time in 2021 on Friday

Amid a jockey whip controversy that has left the racing program in shambles, Monmouth Park gets underway for the first time in 2021 on Friday. Our in-house handicapper has you covered with all the Opening Day action, including picks for every race and additional analysis of his strongest opinions on the six-race card.

If you're looking for picks elsewhere around the country on Friday, be sure to check out our Free Horse Racing Picks via the gold button below.

Most Likely Winner:  Firenze Freedom (Race 2) - It’s going to be awfully tough to beat Firenze Freedom in this race as this 4-year-old filly is in career form and shifts to a venue at which she figures to perform even better. She’s been running some solid races on the NYRA circuit lately and may have even stepped up her game since adding blinkers two starts ago, however I’m anticipating further progress from her as she ventures to Monmouth, where her trainer Kelly Breen does a phenomenal job, though even if she simply maintains her current form she probably won’t lose.

Best Value:  Riptide Rock (Race 5) - The Jersey Derby provides a needed reprieve from an Opening Day card at Monmouth that lacks much substance. While I have a lot of respect for morning-line favorite It Can Be Done, who has consistently outrun his odds in his young career, I can’t resist picking Riptide Rock as he finally gets back over turf. A Stronach Stables homebred, Riptide Rock began his career rather impressively last fall on the turf at Woodbine, where he rallied to an easy victory going six furlongs with a 73 Beyer Speed Figure. Since his trainer Jerry Hollendorfer was based at Oaklawn Park over the winter, he was then forced to run exclusively on dirt, a surface over which he did have some success but one that’s probably not his preferred footing. With turf racing now back in play, Hollendorfer immediately switches surfaces with him, so I’m expecting an improved effort as he makes his stakes debut against a pretty lackluster bunch.

Other Races of Interest:  Race 1 - She’s not going to be a big price, but I do think Tap the Barrel (#5) is a very likely winner of the day’s first race. Hightime Valentine (#4) looks like she might be able to run with her coming off a 66 Beyer Speed Figure at Tampa Bay Downs, however I have serious doubts she’s going to be able to replicate that number here, while Tap the Barrel enters off a solid performance against claimers on Belmont Park. Although this level is essentially the same to the one she just ran at in terms of claim price, in reality it actually represents a sizable drop in class. If she gets enough pace to run at, which is a bit of a concern, she should win this race handily.

 

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