Analyzing Aug. 26 carryovers at Monmouth, Ellis, and Colonial

August 26th, 2023

Handicapper J. Keeler Johnson shares horses to play (or oppose) in a trio of non-jackpot carryovers on Saturday at Monmouth Park, Ellis Park, and Colonial Downs.

Monmouth Park, Race 1: $40,027 Pick 5 carryover (12:40 p.m. ET)

The 50-cent Early Pick 5 at Monmouth Park features a lucrative $40,027 carryover. If you’re looking for a single to build tickets around, check out Race 1, a $16,000 claimer for non-winners of two races taking place over 5 1/2 furlongs on turf.

The par winning Brisnet Speed rating for these conditions is 82, a number #6 Devils Only Friend (5-2) exceeded by five points in a recent $35,000 claimer for non-winners of two races. Coming off last-place finishes in a pair of stakes, Devils Only Friend relished dropping in class for a 5 1/2-furlong turf sprint at Saratoga, dueling for the lead before weakening slightly to finish fifth by 2 1/4 lengths.

Dropping in class again to the $16,000 level should make Devils Only Friend tough to beat for trainer George Weaver, who has gone 2-for-7 (29%) at Monmouth this meet. The presence of jockey Paco Lopez (a 26% winner at Monmouth this meet) adds to the appeal and cements Devils Only Friend as a viable Pick 5 single.

Ellis Park, Race 1: $1,742 Super High 5 carryover (12:45 p.m. ET)

Do you have what it takes to select the top five finishers in a $16,000 maiden claimer for fillies and mares sprinting 5 1/2 furlongs on turf? Then you can win a share of the $1,741 Super High 5 carryover up for grabs in Saturday’s first race at Ellis Park.

Morning line favorite #3 Mended We Stand (2-1) looks like a filly to key on top. Although the daughter of Mendelssohn is 0-for-8, she’s competed exclusively against maiden special weight competition and has run okay in turf sprints on the Florida and Kentucky circuits. Dropping down to the $16,000 maiden claiming level should make Mended We Stand formidable for trainer Rusty Arnold, a lofty 22% winner with horses transitioning from maiden special weight to maiden claiming company.

Colonial Downs, Race 4: $3,849 Pick 6 carryover (3:02 p.m. ET)

Saturday’s $3,849 Pick 6 carryover at Colonial Downs features a heavy favorite in the third leg of the sequence. That would be Race 6, a $100,000 handicap for three-year-olds dashing 5 1/2 furlongs on turf in which #4 Sir Lancelot (3-2) is the clear morning line choice.

Although Sir Lancelot won a stakes on synthetic at age two, his lone turf start produced a fifth-place finish in the 7 1/2-furlong Hamilton S. at Woodbine earlier this month. The 81 Brisnet Speed rating he posted doesn’t stand out against Saturday’s field; #2 Where Is Mike (4-1) posted an 80 when second in a $50,000 allowance optional claimer sprinting 5 1/2 furlongs on turf at Colonial last month, and #1 Smooth Flyin Mike (3-1) recently threw down an 88 when winning a $62,500 allowance optional claimer over the Laurel Park dirt.

In other words, don’t assume Sir Lancelot is a trustworthy single just because of his short odds. He’s a logical contender, but not unbeatable, and if we can catch a higher-priced winner we’ll have a shot to take home a nice Pick 6 payoff.

Good luck!