Spot plays and Pick 3 for Monmouth, including the Eatontown and Salvator Mile

June 16th, 2023

The Grade 3 Eatontown S., Salvator Mile, and Monmouth S. highlight a 14-race card at Monmouth Park on Saturday.

Below we offer spot plays for the above stakes and provide a Pick 3 ticket combining Races 11-13.

$1 Pick 3: 1, 3, 4 with 2, 8, 9, 10 with 1 ($12)

Race 11: Eatontown S. (G3), 1 1/16 miles (turf), 3yo and up fillies and mares

Morning line favorite #8 Gina Romantica (3-1) makes her first start since winning the 1 1/8-mile Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1) at Keeneland on Oct. 15 and drew the far outside post, which has produced a low win percentage in 8 1/2 furlong races at Monmouth through the first month of the meet. The Chad Brown runner will cut back in distance here and will get a rider switch from Flavien Prat to Florent Geroux, a 13% winner on turf and 12% winner with presser types.

Let's stand against the lukewarm favorite and back the horse that drew the rail, #1 Surprisingly (7-2), who finished third to next-out Grade 1 winner Marketsegmentation in the 1 1/16-mile Beaugay (G3) at Belmont on May 7. The Shug McGaughey pupil is 2-for-3 from today's distance and will pick up leading Monmouth rider Paco Lopez, who won with the four-year-old three back in the 1 1/16-mile Endeavor (G3) at Tampa Bay.

In our Pick 3 ticket, we'll also include Gina Romantica's stablemate #3 Consumer Spending (7-2), who beat Surprisingly by a neck to place second in the Beaugay, and #4 Scotish Star (6-1), who can improve second start off the layoff for Todd Pletcher. The six-year-old mare failed as the favorite when a three-quarter-length second to Spirit and Glory last out in the Miss Liberty S. and will regain rider Luis Saez. Pletcher is a 27% winner with horses making their second start off the bench, and he's winning at a 25% clip this meet.

Race 12: Salvator Mile (G3), one mile, 3yos and up

The Salvator Mile features another Brown runner, #9 Artorius (3-1), as the morning line favorite despite the four-year-old returning from a lengthy layoff. The Arrogate colt was last seen finishing a 10-length fourth in the seven-furlong Perryville S. at Keeneland on Oct. 22, but the dark bay has a chance to rebound with the cutback to a mile, a distance from which he broke his maiden at Belmont in June 2022. Artorius posted a sharp four-furlong workout on June 10 and can take a step forward in his four-year-old debut. We'll include him in our Pick 3 ticket but back #8 Nimitz Class (7-2) with a win bet. The Munnings colt currently rides a five-win streak and last romped to a 5 1/4-length victory in a one-mile and 70-yard allowance at Parx. Regular rider Jevian Toledo will stick with the early pacesetter, who posted a 104 BRIS figure last out, the highest last race speed figure among the field.

In addition to Artorius and Nimitz Class, we'll play #2 Ridin With Biden (5-1), a Grade 3 winner who may improve off a more than four-month layoff for Butch Reid, a 20% winner with shippers. The five-year-old gelding will also regain rider Paco Lopez after a troubled trip under Julien Leparoux in the Pegasus World Cup (G1). We'll also add #10 Bourbonic (10-1), who's 3-for-4 from today's distance and will switch from turf to dirt here for Todd Pletcher. Jose Ferrer (13% winner this meet) will pick up the mount.

Race 13: Monmouth S. (G3), 1 1/8 miles (turf), 3yos and up

To close out our Pick 3, we'll single #1 Tribhuvan (9-5), who went 1-for-4 last season while facing Grade 1 company. The gate-to-wire winner of the Manhattan (G1) will cut back to a mile and will look to set the early pace from the get-go. The seven-year-old drew a favorable spot on the inside and flashed a 101 BRIS figure in his most recent start, when he weakened late in the 1 1/2-mile Sword Dancer (G1) at Saratoga in August 2022. The gelding has put in solid works ahead of his season debut, and he's 1-for-2 at today's track. We'll back the Chad Brown runner under Florent Geroux in the final leg of our ticket.