How to bet the Tale of the Cat Stakes

June 21st, 2024

A total of nine sophomores will run 1 1/16 miles on the Monmouth Park turf in Sunday’s $100,000 Tale of the Cat S. I’ll head to the outside for my top pick in the well-matched field with #9 Full Nelson. Trained by Jose D’Angelo, the Lord Nelson colt was claimed for $35,000 in September and has taken a leap forward for his new connections.

Tale of the Cat Wagers

  • $15 win and place: #9 Full Nelson ($30)
  • 50-cent superfecta: 9 with 2,6,8 with 2,6,8 with all ($18)

The Kentucky-bred bay has really improved with the combination of moving to the turf and going long, as he reeled off a trio of wins in succession on the green earlier this campaign, led by a victory in the Columbia S. at Tampa Bay Downs. He was well placed turning for home in the especially deep Transylvania S. (G2) at Keeneland before fading late in his latest endeavor, and a combination of a "good" turf and a wide post led to his unplaced showing, in my opinion.

Full Nelson comes in fresh for his first appearance since April and looks to make amends for his first ever defeat on the lawn. I expect #1 Izzy d’Oro, #5 Feltrinelli, and #7 Abrumar to be the first three out of the gate, and Full Nelson can secure a fine trip just off of the leaders from the second flight along the back side. Pilot Jairo Rendon will ask the colt for his best approaching the turn for home, and the sophomore will inch to the advantage nearing midstretch en route to his second black-type victory.

A trio of talented closing types will be on my tickets with the top selection. Two-time stakes winner #2 Noted is unplaced in three straight, but the Todd Pletcher pupil will race as a gelding for the initial time and he will be a top-three danger inside the final furlong with his best effort.

Grade 1 winner #6 Carson’s Run didn’t show much in his seasonal debut when off the board in the Woodhaven S., but he flashed too much ability as a juvenile to be overlooked in his second try off the layoff for Christophe Clement. The Cupid colt will stalk the pace under Vincent Cheminaud. 

Stakes winner #8 Crystal Quest is a good one for conditioner Michael Trombetta with two wins and a second from a trio of grassy tilts to date. The Live Oak color bearer was a game runner-up in the James W. Murphy S. on the Preakness undercard and will be making one run in the stretch with Samy Camacho.