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Bernier's Best

Weekend Stakes Previews for July 23

by Matt Bernier
Updated On: July 22, 2022, 10:53 pm ET

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Monmouth Park’s marquee day of racing takes place on Saturday, highlighted by two grade one races (both of which can be seen on CNBC starting at 5 PM ET).

The G1 United Nations and the G1 Haskell Stakes are the co-headliners on the Jersey shore this weekend, however there are also three other graded stakes races taking place on the undercard.

Below you will find selections from each of the G1 races as well as a pick and a play to consider from the G3 Monmouth Cup earlier on the card.

After twenty-seven weeks, here is the results tally (records reflective of $2 WIN / $2 WPS):

WIN: 13-79 (16.5%, -$65.00)
WPS: 43-79 (54.4%, -$121.50)

 

 

3:29 ET – MONMOUTH R8 – G3 MONMOUTH CUP – 1 1/8 MILES – DIRT

He may have had the benefit of running over a speed-favoring racing surface at Aqueduct on April 22 but make no mistake about it – PIPELINE (6) has the look of a serious racehorse that should be considered the most likely winner of Saturday’s Monmouth Cup. One of two entrants trained by Chad Brown, the four-year-old son of Speightstown has demonstrated an ability to win from both on or off the pace, allowing jockey Manny Franco the option to send or sit depending on the break. He’s unlikely to offer any huge price, yet the presence of his uncoupled stablemate Highly Motivated may result in Pipeline going off at playable odds.

THE PLAY: 6) PIPELINE TO WIN at odds of 6/5 or greater

 

 

5:09 ET – MONMOUTH R11 – G1 UNITED NATIONS – 1 3/8 MILES – TURF

While the top three choices in the wagering – Tribhuvan, Gufo, and Adhamo – all make sense, each brings their quirks / drawbacks to the table, making them largely unappealing at relatively short prices. Unfortunately, the balance of the field appears lackluster, at best, forcing handicappers to come to creative conclusions if interested in taking a shot against the main players. Although the paper he brings into this race doesn’t look particularly strong, I think GLYNN COUNTY (7) can produce a decent effort at what should be a giant price for Hall of Fame rider Mike Smith. Trained by Mike Maker, Glynn County has “dirtied up” form, a phrase that suggests many of his recent efforts should be forgiven for various reasons. If – and it’s a big “if” – Glynn County can dial up an effort like his performance in the Kentucky Downs Turf Cup last fall, he’s not without a chance. Likely best used underneath, Glynn County can spice up exotics and possibly upset if things fall into place.

THE PLAY: 7) GLYNN COUNTY TO WIN at odds of 9/1 or greater

 

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5:45 ET – MONMOUTH R12 – G1 HASKELL – 1 1/8 MILES – DIRT

It may look like a two-horse race on paper between Jack Christopher and Taiba, but CYBERKNIFE (1) warrants consideration as a potential spoiler in Saturday’s G1 Haskell Stakes. Trained by Brad Cox and ridden by Florent Geroux, the three-year-old son of Gun Runner continues to improve and possesses a versatile running style that should suit the race shape of the Haskell beautifully. Jack Christopher is undefeated and has been spectacular in all four of his wins, but he’ll be navigating two-turns and nine-furlongs for the first time in his career on Saturday; at a very short price, he’s not worth betting on despite being the most likely winner of the race. Taiba is trained by Bob Baffert and has been brilliant in two of his three lifetime starts, however the dreadful effort in the Kentucky Derby looms over the colt as he returns off a brief freshening. While both Taiba and Jack Christopher represent more likely winners than Cyberknife, neither is likely to offer fair or overlaid odds. Cyberknife is likely to be a fair price, however, making him the play.

THE PLAY: 1) CYBERKNIFE TO WIN at odds of 9/2 or greater

 

 

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Matt Bernier

Matt Bernier is a betting analyst for NBC Sports and host of "The Matt Bernier Show" podcast. His work has been showcased in the Daily Racing Form, on ESPN, as well as on TVG. Matt can be followed on Twitter @bernier_matt.