US Racing Track Guide: Monmouth Park
Betfair now offers Exchange markets on a whole host of tracks in the United States. In his latest in-depth guide, US racing handicapper Dean Keppler reveals all about Monmouth Park...
What kind of racecourse is it?
One-mile dirt oval with chutes for six-furlong and 1¼-mile races. The turf course is seven furlongs, with a diagonal chute for races between 1-mile and 1⅛-miles.
Tell me something I don't know about this track?
Monmouth Park is sometimes referred to as "The Shore's Greatest Stretch".
The track first opened in July 30, 1870, and is only a few miles from the Atlantic Ocean and the beautiful beaches of the Jersey Shore.
When do they race?
Mainly Friday through Sunday afternoons from May until October - starting at 15:50 GMT.
Best Ever Race?
The Haskell on August 1, 1987. One of the famous clashes between champion three-year-olds included the rivalry between Bet Twice and Alysheba. Bet Twice prevailed by a neck in a sparkling time of 1:47.00, equalling the best mark ever in this race.
Most Popular Jockeys?
Most Popular Trainers?
How to find winners at Monmouth Park....
There are a handful of trainers who have traditionally dominated meetings - if not in actual numbers of wins, then in terms of horses that win at very good prices a high percentage of the time. In 2016, it was Jorge Navarro, Jason Servis and Todd Pletcher.
The ability to recognize a favourable or unfavourable track bias at Monmouth is often the key to success. Lone speed combined with a winning trainer and jockey (whether it's found in a sprint or route race) is usually a deadly and triumphant combination.
Speed on the rail is an especially deadly angle at Monmouth Park. At most route distances, it holds true that the inside posts 1-3 are the best gates to break from. At a mile, however, it is somewhat of a surprise to note that middle posts 4-7 usually do a little better than the three inside gates.
This may seem counter-intuitive since one mile races have the shortest run to the first turn - you'd expect the inside bias to be at its strongest in these races - but it is the middle posts, not the far inside ones, that are the best at Monmouth at a flat mile.
Finally, just as you'd expect, post draws Nos. 8 and outward are almost always disadvantageous in Monmouth routes on both the dirt and turf.
Perhaps more so than any other thoroughbred track or circuit, racing at Monmouth Park is defined by one prevalent factor: speed.
The lightning-fast track surface, tight turns, and a short stretch makes Monmouth Park one of the most speed conducive tracks in the country. If the weather deteriorates and turns the track into a sea of slop it becomes even more speed favouring.
If you're betting at Monmouth and you want to back closers, it's imperative that there are several speed-types signed on that can help produce a solid and favourable race flow to potentially set-up your selection's late kick. Just like on the main track, speed is beneficial on the Monmouth grass, especially in turf sprints.
When betting at Monmouth Park look out for...
Speed-types; trained by Jorge Navarro and are coming off a recent claim, extended layoff or shipping up from his home base in Florida. Two excellent jockeys that have gone under the betting radar are Jonathan Gonzales and Antonio Gallardo.