This week in horse racing: Monster horse at Monmouth

Monmouth Park’s four-stakes Saturday card features quite the marquee performer as Hot Rod Charlie takes his talents from the west coast to the Jersey Shore. The career $5 million earner, last seen as runner-up in March’s prestigious Dubai World Cup, will be a standout favorite in the Grade 3 $150,000 Salvator Mile. Hot Rod Charlie was third in last year’s Kentucky Derby and runner-up in the Belmont Stakes.

Saturday’s lineup at Monmouth also includes the Grade 3 $150,000 Eatontown Stakes, Grade 3 $150,000 Monmouth Stakes and the $150,000 Pegasus Stakes. The latter is the primary local prep for the July 23 Grade 1 $1 million Haskell Stakes.

For those betting Monmouth’s big stakes this weekend, the Betmix database offers several handicapping pointers, gathered over the past five racing seasons.

Key Monmouth Park Stats

Percentage of winning stakes favorites: 44.8%

Average stakes win odds: 4.1-1

Top active stakes jockeys: Jose Ortiz (42%), Joe Bravo (36%), Paco Lopez (26%), Trevor McCarthy (19%)

Top active stakes trainers: Wesley Ward (39%), Chad Brown (33%), Steve Asmussen (30%), Jorge Duarte (26%), Mike Stidham (25%), Kelly Breen (23%)

What to Watch for This Week

Racing from England’s prestigious Royal Ascot meeting continues through Saturday and wagering is available each morning (U.S. time) through 1/ST BET and Xpressbet. American-based horses from trainers Wesley Ward, Christophe Clement and Graham Motion are among the late-week entrants … Santa Anita will have a mandatory payout in its Rainbow 6 pool with $3 million estimated in new wagers for Sunday’s closing-day card of the winter-spring meeting … Also Sunday, Maryland’s Laurel Park offers a trio of turf stakes races in the local season’s first grass showcases over that expansive course.

Friday Weekend Firestarter

Trainer Brian Koriner sent out three starters last week at Santa Anita, netting a pair of wins and a runner-up finish. Look for him to kick off closing weekend on that hot streak. He’ll be represented Friday at Santa Anita in Race 4 (Quincey) and Race 7 (Super Game). Both runners are making the kind of drops in class to face easier competition that indicate a desire to “jam” a few victories before the end of the season. Win bets both.

1/ST BET App Top Handicapping Tracks of the Week

The free 1/ST BET app allows you to apply millions of data points across dozens of handicapping factors in mere seconds and immediately place your wagers. Here’s where the artificial intelligence was most dialed-in last week by win percentage:

— Lone Star: 58%

— Charles Town: 52%

— Belterra Park: 50%

— Presque Isle Downs: 48%

— Penn National: 48%

Tracks with most reliable favorites last week (by win pct.)

— Belterra Park: 61%

— Mountaineer: 60%

— Penn National: 58%

— Santa Anita: 55%

— Monmouth: 52%

— Prairie Meadows: 52%

Tracks that were long-shot havens last week (most winners 10-1 or higher)

— Thistledown: 7

— WoodbineL 5

— Emerald Downs: 5

— Indianapolis: 5

America’s hot trainers last week

— Cathal Lynch (6-6, 100%), Delaware Park, Monmouth

— Valerie Lund (4-6, 67%), Canterbury Park

— Greg Tracy (4-6, 67%), Louisiana Downs, Evangeline

— Ellen Jackson (4-7, 57%), Golden Gate Fields

— Mike Biehler (4-7, 57%), Canterbury Park

America’s hot jockeys last week

— Stewart Elliott (7-16, 44%), Lone Star

— Pablo Morales (9-21, 43%), Presque Isle Downs

— Abel Cedillo (6-16, 38%), Santa Anita

— Tyler Gaffalione (10-27, 37%), Churchill, Belmont

— Evin Roman (8-24, 33%), Golden Gate Fields

Trio of Contests Wrap Santa Anita Season

Horse racing handicapping contest players at can take part Friday-Sunday in three separate contests surrounding Santa Anita’s closing-weekend action. Entry and fees range from $80, $500 and $1,500 for all levels of players. For details, visit

Statistics courtesy