Top handicapper Andrew Champagne runs through the meet at Remington Park on Monday
RACE OF THE DAY: RACE 7
Remington Park is running a special Monday program this week. The 10-race card kicks off at 12 pm Central time, and I'm particularly intrigued by the late Pick Four, which begins in the seventh. I think one can make some money by attacking the sequence with a budget-friendly ticket, and here's how I'll plan to do so.
RACE #7: We kick things off with a claiming event, and a class-dropper from a high-percentage barn figures to go favored. That's #1 NEON DREAMS, but while she does run for a tag for the first time, she's not my top pick. I'm not crazy about her 0-for-6 local record, and it's not like she's faced world-beaters since coming to Remington in September. I'm using her, but doing so defensively.
There's some speed signed on, and I think the race could set up for #4 WHIPUM NAENAE, who just missed when rallying from last against similar foes two months ago. She hasn't won in a while, but she showed a lot in defeat and is worth betting back at a bit of a price. The faster they go early, the better her chances figure to be.
I'm also including #6 DISTORTED FLASH, who set a solid pace in her first try at this level earlier this month. She was third that day, and I think she could be sitting on another sharp performance third off the layoff.
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RACE #8: This two-turn claiming event drew a field of eight older horses, and unlike the first leg, this one seems pretty light on early zip. I'm using the likely favorite, but there's a big price in here that hits me as a must-use as well.
#2 TOUGH COMPANY has run four solid races at this level since coming to Remington. He hasn't cleared this condition despite a few chances, and that's not ideal, but he's got enough tactical speed to sit a dream stalking trip. In a race that figures to have a slow pace, that's a huge advantage, and I think it'd be foolish not to include him.
However, #8 FOXY ACE may be even faster early. He's helped set some fast paces in each of his last two outings, and I think he'll have an easier time making the lead out of the gate here. If he gets comfortable up front, I think he could get brave, and at his likely price, he'll be on all of my tickets.
RACE #9: This optional claimer only boasts a field of five, but what it lacks in quantity, it more than makes up for in quality. This is a stakes-level group, and the morning line has no horse shorter than 2-1 or longer than 9/2.
I'm against morning line chalk #2 D' RAPPER, a gelding that has shipped in from Prairie Meadows. He ran some fast races there, but did so for another trainer and hasn't run in more than two months. He's 0-for-4 over this main track, and while it wouldn't stun me if he won, I don't think he should be favored, and such odds would make him an underlay.
#1 MILTONTOWN is my top pick. He took a giant step forward in his first start off the claim, earning a 91 Beyer Speed Figure when topping optional claimers last time out at this route. That was a career-best effort, but he does have some solid efforts on his page, so it's not like it's a total outlier. The rail draw isn't great, but a repeat of that last-out victory would make him tough to beat.
I'll also use #4 DIRECT DIAL, a horse with quite the resume that hasn't been seen since July. The Texas-bred is a multiple stakes-winner at Lone Star, and his best race may be good enough to win. He came off a layoff to win a $75,000 stakes race by five lengths two starts ago, so the break shouldn't be too much of a problem, and it doesn't seem right that he's the longest shot on the board.
RACE #10: We'll finish with an allowance race for Oklahoma-bred fillies and mares. I'll be two-deep to finish things off, and my guess is these two runners will be the top two betting choices.
#2 SHERIFF FEMENINO is my top pick, and she hasn't done much wrong in two career starts. She won her debut before being headed at this level last month, and she was more than two lengths clear of that race's third-place finisher. She's got plenty of early zip and should be involved right away, and further improvement this time around would make her formidable.
I'll also use #5 LISA SMILES, who returns to state-bred competition after fading against open foes last time out. She won two and three back, albeit against restricted claiming company, and this seems like a friendlier spot. The 60 Beyer Speed Figure she earned two back would make her competitive, and anything coming from the Karl Broberg barn must be respected.
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