OffTrackBetting.com - The Grade 2 Monmouth Cup Stakes is on tap for this Sunday, July 31 from Monmouth Park on the Jersey Shore. Horses three years old and upward will take to Monmouth Park's dirt track and race 1 1/16 miles for the winner's portion of the $200,000 purse.
Six older horses will line up in the Monmouth Cup Stakes - race 8 on Monmouth Park's stacked Haskell Invitational card. Post time is 3:29 PM. Let's take a look into the past performances of all six entries for this Grade 2 stakes.
2016 Monmouth Cup Stakes Race Preview at Monmouth Park
Bradester 6-5 - defending champion in this race dominated last year's summer meet at Monmouth Park for trainer Eddie Keneally. He won the Grade 3 Salvator Mile in July and the 2015 Monmouth Cup in August and finished third in the Grade 3 Philip H. Iselin Stakes August 30. He struggled to a ninth place finish in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile but has since won two more times - the minor Majestic Lights Stakes by 2 1/4 lengths on this track May 21 and the Grade 1 Stephen Foster Handicap in gate-to-wire fashion last time out at Churchill Downs June 18. He also holds wins in the 2014 Grade 3 Ack Ack Handicap and Grade 3 Mineshaft Handicap. Overall Bradester has nine wins, six seconds and two third place finishes in 23 career starts, has three wins and three seconds in six starts on this track and has won four of his last six overall. Joe Bravo will be in the saddle of the morning line favorite Sunday looking for Bradester's third stakes win on arguably his favorite track - from gate 2.
Blofeld 2-1 - will make his tenth career start for trainer Todd Pletcher having posted four wins and a third place finish so far. He was at his best in 2014 when he won the Grade 2 Futurity Stakes at Belmont and the Grade 2 Nashua Stakes. He has just six starts since - a disappointing seventh last time out in the Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap June 11 followed a fourth in the Grade 2 Oaklawn Handicap April 16, a good win in the Grade 2 Gulfstream Park Handicap March 5 and a fourth in an Allowance Optional Claiming at Gulfstream Park January 27. He also had a fifth in the Grade 3 Dwyer Stakes at Belmont Park last July and a third in the minor William Walker Stakes in April, 2015. Blofeld was impressive early in his career and hopes to return to that form from the outside gate 6 with Rafael Bejarano guiding the morning line second choice.
Mr. Jordan 5-1 - won the Grade 3 Pegasus Stakes on this track June 21, 2015 during a streak of four wins and two runner-up finishes in his first six career starts. He has been OK since - a third last time out in the Grade 3 Salvator Mile on this track July 2 followed a third at Tampa Bay and a second in the minor Sunshine Millions Classic at Gulfstream in January. He has four wins, three seconds and three third place finishes in 12 career starts - competitive every time out but will be after his first win in over a year from gate 4. Paco Lopez has been tabbed with accomplishing that goal as third betting choice from gate 4.
Adirondack King 6-1 - John Servis trained gelding has seven wins, nine seconds and six third place finishes in 40 career starts and looks just OK ahead of this week. Last time out was a fourth in the minor Turning for Home Stakes at Parx June 25 after consecutive seconds - including behind Bradester in the minor Majestic Light Stakes here May 21 and a nice win in the minor Challenger Stakes at Tampa Bay in March. He also posted minor stakes scores in at Parx in 2014 and 2011. He has placed in just one of six graded stakes tries and hopes to change all of that from post 3 Sunday. Trevor McCarthy rides.
Encryption 6-1 - Kelly Breen trainee finished eighth in this race in 2014 and also had a second in the Grade 3 Pegasus Stakes on this track that year. He has been decent since - a win last time out in the minor Turning for Home Stakes at Parx June 25 followed a third behind Bradester and Adirondack King in the minor Majestic Lights Stakes here May 21, a seventh in the minor Harlan's Holiday Stakes at Gulfstream in December and an OK third in the Grade 2 Fayette Stakes at Keeneland in October. He has placed in four of his last five starts overall - in OK form ahead of this weekend. Encryption looks for his first graded stakes score form post 5 Sunday with Nik Juarez in the reins.
Scuba 10-1 - Brendan Walsh trained gelding has three wins, four seconds and three third place finishes in 13 career starts. He made his stakes debut last time out and finished an OK third in the Grade 3 Dominion Day Stakes at Woodbine July 1. Before that were straight runner-up finishes - all Allowance Optional Claiming races with the last two coming at Churchill Downs in May. He has placed in nine straight starts overall and will be after his first win since April, 2015 when he leaves from the rail with Florent Geroux aboard.
2016 Monmouth Cup Stakes Entries & Odds
Race 8 on Monmouth Park's Sunday card with a Post Time of 3:29 PM.
||Edward Plesa, Jr.