2023 Monmouth Stakes, Salvator Mile & Eatontown Odds

An old favorite and a new shooter share the spotlight at Monmouth Park on Saturday, when G1 regular Tribhuvan gets class relief in the G3 2023 Monmouth Stakes and Graded-stakes first-timer Nimitz Class bids to stretch his winning streak to six in the G3 Salvator Mile. Elsewhere, Chad Brown unwraps two from his deep, deep division of distaffers when Gina Romantica and Consumer Spending vie in the G3 Eatontown.

Breeders Cup Odds

Salvator Mile Stakes

G3, $150,000, 1m dirt, 3yo+, 5.40pm ET

The circus moves to the Jersey shore on Saturday with the Salvator Mile as headline act at Monmouth Park, a race that showcases the ample talents of a rising east-coast star.

It’s been a perfect year so far for Nimitz Class (7-2), who won four straight stakes at Laurel Park over a mile and a mile-sixteenth before stretching his streak to five in an allowance at Parx, when he adopted his usual early-speed, late-strength tactics and cruised in by five and a quarter lengths, albeit in a slowish time.

This is his toughest test to date but he may not yet have reached his ceiling, and his forceful style could put many of his rivals out of their comfort zone. His trainer Bruce Kravets has won more than 3,700 races but never yet at Graded level.

His main market rival Artorius (3-1) was turning into a bright light last year until he was overmatched in the G1 Travers at Saratoga, beaten more than ten lengths into sixth. He has to overcome an eight-month layoff, but the form of his comfortable victory in a mile-eighth stakes at the Spa reads well in this context.

This is a more suitable spot for Ridin With Biden (5-1), who was never out of last place in the G1 Pegasus World Cup at Gulfstream Park. He’s had a freshening and his previous successes in stakes at Parx over a mile – on one occasion Empty Tomb (8-1) was more than ten lengths behind in sixth – could put him in the picture, although he’s cross-entered at Parx on Sunday in the same race as Far Mo Power (10-1), who is zero-for-five in stakes and has a much better chance there.

Stakes debutant Petulante (9-2) has never been out of the first two in five starts, and comes looking for a hat-trick after allowance wins over a mile at Gulfstream (dead-heat) and then Churchill Downs, where he finished off strong to score by a length and a half.

There’s clearly scope for further improvement and he merits respect along with Octane (10-1), who bounced back from a couple of dull performances with a swaggering, all-the-way win in a Gulfstream allowance over a mile.

Bourbonic (10-1) has regressed considerably, winning only once in allowance grade since taking down the G2 Wood Memorial in April 2021. He walked off the track last time and isn’t a betting proposition, while near-namesake Bourbon Calling (15-1) was looking good with a three-streak in Aqueduct allowances until it all went wrong in the G3 Westchester at Belmont Park last month, and although this is easier it isn’t easy enough.

A zero-for-seven count at Graded level, always off the board, tells a graphic story and Trademark (15-1) doesn’t have what it takes to play at this level.

2023 Salvator Mile Stakes Odds & Betting Pick

HorseJockeyOdds by Jazzsports
PetulanteLuis Saez+450
Ridin With BidenPaco Lopez+500
Empty TombSamy Camacho+800
Far Mo PowerDexter Haddock+1000
Bourbon CallingJorge A. Vargas, Jr.+1500
OctaneJairo Rendon+1000
TrademarkJoel Rosario+1500
Nimitz ClassJevian Toledo+350
ArtoriusFlorent Geroux+300
BourbonicJose C. Ferrer+1000

Everything could be set up perfectly for the upgrading NIMITZ CLASS, whose power-play tactics can carry him to a sixth successive victory.

Monmouth Stakes

G3, $150,000, 1m 1f turf, 3yo+, 6.08pm ET

The Monmouth is the stage for the return of a quirky veteran who has run his last eight races in G1 company with only two outcomes – he either wins or finishes off the board.

This Mr In-and-Out is Tribhuvan (9-5), who has had ten months on the sidelines since finishing sixth in the Sword Dancer at Saratoga over a mile and a half. It’s probably best to concentrate on his two wins at G1 level, the 2021 United Nations here over a mile and three-eighths, when he was allowed to do his own thing out front, and the 2022 Manhattan at Belmont Park over ten furlongs, when he got loose on the lead again and nothing could lay a glove on him.

Given his effectiveness over longer distances, he may have neither the kick to get to the front nor the speed to stay there, but this represents massive class relief from his usual workload and that is naturally a strong positive, as is the astonishing record of his trainer Chad Brown, who has won the last six runnings of this race.

He faces stiff opposition in the shape of Never Explain (3-1), who got it right first time in stakes company when coming late to spring a surprise in the G3 Dinner Party at Pimlico over a mile-eighth, winning by a half-length in a blanket finish with Speaking Scout (4-1) just a head and a neck further back in fourth.

A longshot winner on stakes debut always raises a little doubt, but Never Explain was coming off two allowance wins and was perhaps simply ready for the upgrade with the promise of more to come, although he has to spot 6lb all round today.

That was class relief for Speaking Scout, earlier winner of the G1 Hollywood Derby at Del Mar over a mile-eighth and third in the G1 Pegasus World Cup Turf at Gulfstream Park at the same distance. This is a similar scenario, and he’s a late closer who could get the pace set-up he likes.

Three weeks ago Catnip (7-2) continued his upward trend when a rallying winner of an allowance here over a mile-sixteenth, but although the extra yardage will help him he has a substantial class gap to bridge.

Commandeer (5-1) drew a blank through 2022 but showed he was no back number when runner-up, beaten a neck, at 31-1 in a Keeneland allowance over a mile-sixteenth on his first start for nine months. He has a shot, as does fellow last-time-out longshot Dynadrive (8-1), a four-length fifth at 36-1 in the mile-eighth G2 Fort Marcy at Belmont. The winner there is G1-placed since then and this is certainly easier, although a one-for-nine stakes record indicates limitations.

2023 Monmouth Stakes Odds & Betting Prediction

HorseJockeyOdds by Jazzsports
Tribhuvan (FR)Florent Geroux+180
Never ExplainLuis Saez+300
Speaking ScoutJorge Ruiz+400
DynadriveNik Juarez+800
CommandeerPaco Lopez+500
CatnipJoel Rosario+350

The likely shape of the race will suit G1 winner SPEAKING SCOUT, who loves to close into a fast pace and has the class to take advantage.

Eatontown Stakes

G3, $150,000, 1m 1/16 turf, 3yo+ females, 5.12pm ET

There is not a great deal to separate the field in the Eatontown, which sets bettors a puzzle where the first port of call is a trainer with vast strength in depth throughout this division.

Chad Brown has won the Eatontown twice and puts two in the gate, with Consumer Spending (7-2) easy on the eye after finishing runner-up in the G3 Beaugay at Belmont Park over this distance last month, two and a half lengths behind barnmate and last Friday’s G1 winner Marketsegmentation. That collateral form boost stands out in this company, and Consumer Spending should strip sharper after that first start for eight and a half months.

She was a neck in front of the third Surprisingly (7-2), whose trainer Shug McGaughey won this race in 2021 and 2022 and who rallied gamely but too late, and has the benefit of race-fitness over barnmate Gina Romantica (3-1), who has been on the bench since running out a convincing winner of the mile-eighth G1 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup at Keeneland in mid-October.

It’s unwise to crab G1 form and the class relief gives Gina Romantica a big shot, and jockey bookings (and the morning-line) suggest she’s the barn first-string.

Two starts earlier, Surprisingly had made her stakes breakthrough in the G3 Endeavour at Tampa Bay Downs over a mile-sixteenth, running down Scotish Star (6-1) for a buzzer-beating neck victory – the aforementioned Marketsegmentation third – with Spirit And Glory (6-1) a no-show fifth, beaten another five lengths.

Next time the front-running Scotish Star got the verdict by a neck when she and Surprisingly ran two-three in the G2 Hillsborough, back at Tampa Bay over a mile-eighth, but Scotish Star is developing a nasty case of seconditis, playing bridesmaid in four of her last five starts.

Course and distance form is always a positive and Spirit And Glory won a stakes in that format three weeks ago, coming late to deny Scotish Star – second again! – by three-quarters of a length. That broke a five-race losing streak and there could be further improvement in store.

French import Malavath (4-1) was runner-up in a French G1 and fifth in the G1 Breeders’ Cup Mile at Keeneland last year, but ran so poorly on her first start for her new barn – last of five at odds-on in a mile stakes at Aqueduct, after costing 3.2 million euro at the sales – that it’s hard to know what to expect from her. All her best form ‘over there’ was in the mud.

Inconsistency is a problem for Vergara (8-1), who ran arguably a career-worst fifth in the G3 Gallorette at Pimlico last time, and she makes little appeal along with stakes debutante and potential pace angle Katies A Lady (30-1).

2023 Eatontown Stakes Odds & Betting Pick

HorseJockeyOdds by Jazzsports
SurprisinglyPaco Lopez+350
VergaraJorge Ruiz+800
Consumer SpendingSamy Camacho+350
Scotish Star (ARG)Luis Saez+600
Malavath (IRE)Joel Rosario+400
Katies a LadyJorge A. Vargas, Jr+2000
Spirit And Glory (IRE)Nik Juarez+600
Gina RomanticaFlorent Geroux+300

Chad Brown’s dominance in this division points to GINA ROMANTICA, a G1 winner on her most recent start and the barn’s first-string despite the layoff.

Check out here the full recap: 2023 Salvator Mile, Monmouth Stakes & Eatontown Stakes Recap

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