Drone Stakes Attracts a Former Breeders Cup Sprint Runner

The Drone Stakes, Purse $100.000, Ungraded, 6 Furlongs, Dirt for 3+

Today is one of the biggest days of racing for the year at Monmouth Park with the headliner being The Haskell. There are 6 stakes races on the card today and you will get my coverage on 3 of them starting with this race. In this dash around 6 furlongs you have 5 horses signed on with 4 of them being age 4+. You have recent low level claims in the race as well as previous stakes winner. This should be an interesting race, let’s take a look at the field:

1-Running Mate (Rousee)- He comes into the race having had his picture taken 9 times in 20 career starts, however 8 of those wins have come sprinting on the turf. Two races back current owner Rousee dipped in and claimed this horse for $7.500 off a nice 2 race win streak that he pushed up to 3. He was them moved up to a $40.000 claimer where the turf came up soft and he responded with a 2nd place finish. You have to dig deep into the running lines to find his last dirt start and that was in May of 2013 while running at the free track level. It looks like back in mid July there was an idea to get him back on the dirt with the last 3 works coming over that surface including a nice bullet work last out at Monmouth. This horse also has a bit of class winning an overnight stake on the turf, can it translate to this race on the dirt?


2-Savage Samaritan (Jkk Racing Stables)- Has 3 wins in 16 lifetime starts, with all of the wins routing on the dirt. This horse was also a recent claim getting picked up for $8 in his last race, which was coming off a nice win. He managed to finish second in that race and the current owner Jkk Racing Stables decided that was enough to move him up the class ladder here.   You have to dig deep in the PP’s to find the last time he sprinted and that was his first start in October of 2013. Since the claim he has fired off 3 consecutive bullet works on the dirt all at Parx which shows that the cut back in distance may be exactly what this horse has wanted. Can he make the large step up from a low level claimer to stakes winner?


3-Funny Intern (Wynnewood)- Has won 7 times in 23 career starts but has really shown good form this year winning 2 out of 3 races. He was purchased late last year by current owner Wynnewood for $70 and since she has had him in her barn she has run him 4 times, all sprinting and all on the dirt, never missing the board with 2 wins. His 2 wins have come in allowance races, but most recently was a hard closing 2nd in a Grade 3 sprint in May. He also has class to spare as last year he was a runner in the BC Sprint. The public works on this horse are very nice, and he will not carry the top weight in the field and just carry 124 pounds. On class this horse really jumps out at you and is one you have to keep an eye on in this race, and moving forward.


4-Plectrum (Pjr Farms)- Has won 4 of 14 lifetime starts with 2 wins being on the turf and 2 on the dirt. His most recent set of 4 races has been nice ones not missing the board with 2 wins and 2 3rds. This comes after the horse was gelded.  Both of the wins have come sprinting in OC races one on dirt one on turf. The thirds are both in overnight stakes races one sprinting on dirt and one routing on turf. This 3 year old will carry the low weight of the field at 120 pounds and appears to be getting back to what he enjoys which is sprinting. The hard thing to figure out is if he enjoys sprinting on the dirt or the turf better. To me I think he enjoys both and this was a good place to take a shot with him in the small field.


5-De Oppresso Liber (Second Chance Farms) This home-bred has won 7 out of 18 starts while hitting the board an impressive 14 out of 18. All of his wins and on the board finishes have come doing exactly what he is doing today and that is sprinting on the dirt. He is a multiple graded stakes winner in 2014 winning 2 Grade 3 races which is why he is the high weight in today’s race having to carry 128 pounds. In 2015 he has raced 4 times 3 of them in graded stakes races, and has 1 win. That win came in an allowance race. In the stakes races he has finished 3rd and has 2 7th place finishes. The last 5 workouts that are visible on his PP’s are all bullet works which shows that this horse likes to run in the morning and in the afternoon. The only thing that I can see holding this one back is the 128 pounds that he is going to have to carry.


This race has a lot to keep you interested as you have a couple horses making a massive hike up off claims and you have other proven stakes horses including a BC runner. Here is my prediction. 3-1-5-4



Categories: NG Stakes

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