The Iselin Stakes, Purse $150.000, Grade 3 One Mile and 1/8th, Dirt 3+
Here we are today Monmouth and the feature on the day is The Iseline Stakes. The feature drew 7 runners all looking to add a Grade 3 stakes victory to their resume. There are 5 older horses in this race and it drew 2 three year olds including Pinnacle West who ran in 2 legs of the Triple Crown this year. It should be an interesting race, let’s take a look at the field:
1-Understood (Emerald Racing Stables)- He has started 10 times in his career and has won 4 of those races with 3 of those wins coming at the grueling mile and a half distance. He was claimed earlier this year for 10.500 after having some success last year which included an overnight stakes win and a Grade 3 win. Off the claim he was placed in an starter allowance race where he won going a mile and a 1/16th. Off that win he appears to have come out well and has run some public works that don’t jump off the page….however he has never been a workout warrior and has won off similar type works.
2-Galvaston (Hay Makers Inc)- He comes in winning 9 out of 25 lifetime starts including a nice 3 race win streak between April and June 2015. All 9 of his wins have come in the allowance level or lower so he will be looking for his first career stakes win. Off that 3 race win streak he was stepped up into the Grade 1 Whitney where he finished 7th of 9 runners. He is now stepping down in class to a more realistic level but he has only tried this distance one time and it was in the Whitney so its hard to tell if he can get it.
3-Spit Fire (MB Stables)- He has won 1 race out of 7 lifetime starts and that win came 2 back. After the win the horse was then sold for $100.000 to current owner MB Stables where he was run in an allowance race where he finished 2nd by a neck off a 6 month layoff. Since that race he has been blazing up the track in the mornings with a best of 119 going a mile on dirt at DMR then a best of 4 going 5 furlongs on dirt in an impressive 57 an 3. This horse to me looks like he is on his way to far bigger and better things and should be ready to roll second off that lay off.
4-Third Rock (Nakamura Stables)- He has won 9 out of 19 career races with 6 of those wins coming since he was claimed by Nakamura Stables in May of 2014. He does boast a stakes win and it was at today’s distance but he has yet to break through at the graded stakes level. He tried a Grade 3 race last out and was closing in the end however he came up short but that race was only a mile so the added distance should help him today. He also has some solid works coming into this race and I think he is going to be a contender.
5-Montalcino (Alabarda Stable) Here is one of the 3 year olds who has won 3 out of 8 lifetime races with 3 2nd place finishes. He had strung 2 wins together 2 and 3 races back respectively with one being an overnight stakes win by a dominating 4 lengths. Off that win he was stepped up to a Grade 2 race and he ran 8th of 8 horses in the race. He has never won at todays distance but did show that he can get the distance with coming up just short when finishing 2nd by a head. There have been no public works since his last race so I am not able to tell how he came out of the race but he seems to fit here.
6- Pinnacle West (Hippyheart) Here is the other 3 year old and he has won 3 out of 14 career starts, with 3 of those wins coming at the graded level. His most recent win did however come back over 6 months ago when he won a Kentucky Derby Prep race. He has raced at the highest level most of his career including the Breeders Cup Juvenile, Kentucky Derby and the Preakness. After the Preakness he took off almost 3 months and came back and ran a respectable race in an allowance race last out where he held the lead and faded to finish 3rd. This looks to be a very good spot for him to run and much like the 3 horse I think he is primed for a nice run 2nd off a layoff. He should be one of the favorites in this race.
7- Foresight (Sanny Village) He comes into the race winning 4 out of 22 races and was a recent $200.000 purchase by Sanny Village. He has won an overnight stake in his career but has yet to break into the Graded Stakes win group, but has run well in Graded races. He appears to have come out of his last race very very well and posted some nice public works including his most recent public work which was a very fast mile dirt work when he was the fastest of 8 but went 136 and 1. That work helps give me an indication that he may be ready to take the next steps up and break through at the Graded Stakes level.
This is an intriguing race as the feature at Monmouth Park where there is a mix of former Graded Stakes winners taking on horses trying to get over the hump to get their first win. For me I think the back class for one particular horse is going to be enough to carry him to victory here. Here is my prediction. 6-3-7-1
Categories: Grade III