Remind should be the favorite in Saturday's Red Bank Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Monmouth Park, but behind him it looks like a very well matched field.
The mile turf race for 3-year-olds and up drew a field of 11 for the first feature of the three-day holiday weekend.
Remind, a Claiborne Farm homebred by Deputy Minister, just missed in his last start for trainer Bill Mott. He made the lead in the Fort Marcy Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Aqueduct April 23 and was caught, losing by a neck to John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT) winner Better Talk Now.
The 5-year-old horse won an optional claiming event at Gulfstream March 25, going wire-to-wire that day.
There is plenty of other speed in the Red Bank, so Remind and jockey Michael Luzzi would not be expected to have an uncontested lead. Remind carries highweight of 118 pounds, conceding from two to 10 pounds.
Handicappers who notice Remind has finished second eight times and won five of his 18 outings may look elsewhere, and they should find plenty of value.
One who might benefit from the pace is Tap Day, who won a stakes at Tampa Bay March 12 but then had an eventful trip in the Skip Away Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Gulfstream April 2. In that race, the 4-year-old homebred son of Pleasant Tap
had to check and steady before finishing fifth, beaten 10 3/4 lengths.
Racing for Edward Evans and trained by Mark Hennig, Tap Day has won eight of 17 starts. He is one of two to receive a call from rider Jose Velez Jr.
Velez is also named on American Freedom, who with 35 starts to his credit, always is in the mix, with nine wins, three seconds, and 11 thirds. In his last start, the Cliff Hanger Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Meadowlands, he was boxed in on the turf and still was beaten only two lengths while sixth. By Marquetry
, he is owned by Freedom Acres and trained by Jamie Woodington.
The field, in post position order, with weight and jockey:
1. Cottage, 114, Chris DeCarlo
2. American Freedom, 113, Jose Velez Jr.
3. Ricardo A, 112, Stewart Elliott
4. Tap Day, 115, Jose Velez Jr.
5. Royal Affirmed, 112, Charles Lopez
6. Trefinity, 108, Michael Baze
7. Remind, 118, Michael Luzzi
8. Big Booster, 113, Joe Bravo
9. Spruce Run, 113, Jose Ferrer
10. Trade Fair, 116, Aaron Gryder
11. Midnight Express, 109, Dale Beckner