Monmouth Racetrack: Grade 3 Phillip H. Iselin

Joseph CiracoCorrespondent IAugust 19, 2011

Todd Pletcher sends out Alma d' Oro in the Grade 3 Iselin
Todd Pletcher sends out Alma d' Oro in the Grade 3 Iselin

If you're looking for good value on the bet you make, the 1 1/8 mile feature at Monmouth is where you should be focusing your time on.

The 3-1 favorite is Where's Sterling is very capable of not just winning but winning easily.  This four-year-old colt was fantastic on March 24, when he won at Gulfstream in 1:49.4 by nearly four lengths.  Any moisture on the track tomorrow will not hurt his chances.

I love that Todd Pletcher trained five-year-old Alma d' Oro, who is currently 4-1.  This horse was very mediocre until his last start, a win over the main track at Delaware in 1 1/16 miles.  Joe Bravo picks up the mount and this horse must be used in all wagering.

Chirac is the defending champion and is currently 12-1.  This six-year-old gelding was terrible in his last start, when he lost by over 40 lengths.  Despite that loss, I really think this horse can rebound and be a major factor with pace and in the stretch.  Three wins in five career starts on wet tracks only makes him more interesting.

If the track was going to be completely dry tomorrow, I would really like Pleasant Prince.  In his last race, this four-year-old colt came off the pace to win over the main track at Monmouth .  The August 17 work of 1:13.1 for six furlongs is fantastic.

Ponzi Scheme appears to have a very good chance despite having just one win in six career starts over the main track at Monmouth.  On top of that, this four-year-old gelding was disappointing in his last race, where he lost by nearly 15 lengths.  If you look past that race, this horse had won four in a row.

Dueling Alex, Southern Ridge and Cactus Charlie all have had flashes of brilliance but neither three seem to be capable of winning.  Despite my reservations on them, all three do seem capable of making a trifecta extremely profitable.

I'm going to key Alma d' Oro and Pleasant Prince over Where's Sterling, Chirac and Ponzi Scheme with all for third.  These are quality horses, so the race should be run in just under 1:50.