Key Races & Bets for Saturday June 15, 2024

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Eatontown Stakes - Race 9 at Monmouth - Post Time 4:55 PM Eastern

Top Win Contenders: Sacred Wish, Spirit and Glory
Other win contenders: Tax Implications, Maman Joon

Sacred Wish gets the rail and has the ability to lead from the start or to come from off the pace and win. She wired the field last month on grass in New York when improving off a third place effort following five months off and should take another step forward. She won a stakes race last summer when fifth in the early stages then two races later in November nearly won the similar Grade 3 Pebbles Stakes when finishing fast from seventh to miss by a half-length so she fits perfectly with these and her versatility gives her a slight edge.

Spirit and Glory won the Miss Liberty Stakes over this grass course last May (2023) and enters the race in top form with a win in a stakes in New York in April and a neck defeat on the wire last month in the similar Grade 3 Beaugay Stakes. Like Sacred Wish, Spirit and Glory has proven capable of leading from start to finish and also has won when rallying from as far back as fifth in the early stages.

Tax Implications and Maman Joon are both Chad Brown trainees and may be overbet relative to their probability to win but are contenders for the exacta, doubles, pick 3 and pick 4 tickets at the least. Tax Implications has a 1-4-1 record in eight race and finished third in this year’s Miss Liberty Stakes (which Spirit and Glory won last year) last month but she’s never won a stakes race. Maman Joon imported from Europe over the winter and has won both races this year since moving to the Brown barn, but they were a maiden race and a first level allowance race so this is a big step up.

Handicapper Picks

Win: Sacred Wish AND Spirit and Glory should be considered for win bets at odds of 5 to 2 or higher.

In this race there may be an opportunity for a mathematical edge by using a dutching tool, which prorates wagers for the best value. There’s a free dutching tool at, where you can set the amount you want to bet and the math is done for you to help achieve the best edge. This is just one of many tools, and perks, for bettors at

Sacred Wish, Spirit and Glory over Sacred Wish, Spirit and Glory, Tax Implications, Maman Joon
Sacred Wish, Spirit and Glory, Tax Implications, Maman Joon over Sacred Wish, Spirit and Glory
(The strategy is to win both bets if Sacred Wish and Spirit and Glory finish 1st and 2nd)

Double, Pick 3, Pick 4:
Race 9: Sacred Wish, Spirit and Glory, Tax Implications, Maman Joon
Race 10: Tuscan Sky, Willy D’s, Sea Streak
Race 11: Public Sector, Grand Sonata, Siege of Boston, Running Bee
Race 12: Sherlock’s Jewel, Artorius, Movisitor
Note: To cut the cost of the Pick 4 ticket, you can use ONLY Movisitor in race 12. In subsequent pick 3 tickets we can use all three horses in that race.

Pegasus Stakes - Race 10 at Monmouth - Post Time 5:24 PM Eastern

Win Contenders: Sea Streak, Willy D’s, Tuscan Sky

I am taking a stand against some horses likely to be some of the top betting choices, which are Domestic Product, Hades and Uncle Heavy. Domestic Product won the Tampa Bay Derby before finishing 13th in the Kentucky Derby and before that was no match for Hades when second in the Holy Bull Stakes (at 14 to 1). His Tampa Bay Derby win was slow and unimpressive. Hades finished fifth and seventh in his two races after the Holy Bull, beaten nearly 20 lengths each time, and I will have to see better before endorsing him. Uncle Heavy won the Withers in February and like Hades ran poorly since, fifth in the Wood Memorial and sixth in the Preakness. He is dropping in class, as is Domestic Product, but that doesn’t guarantee success as there are three in her just as fast, or faster, and in better current form.

Sea Streak ran the best race of his career in the very similar Long Branch Stakes over the track last month, drawing off by seven lengths, after stalking in third position early. Rendon was up for the second time, the other also a big win, and the trainer and jockey have won 10 of their last 14 races together. The 105 Equibase Speed Figure he earned is a grade three level figure so he can certainly repeat his last effort and win here.

Similarly, Willy D’s earned a 104 figure winning a two-turn race at Delaware Park last month, the best of his career. It was just a first level allowance race but the horse doesn’t know that and he did so when sent for the lead from the start for only the second time in his nine race career, the same as he had in his only other win, also in a two-turn race. Of the three horses in the gate inside Willy D’s, only Tuscan Sky (who adds blinkers) could keep him from getting the rail and the lead but I don’t think that will happen, allowing Willy D’s to be in front from the start and possible win his second in a row.

Tuscan Sky can still win even if he drops into second early, as that’s what he did in his second career start and first two turn race in February. That earned a 99 figure and if you ignore his effort in the Wood Memorial (at 5 to 2) where he had traffic trouble, improving off that second race puts him squarely in the picture at the end in this race.

Handicapper Picks

Win: I think we should consider win bets on TWO of the THREE contenders (Sea Streak, Willy D’s, Tuscan Sky) who are the highest odds near post time, provided those odds are 5 to 2 or more.

As it is possible we may be betting two horses to win, using the free (and easy to use) dutching tool at Amwager is in our best interest.

Box Sea Streak, Willy D’s, Tuscan Sky

Double, Pick 3:
Race 10: Tuscan Sky, Willy D’s, Sea Streak
Race 11: Public Sector, Grand Sonata, Siege of Boston, Running Bee
Race 12: Sherlock’s Jewel, Artorius, Movisitor

Monmouth Stakes - Race 11 at Monmouth - Post Time 5:54 PM Eastern

Top Contenders: Running Bee, Grand Sonata, Public Sector, Siege of Boston

Running Bee has superb tactical speed and with all the rest either proven successful only as stalkers and closers that will allow jockey Cheminaud to go for the lead during the fairly long run down the chute and before the first turn. Having won four of 10 races in his career, all on turf, with three second place finishes as well, Running Bee has proven tough as nails most of the time. He may have not cared for the really soft turf last month when third in the Dinner Party Stakes on the Preakness undercard but before that in a stakes level classified allowance he rallied from fourth to win nicely and that’s the effort I believe he will repeat today but not necessarily off the pace and more like his wins in October, 2023 and in November of last year when leading from start to finish, one of those from the eight post in a field of nine, making that effort very similar to what he might do here.

Grand Sonata finished well from fifth to second in a tough classified allowance race last month in New York. Considering that race came following nearly five months off we can expect improvement and he has won at this nine furlong grass trip before.

Public Sector cuts back in distance from the mile and one-half Pan American Stakes, also a higher level grade 2 race, where he led with an eighth of a mile to go before tiring to fourth. He’s won at this distance and Lopez, as usual, is winning races in bunches at Monmouth, having won 26% of his races to date at the meeting, so we should expect a top effort.

Siege of Boston hasn’t won since last June but ran very well earlier in the year when missing by a half-length in both the Tampa Bay Stakes (a nose behind Running Bee) and in the Canadian Turf Stakes. He was far back early in both and will need some help to get up in time to win but is highly probable to be part of the exacta at the least.

Handicapper Picks

Win: Running Bee and Grand Sonata can be bet at odds of 5 to 2 or more.

If both horses are above minimum odds this is another race where using the free dutching tool at Amwager will help us get a mathematical edge when wagering.

I might also consider Siege of Boston or Public Sector if 5 to 1 or more.

Box Running Bee, Grand Sonata, Siege of Boston, Public Sector

Race 11: Public Sector, Grand Sonata, Siege of Boston, Running Bee
Race 12: Sherlock’s Jewel, Artorius, Movisitor

Salvator Mile Stakes - Race 12 at Monmouth - Post Time 6:22 PM Eastern

Top Contenders: Movisitor, Sherlock’s Jewel, Artorius

Movisitor has one thing going for him which the rest of the field does not and that is an “early” running style which almost assuredly will see him having the lead shortly after the start. In 11 career races on dirt, Movisitor has earned victory in six. His three most recent wins, in October and December of last year and then again in his most recent race last month, occurred as a result of Movisitor establishing a clear lead from the start, getting into a steady rhythm and never being challenged. The average margin of those three wins was four lengths and in each race he was at least six lengths in front of the next horse with an eighth of a mile to run. Having returned from four months off in April in a seven furlong sprint and finishing eighth, on May 7 Movisitor stretched out to two turns and ran the fastest race he’s ever run, earning a 108 Equibase Speed Figure. That figure is graded stakes quality and can win this grade three race so he is the one to catch, and to beat, given it is likely he will run even better in his third race and second route race following the layoff.

Sherlock’s Jewel may be one of only a couple of horses with a chance of catching lone front runner Movisitor in this situation. He has won two of his last three races and finished second in the other, that being the Challenger Stakes in March when last seen. Sherlock’s Jewel earned 106, 102 and 101 figures in those three races and in his last two starts he was third with a quarter mile to run. The winner of the Challenger returned to win the Oaklawn Handicap after that and earned a 114 figure, so it is possible Sherlock’s Jewel may run the best race of his career in this year’s Salvator Mile.

Artorius started his career two years ago in fine style, winning the Curlin Stakes at Saratoga that summer with a 101 figure. Decently regarded in the Travers Stakes one month later, he finished sixth then after a fourth place effort he was given eight months to mature. He only made two starts last year, finishing fourth in the 2023 Salvator Mile then third, then was off for another nine months. This year Artorius has shown the spark he had displayed in 2022, with a third place finish in his comeback race in April, followed by a strong two length win last month. Those two efforts earned 105 and 104 figures, respectively, which if repeated put him right there with the top two contenders in this field.

As to likely betting favorite Bright Future, although he has won four of eight races including the important Jockey Club Gold Cup last summer with a 110 figure, he has a few question marks which I believe suggest he will not run that kind of race in this situation. Most importantly, Bright Future returns from seven months off in a two-turn race without a prep race first. Although he did win in his debut, that was a one-turn race, as was the win last April following 10 months off. Neither of those were stakes races, and a Race Lens query to see how horses trained by Todd Pletcher fare when returning in dirt route races off layoffs of six months or greater reveals he has saddled just one winner from his last 10 horses in these situations. Given there are other horses in this field who have run more recently, and run well, I think Bright Future may have his work cut out for him in this race.

Handicapper Picks

Win: Movisitor should be considered for a win bet at 2 to 1 or more.
Sherlock’s Jewel and Artorius, whichever has the highest odds of the pair and at least 3 to 1, can also be considered for a win bet.

Box Movisitor, Sherlock’s Jewel, Artorius

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Ellis Starr

Ellis is a well respected handicapper and contributor of AmWager. He has been a public handicapper for more than twenty years, educating racing fans of all skill levels with detailed commentary few other handicappers provide.

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