07/24/2011 11:27AM

Monmouth: Back In Business


 The first racecard in a week will get underway in about a half hour as the heat wave that caused cancellations on Friday and Saturday has waned a bit. It's "only" in the low 90's in Jersey today, which is plenty cool enough to conduct racing. Also, Friday's card wasn't really cancelled, just moved to Monday, with post time at 12:50 p.m. EDT.

Wouldn't have minded trading yesterday's scrapped card with today's, as this is a pretty tough 12-race program. Keys for me include Mississippi Man (#6) in the 6th race and Devilofanargumet (#4) in the 11th but otherwise it's a lot of spreadin' and prayin'. I'll use Best Jazz (#1) in the 8th, as he'll be a big price and he may a much-improved horse, but he's not a horse I'll hang a lot of hopes on. I'm using him, not keying him.

With the recent high heat and lack of rain in the area it may pay to keep an eye on the early races and look for some trends. There have been times in the past when these conditions have led to a bias, usually a dead rail but sometimes speed-favoring, which makes the first couple of races worth wathcing even if they're not the most compelling events ever held.