06/07/2014 10:04AM

DRF Plus Graded Stakes Analysis: Monmouth Stakes


LOCHTE has shown vast improvement since joining the barn of trainer Marcus Vitali last fall, winning three of seven races, including the Grade 1 Gulfstream Park Turf Mile in February when he outran the classy Imagining. He proved that race wasn’t a fluke by shipping out to Santa Anita and running second in the Frank Kilroe Mile, an even stronger race; lacked his usual finish when third in the Maker’s 46 Mile to Wise Dan and Kaigun, and a short freshening proved in order. Now he gets to run at Monmouth, where he has been working since early May. ADMIRAL KITTEN failed to make much of an impact when fifth in the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic on the Derby undercard, though he was beaten just 2 ¼ lengths. He excels in long turf routes like this one, having won the Grade 1 Secretariat last year at 1 ¼ miles and the Grade 3 John Connally at this distance of 1 1/8 miles in January at Sam Houston; an overlay if he sticks to his 8-1 morning-line odds. HARD ENOUGH won the Red Bank Stakes over this course in the local prep for this race, rebounding from a troubled trip in his preceding start when he was pulled up at Gulfstream; is drawn poorly in post 13 but is 3 for 5 on the Monmouth lawn.