10/30/2017 1:20PM

Monydontspenitself has pedigree for Let It Ride

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DEL MAR, Calif. – The first stakes race upset of Breeders’ Cup week at Del Mar could happen on the first day of the meet.

Master Merion returns Wednesday to Del Mar with a three-race win streak and role of favorite in the $75,000 Let It Ride. But who wants chalk when a pedigree longshot beckons in the mile turf race for 3-year-olds?

Monydontspenitself has never tried turf, for a simple reason – there is no turf course at his home track of Emerald Downs. When the meet ended in September, it was time to hit the road.

“That’s pretty much why they sent him down here, to try him on the turf,” trainer Mark Glatt said. “He has the pedigree, he moves like a turf horse, and he’s got a textbook foot for the turf.”

Considering his bloodlines, no surprise. Monydontspenitself is by the outstanding turf sire Street Boss and a sibling to Zipessa, the Grade 1 winner slated to run Saturday in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf.

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Pedigree aside, Monydontspenitself has above-average ability. He won 3 of 7 at Emerald, earned respectable figures, and trained well for Glatt since arriving from Washington in September. But his deficits are conspicuous and include a lack of two-turn form or stakes credentials. He finished fourth in his only route and was off the board in all three stakes tries.

Monydontspenitself faces more accomplished rivals Wednesday, including Wesley Ward-trained Master Merion, the 5-2 favorite by linemaker Russ Hudak. Master Merion’s three straight wins include a summer allowance at Del Mar, followed by a $250,000 stakes at Kentucky Downs.

Two others in the Let It Ride are Midwest shippers that finished behind Master Merion at Kentucky Downs – stakes winner Kitten’s Cat and stakes-placed Holiday Stone. The local runners are Van Cortlandt, Dangerfield, Harbour Master and Curly’s Waterfront.

At 10-1 program odds, bred-for-turf Monydontspenitself ranks as one of the most appealing gambles on the card. And while no one is comparing him to Glatt’s graded turf winners Blackjackcat or Sharp Samurai, it is fair to say expectations are high for Monydontspenitself.

“He’s a big, strong, good-looking horse, and he will get the distance,” Glatt said.

The only time Monydontspenitself tried two turns at Emerald Downs, he was compromised by an unspecified problem, Glatt said.

Jockey Rafael Bejarano has worked Monydontspenitself on dirt; Glatt looks forward to the surface switch.

“He’s got a little bit of a high knee action like a turf horse and seems to relax in his works,” he said. “I think it’s a reasonable shot to try him and see where we’re at.”

This is the fourth running of the Let It Ride Stakes. The first three winners have not won since – Awesome Return in 2014, Crittenden in 2015, and Defiantly in 2016. The Let It Ride is race 7 on the nine-race card.

Let It Ride Stakes

KEY CONTENDERS

Monydontspenitself, by Street Boss
Last 3 Beyers: 71-81-82

◗ In a race void of obvious speed, he could set the pace.

Master Merion, by Quality Road
Last 3 Beyers: 90-87-90

◗ John Velazquez rides the Ward-trained Master Merion, who has won setting the pace and rallying from last. He also fits the conditions. His stakes win was seven furlongs. The Let It Ride is open to 3-year-olds “nonwinners of $60,000 . . . at a mile or more since April 1.”

Kitten’s Cat, by Kitten’s Joy
Last 3 Beyers: 70-81-84

◗ He won the $100,000 Juvenile Turf Sprint on the 2016 Breeders’ Cup undercard at Santa Anita and a $100,000 stakes race in February at Gulfstream Park. Mike Maker is the trainer of Kitten’s Cat, who scratched from a $50,000 claiming race Oct. 1 at Churchill Downs.

Holiday Stone, by Harlan's Holiday
Last 3 Beyers: 84-85-87

◗ He set the pace and finished third last out in the stakes won by Master Merion. Holiday Stone might prefer to rally from behind, although a murky pace scenario in the Let It Ride complicates pace analysis.

Harbour Master, by Harbour Watch
Last 3 Beyers: 89-79-85

◗ Fourth by one length last out in a first-level allowance against older, Harbour Master is back with 3-year-olds. He finished second to Master Merion when they met in August at Del Mar.