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Sweet Lou Monaco analyzes Monday's racing at Finger Lakes

After an amazing weekend of graded stakes races and huge implications for the upcoming Breeders’ Cup in November, the new racing week brings us to Finger Lakes in upstate New York for the $50,000 Leon Reed Memorial Stakes, a six furlongs state-bred race for 3-year-olds and up.

The six-horse field is slated as race eight on the nine-race card with an approximate post time of 4:17 p.m. ET.

#3, Tribecca, John Davila, Jr., 5-1

In her last start and first at Finger Lakes, Tribecca romped by 11 ½ lengths over today’s counterpart Leap to Glory in a $20,400 allowance optional claiming race on Sept. 18. He was claimed by trainer Chris Englehart for $25,000 prior to this start after a one-length win in a $52,000 claiming race at Saratoga on Aug. 4. Tribecca will be making his ninth start of the year (4-0-1) and 32nd of his career (8-4-4). Oh yeah, Englehart is currently second in the Finger Lakes trainer standings with 60 wins, one behind James Acquilano. I like his chances and can’t believe his ML odds. The pick.

#2, Saratoga Giro, Jeremias Flores, 3-1

Will the third time be the charm for Saratoga Giro? After finishing third and second respectively in the last two Reed Memorials, Saratoga Giro will give it another shot as he still looks for his first win of the year in his fourth start (0-2-0). He has finished in the money in seven of his last eight starts, but was a disappointing sixth in his last start, the $100,000 John Morrissey Stakes at Saratoga on Aug. 4. Last year’s Finger Lakes Horse of the Year has not won since a 1 ½-length triumph in the $50,000 George W. Barker Stakes here on June 4, 2018. Regular rider Jeremias Flores returns which is a good sign to end the drought for the 6-year-old, who will be making his 33rd career start (10-10-2). He will be right in the thick of it late; I just think Tribecca is racing better right now, especially off that last performance. Runner-up.

#5, P J Advantage, Oscar Gomez, 2-1

PJ Advantage has won two straight and five of his last seven starts, including his last, a one-length win over my second choice Saratoga Giro in the $50,000 George W. Barker Stakes here on June 3. Today will be mark his 17th career start (9-2-0) and his fifth this year (2-0-0). Oscar Gomez returns to the mount after a one-race layoff, where he took home a $20,400 allowance race by one length here on May 13. Gomez returning helps the morning-line favorite. Contender.

#4, Leap to Glory, Wilfredo Rohena, 6-1

Leap to Glory has been solid all year long. In 10 starts, he is 5-2-1, highlighted by four straight wins before a runner-up finish (albeit 11 ½ lengths) to my pick, Tribecca, here back on Sept. 18. I like the fact that Rohena gets another shot to close the gap a bit. I just don’t think it’s going to happen. In the mix.

PICKS: 3-2-5-4

By Lou Monaco


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