Following an exciting weekend of racing, there are 11 tracks in North American to handicap on Monday. It’s a slow week of stakes racing, but just wait for July 4. There is going to be a lot of action for the Fourth of July. It’s an endless list of stakes events on July 4, so that’s something to get excited about. Even on July 5, there is a healthy list of graded events taking place. The grandest of them all is the Runhappy Metropolitan (Gr. 1) Stakes for $500,000 at Belmont Park.
That’s a Breeders’ Cup Challenge Race being held in New York. Along with the Metropolitan Stakes, the Manhattan Stakes (Gr. 1) will run at Belmont Park for a purse of $400,000. Belmont Park will have a total of $1,350,000 between five stakes races will be offered on July 4. New York will be one of the focal points of the next day, too, with a $100,000 event in the Kingston Stakes.
Lone Star Park will have four small stakes events on July 5 worth $75,000 apiece. We are at Lone Star Park on Monday, which has a total of $216,000 on offer in Texas. As far as I know, spectators are permitted at Lone Star Park on Monday. They opened up the gates to fans a few weeks ago, and there hasn’t been talk of going back to fanless racing because of the COVID-19 spike. Bars are being forced to close while restaurants can operate with limited customers. In any event, racing will continue at Lone Star Park on Monday. Head below for our free Lone Star Park picks for June 29, 2020.
Post Time: 2:39 p.m. CST
Distance: 5 ½ Furlongs
Race 3 will feature 5 ½ furlongs for a $14,000 purse on the dirt. This is not by any means the biggest race you can find out there, but it should be an entertaining race regardless. We should get into a bit of a duel between Frosted Bling and Meme Jo. Frosted Bling is a gelding that was foaled in 2014 and he’s coming off a promising performance on June 17. That said, Frosted Bling has been inconsistent since last summer.
He’s finished 5th, 8th, 4th, 3rd, 5th, 9th, 2nd and hasn’t had a win since July 19, 2019, which is when the dry spell started. Frosted Bling was in good form recently, though, that much can’t be denied. He finished 2nd behind Meme Jo by a half length, so this is what he hopes is the revenge race. Despite finishing just short, Frosted Bling showed up to race and should be a factor on Monday afternoon again. Overall in his career, Frosted Bling has 5 wins in 25 outings since opening his career on August 31, 2017.
Meme Jo has a much longer history than Frosted Bling after beginning his career on January 19, 2013. Since his debut, Meme Jo has raced in 81 races with 23 wins. He’s a workhorse that has accumulated $351,153 in earnings. Meme Jo is seeking a hat-trick on Monday after wins on June 8 and June 17.
He won by 1 ¼ lengths over Singing Aces, and then the half length win over Frosted Bling just over a week later. You can’t make an argument that Meme Jo is going to be rusty on Monday. In the rematch between Frosted Bling and Meme Jo, expect more of the same with Meme Jo getting the win at the wire to complete the hat-trick versus a familiar foe in Race 3.
Post Time: 4:45 p.m. CST
For the second selection of the day at Lone Star Park we’ll turn to Race 7. This is the co-feature race of the day with a nice purse of $36,000 on the table. Final Form, Nomizar, and True Castle are all shortlist material. Trust Castle is out of Robertino’s Diodoro’s barn and is bound to run a solid race.
Diodoro is one of the more successful trainers that you are going to find at Lone Star Park. True Castle is 4 for 13 in her career and is a winner in 3 of her previous 4 events. She won her most recent outing on May 22 in her debut at Lone Star. True Castle beat Silver City Trick by a head in an impressive effort. In March she won over Punish by 2 ½ lengths and over She’s a Dime by a nose in April.
Nomizar has 5 wins in 16 career races for a nice career thus far. She has won every other race since November, so if the trend continues, Nomizar will be going to the winner’s circle on Monday. Nomizar has finished 1st, 2nd, 1st, 5th, 1st, 5th in his last six races. She won by 1 ¼ lengths over Inthemidstofbiz as a favorite on March 31, but then didn’t show much in his latest outing on April 25. Nomizar finished 5th against a tougher field. This event on Monday will be a bit easier on Nomizar, though.
Final Form might be the horse with the best form going into Race 7. She has won 50% of her races with a record of 6 for 12 since opening up her career on February 14, 2018. Final Form has been selective with her race selection and it’s resulted in several trips to the winner’s circle.
She is also a winner in 5 of her last 7 races, and she’s finished in the top-2 in 6 of 7 events. In her most recent performance, Final Form won by 6 ½ lengths in what was the best performance of her career. Another win on Monday for Final Form, and there might be some consideration for an upgrade in class for her next race. She should be able to beat comparable competition today.
Post Time: 5:45 p.m. CST
Race 9 will do it for us at Lone Star Park on Monday. The final race of the day is the co-feature race of the day for a $36,000 purse. It will take just 5 furlongs to complete this event on the turf. Elle’s Town and Holiday Time are both likely going to have solid efforts in this one. Holiday Time is going to press Elle’s Town the most here. She is getting a class drop after struggling on June 13 at Churchill Downs. Holiday Time was vying for a $83,000 purse. That was well out of reach for Holiday Time, as she finished 10th and was never a threat.
This was after finishing 1st and 3rd in two races prior to that tough test. It’s clear she is nothing more than a pacesetter at that level. December 13, 2019 at Fair Grounds was a much better ending, as Holiday Time won by 1 ½ lengths as an underdog over Underestimate. It was the second win in her career. The first win occurred on July 6, 2019 at Ellis Park over Talaalah by ¾ lengths. Overall in her career, Holiday Time has won 2 of 11 races. She’s just been too inconsistent for my taste, but is fully capable of winning if she wants to run today.
Elle’s Town has the most consistency in her game. She has finished in the top-3 in 4 of her previous 5 races, including a solid effort in the Pago Hop Stakes on December 28, 2019 at Fair Grounds. Elle’s Town finished a length behind Zofelle to come just short for the top prize out of a $75,000 purse.
In her debut at Lone Star Park on June 9, Elle’s Town was rewarded for her strong form. She won by a length over Breeze Rider. It was an easy win, with Elle’s Town taking over at the ¼ pole and not looking back. Elle’s Town was bought for $240,000 this past January, and is expected to be a winner plenty of times in the rest of her career. Look for another strong performance from Elle’s Town. Anything less than a win would be a disappointment for her connections.