January 27, 2023

Talk Logistics installed as 3-2 favorite in Long Branch

Talk Logistics boasts just one win from eight career starts, but the Ed Plesa Jr. trainee has been assigned 3-2 favoritism against four rivals in Saturday’s $100,000 Long Branch Stakes at Monmouth Park.

The 1 1/16-mile contest is a local prep for the Haskell Invitational (G1) at Monmouth on July 30, and any one of the five-horse field could try that $1 million affair with a good run on Saturday.

Talk Logistics is still seeking his first stakes victory, though the son of High Cotton has been close a couple times. After breaking his maiden last July at Parx Racing, the chestnut ran second in the Buffalo Man Stakes to conclude his juvenile campaign and third in the Mucho Macho Man Stakes to open 2017, both at Gulfstream Park.

He was no match for Triple Crown hopefuls when finishing well-beaten fourths in the Holy Bull Stakes (G2) and Florida Derby (G1), but enters this spot off a runner-up effort behind the impressive Timeline in the Pegasus Stakes (G3) over track and distance. Talk Logistics earned a career- and field-best 103 BRIS Speed rating for his Pegasus run, and gets Orlando Bocachica in the irons for the first time here.

Jamminwithbrandon tried stakes rivals for the first time in the Easy Goer Stakes on June 10 at Belmont Park, and is making his Monmouth Park debut here off that well-beaten fourth. The Louis Linder Jr. trainee has never actually finished first in a race; he was awarded his maiden win via disqualification on April 4 at Parx Racing. Eddie Castro has the call.

“He fought on really well last time out in a tough race,” Linder said. “He came out of it a little tired but has returned to his old self and really fit. We gave him a maintenance work last week and then a strong gallop on Thursday to ready him for Saturday.

“He’s faced some really good horses so far in his tough campaign. I hope he breaks from the gate well and will probably be sitting just off the pace.”

The only other Long Branch runner with prior stakes experience is Phat Man, who finished off-the-board in his previous two tries. The Joe Sharp-trained gelding is exiting a nice allowance score at Belmont Park going a mile on June 23.

Command Post is looking for his third straight win while making his stakes debut here. The Jason Servis charge ran fourth while sprinting in his career bow, but has led the way home in his past pair, breaking his maiden at Gulfstream on April 15 and taking an allowance on May 29 at Monmouth Park. Antonio Gallardo will be holding the reins for the first time Saturday.

Lenstar rounds out the Long Branch field for trainer Nick Zito. The Shackleford gelding broke his maiden by 6 1/4 front-running lengths on February 5 at Gulfstream, was a close runner-up against allowance company at Keeneland on April 22 and filled the third spot in a similar Belmont allowance on June 10. Jose Ferrer will be aboard.