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Salvator Mile Contenders, Predictions, Best Bets (Monmouth Park)

Written by: Brian Zipse
Updated October 14, 2022
13 min read

Salvator Mile Odds and Post Position

Check out our predictions and odds for the 2022 Salvator Mile at Monmouth Park! Odds taken from TwinSpires Sportsbook!

PP Horse Odds Jockey Trainer
J Velazquez T Pletcher
R Silvera E Trujillo
M Smith D O’Neill
E Wilson R Attfield
5 HELIUM 8/1
S Camacho M Casse
J Batista G Bennett
7 PHAT MAN 12/1
P Lopez J K Sweezey

Salvator Mile Predictions and Best Bets

Here are my plays ($50 in total)

$5 Trifecta Key – Hot Rod Charlie over Mind Control, Helium and Phat Man = $30

$5 Trifecta Key – Hot Rod Charlie over Mind Control and Helium = $10

$5 Trifecta Key – Hot Rod Charlie over Mind Control and Phat Man = $10

If you’re playing only to win, go with my top pick Hot Rod Charlie (4/5)



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Salvator Mile Predictions Best Bets

Already an earner of better than $5 million, Hot Rod Charlie will be out to show why he is regarded as one of America’s best when he heads a field of seven older runners on Saturday in the Grade 3 Salvator Mile at Monmouth Park.

Trained by Doug O’Neill, the 4-year-old son of Oxbow will make his first start in the United States this year after winning the Grade 2 Al Maktoum Challenge Round 2 and finishing second in the Grade 1 Dubai World Cup in his first two starts in 2022.

The winner of last year’s Pennsylvania and Louisiana Derbies was taken down from the victory in the $1 million Haskell last July in his only previous start at the Jersey Shore.

Chief among his rivals on Saturday will be the two-time Grade 1 winner Mind Control. The 6-year-old son of Stay Thirsty broke his maiden at Monmouth back in August of 2018 and is now nearing $1.5 million in career earnings.

A winner of two of his last three in 2021, he returned to be third in the Grade 1 Carter Handicap and fifth in the Grade 1 Churchill Downs Stakes in his first two starts this year for trainer Todd Pletcher.

Another of interest in the Salvator Mile is Shirl’s Speight. A winner of half of his ten-lifetime starts, the son of Speightstown earned his first Grade 1 win two starts back on the turf in the Maker’s Mark Mile at Keeneland.

Trained by the legendary Roger Attfield, the 5-year-old has done his best running on the grass and will be looking for his first dirt win on Saturday.

Salvator Mile Predictions and Race Analysis

Hot Rod Charlie

The class of the race, this son of Oxbow, has been a model of consistency since breaking his maiden back in 2020. A good third in the Kentucky Derby, and an even better second in the Belmont last year, he has already crossed the wire first in three different million-dollar races.

Trained by Doug O’Neill, he also has proven to be the type who can fire his best no matter the distance. While it is always a question coming back from overseas, he looks to be training well for his return race.

It’s not the easiest spot for a return race, but on the other hand, it might be his easiest race in quite some time. If he runs near his best, he will win. He is the top pick.

Mind Control

Though his two races to begin the year do not look all that good, keep in mind that he was chasing two of the fastest horses in the country in Jackie’s Warrior and Speaker’s Corner. With those races under his belt, he should be ready to roll here.

He also will have less early pace to deal with on Saturday. With Johnny Velazquez in the saddle, look for him to be a pace presence early and a tough horse to pass late.

A two-time Grade 1 winner, and proven at the one-mile trip, he is the most likely upsetter if Hot Rod Charlie shows any sign of weakness in his first race back from Dubai.

Shirl’s Speight

This one has excelled on the grass so far in his career, so it is a bit of a surprise to see him entered in this spot. It seems like his connections want to see if he can handle the surface before trying him in something bigger. Unfortunately, they found a tough spot here.

I’ve always believed that he is a very talented horse, and he showed that in winning the Grade 1 Maker’s Mark Mile two starts back, but I can’t back him against a top dirt horse just yet.

He is a danger, if he can transfer that good turf form to dirt, but I will take a stand against him in this tough field.


Still unbeaten when he won the Tampa Bay Derby in March of 2021, this Mark Casse-trainee has not won since. Perhaps a decent eight-place run in the Kentucky Derby took something out of him, but on the other hand, he has not exactly run poorly in finishing second or third in his last five starts.

After a long freshening, he returned to run second in a pair of salty allowance races at Woodbine last month. Those races should have him fit and ready for his toughest test since the Derby. I don’t love his chances to beat the top one, but I am expecting a solid performance on Saturday.

Phat Man

This veteran has been running in graded stakes races since way back in January of 2017. He hasn’t won a lot of them, but has done enough to put together a very solid career. A stakes winner at Monmouth Park, he also likes the one-mile distance.

While his recent form is not good, he should improve off the prep race at Delaware Park in late May. He also has the closing kick to pass tiring rivals and work his way into one of the secondary spots. The 8-year-old son of Munnings looks like an interesting play to use underneath in the exotics.


This one will be making a big step up in class. On the bright side, he does come into the Salvator Mile off a victory over the track and trip and last time. Of course, the win came against significantly cheaper opponents than he will face here.

The eleven-time winner does have good recent form, but he is a horse who can often have his way with lesser animals, but he will likely be overmatched against the Grade 1 winners that populate this field.


Trained by Elvis Trujilo, this son of Tapit might yet develop into a stakes winner, but he’s not there yet. To date his only two career wins have both come at Laurel Park in a maiden and then an allowance race.

He hasn’t run poorly since graduating to stakes company in his last two, but clearly not nearly good enough to upset the likes of Hot Rod Charlie. He is a deserving long shot on Saturday and one that I cannot recommend playing.



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How to Watch the Salvator Mile

Salvator Mile Race Information
What Salvator Mile (Grade 3)
Location Monmouth Park
Time Saturday, June 18 — 6:15 pm Eastern time
How to Watch TVG
Purse $150,000

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Brian Zipse

289 Articles

Taken to the races at a very young age, Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing his entire life. Professionally, his work has been published on several leading industry sites. Brian served as the Editor of Horse Racing Nation from 2010-2017, where he still writes a regular column and hosts the popular weekly webcast HorseCenter.

Email: [email protected]

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