Woodbine & Albuquerque Downs Horse Racing Picks for Saturday, September 19 AND Sunday, September 20, 2020

Woodbine & Albuquerque Downs Horse Racing Picks for Saturday, September 19 AND Sunday, September 20, 2020

Saturday’s Races

Race 8 at Woodbine – Post Time 5 PM Eastern

This is not a stakes but it leads to the Ricoh Woodbine Mile, which is my Race of the Day play for Woodbine available HERE. So I think we can make some money on doubles and pick 3 tickets starting in this race.

Mrs. Del won like a good thing last time out on 8/29. It doesn’t matter it took eight tries to win because this is a non-winners of two and all of these are one-for-something. The 93 Equibase figure tops the field and if she can repeat it, or come close to it, she wins again.

Takota ran big in all four starts last year, never off the board, then finished nearly last in her July comeback. Given two months off she’s working well and if that last start was an aberration she can upset opening at 8/1.

Trading Bay may be the “early” speed in the field as she’s inside Eight Speed but if those two hook up it sets up some others. Still, she’s on an improving pattern off a win and fits the conditions perfectly.

Silver Dahlia rallied from seventh to third 16 days ago and makes her third start off a five month layoff. Hernandez stays aboard and if Trading Bay and Eight Speed go at it early, she’s the biggest beneficiary.



Mrs. Del at odds of 2/1or higher.

Takota at odds of 7/2 or higher.

When making multiple win bets, use a “Dutching” tool to do the work of allocating your wagering dollars for the best edge. A Dutching tool lets you set the amount you want to bet or the amount you want to win, then based on the odds your bets are proportioned accordingly. Amwager has a great dutching tool available, among many other great features.


Mrs. Del and Takota over Mrs. Del, Takota, Trading Bay and Silver Dahlia


Race 8: Mrs. Del, Takota

Race 9: War of Will, March to the Arch, Admiralty Pier

Pick 3:

Race 8: Mrs. Del, Takota, Trading Bay, Silver Dahlia

Race 9: War of Will, March to the Arch, Admiralty Pier

Race 10: Illegal Smile

Race 9 is the Ricoh Woodbine Mile, post time 5:39 PM Eastern. You can get my complete analysis and betting recommendations (excluding the above) here on the Woodbine website. You can also play a double from race nine to race 10 from the pick 3 above.

Woodbine Cares Stakes – Race 10 at Woodbine – Post Time 6:14 PM Eastern

Aside from the pick 3 started in race 8 and potentially doubles started in race 9 there’s not much to do here.

Illegal Smile sticks out for Wesley Ward and Luis Contreras but is the 8 to 5 starting favorite. She led at the six furlong mark in the Catch a Glimpse Stakes over the course last month and held third and the cut back to six furlongs, plus the outside post, gives her an edge here as the 91 Equibase Figure towers over the rest. I think there’s some value in using Dirty Dangle in the exacta as that one opens at 10/1. Dirty Dangle won gamely by a head in her debut last month and was flattered when runner-up Souper Munnings (also entered here) came back to win. Dirty Dangle has put in two sharp workouts since raced and showed some maturity in coming from off the pace so while many of these should get tired trying to go for the lead or chasing the pace, Dirty Dangle could be making a strong impact late.


Exacta: Box Illegal Smile and Dirty Dangle.

Trifecta: Illegal Smile over Dirty Dangle over ALL.

Downs at Albuquerque Handicap – Race 10 at Albuquerque Downs – Post Time 7:15 PM Eastern

This is a $200K race with some decent horses in it. Often the morning line odds are way off but I’m hoping that’s not the case here as Articulator, who opens at 10/1, gets top billing. He’s won over $200K in his career and is making only his third start, second route start, off a four month layoff from February to June. The second start back off the layoff was a HUGE effort when coasting home to a nine length win. He’s well-bred and was in the Navarro barn at some point but moved last December to the top barn of Justin Evans before the Navarro indictment. For Evans he didn’t run that well last winter but the time off did him good as the win on 7/14 earned a career-best 107 figure. Articulator had run 106 for Navarro so is back in that form and as a son of Quality Road should relish this nine furlong trip. With no speed inside of him, Negron can put him on the lead and control the pace which may be just what he needs to win again.

Restrainedvengence will go to post favored, opening at 5 to 2 for Asmussen. He’s earned over a half-million and won the similar Zia Championship Handicap last November. He has won two of five since then including when second last month in the Grade 2 Del Mar Mile (on turf) which is the reason he’s going to be favored here on class. Considering the win at Zia last fall came on the ship in from California, he’s got a big shot so has to be used on exacta tickets but is likely a poor win bet at low odds.

Pendleton is also proven at the level and distance, having won a nine furlong stakes at Sunray Park last June. He’s also trained by Evans and comes into the race in good form, having led in the stretch and settling for second in a stakes over the track at seven furlongs last month. He needed that race following four months off and the stretchout from seven furlongs to nine suits him nicely.


Win: Articulator at 2 to 1 or more.

Exacta: Articulator, Restrainedvengence and Pendleton

Sunday’s Races

Summer Stakes – Race 7 at Woodbine – Post Time 4:29 PM Eastern

American Monarch won around two turns on turf at Saratoga in his only start and has a lot of talent. Mott ships north and he’s a perfect fit in a race in which many haven’t run a mile yet. Watching the race, American Monarch showed a nice turn of foot when asked and was very professional so opening at 6/1 gets top billing.

Gretzky the Great won a stakes on the Woodbine Turf last month professionally from just off the pace but at six and one-half furlongs. The mile on the turf at Woodbine is a one-turn race and with a field high 96 Equibase Figure to improve upon he’s the one to beat on paper but I expect he will be much more heavily bet than American Monarch.

Heat of the Night may get ignored in the wagering as he was at 11/1 in his winning debut 17 days ago at Gulfstream Park. He was very mature stalking in fourth and drawing off by a length and he ran down a 2 to 5 favorite in doing so. The win came at this mile trip and that experience bodes well for another competitive effort.


Win: American Monarch at 2 to 1 or more

Heat of the Night at 7 to 2 or more

This is the kind of race where a “Dutching” tool like the free one at Amwager really comes in handy as it proportions your bets based on the odds so you don’t have to do the math for yourself.

Exacta: Box American Monarch, Heat of the Night and Gretzky the Great

Pick 3:

Race 7: American Monarch, Heat of the Night, Gretzky the Great

Race 8: Vegas Kitten

Race 9: Seasons

Race 8 at Woodbine – Post Time 5:02 PM Eastern

Vegas Kitten was reclaimed by Mark Case in June, two races after losing the horse in March out of a two length winning effort. That win came right after Casse had claimed the horse from Maker, so it was a BIG sign he saw fit to reclaim and has been rewarded with two top efforts since – a win on turf and a runner-up effort in a race scheduled for turf but run on the main track. Either effort repeated in this field is good enough to win in my opinion so he gets top billing.

Just Like Larry and Unilateral are two horses I’ll use on exotic tickets with Vegas Kitten. Just Like Larry ran second to runaway winner Shirl’s Speight (who won the Marine Stakes next out) in his comeback from nine months off in July then won nicely at a mile on grass. He didn’t fire in the same off-turf race Vegas Kitten finished second in last month but I’ll draw a line through that and expect a return to competitive form. Unilateral put in a big rally from 9th, 13 lengths back, to win by a nose one before last in July in his turf debut, second career start and first after four months off, then rallied mid-race from 10 back to one length back before settling for fourth in a main track race last month. Back on turf he should be finishing fast for a piece.


Win: Vegas Kitten at 9 to 5 or more

Exacta: Vegas Kitten over Just Like Larry and Unilateral

Box Vegas Kitten, Just Like Larry and Unilateral

Natalma Stakes – Race 9 at Woodbine – Post Time 5:35 PM Eastern

Seasons stands out in this race, having won in her debut at Saratoga on August 9, around two turns, showing a lot of maturity. She was racing near the lead in the stretch when a horse went through the temporary (breakaway) rail, recovered and won professionally while fighting to the wire and she should run a lot better off the experience of a race. She’s out of the tremendous turf stakes winner Winter Memories, who has already produced a horse which won over a quarter million on turf, and the sky’s the limit for this talented filly.

Dreaming of Drew and Alda are the other contenders, having finished second and first, respectively, when separated by a nose in the Catch a Glimpse Stakes last month over the track. The third finisher in that race was Illegal Smile, the logical winner in Saturday’s Woodbine Cares Stakes so that may indicate the strength of that race. Both fillies are on improving patterns and would be no surprise but I give Seasons the edge based on having already run this distance.

Bets: Seasons to win at 9 to 5 or more.

As that may be unlikely we can play the exacta and trifecta instead of a win bet.

Exacta: Box Seasons and Dreaming of Drew. Box Seasons and Alda


Seasons over Dreaming of Drew and Alda over ALL

Seasons over All over Dreaming of Drew and Alda

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Ellis Starr

Ellis is a well respected handicapper and contributor of AmWager. He has been a public handicapper for more than twenty years, educating racing fans of all skill levels with detailed commentary few other handicappers provide.

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