Friday, 18 October 2019 03:28

Key Races & Bets for Saturday, October 19

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Race 5 at Keeneland -Post Time 3:18 pm Eastern

There are a couple of things to note about the maiden race for two year olds, most just starting their careers and some which may continue to improve to the point they may be mentioned as Kentucky Derby contenders next year. The first factor is of those which have run, it appears up to five of them may want the lead from the start. It may only take two or three all bent on having the lead early to make them all tire late and that helps the horses which can sit in mid-pack in the early stages. However, with some first time starters we have no idea where they like to run during a race.

Tranquility Base is a first time starter who is working every 6 to 8 days over the last six weeks for fitness. He’s by one of the top sires of the past few years in Tapit and he cost $400,000 at Auction so is thought of highly. His dam (mother) has produced two horses to race before him, and BOTH were runners, one winning at first asking. For a trainer (Jones) who wins with more than an average share of first time starters, I’ll give Tranquility Base first look for wagering as he offers value for the risk to be sure, opening at 12/1.

Numidian is another first time starter who opens at high odds, 15/1 to be exact. The reason both he and Tranquility Base open at high odds is the public nearly always gravitates towards horses with experience but there is no problem backing a first time starter. Numidian put in a pretty strong fifth best of 30 workout to cap a nice series of workouts, on 10/11 here at Keeneland, and like Tranquility Base, Numidian’s dam produced a first out winner and that kind of “Precociousness” can be passed along to this colt Trainer Catalano wins with 20% of his first timers and excellent jockey Channing Hill (who happens to be the trainer’s son-in-law) rides a lot of winners for this stable.

Elusive d’Oro has run second in all three career starts to date and is not a horse which appears to need the lead to win. He rallied from eighth to second in his debut then in his other two starts went to the lead and faded just a bit but held second. He gets a key jockey change to Ricardo Santana, who is having a tremendous Keeneland meeting, such as when riding the $31 winner to victory in the Sycamore Stakes on Thursday.

Bets
Win Bets: Tranquility Base, Numidian, Elusive d’Oro at odds of 4/1. Bet two of the three going to post at the highest odds if at or above that level.

When making multiple win bets, use a "Dutching" tool to do the work of allocating your wagering dollars for the best edge. Amwager has a great dutching tool available, among many other great features.

Double:
Race 5: Tranquility Base, Numidian, Elusive d’Oro
Race 6: Boss of Bourbon St, Extra Medium, Smile Bryan and Echo Alpha Six
.


Race 6 at Keeneland - Post Time 3:51 PM Eastern

This is a race open to horses with just one career win and all of these have more than a few losses to go along with that one win. Most just haven’t been able to repeat their maiden wins so the key may be to look to horses which won their most recent race as they figured it out and haven’t regressed yet. Boss of Bourbon St is one of those who won his most recent race, easily by six lengths. What’s significant is the win came at the same seven furlong (seven-eighths of a mile) distance as this race, and it came in his second start after coming bac from eight months off, so he should improve physically off the effort as well as that win came the first time he was placed in a claiming race, this being a claiming race as well.

Extra Medium also won his most recent race, also at this seven furlong trip. The win came on all-weather in Illinois and horses shipping from Arlington Park to Keeneland have repeated their efforts to another “A” race good enough to win may be forthcoming.

Smile Bryan ran poorly in his most recent race, on 8/28, following a big effort where he led in the stretch and was beaten a neck on the finish, at this seven furlong distance. He also finished second in April in his only previous start at Keeneland and he could return to that kind of form because since he last race he became a gelding.

Echo Alpha Six returns from nine months off and has been working well. He won in his career debut so we now he can fire fresh and he looks to be overlooked in the wagering as he opens at 10/1.

Bets:
Win Bets: Boss of Bourbon St
and Extra Medium at odds of 3 to 1 or more.
When making multiple win bets, use a "Dutching" tool to do the work of allocating your wagering dollars for the best edge. Amwager has a great dutching tool available, among many other great features.

Exactas: Box Boss of Bourbon St, Extra Medium, Smile Bryan and Echo Alpha Six.

Double:
Race 6: Boss of Bourbon St
, Extra Medium, Smile Bryan and Echo Alpha Six.
Race 7: Marvin, Gran Hombre, Bunch and High Holy.

Race 7 at Keeneland - Post Time 4:24 PM Eastern

In another wide open maiden race for two year old males, the equivalent of 12 to 15 year old boys, we have a field in which most have never run at all. Marvin put in a strong workout at Keeneland in his most recent full speed drill, the third best of 31 on the day at the distance, and most of the other 30 were likely older horses who have won races. The dam has produced a first out winner and the trainer wins at an above average 22% rate with first timers. The outside post is good too.

Gran Hombre comes from the barn of Al Stall, known for having his first timers ready to run as evidenced by a 25% win rate. This one is also a half-brother to a first out winner and his sire, Fed Biz, produces a strong 21% win rate with his first time starters so this cold is bred to run well early in his career on both sides of his family tree.

Bunch is another first time starter and likely to be one of the highest odds horses at post time. We must remind ourselves to be contrarians and not be scared of high odds horse so perhaps this horse deserves a few bucks to win and place so we won’t be kicking ourselves late. Bunch comes from the barn of Joan Scott, very competent for many years and actually having won with 4 of her last 16 first timers, a very good record. Sire Race day has his foals on the track for the first time this year and five of 20 have won first time out to date, which is a pretty good record so the colt could post the upset.

High Holy is one more first time starter opening at high odds, in this case 12/1. Owner/breeder Silverton Hills farm really takes their time with their young horses so I expect this colt to be well-prepared for his first race. In between a bunch of average morning drills, High Holy put in a sharp 47.8 half mile workout which shows he’s fit and the trainer doesn’t start many first timers but fired with one under the radar at Keeneland last year at 11/1 so beware.

Bets:
Win Bets: Pick two of these four as win bets at 4 to 1 or higher odds: Marvin, Gran Hombre, Bunch and High Holy.
Add place bets on any of them at 6 to 1 or more.

Exactas: Box Marvin, Gran Hombre, Bunch and High Holy.



Friday, 11 October 2019 12:28

Key Races & Bets for Saturday, October 12

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Nearctic Stakes -Race 7 at Woodbine -Post Time 4:30 pm Eastern

Blind Ambition is a fairly legitimate favorite, opening at 5/2, but there is value in another trio of contenders who would not be a surprise if winning and especially if completing the exacta at decent odds. Blind Ambition won on 9/6 following nine months off and even though the win came in a classified allowance (Not a stakes) it was a top effort with a low level stakes quality Equibase Figure (106) he can improve upon second off the layoff. The horse earned a 115 figure last April (2018) wining the Elusive Quality Stakes on the Belmont turf and in that prep last month Blind Ambition showed a nice kick rallying from fourth which could be the winning move here as Yorkton, Boreal Spirit and Richiesinthehouse are ALL need-the-lead types bound to contest a hot early pace.

Woody Creek is a filly against boys, making her U.S. debut off a fifth of 16 finish in a stakes in England which was pretty good. She adds Lasix which gives credence to the thought she may have bled in that race so we should look back to races before last to assess her form. Doing so we find three straight big efforts beaten a neck or less in a group three stakes about as tough as this one. With Kimura getting on, likely to make the 110 pound assignment which is NINE pounds less than most of the field, Woody Creek cannot be ignored as she opens at 8/1.

Reconfigure has a 5-3-1 record in 9 races so it’s hard to ignore him either as he opens at 10/1. Since the claim by Tiller out of a three length win at this six furlong trip on turf in July, he’s run better and better, including when beaten by just three-quarters of a length to Blind Ambition one before last. The 105 figure earned in that race is rock solid here if Blind Ambition doesn’t run back to his 2018 form and that makes Reconfigure a strong contender in this current top form.

Lookin to Strike has a five for 13 record in his career, almost all on the main track, but he ran on to miss by a nose to Boreal Spirit one before last in a 100K allowance race when that one had an easy lead. This time, with pace to run into, and moving back to a turf sprint off an irrelevant route, Lookin to Strike is another at high odds (10/1 morning line) to consider.

We’ll also add City Boy, for second on exacta and trifecta tickets, who opens at 20/1, as he possesses a 2-6-2 record and likes to finish second a lot.

Bets:
Win Bets: Blind Ambition to win at 2/1, a low odds overlay win bet.
Woody Creek to win at 3 to 1 or more.
Consider smaller win bets on Reconfigure and on Lookin to Strike at 9 to 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. Amwager has a great dutching tool available, among many other great features.

Exactas: Blind Ambition and Woody Creek over Blind Ambition, Woody Creek, Reconfigure, City Boy and Lookin to Strike.

Exacta Box: Blind Ambition, Woody Creek, Reconfigure and Lookin to Strike.

Trifecta: Blind Ambition, Woody Creek, Reconfigure and Lookin to Strike over Blind Ambition, Woody Creek, Reconfigure, City Boy and Lookin to Strike over Blind Ambition, Woody Creek, Reconfigure, City Boy and Lookin to Strike.

Pick 3:
Race 7 - Blind Ambition, Woody Creek, Reconfigure and Lookin to Strike.
Race 8 – Red Tea, Durance, Imperial Charm and Starship Jubilee
Race 9 – Ziyad and Desert Encounter

E.P. Taylor Stakes – Race 8 at Woodbine - Post Time 5:05 PM Eastern

Durance is one of three horses making their North American debuts and one of a trio of three year olds facing older. Both she and Imperial Charm faced older in their most recent races, with Durance finishing the better of the two when second in a group 2 stakes in Germany run at 12 furlongs on a left handed course like those in North America. Prior to that came the filly’s best effort yet, when third of 13 in the Grade 1 German Oaks. That effort, if repeated, is more than good enough to win and as she opens at 6/1 she gets top billing because of that.

Imperial Charm finished third in a Group 1 stakes in France in May, her best career effort, then after another third place effort took a couple of months off and ran third of seven in a non-graded race in France on 9/5. The grade 1 placing came at this 10 furlong trip on turf and like Durance, Imperial Charm adds Lasix for the first time, so although she enters the race off a poorer effort in easier company she has the potential to rebound to top form good enough to win.

Red Tea and Starship Jubilee open as the two morning line choices at 3/1 and 7/2, respectively. Both have a shot but don’t appear to offer the win betting opportunity as either of the previously two mentioned horses. Red Tea won a Group 1 stakes in Ireland in July but didn’t run as well in a Group 1 at 10 furlongs one month later. Those were tougher horses to be sure so if she can repeat her 7/21 effort she can win, but with a two for six record this year she may be as good as some of the others, but no better.

Starship Jubilee is the favorite of the locals, having just won the Canadian Stakes last month at 9 furlong on the course. She can win on the lead or from behind so Contreras will have the opportunity to see what transpires in the opening quarter mile before deciding on a strategy. Just the same, although a 13 time winner, Starship Jubilee’s best Equibase figures have been 105, compared to 114 and 109 for Durance, 116 and 110 for Imperial Charm and 114 and 118 for Red Tea, so she may have her work cut out for her.

Bets:
Win Bets: Durance to win at odds of 5 to 2 or higher. Consider a second win bet, on Imperial Charm, at odds of 7 to 2 or more.

When making multiple win bets, use a "Dutching" tool to do the work of allocating your wagering dollars for the best edge. Amwager has a great dutching tool available, among many other great features.

Exacta and Trifecta: Box Durance, Imperial Charm, Red Tea and Starship Jubilee

Sands Point Stakes – Race 9 at Belmont Park - Post Time 5:13 PM Eastern

Not only are horses trained by Chad Brown routinely over bet (bet more heavily than they should be based on probability to win), sometimes they have less probability than others and those others offer excellent value. Such is the case here with Souper Escape, who opens at 8/1 while Brown’s New and Improved opens at 5/2. Souper Escape just won the La Lorgnette Stakes at Woodbine, albeit on the main all-weather surface, but that effort translates to the Belmont turf just fine. She had won a race on dirt but scheduled for turf two before that and she won at a mile on turf in April following three months off. As a daughter of Medaglia d’Oro she will have no problem handling the trip and the 92 last race Equibase Speed Figure is the BEST last race figure in the field, making her, not New and Improved, the one to beat.

Also worth considering is Ledecka, who opens at 12/1. This filly broke her maiden AT THIS 9 FURLONG TRIP the first time she tried it, one before last on 8/24, then won a 100K stakes on all-weather at Presque Isle Downs. That has turned out to be a KEY RACE, with the fourth and fifth finishers having run better to be second in subsequent starts and with the sixth and eighth horse both winning their next starts. Although the 84 and 83 figures from her last two races are below the 92 Souper Escape earned in her last race, Ledecka is still improving and has potential to outrun her double digit odds.

Bets: Souper Escape to win at odds of 5 to 2 or more.
For about one-third to one-fourth of the amount you bet on Souper Escape, Ledecka to win at odds of 5 to 1 or more.

Pattison Canadian International Stakes - Race 9 at Woodbine - Post Time 5:42 PM Eastern

There’s really no play in this race so that’s why the pick three ticket started in race seven at Woodbine is the way to profit. There are six entered here and I would be extremely surprised if any horse other than Ziyad or Desert Encounter won the race. Unfortunately, Ziyad opens at even money and Desert Encounter the second choice at 2 to 1. Ziyad, who makes his North American debut, nearly beat Coronet in the Group 1 Grand Prix de Saint Cloud at the end of June then dropped just a hair to win the Group 2 Grand Prix de Deauville and therefore has the best credentials of any of these by far. Guyon comes in from France to ride this gelding who has been extremely consistent throughout his career at this marathon distance amassing a 3-4-2 record from 10 races. Desert Encounter has run in North America previously, shipping in from Newbury in England to win last year’s Canadian at odds of 8/1. He prepped in the same race he finished third in last year, this year winning that race last month, and Atzeni, who rode him to victory last year and who has not ridden since in seven races, travels to Woodbine to ride again. Certainly if his 2/1 morning line holds up, Desert Encounter may be worth a win bet even if Ziyad is a bit more likely because he’s been this route before.


Thursday, 03 October 2019 19:46

Key Races & Bets for Saturday, October 5

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Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes - Race 7 at Keeneland - Post Time 4:29 PM Eastern

When a horse comes back from a layoff as Spiced Perfection is doing, I look to insure the workouts in the last month are consistent, about every five to seven days, and then if they are I feel comfortable assuming the race which led to the layoff can be ignored and to look starting at the second before the layoff to assess form. In the case of this filly, that's great as she won the Grade 1 Madison Stakes at Keeneland, her fourth "A" race in a row which also included victory in the Grade 1 La Brea at the end of December. Both those wins came at seven furlongs but she's two-for-two at six furlongs so I have no doubt she can win here particularly with Castellano aboard as he was for the Madison.

Ours to Run has won 11 of 17 career dirt races, six at the basic six furlong trip. She was only beaten a head by Chalon for second in the Grade 2 Honorable Miss Stakes when last seen in July and she's won from the rail so that's not a problem. Ours to Run, as well as Spiced Perfection and Chalon, have a stalking style which should benefit nicely from the likely early pace battle between Razorback Lady and Danuska's My Girl, that pair pressed by Mia Mischief and Talk Veuve to Me. Ours to Run shipped in last week to put in a strong five furlong drill over the track and appears ready to add to her fine record today. Chalon won a non-graded stakes off the runner-up effort in the Honorable Miss then was flattered when the third horse came back to win. She's five for nine at the trip and missed by a head in last year's edition of this race at Keeneland so rounds out a trio which in my mind have the bulk of the probability to win.

That being said, there's not a SINGLE HORSE I'd count out being capable of finishing second. You can call it a cop-out if you want, but I went over the field multiple times and even the supposed need-the-lead types have some chance to hang on for second.

Bets:
Spiced Perfection to win at 2 to 1 odds or higher. a true KEY BET on the day.
Consider slightly smaller win bets on either Ours to Run or Chalon if they should be about 3 to 1 or higher near post time.

When making multiple win bets, use a "Dutching" tool to do the work of allocating your wagering dollars for the best edge. Amwager has a great dutching tool available, among many other great features.

Exactas (just for $1 in my opinion): Spiced Perfection, Ours to Run and Chalon over ALL.

Double and Pick 3 tickets:
Race 7 – Spiced Perfection, Ours to Run and Chalon
Race 8 – Juliet Foxtrot, Uni, Vasilika, Indian Blessing, Rushing Fall and Just Wonderful
Race 9 – Tap It to Win, Enforceable, Maxfield, Ajaaweed and Gouverneur Morris
The Double, at the $1 minimum threshold, between races 7 and 8, has a cost of $18
The Pick 3, at the $0.50 minimum threshold, has a cost of $45

First Lady Stakes - Race 8 at Keeneland - Post Time 5:04 PM Eastern


This race not only has Breeders' Cup quality, it has Breeders' Cup field size, with 14 entered to run a mile on grass, and with many already grade 1 winners on the surface. I started my analysis looking at the early pace scenario and in doing so slightly discounted the chances of five horses who have shown an "early" or "early presser" style only in their best efforts, or those which have not proven themselves in grade 2 or grade 1 company. Although many of those can finish second or third, I'm barely considering them for exacta as well. That group consists of Conquest Hardcandy, Marina's Legacy, Mitchell Road, Ms Bad Behavior and Awesometank.

I'm left with SIX quality fillies and mares which can win, some at odds we may never see again because of the depth of the field. I'll start with Indian Blessing who shipped over from Europe to run in the Ballston Spa Stakes at Saratoga in August and who ran the race of her life then in a four horse blanket finish. She missed by a neck to Significant Form, who came back to win the Noble Damsel, and she was a neck in front of Starship Jubilee, who won the Northern Dancer Stakes next time out. With Jamie Spencer in to ride this gal who appears to be ignored at 12/1 on the morning line has a legitimate shot to win.

Just Wonderful is another European shipper, for Coolmore and Aiden O'Brien. She hipped over in 2018 to finish fourth of 14 in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies then in July to finish second in the $1 million Belmont Oaks and she missed winning by less than a length in a very tough mile stakes in Ireland last month to set her up for another top effort. She too opens at 12/1.

Rushing Fall is, well, Rushing Fall, one of the best distaff turf stars to come along in years. With eight wins and two defeats in 10 career starts, all but one a graded stakes, and with a perfect four-for-four record at Keeneland, the ONLY knock I can find is her starting odds of 9/5, which make it impossible to even consider her for a win bet. Thank goodness we can use here with a few horses at higher odds in exacta and multiple race bets.

Uni was not disgraced one bit when third of 10 in the Fourstardave Handicap last time out against Males, beaten a head for second by Raging Bull as the filly Got Stormy drew off by a couple of lengths. She had won FIVE in a row prior to that including the Grade 1 Matriarch at this mile trip and Rosario was responsible for all but one of the win so riding her today we can expect a top effort.

Vasilika and Juliet Foxtrot finished first and second, respectively, when separated by a nose in the Grade 2 John C. Mabee Stakes at the end of August. Vasilika was the queen of the division in California before that with seven graded stakes wins in the past year while Juliet Foxtrot won her first three starts since coming to the U.S. before that narrow defeat. Vasilika has NEVER gone to post at odds under 2/1 for over a year but opens at 5/1 here as a testament to how tough this field is while Juliet Foxtrot opens at 8/1.

Bets: Win bets on BOTH Indian Blessing and Just Wonderful are warranted at 7 to 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. Amwager has a great dutching tool available, among many other great features.

I would not talk ANYONE out of win bets on win bets on Uni, Vasilika or Juliet Foxtrot at 9 to 2 odds or higher (maybe even 4 to 1 or more). If you really like Rushing Fall, instead of a win bet my recommendation is an exacta over the other five, so for the same $5 (at $1) you get more back then betting to win at 9 to 5.

If you played the pick 3 starting in race 7 and none of the contenders won that leg, you can consider doubles using the contenders from that pick 3 in this race and the next race as follows:

Race 8 – Juliet Foxtrot, Uni, Vasilika, Indian Blessing, Rushing Fall and Just Wonderful
Race 9 – Tap It to Win, Enforceable, Maxfield, Ajaaweed and Gouverneur Morris

I can't even come close to recommending any exacta bets in this race with so many horses which can finish first or second.

Breeders' Futurity - Race 9 at Keeneland - Post Time 5:39 PM Eastern

This is another exceptionally deep field, particularly as almost none of these have run two turns and as two year olds always have a shot to take a big step forward from one race to the next.

That being said, I think one horse has a slight edge, and four others offer the rest of the bulk of the probability to win this year's Breeders' Futurity. Ajaaweed is the one with the edge, as he improved a lot off a fifth place finish at six furlongs to win at a mile second time out. As a son of Curlin, one would expect improvement as the distances increased, so that was no surprise but the manner in which he won suggest he is a very smart and talented horse. Stalking in third with a quarter mile to run, Ajaaweed advanced to get his head in front with an eighth of a mile to go then drew off by four lengths. At the point he moved into contention, Ajaaweed was in traffic and he acted as a battle worn horse with a lot of maturity as he not only went between horses in tight quarters but increased his stride significantly when asked without the crop. Rosario rides back and the extra sixteenth of a mile poses little problem for this colt running well enough to win this race.

Maxfield looks to be ignored by bettors if they abide by his 12/1 morning line. He too won at a mile around one turn the same as Ajaaweed and he did that in his debut. He broke a bit slowly so I'm hopeful that was an aberration and he's been well-schooled since because a horse can't get away with those tactics and still win at this level. After breaking 10th of 11, Maxfield bided his time then moved up eight paths wide on the turn to sweep by in the last 1/16 of a mile. Jose Ortiz rides back and the breeding on this colt is as good as the breeding on Ajaaweed, who don't share the same ownership but the ownership is similar as Ajaaweed is owned by Shadwell and Maxfield is owned by Godolphin.

Tap It to Win opens at 3/1 the same as Ajaaweed based on his easy three length win at Saratoga about two weeks after Ajaaweed won. However, Tap It to Win broke his maiden at six furlongs so he's stretching out a quarter mile further than both Maxfield and Ajaaweed. Still, he gets the rail, has tactical speed as he sat third in the early stages of the last race, has come back to work well, and was flattered by the runner-up, who came back to win. On the other hand, it must be noted in that winning effort on 8/24, Tap It to Win got a dream run on the rail with nary a straw in his patch so the race may not be as good as it looks on paper.

Gouverneur Morris similarly won easily in his one and only start and that's why he's the 5 to 2 favorite. He stalked in third and drew off professionally with a big 101 Equibase figure, the best in the field, BUT the race was at 5 1/2 furlongs to there are three more eighths in his way today. Sire Constitution (also the sire of By Your Side) has his first crop on the track and is highly regarded but NONE of his foals have run two turns yet so although this colt ran fast first I'm a bit skeptical of his chances, particularly at low odds with an outside post. Just the same I respect the connections (Pletcher and Castellano) and will use him on pick 3 and double tickets I play involving this race.

Enforceable opens at 15/1 and that is just not right in my opinion. He added blinkers for career start #5 so I will ignore one through four. He won that race, on 8/22 at Saratoga, running nearly as fast at Tap It to Win (84 figure vs 89) and actually faster than Ajaaweed (78) and he's the ONLY horse in the field to have run two turns to date. He's a FULL brother to Mohayman, who many remember as an in-and-out type who when "IN" was tough at top levels, and he's a half-brother to Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner New Year's Day, whose career was cut short by injury. As such, there's little doubt Enforceable can run well and at the least I plan to bet him to win and place at likely high odds.

Bets:
Win Bets: Ajaaweed to win at 5 to 2 or more, a low odds overlay win bet.
For smaller amounts: Maxfield and Enforceable to win at 4 to 1 or more, adding place bets at 8 to 1 or more.

Exacta & Trifecta: Box Ajaaweed, Maxfield, Tap It to Win, Enforceable and Gouverneur Morris.

Friday, 27 September 2019 11:36

Key Races & Bets for Saturday, September 28

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This week’s blog is going to concentrate on making money in Pick – 3 wagers by taking advantage of some horses which have a very high probability to win but along with some suspect favorites as well. In addition there are a couple of races which are very playable in and of themselves. Good Luck


Beldame Stakes -Race 8 at Belmont -Post Time 4:43 pm Eastern

We start with a race with one of those very high probability horses, Midnight Bisou, whose next stop will be the Breeders’ Cup Distaff. With Smith in California to ride McKinzie in the prep for the Classic, the Awesome Again Stakes, John Velazquez takes over and his job will mostly be to not mess up in this six horse field in which the others, including bad 5/2 morning line second choice Wow Cat (who has not gotten close to her form of last year when winning this race and finishing second in the Distaff), are running for second.

So we will try to turn likely 1 to 5 odds into a 2/1 or perhaps 3/1 return on our investment. We might get that considering the middle leg is pretty wide open. We can definitely get 3/1 or more if we play the pick 4 because the last leg (race 11) is also wide open.

Bets:

Pick 3
Race 8 – Midnight Bisou
Race 9 – No Word, Maxwell Esquire, Our Country, Structor, Famished
Race 10 – Code of Honor, Preservationist
The cost of this bet at $1 is $10 so we could play it a couple of times.

Pick 4
Race 8 – Midnight Bisou
Race 9 – No Word, Maxwell Esquire, Our Country, Structor, Famished
Race 10 – Code of Honor, Preservationist
Race 11 – ALL (except for Going For Gold)
The cost of this bet at the $0.50 level is $45

Pilgrim Stakes – Race 9 at Belmont - Post Time 5:16 PM Eastern

Maxwell Esquire opens at 8/1 in a deep nine horse field in which five can win. The reason he opens at 8/1 is because he’s a New York bred and there’s a perceived bias in an open (not restricted) stakes like this one. Considering Clement trainers and the dam has produced a slew of multiple turf route winners, in open as well as state-bred company, I think he’s a good bet. He debuted at Saratoga in a turf route and finished 2nd of 10 then improved to win in a hand ride second time out. He could take a big step forward here and is no less likely to win than any number of others here but has higher odds. No Word won in his career debut at the end of August, in a turf route at Saratoga, rallying nicely from third to draw off like a horse who had already run once or twice. He’s a FULL brother to multiple turf route stakes winner Silentio, who earned over $700K and could be any kind for Pletcher. Our Country broke his maiden in a route at Saratoga by an impressive six length margin then had traffic trouble in the With Anticipation Stakes last month, ending up fourth of six. He was scratched out of a stakes at Kentucky Downs to stay in New York for underrated trainer Weaver and if he improves off the debut as I think he can, and if he doesn’t stumble at the start like last time, he may be playable for profit, opening at 4/1. Famished is trying turf and two-turns for the first time which could put him at a disadvantage to the other contenders. Still, he’s my “scare horse” as Rosario rides back and he’s bred to run as well on turf as he did on dirt last out when rallying from fifth with a nice kick which would play well on turf today. Structor was the 6/5 favorite in his debut in a turf route at Saratoga last month, owing to the name Brown on his pps. He ran well to be sure but the figure was nothing special. Ortiz rides back and the colt fits on all counts but I don’t think he’s playable as a win bet opening at 5/2.

Bets:
Win Bets: Maxwell Esquire at odds of 3 to 1 or higher.
Consider a second win bet on either No Word or Our Country at 3 to 1 or more as well.

When making multiple win bets, use a "Dutching" tool to do the work of allocating your wagering dollars for the best edge. Amwager has a great dutching tool available, among many other great features.

Exactas: Maxwell Esquire and No Word over Maxwell Esquire, No Word, Our Country, Famished and Structor.

Also Maxwell Esquire, No Word, Our Country, Famished and Structor over Maxwell Esquire and No Word.

Jockey Club Gold Cup – Race 10 at Belmont Park - Post Time 5:49 PM Eastern

Preservationist and Code of Honor stand out over Tacitus and Vino Rosso. Olympic Village is likely running for fourth or fifth. Preservationist has a big tactical edge as the only “early” speed horse in the field and with a late kick as well shown when rallying from fourth in the Woodward. Code of Honor has won two in a row for the first time in his career and his only slight knocks are facing older for the first time and the potential to have a fresh horse in front of him in the stretch who is not going to stop. Code of Honor earned a 108 figure, tying his previous career-best, in the Travers while Preservationist earned a 110 figure under identical conditions winning the Suburban in July and again last month winning the Woodward.

There’s little value in betting this race but hopefully we cash a Pick 3 ticket and are alive to finish in the wide open 11th race. Also, this will be a good race to watch and help decide either of these two have a shot in the Breeders’ Cup Classic in five weeks.

Rodeo Drive Stakes - Race 9 at Santa Anita - Post Time 7:41 PM Eastern/4:41 Pacific

Time to start another pick 3 here and treat is like a daily double with a pair of horses in the second leg to cut down the cost of the ticket. However, instead of picking chalk here I think we have a nice shot to start without either of the two favorites – Beau Recall and Paved, who I have ABSOLUTELY no interest in and feel both are VULNERABLE. Beau Recall won the Yellow Ribbon last month and is a multiple graded stakes winner BUT she has NEVER hit the board at 10 furlongs on turf and only managed fourth the last time she ran farther than a mile and one-sixteenth. She was scratched from this race in 2017 and finished fourth at 24/1 last year. She can win on figures but I don’t think she can win at the distance. Similarly, Paved is a poor second choice (5/2) on the morning line as she’s just OFF FORM. Her last win came 15 months ago, at nine furlongs, and although she did run second once in three tries at 10 furlongs on turf she wasn’t even close in the other two. I can’t make excuses for either of her two races since returning from seven months off either.

Siberian Iris and Mirth are the two we’ll use on pick 3 tickets AND bet to win, and key on exacta tickets. Siberian Iris cuts back an eighth of a mile off a win at 11 furlongs last month and ran huge two other times she ran 10 or 11 furlongs. That last effort earned a career-best 114 figure which is ACTUALLY better than Beau Recall earned (107) winning the Yellow Ribbon. I looked at Mirth over and over here trying to figure out why a superb trainer like D’Amato is entering this filly who is still eligible for the second allowance level. After a minute it became very obvious on two counts – She can get the 10 furlong trip and she could be a “lone front runner.” Mirth gets Smith and the rail and was second, only a head behind Siberian Iris, at the top of the stretch in that 11 furlong race last month then tired. The reason she tired was she ran the opening half mile in a ridiculous 46.8. The jock change and rail will really help her and she nearly won at 10 furlongs on turf at SA two before that in June.

Beau Recall could get a piece, as could Excellent Sunset, so I’ll use both on exacta tickets.

Bets:
Win Bets: Siberian Iris and Mirth to win at odds of 3 to 1 or more.

When making multiple win bets, use a "Dutching" tool to do the work of allocating your wagering dollars for the best edge. Amwager has a great dutching tool available, among many other great features.

Exacta: Box Siberian Iris and Mirth.
Siberian Iris and Mirth over Siberian Iris, Mirth, Beau Recall and Excellent Sunset.

Pick 3
Race 9 – Siberian Iris, Mirth
Race 10 – Mckinzie, Higher Power
Race 11 – Apache Princess, Don’t Sell, Fantasy Heat, Holly Hundy, Mischiffie
The cost at $1 is $20

Awesome Again Stakes - Race 10 at Santa Anita - Post Time 8:13 PM Eastern/5:13 Pacific

Similar to the Jockey Club Gold Cup, the race in and of itself is not playable. We will get a sense if the win by Higher Power in the Pacific Classic was legitimate or not, as well as if McKinzie can actually win two races in a row which he’s failed to do except before and after his layoff from March to September of last year when winning the San Felipe (although DQ’d to second) in the spring and Pennsylvania Derby in the fall. He didn’t have the winning instinct in the Santa Anita Handicap nor in the Met Mile but repeating any of his last five efforts, with 115 to 121 figures, is good enough to win if Higher Power doesn’t improve off his 112 Pacific Classic effort. I don’t think the other four have much of a chance to win.

Unzip Me Stakes - Race 11 at Santa Anita - Post Time 8:46 PM Eastern/5:46 Pacific

There’s going to be a sizzling hot and contest pace here with FIVE need-the-lead types. When the dust settles, Don’t Sell, Mischiffie, Fantasy Heat and Holly Hundy should be in the picture, and I give a slight chance to Apache Princess, although she’s facing older for the first time and has never run at this distance (her only two previous turf sprints were down the hillside course which isn’t being used right now).

This is also my free race of the day on the Santa Anita site so although I won’t send you there for the “Betting” portion of this analysis, if you want to read why I like the four horse above in more detail, you can click on this link. The analysis is free. 

Bets: Bet Don’t Sell and Mischiffie to win at odds of 5 to 2 or more.
Consider smaller win bets on Fantasy Heat and on Holly Hundy at odds of 4 to 1 or more.

When making multiple win bets, use a "Dutching" tool to do the work of allocating your wagering dollars for the best edge. Amwager has a great dutching tool available, among many other great features.

Exactas: Box Don’t Sell, Mischiffie, Fantasy Heat and Holly Hundy.
Box Don’t Sell, Mischiffie, Apache Princess, Fantasy Heat and Holly Hundy.
Play Don’t Sell, Mischiffie, Fantasy Heat and Holly Hundy over Don’t Sell, Mischiffie, Fantasy Heat, Holly Hundy, Miss Hot Legs and Stealthediamonds.
.


Thursday, 19 September 2019 12:55

Key Races & Bets for Saturday, September 21

Brought to you by Amwager.com, a great legal online wagering website.

Parx Dirt Mile Stakes -Race 8 at Parx Racing -Post Time 4 pm Eastern

Coal Front is seven-for-eleven in his career but showed he is not invincible when badly beaten as the heavy favorite in the Grade 3 Monmouth Cup Stakes when last seen, following a seventh of nine finish in the Met Mile. After winning the Godolphin Mile in Dubai in March, it wasn't unexpected for him to not be fully in form in the Met Mile but that effort was worse than what could be expected and since he's lost two in a row after winning three straight, although his best can win this race, his form makes this race very playable.

Bonus Points changed trainers between his 4/13 and 8/17 starts and I don't view the change from Pletcher to Trombetta as negative in any way. He was trying turf for the first time in ages in that 8/17 race and I view it as a workout so it wasn't bad in terms of giving him a race. His most recent work was strong, best of 39, and his form at this level is good enough to win particularly if he runs back to the 2/16 race he won, the John Campbell Stakes, where he beat Monangahela by a head. Rosario sees fit to ride and I see a big move forward second off a four month layoff which means he could post the upset, opening at 8/1.

Monangahela opens as the second choice at 3/1 as he drops after being overmatched in the G1 Whitney. He won the Grade 3 Iselin prior to that but was winless in 11 races in a row before that, the best of which was the head defeat to Bonus Points in February. Still, Irad Ortiz, Jr. sees fit to ride and the 113 Equibase figure earned winning the Iselin is better than the 107 figure Bonus Points earned winning the Campbell so if Monangahela can run back to it he could win.

Golden Brown has won four of five this year, finishing a well-beaten third in the other. The KEY to those wins may be Paco Lopez, who had not ridden him previous to the first win in June and who did not ride him in the Alydar Stakes in which he finished third. With Lopez a perfect three-for-three when aboard and taking the call today, I think Golden Brown may not have the same probability to win as the other three but he also has more of a chance to win then is suggested by his 10/1 starting odds.

Bets:
Win bets: Bonus Points and Golden Brown at odds of 3 to 1 or higher.

When making multiple win bets, use a "Dutching" tool to do the work of allocating your wagering dollars for the best edge. Amwager has a great dutching tool available, among many other great features.

Exactas: Box Bonus Points, Monangahela, Coal Front and Golden Brown.

Pick 3
Race 8 - Bonus Points, Monangahela, Coal Front, Golden Brown
Race 9 - Trophy Chaser, Landeskog, King Jack
Race 10 - Guarana, Street Band, Jeltrin and Horologist

Pick 4
Race 8 - Bonus Points, Monangahela, Coal Front, Golden Brown
Race 9 - Trophy Chaser, Landeskog, King Jack
Race 10 - Guarana, Street Band, Jeltrin and Horologist
Race 11 - Improbable, Spun to Run, Mr. Money

Alternate Pick 4 singling Mr. Money and going deeper in race 10, the Cotillion.
Race 8 - Bonus Points, Monangahela, Coal Front, Golden Brown
Race 9 - Trophy Chaser, Landeskog, King Jack
Race 10 – Serengeti Empress, Guarana, Street Band, Jeltrin, Horologist, Bellafina and Jaywalk
Race 11 - Mr. Money

Gallant Bob Stakes – Race 9 at Parx Racing - Post Time 4:34 PM Eastern

King Jack is a lightly raced colt who could be a multiple stakes winner before too long. He won his first two starts in June and July in impressive fashion, both sprints, before trying two turns in the Shared Belief Stakes last month, which turned out to be the prep McKinzie chose before moving back into grade 1 stakes company later on the day in the Pennsylvania Derby. Meanwhile, King Jack cuts back to one turn where his impressive win before the Shared Belief earned a 117 Equibase figure far superior to any other entrant in this field. He can win on the lead or from off the pace and even the 108 figure earned when second behind McKinzie is the best last race figure in the field so he appears to be a legitimate favorite in this race.

That being said, the second morning line favorite, Bulletin, is suspect, having run five times on turf to date in his career and trying dirt for the first time. Adding to the question of whether he can run as well on dirt, even though he has won three of five on grass, is the fact he has shown ONLY a need-the-lead style in all five starts and he's one of potentially SIX "early" pace types in the field. Drawn just inside of Bulletin is Get Hammered, who earned both wins leading from start to finish and who ran second from start to finish in the other. Bethlehem Road won both his sprints on the lead all the say, the same as Strong Will, and it's possible War Bridle and War Tocsin, with the inside two posts, will have to go fast early too. That really compromises Bulletin's chances here so he's out as a contender.

Trophy Chaser wired the field last out at Gulfstream BUT stalked in third and in second in the early stages in three of his other five starts so could be in a great spot. He also beat older allowance types last out so moving back to three year olds is positive. His three best efforts earned 111, 104 and 105 figure which aren't far off the 108 King Jack earned last out and like the rest here, as a three year old he's likely not peaked by any means. Best of all Jose Ortiz takes the call.

Landeskog could get caught up in the speed duel, but he might rate just a bit as well as he did last out when second for the first half-mile. That was a breakout race for him as he won by almost five and the O'Neill/Cedillo team shipped out of California (like they're doing here) to win the Pocahontas Stakes at Churchill Downs last weekend, so I would definitely consider this gelding a contender based on the 109 Equibase figure last time out.

Bets:
Win Bets: King Jack at odds of 3 to 2 or higher, a low odds overlay win bet.
Trophy Chaser and Landeskog to win at odds of 3 to 1 or more. (Personally I would just pick one of the two at the highest odds near post time)

When making multiple win bets, use a "Dutching" tool to do the work of allocating your wagering dollars for the best edge. Amwager has a great dutching tool available, among many other great features.

Exactas: Box King Jack, Trophy Chaser and Landeskog
Then also (because King Jack is going to be favored) King Jack over Trophy Chaser and Landeskog

Pick 3 (Really only necessary if we played the pick 4 starting in race 8 and did not win the first leg)
Race 9 - Trophy Chaser, Landeskog, King Jack
Race 10 - Guarana, Street Band, Jeltrin and Horologist
Race 11 - Improbable, Spun to Run, Mr. Money

Alternate Pick 3
Race 9 - Trophy Chaser, Landeskog, King Jack
Race 10 – Serengeti Empress, Guarana, Street Band, Jeltrin, Horologist, Bellafina and Jaywalk
Race 11 - Mr. Money

Cotillion Stakes – Race 10 at Parx Racing - Post Time 5:14 PM Eastern

Pace is going to be the key to this race and I'm either going to be right or go down in flames if the pace scenario I envision doesn't come to fruition.

Serengeti Empress gets the rail, in this 11 horse field, which requires she extricated herself from horses coming over to save ground before the first turn. Considering she has had the lead after a half-mile in all but one of her last eight races, consisting of all her two-turn races except last year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies, Ortiz, Jr. will have no choice but to send her from the opening bell. The problem is Jaywalk, who gets the 11 post, and who has even more reason to scurry fast early to save ground. Jawalk has shown nothing but a need-the-lead style in her career including running the opening half mile last out in 46.8. Add Collegeville Girl to the mix as this filly tries two turns for the first time and earned both wins leading from start to finish. I can't see her connections abandoning the only strategy which has worked. Then there's Bellafina. In every one of her two turn wins except one (the Santa Anita Oaks) she has led or been within a half-length of the lead after a half-mile. She certainly can rate, but she's adding blinkers so it could be she will want to have the lead early as well.

With that in mid, although Serengeti Empress, Jaywalk and Bellafina can finish second, perhaps even win, I'm going to be considering these four for win bets and as keys to the exacta three of them likely to go to post at nice prices – Horologist, Jeltrin, Street Band, and on Guarana, the morning line favorite.

Horologist is five for ten in her career, not a bad record at all, including a four for four record in routes. She doesn't have the class as some others in here but she is a late bloomer, having just won a graded stakes for the first time last month when victorious in the G3 Monmouth Oaks. She stalked in third early, about two and one-half to three lengths back, in two of those wins and that style could be the winning one here as she could get first run on the tiring pacesetters and pressers. Luis Saez gets on and that's a good sign and the last race 101 figure isn't that bad compared to the best in here.

Street Band has run big in top company twice this rear, and bombed twice. The first of the big efforts came when posting the 10/1 upset in the Fair Grounds Oaks in March and the other came when dominating by three lengths in the Indiana Oaks in July. She wasn't really disgraced in the Alabama Stakes last month when beaten a nose for second either. She's certainly the horse most likely to be nowhere near the early pace here and if she's about four-five lengths back early, she could be flying late so if she runs back to either of those two efforts, the latter which earned a 103 figure, she could post the upset.

Jeltrin burst on the scene paying over $100 when winning the Davona Dale Stakes in March, then lost four straight, never really threatening in any. Removing blinkers for her first ever race at Parx 19 days ago, she returned to winning form, actually running better than in the Davona Dale, by earning a career-best 102 figure. Reyes rides back and I would not rule out an odds beating performance by this filly who can sit about third or fourth in the early stages so will be conserving energy as many others will not be capable of doing.

Guarana is actually the most probable winner among the four contenders I've written about, but she opens at 9/5. She won the Acorn powerfully off a maiden win then won the CCA Oaks fairly easily although her Equibase figure regressed from 110 to 99 in her first two turn race. Brown has been pointing to this race since then, perhaps even before that, so she's likely fit as a fiddle and if she runs back to, or improves upon her Acorn effort, it is possible the rest are running for second. Although a poor win bet at low odds, we can make money in exotics with an "exacta as a win bet" as mentioned below.

Bets:
Win bets: Horologist, Street Band and Jeltrin to win at odds of 4 to 1 or more. Note: I believe even wagering on three horses and knowing two of the three can’t win, the wager has an edge worth the risk.

Add place bets on any or all of the same three horses at 7 to 1 or more.

When making multiple win bets, use a "Dutching" tool to do the work of allocating your wagering dollars for the best edge. Amwager has a great dutching tool available, among many other great features.

Exactas:
Guarana over Street Band, Jeltrin and Horologist

Box Guarana and Street Band, Box Guarana and Jeltrin and Box Guarana and Horologist

Street Band, Jeltrin, Horologist and Guarana over ALL (if only for $1)

Street Band, Jeltrin and Horologist over Street Band, Jeltrin, Horologist, Serengeti Empress, Bellafina and Jaywalk.

Street Band, Jeltrin, Horologist, Serengeti Empress, Bellafina and Jaywalk over Street Band, Jeltrin and Horologist.

Pennsylvania Derby - Race 11 at Parx Racing - Post Time 5:48 PM Eastern

Mr. Money just wasn't ready for the three year old classics earlier this year but has become one of the leaders in the division and will be formidable in this year's Pennsylvania Derby. Considering he finished seventh then fifth in his first two starts as a three year old, both around two turns, it was with much confidence trainer Calhoun entered Mr. Money in the Pat Day Mile Stakes on Kentucky Derby day. That one-turn mile trip suited Mr. Money perfectly as he dominated to win by five and one-quarter lengths to earn a then career-best 104 Equibase Speed Figure. Stretching out to two-turns in the Matt Winn Stakes in June, Mr. Money was equally impressive when coasting home by six lengths, improving to a 106 figure. Showing even more improvement one month later with a 114 figure, Mr. Money won the Indiana Derby by two and one-half lengths then returned three weeks later to win the West Virginia Derby by six lengths. If this was May and this race was the Kentucky Derby rather than the Pennsylvania Derby, based on those efforts Mr. Money would be among my top contenders because he has shown tremendous acceleration with a quarter mile to run in his last four races. Most notably, in the West Virginia Derby, Mr. Money went from a head in front at the quarter pole to five lengths in front at the eighth pole. The way jockey Gabriel Saez is able to get Mr. Money to change gears at that critical stage of the race is the reason I believe Mr. Money will win the Pennsylvania Derby to earn his fifth straight graded stakes victory in a row.

Spun to Run is the "under the radar" horse in this talented field. Among the field, he is the most familiar with the dirt track at Parx, having won three of five races here, and he comes off a career best effort and on a pattern to improve upon it. After finishing fourth in a sprint to start his three-year-old campaign, Spun to Run stretched out to two turns and won as he pleased in January. Returning in March, Spun to Run ran even better when drawing off by seven lengths and earning a then career-best 99 figure. Although third behind Maximum Security in the Haskell at Monmouth with a 96 figure in his next start, when returning to his home base for the Smarty Jones Stakes on September 2, Spun to Run ran the best race of his career. The 113 figure earned is also the best last race figure in the field, although not the best earned by any horse as that belongs to Mr. Money's 114 figure in the Indiana Derby. Nevertheless, Spun to Run was exceptionally game in the blinkers he was wearing for only the second time in the Smarty Jones as he battled head and head down the entire length of the stretch before asserting himself by a head on the wire.

Improbable added blinkers for the Shared Belief Stakes last month in California and apparently that did the trick in getting him to win for the first time since last December. Blinkers were tried once before, in the Arkansas Derby, and it's debatable whether they did anything to motivate the colt as he was one length behind winner Omaha Beach for the entire length of the stretch. However, after non-threatening efforts in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, the equipment change seemed to help as Improbable earned a career-best 112 figure while retaining a strong three length lead in the last eighth of a mile. Making his second start off a layoff, Improbable can take another step forward to win the Pennsylvania Derby but in my opinion he's no more probable to win than either Mr. Money or Spun to Run and will be the much lower odds of the trio.

Bets:
Win Bets: Mr Money to win at odds of 6 to 5 or more, a low odds overlay win bet.
A smaller win bet can be made on Spun to Run at 5 to 1 or more.

Exacta: Mr Money over Spun to Run and Improbable

Box Mr Money and Spun to Run

Mr Money over Spun to Run, Improbable, Math Wizard and War of Will

For a smaller amount:
Spun to Run over Mr Money, Improbable, Math Wizard and War of Will


Friday, 13 September 2019 12:25

Key Races & Bets for Saturday, September 14

Brought to you by Amwager.com, a great legal online wagering website.

Canadian Stakes -Race 7 at Woodbine-Post Time 4:30 Eastern

Magnetic Charm is a lightly raced three year old filly, the only three year old in the seven horse field. She faced older for the first time in a stakes race at Ascot at the end of July and finished third as the odds on favorite. Prior to that she ran huge when beaten a neck in a 27 horse field at Royal Ascot in June and prior to that she won by a neck in an 11 horse field in a stakes, that win following eight months on the bench and her ONLY start on a left handed course. Those three efforts this year show what she’s made of and trainer William Haggas doesn’t ship to North America unless he has the goods. He’s only shipped five horses in the last few years, including Call to Mind, who won the Belmont Gold Cup Invitational last year for Her Majesty The Queen, who also owns this filly. Haggas also shipped Awesometank (who is running in the Ricoh Woodbine Mile later on the day) to finish second in the Beverly D. Stakes. In short, I don’t think Magnetic Charm was brought over to keep her stablemate company and is a legitimate contender to win this race and to post the mild upset, opening at 8 to 1.

Starship Jubilee won this race last year at 11/1 following a win five weeks earlier over the course. She won the Sunshine Millions Filly & Mare Turf this past winter at Gulfstream as she had in 2018 and although winless in three since, they have all been solid efforts as she finished third (beaten three-quarters of a length), second and third (beaten a half-length). Those three all came after four months off so she’s certainly not over raced. Best of all, she’s reunited with Contreras, up for last year’s win, and she put in a very sharp half-mile work on grass one week ago so certainly could repeat as the winner of this race.

Touriga was coming back from nine months off on 7/20, and making her U.S. debut, when third of three in the weather delayed Matchmaker Stakes on that 100 degree day at Monmouth. It wasn’t really a race in a normal respect but I think she got a lot out of it and for Graham Motion to enter her in this grade 2 off that race tells me she is rounding back to the kind of top form which saw her win a group 1 and a group 2 race in her native Brazil last year, both on turf. The favorites in this race are a bit suspect so opening at 6/1 she offers value as well.

As to one of those favorites, second morning line (5/2) favorite Holy Helena, she’s okay but no standout. She won the similar G2 Dance Smartly Stakes when last seen on June 29 at 10 furlongs and she’s won a pair of stakes at 1 3/16 miles so this nine furlong trip should suit her. The 103 figure earned in the Dance Smartly was the same as when winning the Very One Stakes in March and it’s good, but to be fair and to put it in perspective, Touriga earned a pair of identical figures in her wins in Brazil, Magnetic Charm earned three 98 figures in her last three races which can be improved upon as she’s just three years old, and Starship Jubilee earned 100 and 101 figures in all three races this year. As such, Holy Helena is just as likely, not any more so, to win than many of the others here.

On the other hand, Competition of Ideas is MUCH LESS likely to win than is suggested by her 8/5 staring odds, but I sure hope the public bets her heavily. She won three of seven races last year including the American Oaks, but that was in December and it was restricted to three year olds. She’s winless in four since, with NO excuses, although beaten a neck in two of those races. The only reason the morning linemaker made her such short odds is she’s trained by Brown, but with the filly having a 3-4-3 record I’ll be happy to take a stand against her except for some exotic wagers.

Bets:
Win bets: Magnetic Charm to win at 3 to 1 or more, Starship Jubilee if 3 to 1 or higher.
A smaller win bet on Touriga at 4 to 1 or more is acceptable as well

When making multiple win bets, use a "Dutching" tool to do the work of allocating your wagering dollars for the best edge. Amwager has a great dutching tool available, among many other great features.

Exactas: Magnetic Charm over Touriga, Holy Helena, Competition of Ideas and Starship Jubilee.
Starship Jubilee over Magnetic Charm, Touriga, Holy Helena and Competition of Ideas.
Touriga over Magnetic Charm, Holy Helena, Competition of Ideas and Starship Jubilee.

Ricoh Woodbine Mile – Race 9 at Woodbine - Post Time 5:42 Eastern

As impressive as Got Stormy was beating males in the Fourstardave Handicap last month at Saratoga, Synchrony was equally impressive when winning the King Edward Stakes at Woodbine in late June. Synchrony earned a 109 Equibase figure in that race, not nearly the 114 career-best earned winning the Red Bank Stakes last summer at the distance of the Woodbine Mile, but the manner in which he won suggests he hasn't yet run his best race this year. Lagging back in seventh of eight with a quarter mile to go, Synchrony wheeled out while losing a lot of ground and made up four lengths in less than an eighth of a mile to win in "ridden out" fashion. He had shipped up from trainer Stidham's base at the Fair Hills training center in Maryland for the race and right after that he returned to that location, putting in a series of strong workouts including a "bullet" best of the day workout seven days ago. Now he’s shipping in again and it’s a winning pattern. Synchrony should get a strong pace to run at once again as it appears both Admiralty Pier and American Guru will have to show early speed from outside posts to get good inside position going into the first turn. As a multiple grade two stakes winner and likely to fire a big shot fresh off a two and one-half month layoff as he did in February when winning the Fair Grounds Handicap, Synchrony could be moving fastest of all in the final stages to win this year's Ricoh Woodbine Mile.

Got Stormy has run the two best races of her career in her two most recent starts. That shouldn't come as a surprise as she's still a maturing four year old. Returning from two months off on August 3, Got Stormy won the De La Rose Stakes with a 110 figure, bettering that seven days later with a 118 figure earned in the Fourstardave Handicap. In that race, Got Stormy was 14 lengths back early off a very strong pace and when asked to pick up the tempo she responded very well to draw off by two and one-half lengths at the end. Like Synchrony and unlike some of the other entrants in this race, Got Stormy has familiarity with the Woodbine Turf, having captured the Ontario Colleen Stakes last July in her only previous start on this track. Just the same, trainer Mark Casse is taking no chances, so he gave the filly a strong half-mile workout on the course just one week ago to ensure she is ready to run her best in this race. With her seven career wins at this mile turf trip the best in the field by far, Got Stormy has every right to win her second grade one stakes in a row.

Although I feel Synchrony and Got Stormy are a cut above the rest, there are a few others I would consider as contenders in the race, particularly for exacta wagers. Silent Poet earned a career-best 112 figure when winning the Play the King Stakes at seven furlongs on the course last month. The Woodbine Mile is a one turn race as well and the horse is making his third start off a seven month layoff so he has potential to improve. Lucullan is also making his third start off a layoff and won his two most recent races, including a 113 figure effort in his comeback race in July. The competition he faced in the Lure Stakes last month wasn't nearly as tough as he faces in this race but having won five of nine career races on grass he's shown a lot of competitive spirit to date which can't be taken for granted. Raging Bull (FR) was four lengths behind Got Stormy in the Fourstardave when he began his rally and two and one-half back at the finish. He won the Hollywood Derby last December but is winless in four races since then. However, he could be passing many of these in the stretch.

Bets:
Win Bets: Synchrony and Got Stormy to win at odds of 2/1 or more, noting it's unlikely Got Stormy will make those minimum odds for a win bet. IF Got Stormy goes to post at less than those odds, play an additional exacta as noted below instead of a win bet.

When making multiple win bets, use a "Dutching" tool to do the work of allocating your wagering dollars for the best edge. Amwager has a great dutching tool available, among many other great features.

Exactas: Synchrony and Got Stormy over Synchrony, Got Stormy, Silent Poet, Lucullan and Raging Bull.
The exacta as a win bet (if Got Stormy is less than 2/1) is Got Stormy over Synchrony, Silent Poet, Lucullan and Raging Bull.

Exacta box: Synchrony, Got Stormy, Silent Poet, Lucullan and Raging Bull.

Trifecta: Box Synchrony, Got Stormy, Silent Poet, Lucullan and Raging Bull.

Pebbles Stakes – Race 10 at Belmont - Post Time 5:57 Eastern

I am completely taking a stand against East, the likely second or third betting choice near post time. She finished second in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf but that was a year ago and her last two races, in May then two months later in July, weren’t much. Yes, I know she’s dropping from group 1 to this non-graded stakes level but not only could she need a race but her form is far different to that before the Breeders’ Cup where she had won a group 3 stakes as this time she ran really badly. There’s also a question of how Blowout deserves to be the 2/1 favorite, although the case can be made that when Chad Brown’s name appears, horses are always a point lower than they should be. She has a 2-3-1 record in six races and since she lost two of those by narrow margins a case can be made she could have five wins, BUT a case can also be made she could still have just two wins BECAUSE she had absolutely NO excuse for losing last out in the Lake Placid after leading through a pokey half-mile and six furlongs and she lost ground in the stretch in the Lake George before that.

The fact Blowout is suspect, although she could easily be part of the exacta, means we have to very playable horses in Eyeinthesky and Feel Glorious, the former much more preferred. Eyeinthesky has won three of eight this year, two of those stakes like this one. Although she hasn’t won past six furlongs, the fact is she’s only run farther three times on turf and I can make the case all three are irrelevant here and MORE IMPORTANTLY she’s a different filly now after two big efforts at Saratoga. She’s bred for the mile and her and 95 figure efforts in her last two starts are ABSOLUTELY as good as the 99 and 98 efforts Blowout put forth in her last two races, yet Eyeinthesky opens at three times the odds (6/1).

Feel Glorious ran very well when coming to the U.S. this winter, with two wins and a runner-up effort, the latter in a grade 3 stakes. She tailed off to finish fourth behind Blowout in a stakes in June then sixth in the Lake Placid, but was only two lengths behind favorite Blowout in that race. Since then she put in a strong half-mile workout, likely in company with East as they both worked the same distance on the same day, and there’s more than a decent shot Feel Glorious can rebound to her form of just a few months ago at a price.

Bets:
Win bets: Eyeinthesky to win at odds of 5/2 or more.
For a smaller amount, Feel Glorious to win at odds of 4/1 or higher.

When making multiple win bets, use a "Dutching" tool to do the work of allocating your wagering dollars for the best edge. Amwager has a great dutching tool available, among many other great features.

Exactas: Eyeinthesky and Feel Glorious over Eyeinthesky, Feel Glorious, Blowout and Seek and Destroy (the other Brown trainee).

BONUS RACE - SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 15
Woodbine Cares Stakes - Race 11 at Woodbine - Post Time 6:49 Eastern

Capping off a fantastic pair of racing days at Woodbine, this five furlong sprint stakes for two year olds is very interesting. Even with a few scratches, there are enough lightly raced horses who have ONLY shown a need-the-lead style to toss them all out as contenders and land on the four which are left. Those four are Miss Lucy, Foolish Humor, Quality Heat and Lady Fatima.

Perhaps unfortunately, the first pair of Miss Lucy and Foolish Humor call the barn of top trainer Ward home and may go off as the favorites. Ward won another two year olds stakes last weekend and continues to hum along at nearly a 30% clip in these types of races and both his fillies have shown a lot of talent. Miss Lucy rallied from mid-pack to get up with 50 yards to go in her last start, in England, has been working fantastically for her U.S. debut at Keeneland, adds Lasix and gets Irad Ortiz, Jr. to ride. Foolish Humor won a turf sprint at this trip at Belmont in May and recently finished second in the Colleen Stakes but was placed first after being bumped hard at the eighth pole. Miss Lucy looks like the fastest of the pair with a field high 94 last race Equibase figure but I’m confident both can run and if both go they could run first and second.

Quality Heat won in her second career start, first on turf, at seven furlongs here at Woodbine last month, surging late after stalking the pacesetter for the first six furlongs. She has improving to do off a 77 figure effort and is a half-brother to stakes winner Frank Conversation, who won in his turf debut and then won the El Camino Real Derby shortly thereafter. Lady Fatima is one for three but that win came in her only turf start, in May, and it was a fine effort when she made up five lengths from the halfway mark to win. She’s in the Casse barn and must be respected.

Bets: Miss Lucy and Foolish Humor to win at 2 to 1 or more. If one should scratch, the other has minimum odds of 3 to 2.

Exacta and Trifecta: Box Quality Heat, Lady Fatima, Miss Lucy and Foolish Humor.