Handicapping - AmWager

  • 24

    Key Bets & Races for Friday, November 24

    Gio Ponti Stakes – Race 8 at Aqueduct – Post time 3:20 PM Eastern Time

    On the heels of a nice profit last week on the turf at Aqueduct on this blog with Fire Away winning and Monster Bea finishing second, this stakes caught my attention because Fuel the Bern opens at 12/1. Racing for the tough Clement stable to start his career, he finished fast while green from 10th to 3rd in his career debut in October 2016, on the turf, then ran on dirt in November and went on the bench. Returning in September, Fuel the Bern ran poorly on dirt when nearly not finishing so was dropped into a 40K maiden claimer on turf. He won that race with authority by three and one-half lengths in a field of 11 and was immediately snatched up by solid trainer Gargan, perhaps with this turf stakes restricted to just three year olds in mind. Sure, the colt may have problems, but he just won convincingly on turf and is making his 3rd start off a very long layoff, often a peak effort in a horse's form cycle. Gargan is having a very successful Aqueduct meeting, with a 4-4-1 record in 13 starts, and his main jockey (Carmouche) gets on, this jockey/trainer team wining nearly 1/3 of their starts. As such, all signs are GO for an odds beating effort. Small Bear and Hieroglyphics finished 2nd and 1st, respectively, in the similar non-graded Better Talk Now Stakes at Saratoga on 8/28. Both ran poorly in the Grade 3 Hill Prince Stakes after that but on the drop back out of graded stakes both their 8/28 efforts could be repeated and if they are these two could be right in the thick of the action on the wire.

    Bet Fuel the Bern to win at odds of 3 to 1 or more and add a place bet if 5 to 1 or higher. Consider additional win bets on either Small Bear, Hieroglyphics, or both, at odds of 3 to 1 or more. Use a ditching tool like the one at Amwager to determine the proper amounts to be in order to maximize profit.

    Play an exacta box consisting of Fuel the Bern, Small Bear and Hieroglyphics.

    Hollywood Turf Cup – Race 7 at Del Mar – Post time 6:30 PM Eastern Time (3:30 Pacific Time)

    Prime Attraction is the ONLY horse in the field who has any desire to lead early and will be able go as slow as he wants in the early stages. He nearly pulled off the 7 to 1 upset in the similar John Henry Turf Cup in October, beaten a head on the wire by multiple graded stakes winner Itsinthepost, and today he should not be caught. If Prime Attraction is to be caught, either Chicago Style or Prince of Arabia will do the catching. Chicago Style won a pair of races over the Del Mar turf at 11 furlongs in July and August under Van Dyke, who rides here, so this 12 furlong trip shouldn't be an issue although it must be noted in the John Henry he finished a non-threating fifth, the only reason to believe a form reversal may be coming is the switch from Santa Anita back to Del Mar. Prince of Arabia is trained by Cassidy same as Prime Attraction and won at this 12 furlong trip in April with a rally from 7th of 8 so may be passing many of these and it's not out of the question he could pass them all for the upset.

    Bet Prime Attraction to win at odds of 5 to 2 or higher.

    Consider win bets on Chicago Style and Prince of Arabia at odds of 7 to 2 or more. If you are an Amwager member use the dutching tool to allocate your win bet appropriately in order to achieve the best profit.

    Play an exacta box between Prime Attraction, Chicago Style and Prince of Arabia.


  • 17

    Key Bets & Races for Saturday, November 18

    Artie Schiller Stakes – Race 8 at Aqueduct – Post time 3:47 PM Eastern Time

    Monster Bea ran big last time out on 10/13 at Belmont, better than his 4th place finish makes it appear. He had to wait for room at a critical stage and when clear was closing fast but it was too late. His race before that was a graded stakes in California at a distance (1 3/8 miles) way too far but he’s running at a mile for the 2nd time in a row and three before last at Belmont he missed by a neck in an allowance race with a stakes quality 109 Equibase figure he bettered last out to 112. Last summer, Monster Bea posted the 12/1 upset in the Oceanside Stakes at Del Mar and I think he’s sitting on the same kind of effort here. Fire Away finished in front of Monster Bea in that allowance race last month at Belmont, missing the win by a half-length and also showing a lot of interest and late kick in the final yards. John V sticks with him, getting off Delta Prince to do so, and rode the horse to a sharp win last November over this course with a 106 figure. Like Monster Bea, Fire Away earned a career best figure (115) in his most recent race and could be sitting on another top effort. A Lot comes out of the same race as the other two contenders, having finished 6th, beaten 3 lengths. Not only was A Lot coming back from nearly a year on the bench but he stumbled at the start and lost at least two lengths. A Lot won the very similar Elusive Quality Stakes on the Belmont Turf last spring (2016) and two years ago as a three year old won the Paradise Creek Stakes, also on the turf, so likely to improve physically in his 2nd start off the long layoff, if he get a better break, A Lot can make some significant (I didn’t want to say “A Lot of”) noise in this race. Delta Prince is hard to ignore as a contender but in truth he’s got a shot but is no standout. He opens as the 5/2 favorite based on dropping from a 3rd place finish in a grade 2 stakes when last seen on 9/4 at Saratoga. Before that, Delta Prince just won a NW2X allowance race, something the other three contenders did much earlier in their careers. On the other hand, Delta Prince has never been off the board in seven races and his four efforts this year earned 110, 117, 116 & 113 figures so he certainly fits with these. In addition to these four win contenders, we should consider Night Prowler (3rd in this race last year) and Blacktype (2nd in this race last year and riding a two race winning streak) as contenders, but in watching the Grade 2 Knickerbocker Stakes Blacktype won last month, I wasn’t very impressed with either of their late kicks.

    Bet Monster Bea to win at odds of 4 to 1 or more, adding a place bet at 6 to 1 or more.

    Bet Fire Away to win as well, also at odds of 4 to1 or more, adding a place bet at 6 to 1 or more. Use a ditching tool like the one at Amwager to help allocate the bets for the best profit.

    Play an exacta of Monster Bea, Fire Away, A Lot and Delta Prince over Monster Bea, Fire Away, A Lot, Delta Prince, Night Prowler and Blacktype

    Play the reverse of that exacta as well, which is Monster Bea, Fire Away, A Lot, Delta Prince, Night Prowler and Blacktype over Monster Bea, Fire Away, A Lot and Delta Prince

    Frost King Stakes – Race 8 at Woodbine – Post time 4:38 PM Eastern Time

    Smooth Talk and Silent Sting stick out a bit in this stakes for two year olds, with Silent Sting getting preference insofar as betting is concerned as he opens at 9 to 2 compared to 5 to 2 for Smooth Talk. Silent Sting finished 2nd after leading late in his debut in September then five weeks later improved markedly to win with something left in ridden out fashion, at this 7 furlong trip. Flattered when the runner-up (Beer Pressure, who is also entered here) came back to win, Luis Contreras rides Silent Sting back and appears to have chosen this colt over both Royal Laser, who Contreras rode to his maiden win and a 4th place finish in a stakes. One of just two h9orses in the field to have won at this 7 furlong trip and on an improving pattern of Equibase figure, Silent Sting appears very capable of earning a stakes win in his 3rd career start. Smooth Talk has a similar pattern to Silent Sting, having finished 3rd in his debut then winning easily. He too was flattered when the runner-up from his win came back to win, and like Contreras, Smooth Talk’s jockey, DaSilva, appears to have chosen him to ride as DaSilva rode both Handsome Like Me and favorite Be Vewy Vewy Quiet in their most recent races, the latter in a stakes. It must also be noted that when DaSilva teams up with trainer Day-Phillips, they win at a very strong rate, with 55 victories from 147 races going back five years. Beer Pressure and Be Vewy Vewy Quiet are both consistent horses in form, with a combined record of 3-4-1 in 8 races, so we must use them on exacta and trifecta tickets played.

    Bet Silent Sting and Smooth Talk to win at odds of 9 to 5 or higher. If you are an Amwager member use the dutching tool to allocate your win bet appropriately in order to achieve the best profit.

    Play an exacta consisting of Silent Sting, Smooth Talk over Silent Sting, Smooth Talk, Beer Pressure and Be Vewy Vewy Quiet

    Play an exacta consisting of Silent Sting, Smooth Talk, Beer Pressure and Be Vewy Vewy Quiet over Silent Sting and Smooth Talk

    Play a trifecta box consisting of Silent Sting, Smooth Talk, Beer Pressure and Be Vewy Vewy Quiet

    Play two more trifectas:

    Silent Sting and Smooth Talk over Silent Sting and Smooth Talk over ALL

    Silent Sting and Smooth Talk over ALL over Silent Sting and Smooth Talk

    Desi Arnaz Stakes – Race 5 at Del Mar – Post time 5:30 PM Eastern Time (2:30 Pacific Time)

    The obvious contenders have the bulk of the probability to win in this year's Desi Arnaz Stakes but there's still a play on a low odds overlay with Ms Bad Behavior, who opens at 5 to 2. Ms Bad Behavior is the one to beat based on her very strong 3 1/2 length winning effort last out at 6 1/2 furlongs under Pereira, who rides back. That effort yielded a career best and field high 101 Equibase figure that will be tough to beat particularly if it is improved upon as it should be. Midnight Beau missed by a nose to Dream Tree last month, both making their career debuts, with decent 93 figures that logically should be improved upon off the experience of a race, but they would need to improve significantly to beat Ms Bad Behavior is they are to win this race as long as she improves even a little off her last start. 


    Bet Ms Bad Behavior to win at 6 to 5 or higher, a low odds overlay


    Play doubles using Ms Bad BehaviorMidnight Beau and Dream True in race 5 with YuvetsiGo ArgentoSnow CloudPainting CornersZero Zee and Not Too Shiny in race 6

    Play additional doubles using Ms Bad Behavior in race 5 with YuvetsiGo ArgentoSnow CloudPainting CornersZero Zee and Not Too Shiny in race 6


    Race 6 at Del Mar – Post time 6 PM Eastern Time (3 PM Pacific Time)

    With Lajatico and Red Livy, and possibly Bowie, all insisting on the lead at any cost from the moment the gate opens, the three listed contenders should all be rallying strongly past the tiring leaders in the stretch. Yuvetsi ran very well in her first two career starts, last fall, both down the hillside course at Santa Anita. Returning at a mile in her 2017 debut in January she set a fast pace then tired then returning 3 months later down the hill she didn't show any spark at all. However, with a nice workout pattern including a six furlong work as her most recent, reunited with Van Dyke (up for the first two races and not the two since) and with a good outside post to stalk the speed and stay out of traffic trouble, she could fire a big shot off the 7 1/2 month layoff she's returning from. Go Argento should also appreciate the fast and contented pace scenario. When last seen in March, she took blinkers off worn for all her previous races and the result was a strong rally to win. Pedroza rides back so the filly has a shot to pick up where she left off earlier this year, with a turf sprint win. Snow Cloud gets a big look if she draws into the race from the also-eligible list, as she's won 3 times at this 5 furlong turf trip at Del Mar. The most recent of those wins came in July at the higher NW2X level and as she's won at that level and at this NW1X allowance level she's eligible to run here if she's in for the optional 40K claiming price, which she is. Fuentes rode her to that 7/20 win at 11/1 under tougher conditions from an outside post so we can expect the mare to be coming on strongly if she runs. Painting Corners missed by just a half-length last time out under these conditions so should be considered for multi-race bets at the least. Zero Zee was coming back from nine months off in the same race as Painting Corners and can improve off his fifth place finish. Not Too Shiny has a win at the trip but his last two races were poor efforts. Just the same, it's not a bad idea to go deep in this turf sprint for multi-race bets.


    Bet Yuvetsi and Go Argento to win and place at odds of 5 to 2 or higher. Since both open at 12/1, both can be played. Use a ditching tool like the one at Amwager.com to help earn the best profit betting two horses in this situation and others like it. 


  • 10

    Key Bets & Races for Saturday, November 11

    Smart Halo Stakes – Race 5 at Laurel – Post time 2 PM Eastern Time 

    We start a sequence of some very good betting races with a sprint for 2 year old fillies. The win contenders are Jehozacat, Pacific Gale and Take Charge Paula and we'll be playing doubles and pick 3 tickets using all three. Jehozacat cuts back from 7 furlongs to 6 furlongs after leading at the 6 furlong mark then settling for 2nd at the longer trip last month. That race is already a KEY RACE as the winner won back when victorious in a stakes and the 6th place finisher came back to win as well so if this filly can run the same race to 6 furlongs as she did to the six furlong mark last month she can win. Pacific Gale won the Sorority Stakes at Monmouth at this trip in September then was badly beaten when trying two turns in the Grade 1 Alcibiades Stakes. Back to one turn and facing easier she's got a fine shot to get back into the winner's circle. Take Charge Paula opens at the lowest odds of the trio (3/1), entering the race off a 2nd place finish in the Matron Stakes at Belmont. She won both her sprints prior to that and like Pacific Gale ran poorly in a two-turn stakes which is irrelevant when assessing her chances in today's sprint. Frigid Sister and Caught Dream'n aren't as good as the three win contenders but could get into the exacta.

    Bet Jehozacat and Pacific Gale to win at odds of 5 to 2 or higher.


    Play an exacta consisting of Jehozacat, Pacific Gale and Take Charge Paula over Jehozacat, Pacific Gale, Take Charge Paula, Frigid Sister and Caught Dream'n

    Play a double using Jehozacat, Pacific Gale and Take Charge Paula in race 5 and using Honor the Fleet, No Dozing and Prince of Hempt in race 6

    Play a pick 3 using Jehozacat, Pacific Gale and Take Charge Paula in race 5,  using Honor the Fleet, No Dozing and Prince of Hempt in race 6 and using Dawn the Destroyer, You Know Too, Ms Locust Point, Shimmering Aspen and Your Love in race 7.


    City of Laurel Stakes – Race 6 at Laurel – Post time 2:30 PM Eastern Time

    Honor the Fleet won as easily as a horse can win when romping home by 6 3/4 lengths last month at Laurel and at this 7 furlong trip. The 106 figure was tops in the field by a big margin and he moves from 3 year olds and upward to just 3 year olds so looks very tough to beat in this situation, making him particularly playable as a win bet as he opens at 8 to 1 odds. Still, No Dozing and Prince of Hempt are also contenders to win. No Dozing moves back to dirt after a poor effort in his first career try on turf and won the similar Concern Stakes at Laurel at this distance two before that with Centeno aboard as today. Prince of Hempt opens at a ridiculous 15/1 for a horse that is unbeaten in 3 races and basically untested, with an average margin of victory of 5 lengths. Sure, two of those were against Pennsylvania breds but Kreiser is a sharp trainer and the gelding has improved his figure in every race, to a 99 last out in range of the top two contenders. For exotics in 2nd and 3rd we should use Tale of Silence (3/1 on the morning line but 1 for 7 this year), Al Areeb (a bad morning line favorite at 2/1 based on his four wins earlier this year but coming back off 8 months on the bench), Two Charley's (who beat older last out over the track but in July) and Indian Lover (the possible early pacesetter).

    Bet Honor the Fleet to win at odds of 2 to 1 or more.

    Consider a win bet, at a smaller amount, on Prince of Hempt at 3 to 1 or more.

    Play an exacta consisting of Honor the Fleet, No Dozing and Prince of Hempt over Honor the Fleet, No Dozing, Prince of Hempt, Tale of Silence, Al Areeb, Two Charley's and Indian Lover.

    If you didn't start the pick 3 in the 5th race, if none of the horses on that pick 3 ticket won or just if you want to play another pick 3, play a pick 3 consisting of Honor the Fleet, No Dozing and Prince of Hempt in race 6, using Dawn the Destroyer, You Know Too, Ms Locust Point, Shimmering Aspen and Your Love in race 7 and using Whereshetoldmetogo, Barry Lee, A Different Style and Kowboy Karma in race 8.

    Safely Kept Stakes – Race 7 at Laurel – Post time 3 PM Eastern Time

    You Know Too gets slight preference among five win contenders, three of which may go to post at odds worth betting to win, mostly because her 15/1 starting odds are way out of whack with reality. You Know Too drops out of the Grade 1 Spinster Stakes, and also faces 3 year olds only after facing older in two straight. She won the 2nd race back, around two turns, and cuts back from 9 furlongs to 7 which should benefit her nicely with some extra energy or stamina in the late stages. Although 5th in the Spinster, she ranged up to those much tougher foes to get within a length after six furlongs and that has turned out to be a KEY RACE, from which two horses have come back from to win, including 60 to 1 shot Bar of Gold in the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint. Shimmering Aspen opens as the 2nd choice in the wagering at 3/1 as she drops from graded stakes but her drop is from the Grade 3 Charles Town Oaks, in which she finished 6th. However, she won the similar Twixt Stakes at this 7 furlong trip prior to that off a short rest like the one she's coming back from today so if the pattern holds we can expect a top effort. Ms Locust Point won the identical Gin Talking Stakes in December then ran poorly and was given 9 months off. She has been working well and if she runs as she did last winter she could have a say in the outcome, particularly is Vargas puts her on the lead from the start where she likes to be. Dawn the Destroyer drops from the G2 Prioress Stakes and won at 7 furlongs before that with a good effort that would make her competitive here if repeated, while Your Love has a nice shot but opens at 2/1 because she ships from New York for Chad Brown and she's 0 for 1 at the 7 furlong trip, although that effort came when overmatched in the Grade 1 Test Stakes in August.

    Make win bets on the contenders at these odds or higher:

    You Know Too – 4/1

    Ms Locust Point – 5/1

    Dawn the Destroyer – 5/1

    Play an exacta box using You Know Too, Ms Locust Point, Dawn the Destroyer, Shimmering Aspen and Your Love.

    If you didn't start the pick 3 in the 6th race, if none of the horses on that pick 3 ticket won play a double consisting of Dawn the Destroyer, You Know Too, Ms Locust Point, Shimmering Aspen and Your Love in race 7 with Whereshetoldmetogo, Barry Lee, A Different Style and Kowboy Karma in race 8.

    James F. Lewis III Stakes – Race 8 at Laurel – Post time 3:30 PM Eastern Time

    Whereshetoldmetogo is the key to profit within this race itself, opening at 10/1. Although Barry Lee, A Different Style and Kowboy Karma are all contenders to win and should be used on pick 3 and double tickets played, Whereshetoldmetogo opens at 10/1 compared to odds of 5/2, 3/1 and even money for the other three, respectively. Whereshetoldmetogo just won a restricted stakes at Delaware Park but did so with a lot of maturity rallying from 4th, Lebron up for the first time and riding back. That race is now a KEY race as two horses came back to win and improved markedly in doing so. The 92 Equibase figure is the BEST last race figure in the field, better than the 86 Barry Lee earned when 2nd in the Futurity and better than the 88 Kowboy Karma earned when 2nd in the Sapling in September. With room to improve 3rd off the layoff and already appearing to be the fastest in the race, Whereshetoldmetogo offers some nice profit opportunity here.

    Bet Whereshetoldmetogo to win at 3 to 1 or more.

    Play exactas consisting of Whereshetoldmetogo over Barry Lee, A Different Style and Kowboy Karma then also play the opposite of those exactas putting Whereshetoldmetogo in the 2nd position.

    Richard W. Small Stakes – Race 9 at Laurel – Post time 4:00 PM Eastern Time

    This race is very deep in contenders, with SEVEN of the TWELVE capable of winning. However, I'm going to concentrate on three of them but mainly two. Watershed won the Grade 3 Ben Ali Stakes in April at Keeneland at this 9 furlong trip, ran 5th in the Pimlico Special and 4th in the Suburban, and then took 4 months off.  Working easily over the all-weather training track for two months, he shipped into McLaughlin's Belmont barn recently and put in a very strong best of 41 five furlong drill that sets him up to run as well as he did in the spring, which is good enough to win. Securitiz won the restricted Seattle Slew Stakes when last seen 2 months ago at Belmont, at this trip, and earned a sparkling 107 figure for a non-graded stakes, nearly a career best. Bravo takes the call for the always dangerous Jerkens barn and the 8/1 starting odds give us a 2nd win bet to make in this race as Watershed opens at 9 to 2 odds. Afleet Willy is another with some probability to win but not as much as the other two. The ONLY time he ran at this trip was in March in the Johnson Memorial, a race in which he led late and came up a head short on the wire in a big effort behind Matt King Coal. He enters this race in top form off a 5 3/4 length win and puts wins together so must be respected. Page McKenney won this race in 2015 as one of his 20 career wins and enters this year's race off a pair of wins but his 101 and 104 recent Equibase figures are low compared to the 110 to 117 figures he earned last year in his best efforts and at the age of 7, although he's all heart, I am going to try to keep him confined to 2nd on exacta tickets and take a stand against him as a win contender. Besides Page McKenney, for second and third on exacta tickets we can afford to go deep as in this 12 horse field I think the return will be worth the risk. The other horses we can use for 2nd and 3rd are Doctor Mounty, No Distortion and All Out of Aces.

    Bet Watershed and Securitiz to win at odds of 5 to 2 or more.

    Play an exacta consisting of Watershed, Securitiz and Afleet Willy over Watershed, Securitiz, Afleet Willy, Doctor Mounty, No Distortion, Page McKenney and All Out of Aces

    Turn that exacta around and play the opposite which is Watershed, Securitiz, Afleet Willy, Doctor Mounty, No Distortion, Page McKenney and All Out of Aces over Watershed, Securitiz and Afleet Willy.

    Additionally, for my analysis and selections for the Red Smith Handicap, Race 8 at Aqueduct (Post Time 3:47 Eastern Time), go to the Equibase Weekly Feature Race page

  • 03

    Key Bets & Races for Saturday, November 4

    Juvenile Turf Sprint – Race 3 at Del Mar – Post time 11:20 AM Pacific Time, 2:20 PM Eastern Time

    I probably could go on and on with listing contenders in this full field of 12 two year olds horse going 5 furlongs on turf, every one having run in a stakes race in North America or Europe. However, I will have to give Sound and Silence a bit of an edge here based on the number of races he's run (8), his record (4 for 8) and the fact he won the Group 3 Prix Eclipse Stakes in September, with a runner-up effort I a stakes prior to that and after that. With class in his favor and having run four "A" races in a row, three at this 5 furlong trip, Sound and Silence could have what it takes to win this year's Qatar Juvenile Turf Sprint. Next in terms of probability there are a slew that could jump up and run well, so we should be mindful to bet the ones going to post at the highest odds to take advantage of any mistakes made by the public at large. Elizabeth Darcy opens at 20/1 and fits on all counts, one of three from the potent Wesley Ward barn but the only one ridden by North American leading jockey Jose Ortiz The filly won by an amazing 7 3/4 lengths (for a 5 furlong sprint) in her May debut then two later missed by less than a length in the Prix du Bois Stakes in France. She ran badly in August but comes back to the states and put in a sparkling 47 and change workout a few days ago. Treasuring and Out of the Flames are both owned by Qatar Racing but have different trainers. Nevertheless if we bet on one we should be on the other as they both open at double digit odds. Treasuring won the grade 3 Curragh Stakes in Ireland in August before a poor effort in a group 1 stakes and she has a big shot to rebound against these and with first time Lasix. Out of the Flames missed by less than a length in a stakes with a 90K purse in England when last seen and also adds Lasix for the first time. March X Press is the best of the U.S. contingent, having won the Bolton Landing Stakes at 5 1/2 furlongs on grass in her 2nd career start, in August at Saratoga. She ran okay when 4th of 9 at a mile in the Natalma at Woodbine (in Canada) and on the cut back to a sprint where she's a perfect 2 for 2 she deserves express. We can't forget about Fairyland either as she was just a half-length behind March X Press in the Bolton Landing after leading from the start, and she put in a big half-mile workout locally on the turf in preparation for this race so could run as well or better here.

    Bet Sound and Silence to win at odds of 5 to 2 or higher.

    Consider win bets (at a smaller amount than on Sound and Silence) on any of the following horses, particularly if they go to post anywhere near double digit odds:

    Elizabeth Darcy – Fair odds 5/1

    Treasuring – Fair odds 7/1

    Out of the Flames – Fair odds 7/1

    March X Press – Fair odds 7/1

    Fairyland – Fair odds 7/1

    Labeeb Stakes – Race 6 at Woodbine – Post time 3:49 PM ET

    Perhaps some people will pass this race as only six are entered but there's a lot of value to be had betting Field of Courage to win, opening at 6/1, so rest assured I'll be betting this race. Additionally, the 2nd choice, Tower of Texas (morning line 2/1) is false if not vulnerable, with a 1 for 10 record this year and last and two bad races in a row, albeit to tougher but never showing any spark. Field of Courage tried turf twice before his most recent effort on the course on 10/15 and he was a whole different horse this time around posting the upset at 40/1 in the Grade 2 Nearctic Stakes. Field of Courage gets Hernandez to ride with Contreras out of town and that's just fine as the jockey has won at a very high 33% clip for Casse over the past 2 years. Considering his last race 113 Equibase figure, over the same course, is by FAR not only the best last race effort/figure in the field, BUT better than the 106 Glenville Gardens earned winning the Grade 2 Connaught Cup in June and the career best 104 figure 8/5 morning line favorite Shakhimat earned winning a classified allowance race near the end of September, Field of Courage is going to be a great win bet and key on any exacta wagers we make in this race.

    Bet Field of Courage to win at odds of 2 to 1 or more.

    Play an exacta box between Field of Courage and Glenville Gardens

    Play an exacta box between Field of Courage and Shakhimat

    Chelsey Flower Stakes – Race 9 at Aqueduct – Post time 4:36 PM ET

    The Chelsey Flower Stakes is a turf race run at a mile for two year old fillies and four of these come out of races won by fillies that ran in Friday's Breeders' Juvenile Fillies Turf so the race isn't to be taken very lightly, particularly with a field of 12 signed on and no heavy favorite. I'll start the contender list with Mrs. Ramona G, who won in her debut at 6 furlongs on turf at Belmont at the end of September while showing a lot of maturity rallying from 8th in the early stages to win going away. She cost a quarter million at auction in March and may worth that in short order if she improves off what is ALREADY the best last race in the field, with a field high last race 89 Equibase figure. Angel Cruz may not be known to a lot of bettors, which could keep her odds near the 6/1 she opens at on the morning line, but make no mistake this jock can ride as he is used by Graham Motion and did win a graded stakes at Keeneland for that top trainer. With so many big names in California this is a fine choice of jockey in my opinion. Wise Gal is a stakes winner already but opens at what may be ridiculous 10/1 odds if they hold up. She is 2 for 2, both wins coming in turf sprints, but like Mrs. Ramona G she is bred to handle the longer distance just fine as a daughter of Einstein and she too showed a lot of maturity winning the Selima Stakes in mid-September rallying from 7th of 8 in the early stages. Brattata shouldn't won to break her maiden last out on 10/7, in the race won by Night Time Lady, but was completely boxed in until too late, still closing fast from 5th to 3rd, beaten under a length at the end. She opens a bit low for a win bet at 7/2 given how deep the field is and as she gets a potentially disadvantageous post but she's a contender nonetheless, one of two trained by Chad Brown (the other Night Time Lady). Radiant Beauty gets the ground saving rail and has shown the ability to win on the lead or from off the pace, breaking her maiden last month in career start #4 wire-to-wire at Belmont at a mile and one-sixteenth, so this mile trip will be no problem. The 88 figure earned is right there with Mrs. Ramona G's last race 89 figure so she rounds out the main group of contenders. For exactas we should also include Golden Orb, who exits a KEY race from which the runner-up and third place finishers both came back from to win stakes.

    Make win bets on the contenders at these odds or higher:

    Mrs. Ramona G – 5/2

    Wise Gal3/1

    Brattata – 7/2 (which is unlikely)

    Radiant Beauty – 4/1 (also unlikely)

    Play an exacta consisting of Mrs. Ramona G, Wise Gal, Brattata and Radiant Beauty over Mrs. Ramona G, Wise Gal, Brattata, Radiant Beauty, Night Time Lady and Golden Orb

  • 02

    Key Bets & Races for Friday, November 3

    Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf – Race 6 at Del Mar – Post time 2:25 Pacific, 5:25 Eastern


    September, one of two fillies from the potent barn of Aiden O'Brien, ran the best race of any horse in this field last month in England when a nose shy of victory in the Group 1 Bet365 Mile Stakes. She improved significantly off her 3rd place effort behind Happily one month earlier in another Group 1 stakes, that one at 7 furlongs, so the mile appears to be her better trip. In the Bet365 Mile, September was making up ground by leaps and bounds after waiting for room with about a furlong out and jockey Heffernan should have her motoring past most if not all of these in the stretch today.


    Rushing Fall is the North American filly with as big of a late kick as September but she's only run twice compared to five times for September, which may give September an edge. However, make no mistake, Rushing Fall can win this race with a repeat of her effort last month in the J.P. Morgan Chase Jessamine Stakes at Keeneland, when seemingly in an instant she went from 9th to 4th and then from 4th to 1st. That was on soft ground, but Rushing Fall broke her maiden on firm turf so the condition of the course won't be an issue. The only issue for Rushing Fall and jockey Castellano, up for both her races to date, is to make sure she gets a clear path to run in the stretch because it's likely September will be closer up than she is when the field turns for home and there may be a lot of traffic in this full field even on the Del Mar turf course which was widened in anticipation of big Breeders' Cup fields.


    Happily just beat males in the Group 1 Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere in France, her second Group 1 stakes win in a row, the first when beating September in the Moyglare Stud Stakes in Ireland in September. Happily has done little wrong in her career, winning four of five since a poor 7th place debut in June, and she is owned by the same high profile connections (Magnier, Tabor and Smith) as September, calling the top Aiden O'Brien barn home as well. Moving back to her own gender after trouncing the boys last month, Happily would absolutely be no surprise if posing for pictures in the winner's circle after this race.


    Make win bets on the contenders at these odds or higher:

    September 2/1

    Rushing Fall 5/2

    Happily 7/2


    Two other horses, although having less probability to win than the three main win contenders above, can be considered for wagers at 6 to 1 or higher. They are Capla Temptress and Juliet Capulet


    Play an exacta box consisting of September, Rushing Fall, Happily, Capla Temptress and Juliet Capulet

    Play an additional exacta box consisting of September, Rushing Fall and Happily

    Play an exacta consisting of September, Rushing Fall and Happily over September, Rushing Fall, Happily, Capla Temptress and Juliet Capulet

    Play an exacta consisting of September, Rushing Fall, Happily, Capla Temptress and Juliet Capulet over September, Rushing Fall and Happily

  • 27

    Key Bets & Races for Saturday, October 28

    For more races this weekend, including the Awad Stakes (Race 10 on Saturday) at Belmont and some pick 3/pick 4 strategies, plus a couple of races on Sunday, October 29, listen to the Key Races & Bets Podcast at ubercapper.podbean.com or download the Podbean app from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store for Android.

     Athenia Stakes – Race 7 at Belmont – Post time 3:43 PM ET

    Thundering Sky opens at ridiculously high 15/1 odds given she just won a $100K stakes, albeit restricted and more importantly won the $200K Pebbles Stakes last year. That win last time out came in her 4th start of the year and now that she's rediscovered winning form she has every right to run big again. Behind her in that last race were multiple stakes winner Bar of Gold, who won her next start taking the Presque Isle Downs Masters Stakes, and the eighth place finisher also came back to win, creating a KEY RACE situation suggesting the race was productive. When winning the 2016 Pebbles Stakes, Thundering Sky earned a 108 Equibase Figure and in her De La Rose Stakes win at Saratoga in August this year she earned a 110 figure, as good as ANY horse in the field including those at much lower morning line odds. My Impression gets co-top billing for overlay win betting purposes, opening at 8/1. She also just won a restricted stakes, the One Dreamer, at Kentucky Downs, a powerful effort with a 109 figure. She's worked exceptionally well since shipping back to New York and Jose Ortiz (not only the #1 jockey in the country in earnings right now but also up for her three wins before that last one) takes the call so she's got a big shot of winning for the 7th time in her 16th career turf start. Elysea's World, Decked Out, Off Limits and Penjade are horses we will use on exacta tickets played, with Off Limits the 2/1 morning line favorite off a Grade 3 win over the course last month and one of three from the Chad Brown barn (the other two Penjade and Elysea's World) but no standout as her best effort yielded a 108 figure just as good (but no better than) any number of other horse's best efforts in similar races.

    Bets: Play both Thundering Sky and My Impression to win at 3 to 1 or higher and then add place bets if they are 5 to 1 or more. Figuring out how much to bet to insure the same profit, called "Dutching," is the best way to play two horses to win and if you are an Amwager member that tool is offered for free so I recommend using it.

    Play exactas of Thundering Sky and My Impression over Thundering Sky, My Impression, Elysea's World, Off Limits and Penjade and Decked Out.

    Play the above exacta in reverse as well.

    Turnback the Alarm Stakes - Race #8 at Belmont – Post Time 4:16 PM ET

    A Place to Shine opens at 15/1 and that doesn't make any sense as the horse is 5 for 11 on dirt and was stakes placed last year when 2nd in the Delaware Oaks. She was off from December of last year until her return on September 3 and she won easily by 4 lengths in that comeback around two turns (1 mile and 70 yards) so this one turn mile and one-sixteenth trip will be no issue. She proved she's holding form with a 59.6, best of 22, five furlong drill at Monmouth seven days ago and Joe Bravo rides, having a great Belmont meeting with 13 wins to date. As such, there is absolutely no reason she can't win with a lot of improving she can do off her 95 Equibase Speed Figure effort 2nd off the long layoff. Miss Sky Warrior opens as the 8 to 5 favorite and is not a suspect favorite but she can be beaten just the same. Last seen finishing 8th in the very sloppy running of the Kentucky Oaks in May, she's been rested since and returns to one turn where she has a three-for-four record including a sharp win in the Davona Dale Stakes off a three month layoff in March. Like A Place to Shine, Miss Sky Warrior put in a strong workout coming into the race and certainly the presence of Javier Castellano in the saddle for the first time enhances her chances to run back to her Davona Dale effort. However, she only earned a 92 figure in that race and even accounting for her being more mature eight months later she's not a standout. Tejana is the one both A Place to Shine and Miss Sky Warrior have to run down to win, a likely lone front runner with Jose Ortiz in the saddle just as he was on 9/28 when winning easily over the track in a one turn mile race with an 89 figure. Still with improving to do, she may successfully play "come catch me" from the start.

    Bets: Play A Place to Shine to win at odds of 3 to 1 and add a place bet at 5 to 1 or more.

    Consider a win bet on Tejana at odds of 4 to 1 or more.

    Play an exacta box consisting of A Place to Shine, Tejana and Miss Sky Warrior

    Bold Ruler Handicap - Race 9 at Belmont – Post Time 4:49 PM ET

    Beasley and Divining Rod appear to be the top contenders, both set up by a sizzling early pace battle between two to four of the other nine entrants. If the race goes as drawn, favorite Seymourdini will have his hands full with other "early pace" types like Awesome Banner, Green Gratto and Mr. Crow, and that contested early pace scenario could make the stalkers and closers look very good in the last eighth of a mile. Beasley, opening at 20/1, is very intriguing as a lightly raced three year old with three wins and two runner-up finishes in six races. His worse two efforts came around two turns and his absolute best came last month here at Belmont at this 7 furlong trip when he got up by a head with a career best 106 Equibase figure. His last three efforts produced 96, 98 and 106 figures so he's on a nice pattern and his best of 32 half-mile workout coming into the race is another sign. Junior Alvarado rode him for the first time two back so is 2 for 2 when in the saddle and as a three year old facing older this time of year in a graded stakes he's not outgunned by any means. Divining Rod is the real pro in the field, with 9 first or second place finishes and $875K in earnings. He finished 2nd to speedball Sharp Azteca in the Kelso Handicap in his most recent start with a 107 figure and should be stalking the speed nicely on the outside today before getting into the picture at the end. Any number of horses can run well, particularly multiple stakes winner Stallwalkin' Dude, who won the 2016 Bold Ruler, but I'm sticking with the two above as win contenders.

    Bets: Play Beasley to win at odds of 3 to 1 and add a place bet if 5 to 1 or more.

    Bet Divining Rod to win at odds of 2/1. He opens at 7/2 so that is entirely possible

    Play an exacta of Beasley and Divining Rod over ALL. Play an additional exacta of Divining Rod over ALL because he will go to post at lower odds so we would want to have that exacta a second time if he wins.