Handicapping - AmWager

  • 20
    OCT

    Key Bets & Races for Saturday, October 21

    In addition to this blog, you can get analysis and recommended wagers for other races this weekend on my Key Races & Bets Podcast at ubercapper.podbean.com

    This weekend's podcast will be published on Saturday morning and contain some of these races and in addition I will be tackling a couple of race on Sunday so please listen in. 

     

    Ticonderoga Stakes – Race 4 at Belmont – Post time 2:01 PM ET

    Broken Border and Feeling Bossy are both trained by very high percentage (nearly 30% wins in 2017) Jason Servis, and if a top conditioner like Servis thinks both can win I won't argue so although they are not coupled for betting purposes (having different owners) I will consider them as an entry and bet them both. Broken Border just won at 7 furlongs on the Belmont turf course, her THIRD STRAIGHT win on the course, with just a loss on the Saratoga turf since coming back from a year on the bench in May in her other start this year. Manny Franco has ridden her to all 3 wins and rides back and the mare has a mean kick so should be very tough in this situation again. Her stablemate, Feeling Bossy, just won at 10 furlongs on the Belmont turf in October. Although 5 for 11 on grass going into that race, she was risked for a $62,500 claiming price and, lo and behold, someone claimed her. This 4 year old filly loves to win races and is 4 for 7 on the Belmont Sod so fits perfectly here even though her two tries in similar state bred stakes ended up with 6th and 5th place efforts. Claiming a horse with a stakes race in mind is a very strong play in my opinion and considering Servis is 20 for 41 off the claim this year and last as it is that gives this gal a strong chance in my opinion. Considering Broken Border opens at 12/1 and Feeling Bossy opens at 10/1 this could be an exceptionally profitable race.

    Bets: Play both Broken Border and Feeling Bossy 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.

    Sleepy Hollow Stakes - Race #6 at Belmont – Post Time 3:07 PM ET

    We Should Talk showed a lot of maturity with a rallying finish in his career debut on 9/27, coming from fifth, seven lengths back, to win by nearly 3 lengths at the end. From the red hot barn of Sagamore private trainer DePaz, who has won with nearly 30% of his 100 plus starters this year, we can expect both physical and mental improvement off the experience of a race. As such, the 91 Equibase figure, which is just slightly lower than the 94 favorite Stoney Bennett earned in his debut win last month, and the 96 Battle Station earned winning the similar Bongard Stakes last month, can likely be counted on to be improved upon significantly, leading to a slight upset win for We Should Talk, who opens at 5/1. Both Stoney Bennett and Battle Station earned their wins leading from start to finish and not only are they drawn inside here, in the 1 and 2 posts respectively, they are next to each other in the gate, which should cause both to go a bit too hard for the lead than is good for their chances to hold off We Should Talk late. Analyze the Odds finished well from 6th to win the similar New York Breeders' Futurity last month and is another likely to benefit from a hot early pace, as should be Evaluator, who is trying dirt for the first time after three turf races to start his career but as a son of Overanalyze and out of a dirt route winning producing mare the switch in surface should not pose a problem. Inalienable Rights is another closer, as he finished well for 2nd to nine length winner Battle Station in the Bongard last month and with Battle Station likely to be softened up by a pace battle with Stoney Bennett today he could run as well or better.

    Bets: Play We Should Talk to win at odds of 2 to 1.

    Consider win bets (at a smaller amount than for We Should Talk) on Analyze The Odds, Evaluator and Inalienable Rights at odds of 5/1 or more, adding place bets at 8 to 1 or higher odds.

    Play an exacta consisting of We Should Talk over Analyze the Odds, Evaluator, Inalienable Rights and Battle Station. Play the reverse of that exacta as well.

    For the minimum $1, play an exacta box consisting of We Should Talk, Analyze the Odds, Evaluator, Inalienable Rights and Battle Station

    Hudson Handicap - Race 8 at Belmont – Post Time 4:13 PM ET

    Bust Another has hidden form that makes him a great play, opening at 10/1. He's been facing "open" company and moves into the state bred stakes ranks with his to most recent tries to similar, in February of this year and November of last year, poor efforts in which he finished sixth and seventh, respectively. However, he ships in from Pennsylvania off a deceptively good effort, nearly a career best (109 Equibase figure) when he stalked in 2nd most of the race, led at the eighth pole, then was third and beaten a nose for second and a length for the win. In the summer of 2016, Bust Another won the similar Mike Lee Stakes here at Belmont at odds of 19/1 and that's the kind of effort he's capable of and that I hope he can put forth here. Celtic Chaos won two state bred stakes in a row in April and Mau, the first of the two at Belmont and both with Cancel in the saddle as today. He was completely overmatched in his most recent start, in the Grade 1 Vosburgh, and so back with his friends can perk back up to competitive form. Sudden Surprise LOVES to win races, with a 10 for 17 record on dirt. Claimed for a measly 25K one before last out of a win at Saratoga by a top trainer in Brad Cox, he won a state bred allowance race by a nose over the track at this distance last month and is in line to win his fourth race in a row, having won the NY Stallion Series Stakes in the spring of 2016 to show he fits with these. T Loves a Fight won the similar Mike Lee Stakes in June when well regarded at 9 to 5 odds and enters this race off an allowance win at Saratoga in August so is another deserving of our respect when considering wagers made in this race. Weekend Hideaway and Ostrolenka have been competitive versus similar but open at lower odds so I will try to beat them on the win end but will use them in the second position on exacta tickets in one of my exacta recommendations below.

    Bets: Make a win bet on Bust Another at odds of 3 to 1 or more.

    Consider win bets on Celtic Chaos, Sudden Surprise and T Loves a Fight at odds of 4 to 1 or more

    Play an exacta box consisting of Bust Another, Celtic Chaos, Sudden Surprise and T Loves a Fight

    Play an exacta consisting of Bust Another, Celtic Chaos, Sudden Surprise and T Loves a Fight over Bust Another, Celtic Chaos, Sudden Surprise, T Loves a Fight, Weekend Hideaway and Ostrolenka

    Lexus Raven Run Stakes- Race #9 at Keeneland– Post Time 5:30 PM ET

    Before her win in the Cerf Stakes on September 4, Miss Sunset had earned all five of her career wins (from 9 starts) when leading from the start. In the Cerf Stakes, Miss Sunset relaxed nicely when in second position in the early stages before drawing off to win late by nearly two lengths. That victory last month not only earned Miss Sunset a career best 104 Equibase Speed Figure, but the effort came in her first try against three year olds and upward. Prior to that, Miss Sunset won the Fleet Treat Stakes at the distance of the Raven Run and powerfully by five lengths in a field of eight. Scratched out of last weekend's California Distaff Stakes to run in the Raven Run and back in against her own age group in, Miss Sunset gets the services of leading rider Leparoux aboard as well as a good outside post that will allow her to stalk whoever leads early just as she did in the Cerf Stakes. As such, Miss Sunset looks very capable of winning for the seventh time in her 11th career start. Nonna Mela also enters the Raven Run off a career best effort, albeit not a winning one, in the Prioress Stakes. Clearly second the entire length of the stretch to winner Vertical Oak, Nonna Mela improved to a 104 figure as good as the figure Miss Sunset earned winning a stakes around the same time. Prior to that, Nonna Mela beat older fillies and mares at Saratoga at the seven furlong distance of the Raven Run including next out winner Malibu Stacy. With North American leading trainer Todd Pletcher's #1 & #2 jockeys Velazquez and Castellano remaining in New York, journeyman Chris DeCarlo takes the call and that is fine as the jockey and trainer have a fine record of four wins in seven races in the last year. Also with good tactical speed, we can expect Nonna Mela to be on or near the lead from start to finish. Chalon, Happy Mesa and Classy Tune all warrant respect but in my opinion their probabilities of winning aren't nearly as high as either Miss Sunset or Nonna Mela. Chalon just ran two weeks ago here at Keeneland when second to Finley'sluckycharm in the Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes, the winner now with nine victories in 12 races so Chalon's runner-up finish no disgrace at all. Although the effort earned her a career best and field high 107 figure, Chalon has failed to gain significant ground in the stretch in her last three starts and therefore may be a "need the lead" type who can run well but who may also get discouraged when both Nonna Mela and Miss Sunset prove faster than her in the opening stages. Happy Mesa will be rolling from far back, perhaps last, as she did last month on grass when second in the Kentucky Downs Ladies Sprint, from which third place finisher Morticia came back to win the Buffalo Trace Franklin County Stakes earlier in the Keeneland meeting. Happy Mesa won the only time she raced on dirt, in her first career start back in the summer of 2016, so she could run as well on the main track as she ran on turf last time out when earning a 102 figure and as such must be considered for exacta tickets we bet at the minimum. Classy Tune earned a career best 103 figure one before last when winning easily in August in California in an allowance level race. In her first stakes try last month, she was sent to post as the even money favorite but easily beaten by Miss Sunset so although she may run well I don't see her reversing positions with the horse that beat her and so she too is a horse we can consider for exacta tickets but perhaps not as a win contender.

    Bets: Play Miss Sunset to win at 2 to 1 or more.

    Consider a second win bet on Nonna Mela at 5 to 2 or more. You can also use the Dutching Tool at Amwager to insure a fair return on a win bet on both horses.

     

    Bet an exacta consisting of Miss Sunset and Nonna Mela over Miss Sunset and Nonna Mela, Happy Mesa, Chalon and Classy Tune

    Read more...
  • 22
    MAR

    Key Races & Bets for Saturday, March 23 and Sunday, March 24

    Cicada Stakes - Race 8 at Aqueduct - Post Time 5:37 PM Eastern

    Fangirl won a race that was a KEY Race among Key Races, as the second, third and fourth horses ALL won their next starts, and with the fifth horse improving to finish second in her next start. Fangirl earned a 92 Equibase figure for that maiden win, which is BETTER than six of the other seven earned breaking their maidens and which is tied with Miss Imperial for her maiden score in November, also in her 2nd career start like Fangirl. One of the differences between the two fillies is Miss Imperial opens at 5 to 2 while Fangirl opens at 6 to 1 because Miss Imperial won again following her maiden win then finished 2nd in the Ruthless Stakes at the end of January. But, if you look at it another way, Fangirl has every bit as much of a chance to win two in a row as Miss Imperial did in her 2nd start, but is better odds. Although Fangirl led every step of the way in her maiden win on 1/19, she may not be a need-the-lead type with potentially faster “early” horses Forgotten Hero (who was bumped and pinched at the start last out but who led from start to finish in one of her two wins and nearly the same way in her second win) and Stonesintheroad (who led start to finish in her last two wins). With Lezcano riding back and with improving to do in her 3rd career start, Fangirl appears a solid win contender and a key to profit.

    Bets:

    Win Bets: Fangirl to win at odds of 2 to 1 or more.

    Exactas: Box Fangirl and Miss Imperial.

    Race 11 at Gulfstream Park - Post Time 5:40 PM Eastern

    I’m tackling this race because I think there’s a standout in the 12th race, the Hutcheson Stakes (and it’s not the favorite). Apreciado and Grand Journey get slight preference in a race in which none of the eight would be much of a surprise. Apreciado was 10th with a ¼ mile to go last month at a mile on this turf course, still 8th with an eighth of a mile to go, but rallied strongly to draw off by nearly 2 lengths. Claimed out of that race by Maker, the gelding has a BIG shot to win his 2nd in a row particularly because of the strength of Maker’s claiming ability and ability to spot his new claims. Over the last 2 years, Maker has won with 17% (of a LOT) of horse first off the claim and in a turf route, and he catches Apreciado on an improving pattern to add to those numbers, getting Reylu Gutierrez in from New York to ride, with a 4 for 7 record for Maker in the last year. Grand Journey has done nothing wrong in three career turf races (from four starts), winning one and finishing 2nd in the other, moved up to first last time out at the end of January via a disqualification and likely the winner if not carried out by the original winner. He 96 Equibase figure is 2nd best in the field, best this year and the best (99) was earned by Appealing Briefs last October, and he’s suspect coming back from 5 ½ months off in a turf route without a race under his belt and for a trainer who is just 2 for 18 with horses coming back from 2 to 6 months in turf routes over the last two years. Grand Journey gets the ground saving rail and has every right to be up in time or to be batting with the fast closing Apreciado on the wire.

    Bets:

    Win Bets: Apreciado and Grand Journey to win at 5 to 2 or more.

    Note: 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.

    Doubles: Apreciado and Grand Journey in Race 11 with In the Loop in Race 12

    Hutcheson Stakes - Race 12 at Gulfstream Park - Post Time 6:10 PM Eastern

    In the Loop stands out here in spite of opening as the third choice at 3/1. Favorite Federal Case has never run six furlongs and adds blinkers, both questionable moves for a horse who was seventh of nine with no excuse in the Holy Bull last month, while Topper T is winless since last August, in a race for Iowa Breds only at Prairie Meadows. In the Loop won his only start, one month ago, over the track and at this basic six furlong trop. The 93 Equibase figure is one point above Federal Case’s winning figure from one before the Holy Bull (in December) and there are MANY reasons to expect improvement on it in the colt’s second career start.

    Bets:

    Win bets: In the Loop to win at 3 to 2 or more.

    Louisiana Derby - Race 13 at Fair Grounds - Post Time 6:13 PM Eastern

    I’m including this because many people will be watching, but we must note Fair Grounds is not available for betting on Amwager. My detailed analysis of this race can be found at equibase.com as it is the Weekly Feature Race.

    Win contenders:

    Sueno

    Limonite (win, place and show contender at high odds)

    Country House

    War of Will

    Spinoff

    Betting Strategies:

    Win Bets: Sueno to win at odds of 3 to 1 or more.

    Limonite to win, place (and possibly show) at odds of 6 to 1 or more. (for a smaller amount than on Sueno).

    Country House to win at odds of 3 to 1 or more.

    Exactas: Sueno over ALL and then the opposite which is ALL over Sueno (4).

    Box Sueno, Limonite, War of Will, Country House and Spinoff.

    Sunday, March 24

    Sunland Park Oaks - Race 9 at Sunland Park - Post Time 6:27 PM Eastern

    I’d be very surprised if neither Victim of Love or Bellafina won this race, and rumor has it Bellafina will scratch so in that case Victim of Love may be a low odds overlay because Chasing Yesterday will be BADLY overbet. Victim of Love is exceptionally well bred and that is why she cost $160K at auction in the fall of 2017 as a yearling. She’s a full sister to Benner Island, a multiple stakes winner, and she’s a half-sister to High North, also a stakes winner, with those two siblings combined having earned three-quarters of a million. Victim of Love won in her 2nd career start in December but was disqualified then romped by nearly 12 lengths on 1/22 before winning the local prep for this race, the Island Fashion Stakes on 2/24. Her Equibase figure of 73 wasn’t great but she has way more in the tank to show us. As for Chasing Yesterday, there is a lot of hype based on her winning three stakes in a row to end her 2 year old campaign but she beat nothing special in all three and she’s been off nearly four months, which was part of the downfall last weekend Improbable and Game Winner.

    Bets:

    Win bets: Victim of Love at odds of 3 to 2 or more.

    If Bellafina runs, play an exacta box of Victim of Love and Bellafina.

    Exactas: Victim of Love over Backflash, K P Slickem, Chasing Yesterday and Enlisting.

    Sunland Park Derby - Race 11 at Sunland Park - Post Time 7:30 PM Eastern

    Wicked Indeed gets preference over another overbet Baffert starter in Mucho Gusto. Wicked Indeed had a race over the track when second to Hustle Up last month in the Mine That Bird Derby, a race in which Hustle Up was allowed an easy lead and coasted around the track in front. With Anothertwistafate and Diamond Blitz in the race, Wicked Indeed can make up the length he lost by last month, PARTICULARLY at the mile and 1/8 trip he’s running for the first time as a son of Tapit. Asmussen saddled the upset winner in one of the two divisions of the Rebel last weekend and is loaded to do the same here, as Wicked Indeed is not only a son of Tapit but he’s out of the mare that produced last year’s 9 furlong Gazelle Stakes winner My Miss Lilly.

    Mucho Gusto is a win contender but will go to post much lower than his 8/5 starting odds. He won the Robert B. Lewis in the slop in a five horse field and the runner-up (Gunmetal Gray) finished a bad fourth in the Rebel while third place Lewis finisher Easy Shot checked in a bad fifth in the Rebel. Before the Lewis, on a fast track, Mucho Gusto hat his had handed to him by Improbable, who won by 5, so it remains to be seen if he’s a true Derby type but in this field he must be used on any and all tickets played.

    Cutting Humor ships in for Pletcher and Johnny V rides so must be given a long look opening at 8/1. The colt showed talent in his last two starts of 2018 when 3rd behind eventual stakes placed Plus Que Parfait, then he won rather easily before taking two months off. In his three year old debut he finished 2nd then in the Southwest he was four wide when rallying early from 6th to get within a neck before fading badly. I think he deserves a look here if he repeats any of his three efforts before the Southwest.

    Bets:

    Win bets: Wicked Indeed at odds of 5 to 2 or more.

    Cutting Humor at 4 to 1 or more and for a smaller amount than on Wicked Indeed.

    Exactas: Box Wicked Indeed, Mucho Gusto and Cutting Humor.

    Read more...
  • 15
    MAR

    Key Races & Bets for Saturday, March 16

    Harrison E. Johnson Memorial Stakes - Race 5 at Laurel - Post Time 3:12 PM Eastern

    Unbridled Juan brings his “A” game every time, even last month when third in the similar John B. Campbell Stakes. He made a big move on the turn to go from fourth to lead with an eighth of a mile to go and fought to the wire, missing the win by a pair of necks. He won back to back stakes last fall including the identical Richard W. Small Stakes with a 106 Equibase figure, the same as he earned last month, and perhaps just repeating that last effort may be good enough to win.

    Cordmaker and Twisted Tom are the other two who can win, with Cordmaker the better win bet if anywhere near his 5 to 1 starting odds. Overmatched and squeezed back to 14th and last in the General George Stakes last month, Cordmaker stretches out from seven furlongs to two turns for the first time on dirt in his career but as a son of Curlin should have no problem with the distance. He won the Jennings Stakes over the track before the General George, with a career best 105 Equibase Figure, and he’s a four year old so has improving to do off that effort and dropping from graded to non-graded stakes. Twisted Tom ships in from New York for Mott and although he’s run in stakes for NY breds only for the last 18 months he did win a pair of stakes at Laurel as a three year old in the spring of 2017 including the Tesio Stakes at this nine furlong trip. His nose loss in the Alex M. Robb Stakes in December earned a career best 114 figure and then he ran well for third to earn a 107 figure around one turn, so stretching out to nine furlongs, the distance of three of his seven career wins, bodes well for his chances here.

    I’m taking a stand against Pletcher’s Bonus Points, winner of last months’ John B. Campbell, as he got a 46.6 and 110.6 pace set up he will not see today, negating his late run.

    Bets:

    Win Bets: Unbridled Juan to win at odds of 2 to 1 or more.

    Cordmaker to win at odds of 3 to 1 or more.

    Note: 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 Twisted Tom, Unbridled Juan and Cordmaker.

    Pick 3:

    Race 5 - Twisted Tom, Unbridled Juan and Cordmaker.

    Race 6 – Bobby G and Dynamax Prime.

    Race 7 – Las Setas.

    Also consider using “ALL” in race 6, since we are singling in race 7, taking advantage of a potentially wide open race.

    Race 6 at Laurel - Post Time 3:42 PM Eastern

    In a very intriguing starter allowance race sandwiched in between two stakes, Bobby G and Dynamax Prime both get preference as win contenders at very nice odds, but this is a race in which many have a shot. Bobby G won handily by five and one-half lengths two weeks ago, first off the claim by Corrales, after a 13 length win in the race claimed out of. Both came over the track and now McCarthy gets on with the gelding bred to run all day (by Awesome Again out of a Malibu Moon mare) so there’s little concern about the 10 furlong trip all are trying for the first time. The 97 figure was a career best and the gelding should continue in top form. Dynamax Prime runs first off the claim by Gonzalez, for a very sharp owner in Robert Bone. The gelding was NOT qualified for this level until dropped by his previous trainer into a $12,500 claiming race one before last, which he won by a nose, and when he remained at the level his current connections likely saw the opportunity to run in these starter races with an exceptionally high purse ($65K, $39K to the winner). Gonzalez wins 25% off the claim and Carrasco, who gets on, is the #1 winning jockey for the barn (30% wins on 100 races in the past 15 months) so all signs are “GO” for another big effort, with his nose win one before last earning the same 97 figure as Bobby G earned in his win over the track two weeks ago.

    Bets:

    Win bets: Bobby G and Dynamax Prime to win at odds of 3 to 1 or more.

    Note: 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: Bobby G and Dynamax Prime over all except Don’t Poke the Cat & Kopper Wired.

    Play the reverse of that exacta as well, even if for $1, as it could pay very well and we win twice if they Bobby G and Dynamax Prime run one-two.

    Pick 3:

    Race 6 – Bobby G and Dynamax Prime.

    Race 7 – Las Setas.

    Race 8 – Always Mining and Joevia.

    Pick 3:

    Race 6 – ALL (except Don’t Poke the Cat & Kopper Wired).

    Race 7 – Las Setas.

    Race 8 – Always Mining and Joevia.

    Beyond the Wire Stakes - Race 7 at Laurel - Post Time 4:12 PM Eastern

    If we are live in the pick 3’s there is no reason to play but if not, Las Setas is a standout and playable to win at odds of 9 to 5 or more. In this eight horse field, Las Setas is the “Lone Front Runner” just as she was last month when winning the nearly identical Wide Country Stakes and when breaking her maiden in wire-to-wire fashion one month earlier. She earned a field high 92 Equibase figure for that effort, her second strong improvement off her maiden debut in December, and she should continue to improve.

    Bets:

    Win bets: Las Setas to win at 9 to 5 or more.

    Private Terms Stakes - Race 8 at Laurel- Post Time 4:43 PM Eastern

    Alwaysmining is a fairly legitimate favorite but opens at 4 to 5. Hopefully we will be live for a decent profit (at least more than what the same amount to win would pay) in the pick 3. Joevia is the only other horse that can win in my opinion and opens at decent 7 to 2 odds. Alwaysmining has run 10 times, winning five, while Joevia has only run twice,, hence the latter opening at higher odds although his last effort, when beaten a neck in the Winkfield Stakes at Aqueduct, earned a nearly identical Equibase figure (98) to the 99 figure Alwaysmining earned winning the Miracle Wood Stakes last month at Laurel. Neither horse has EVER run two-turns until today and with Joevia having excellent upside in his third career start, coming out of a KEY race from which the winner (Haikal) came back from to win the Gotham last weekend, I’m really hoping he posts the mild upset to win.

    Bets:

    Win Bets: Joevia to win at odds of 9 to 5 or more.

    Exacta: Box Joevia and Alwaysmining.

    Inside Information Stakes - Race 11 at Gulfstream - Post Time 5:37 PM Eastern

    Jala Jala proved her stakes win against Caribbean horses on 12/8 to be no fluke when 2nd of 7 last month in the Royal Delta Stakes at a mile and the cut back to seven furlongs helps her chances of continuing to improve in her 3rd U.S. start. She beat Tequilita by a neck for 2nd but opens at 6 to 1 compared to 5 to 2 for that one, and the 105 figure is on par with Cairenn’s stakes winning figure, Pink Sand’s stakes winning figure and with only Teresa Z’s figure from November higher. Jaramillo rides back and Jala Jala has a sharp work since raced so could run well enough to win. Pink Sands ran well in a one turn mile over the track last month in an allowance race, earning a stakes quality 107 figure, her 2nd win in a row, and is ready for stakes company for the hot McGaughey barn (12 for 51 at the meeting). There are no real knocks except likely low odds on Cairenn, Tequilita and Teresa Z.

     

    Bets:

    Win bets: Jala Jala and Pink Sands at odds of 3 to 1 or more.

    Note: 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 Jala Jala, Pink Sands and Cairenn.

    Box Jala Jala, Pink Sands and Tequilita.

    Box Jala Jala, Pink Sands and Teresa Z.

    Rebel Stakes:

    Although not available on Amwager, the Rebel Stakes is interesting and it is the Equibase weekly feature race.

    Here are the win contenders in the two divisions:

    Race 8:

    Galilean

    Long Range Toddy

    Improbable

    Race 10:

    Omaha Beach

    Our Braintrust

    Game Winner

    Read more...
  • 08
    MAR

    Key Races & Bets for Saturday, March 9

    Challenger Stakes - Race 8 at Tampa Bay Downs - Post Time 3:45 PM Eastern

    Killybegs Captain is drawn outside Flameaway, the 3/2 morning line favorite who is a need-the-lead type, but inside Jay's Way, who also is a need-the-lead type. However, Killybegs Captain is stretching out off a sprint while the other two have been running in routes for some time and that means Flameaway and Jay's Way have LITTLE, if ANY, chance of having the early lead if Camacho decides to let Killybegs Captain run even a little bit from the gate to the first turn. If Flameaway and Jose Ortiz want the lead, Camacho can sit in 2nd as the horse closed from 3rd to win last fall as well as last winter. Either way, considering Killybegs Captain comes out of two big efforts over the track (both wins) with 109 and 100 Equibase figures, compared to Flameaway, who ONLY earned an 84 figure in his comeback from six months off last month and who faded badly after leading through an opening 50 second half mile, Killybegs Captain can beat the favorite. As for Jay's Way, he either ran evenly or lost ground in the stretch in his last five dirt routes, something even Irad Ortiz, Jr. may be unable to change, particularly as the horse has proven to be capable of winning ONLY when on the lead. Opening at 9/2, Killybegs Captain has all the makings of a KEY WIN BET on the day.

     

    Bourbon Resolution and Longden both warrant consideration, opening at 8/1 and 10/1, particularly if Flameaway runs like he has in a number of races, insisting on the early lead at any cost, and Jay's Way runs similarly, but if Killybegs Captain either doesn't fire or gets involved in a silly speed duel. Bourbon Resolution came back from seven months off last month with a big sixth to first rally at a mile and a career best 103 Equibase figure likely to be improved upon. He won at nine furlongs before the rest and has a lot of talent. Longden closed from last of 10 to miss by a neck on grass last month but two before that won on the Tampa main track at this distance with a rally from sixth, even after stumbling at the start. He's talented as well and if able to run as well on dirt as on grass last out when earning a 103 figure he could post the upset.

     

    Bets:

    Win Bets: Killybegs Captain to win at odds of 5 to 2 or more.

    For only a slightly smaller amount, Bourbon Resolution and Longden to win at 3 to 1 or more.

    Note: 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 Killybegs Captain, Bourbon Resolution and Longden.

    Killybegs Captain, Bourbon Resolution and Longden over ALL.

     

    Pick 4:

    Race 8- Killybegs Captain, Bourbon Resolution and Longden.

    Race 9- Hawksmoor, Viva Vegas, Rymska, Onthemoonagain and Goodyearforroses.

    Race 10- La Feve, Mega Fortune, Winter Sunset, Elsa and Winning Envelope.
    Race 11- Win Win Win

    The cost of the ticket if all horses run is $37.50

     

    NOTE: If you want to use ALL six horses in the first leg, instead of just the three above, I'm okay with that and the cost of the ticket becomes $75.

     

    Hillsborough Stakes - Race 9 at Tampa Bay Downs - Post Time 4:19 PM Eastern

    Goodyearforroses, Viva Vegas and Hawksmoor finished fourth, second and first, respectively, in the nearly identical Endeavour Stakes over the course last month, and I'll try to reverse that order here although all three can win. Goodyearforroses, who opens at 8/1, was 6 to 1 at post time for the Endeavour in spite of having been away from the races for 15 months. That's 15 months without a race, attempting to run two turns in a graded 3 stakes, and that's a very tough question to ask any horse. She ran very well in spite of that, moving up from ninth of 10 early to be beaten 3 lengths at the wire, and has a ton of improving to do. Goodyearforroses has as much class as Hawksmoor (who finished second in a pair of grade 1 stakes in the fall of 2017) as she won the Grade 2 Santa Ana Stakes (at the distance of the Hillsborough) in 2017 and finished second in the Grade 1 Gamely Stakes (115 figure), and she's going to improve a lot 2nd off the lengthy layoff and off the 104 figure effort earned last month.

     

    Viva Vegas rallied from 9th to be beaten a half-length by Hawksmoor last month, her 2nd start off a layoff since last fall. She earned a career best 107 figure in that effort and gets a four pound break in the weights, as she was carrying two more pounds than Hawksmoor then and is carrying two pounds less today. I'm not a huge believer in weight, but if a horse was beaten a half-length one day and has four less pounds next time out than the horse which beat her, those results could be reversed.

     

    Hawksmoor has earned over $1 million in a nice career including the win last month off a three and one-half month layoff. She's won back-to-back before and can do so again, but I wouldn't expect her odds to be anywhere near her morning line of 3 to 1 considering she was sent off as the 7 to 5 favorite in that last race.

     

    The Chad Brown trained pair of Onthemoonagain and Rymska will be used on all pick 3, pick 4 and double tickets played, but for exactas I'm going to try to split them on exacta tickets below which key on the three main win contenders. Onthemoonagain led late and finished 2nd to tougher in the Grade 1 Flower Bowl when last seen but that was five months ago, while Rymska was second last month in the similar Grade 3 Suwanee River Stakes after two months off.

     

    Bets:

    Win bets: Goodyearforroses and Viva Vegas to win at odds of 3 to 1 or more, adding a place bet at 5 to 1 or more.

    Note: 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: Goodyearforroses, Viva Vegas and Hawksmoor over Goodyearforroses, Viva Vegas, Hawksmoor, Rymska and Onthemoonagain.

     

    Goodyearforroses, Viva Vegas, Hawksmoor, Rymska and Onthemoonagain over Goodyearforroses, Viva Vegas and Hawksmoor.

     

    If you didn't play the pick 4 starting in race 8, or if none of the contenders won, you can start a pick 3 here:

    Race 9- Hawksmoor, Viva Vegas, Rymska, Onthemoonagain and Goodyearforroses.

    Race 10- La Feve, Mega Fortune, Winter Sunset, Elsa and Winning Envelope.
    Race 11- Win Win Win

     

    Florida Oaks - Race 10 at Tampa Bay Downs - Post Time 4:50 PM Eastern

    Mega Fortune not only took to turf like a duck takes to water last month when trying turf for the first time, she was also trying two-turns for the first time and adding blinkers. Those are the reasons she won at 40 to 1 after two poor dirt sprints and the win was not a fluke as she's come back to work a very strong half-mile on the turf at Palm Meadows in 47.6 around the cones, which was still the second best of 52 workouts at the distance on the day. She won from the 10 post but gets the two post here and the 90 Equibase figure is the best last race winning figure in the field and the second best last race figure in the field behind Concrete Rose, who earned hers last fall.

     

    Winning Envelope did the same thing Mega Fortune did one race before last, which was last fall, winning off two sprints in her turf and two-turn debut. She drew off nicely by almost five lengths, in an allowance race then was given more than four months off to rest and mature. Her comeback, on dirt last month in the Suncoast Stakes, was horrible, but it's meaningless as she moves back to grass.

     

    Elsa won the Grade 3 Jimmy Durante Stakes on the grass at Del Mar in November then two and one-half months later was sent to post as the 2 to 5 favorite in the Shantel Lanerie Memorial Stakes, ending up 2nd and beaten a length and one-half by Winter Sunset. She was three wide into the first turn and 5 to 6 wide into the far turn and still ran huge, so with Bravo back aboard, up for the Durante win but not last out, she could return to stakes winning form.

     

    La Feve and Winter Sunset will be used on pick 3, pick 4 and double tickets played.

     

    Bets:

    Win bets: Mega Fortune and Winning Envelope to win at odds of 3 to 1 or more.

    Consider an additional win bet, on Elsa, if she is 3 to 1 or more near post time (which I doubt she will be).

    Note: 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.

     

    Optional doubles:

    Mega Fortune, Winning Envelope, Elsa, La Feve and Winter Sunset in Race 10 with Win Win Win in race 11.

     

    Tampa Bay Derby - Race 11 at Tampa Bay Downs - Post Time 5:25 PM Eastern

    Win Win Win tries two turns for the first time off a strong win in the Pasco Stakes over the track in January at the distance of seven furlongs. Neither the additional turn nor the added distance should be an issue for the son of Hat Trick, whose sire was 1989 Kentucky Derby winner Sunday Silence. Showing maturity since rallying from second in the early stages to win in his debut last November, Win Win Win has steadily improved. He won his second career start by more than six lengths with a 99 Equibase Speed Figure then improved to 104 when second in the Helft Stakes at the end of December, before a career-best and field high 113 figure in the Pasco. In the Pasco, Win Win Win pulled the jockey to the lead on the turn as he easily went by three horses and was in front by two lengths with an eighth of a mile to go before continuing to extend the margin and win by seven and one-quarter lengths at the wire. 2018 Eclipse winning jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr. takes off an entire day at Gulfstream Park to ride Win Win Win for the first time as it is likely he and his agent sense the potential for this colt to go all the way to Louisville. With a very strong workout over the track coming into the race which was the best of 75 on the day for the distance of a half-mile proving a strong indication of fitness, Win Win Win appears capable of dominating in this year's Tampa Bay Derby just as he did in the Pasco.

     

    Well Defined won the Sam F. Davis stakes last month, the local prep race for the Tampa Bay Derby, and did so rather easily by nearly three lengths. As a two-year-old, Well Defined won the In Reality Stakes for horses bred in Florida and earned a very strong 111 figure, at the distance of the Tampa Bay Derby. Following that big win, Well Defined went off form, finishing 12th, then fifth, but as Well Defined returned to top form with a 97 figure effort in the Sam F. Davis, and with possible improvement in his third start following a layoff, he should be respected as a contender to win the race.

     

    Dream Maker won at the short distance of five and one-half furlongs in his debut last June then was out of action for three months. When he returned, he was entered in the Hopeful Stakes in New York and could only manage a fifth of eight finish. Trying two turns last fall in the Breeders' Futurity, Dream Maker ended up 12th of 13 in another disappointing effort, this one as the betting favorite. However, given four months off to grow up and to get over whatever issues resulted in those two poor efforts, Dream Maker not only returned to the races with aplomb, he did so around two turns without a sprint prep. In that race last month, Dream Maker made a quick move on the turn to go from third to four and one-half lengths in front of the next horse by the time the field reached the eighth pole, then was "ridden out" to an eight and one-half length win. Although the effort earned a 95 figure which is much lower than the 111 Well Defined earned in his best effort and the 113 Win Win Win earned in the Pasco, Dream Maker has potential to take a big step forward, particularly as he was flattered when the runner-up from his last race won and improved by six points.

     

    Bets:

    Win Bets: Win Win Win to win at odds of 3 to 2 or more.

     

    Trifectas: Win Win Win over Dream Maker and Well Defined over ALL.

    Win Win Win over ALL over Dream Maker and Well Defined.

    Read more...
  • 01
    MAR

    Key Races & Bets for Saturday, March 2

    Very One Stakes - Race 7 at Gulfstream Park - Post Time 2:30 PM Eastern

    The Tulip had a decent 2018 campaign in which she earned 100K while winning a pair of races including a minor stakes in Northern California. She’s not nearly as accomplished as morning line favorite Holy Helena, who earned $300K last year, but her best effort is certainly as good as Semper Sententiae, who opens at 7/2, so her 10/1 starting odds are to be noted. She cuts back from 11 furlongs to 9 1/2 which doesn’t seem like much but she ran well twice at nine furlongs last spring before winning the minor stakes, and she ships in all the way from California (where there aren’t ample opportunities because of recurring rain), getting current Santa Anita leading jockey Joel Rosario, and giving us enough reasons to take a shot betting her to win and keying her on exacta tickets.

     

    Similarly, Lafta, who also opens at 10/1, must be noted as she won her first two starts after importing to the U.S. last summer and fall before a fifth of 14 finish in December. She earned one of those wins leading from start to finish in a little stakes over this course and in the other win she closed from fourth won going away. Leparoux rides for the first time and the mare appears to be capable of winning this pretty wide open race.

     

    Holy Helena won this race last year at 7 to 2 off an allowance win one month earlier then won in May before a six race losing streak, including as the 7 to 5 favorite in a non-graded stakes in December. She can run well but is no lock. Danceland has a couple of efforts (last June and August) which, if repeated, may have her in the picture late, as does Tricky Escape and Semper Sententiae, so we’ll use them with the pair of 10/1 shots in exactas.

     

    Win Bets: The Tulip and Lafta to win at odds of 7 to 2 or more.

     

    Note: 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: The Tulip and Lafta over The Tulip, Lafta, Danceland, Holy Helena, Semper Sententiae and Tricky Escape.

     

    Also The Tulip, Lafta, Danceland, Holy Helena, Semper Sententiae and Tricky Escape over The Tulip and Lafta.

     

    Doubles: The Tulip and Lafta in Race 7 with ALL in Race 8

    The Tulip, Lafta, Danceland, Holy Helena, Semper Sententiae and Tricky Escape in Race 7 with Cambier Parc and Connectivity in Race 8.

     

    Herecomesthebride Stakes - Race 8 at Gulfstream Park - Post Time 3 PM Eastern

    Cambier Parc appears to be a legitimate favorite, with Connectivity next most probable, in this field. Both are trained by Chad Brown and both won on the Gulfstream Park turf in their most recent starts, Cambier Parc powerfully by four under Jose Ortiz (who rides back), Connectivity with a rally from ninth under Irad Ortiz, Jr., who rides back. There’s not much to do in this race unless the odds are right to for the most part that’s why the doubles started in the seventh race are the preferred way to profit from this race.

     

    Win Bets: Cambier Parc to win at odds of 3 to 2.

    Connectivity to win at odds of 5 to 2.

     

    Honey Fox Stakes - Race 11 at Gulfstream Park - Post Time 4:30 PM Eastern

    Precieuse is a standout in this race and that’s great because we can play a pretty small pick 3 and pick 4 and really spread in the last two legs. Precieuse won a significant group 1 stakes in France in the spring of 2017 as a three year old, before a poor effort in June of that year at Ascot where she may have bled. Taking a while to get acclimated to U.S. racing, she made her stateside debut last August at Saratoga in the non-graded De La Rose Stakes, rallying furiously on the turn to go from sixth to first then battling the last eighth of a mile and coming up a head short to Uni, who went on to win the Noble Damsel and Grade 1 Matriarch Stakes. The 112 Equibase figure from the De La Rose pretty much towers over these as it is, as does the quality of her competition in that race and her European races, and as she nearly won at a mile following 13 months off and considering Brown’s superb 28% win rate off long layoffs, she should win here. Although I’m hopeful her 7/2 morning line will hold up I’m not holding my breath.

     

    For second and third, a trio of horses who ran well in the recently run South Beach Stakes are noted. Dolce Lili won the race by a half-length and opens at 4 to 1, but the horse she beat by a half-length for the win, Conquest Hardcandy, opens at ridiculous 15/1 odds, as does Fire Key, who was just another half-length back. Valedictorian just won a grade 3 stakes over the track and could be part of the exotics, as could Bellavais, another recent grade 3 stakes winner over the course.

     

    Win Bets: Precieuse to win at odds of 6 to 5 or more, a true low odds overlay.

     

    Exacta: Precieuse over Valedictorian, Fire Key, Conquest Hardcandy, Bellavais and Dolce Lili.

    We can play the same ticket as a trifecta, using the same five horses in both second and third under Precieuse.

     

    Pick 4:

    Race 11 – Precieuse

    Race 12 – Jaywalk

    Race 13 – Bourbon War, Vekoma, Hidden Scroll, Global Campaign, Everfast

    Race 14 – Village King, Hunter O’Riley, Vettori Kin, Zulu Alpha, Highland Sky, Kulin Rock, Montclair, Channel Maker

     

    Pick 3 (two tickets)

    Race 11 – Precieuse

    Race 12 – Jaywalk

    Race 13 – All

     

    Pick 3

    Race 11 – Precieuse

    Race 12 – Jaywalk

    Race 13 – Bourbon War, Vekoma, Hidden Scroll, Global Campaign, Everfast

     

    Davona Dale Stakes - Race 12 at Gulfstream Park - Post Time 5:01 PM Eastern

    Jaywalk is a standout here but opens as the odds-on favorite so the best way to profit around her winning is from Pick three and four tickets started in race 11 and started here as well, although the pick 3 started here is doubling up on the last three legs of the pick 4, unless Precieuse did not win.

     

    In lieu of a win bet, trying to turn 1 to 5 into 2 to 1, we can play an exacta of Jaywalk over Champagne Anyone and Bold Script, who I think are pretty probable to run second.

     

    Bets:

    Pick 3:

    Race 12 – Jaywalk

    Race 13 – Bourbon War, Vekoma, Hidden Scroll, Global Campaign, Everfast

    Race 14 – Village King, Hunter O’Riley, Vettori Kin, Zulu Alpha, Highland Sky, Kulin Rock, Montclair, Channel Maker

     

    Fountain of Youth Stakes - Race 13 at Gulfstream Park – Post Time 5:32 PM Eastern

    Looking at all the factors which suggest how much some horses will improve from race to race as well as their pedigree to become one of the top three year olds this winter and spring, I've landed on Global Campaign. Not only do the chart caller's comments "wrapped up" describe his two authoritative wins in two starts to date (the most recent at the distance of the Fountain of Youth), the colt is bred to be a star. He's by Curlin, not only the sire of last year's Toyota Blue Grass Stakes and Haskell Invitational Stakes winner Good Magic but also winner of three important graded stakes (Rebel Stakes, Arkansas Derby and Preakness) as a three year old. Perhaps just as important, Global Campaign is out of the mare Globe Trot, who has produced two stakes winning horses to date, including one of last year's other top three year olds, Bolt d'Oro. In trying to validate whether the "wrapped up" comments did justice to how easily he won both starts to date, I watched the videos and indeed, Global Campaign was in a league of his own in the last three-eighths of a mile in both races, giving no other horse a chance. His Equibase figures of 98 then 99 are lower than other horses in the race, most notably likely favorite Hidden Scroll, but when considering how much more Global Campaign may have in the tank based on not having been asked to run hard in both races as well as based on his tremendous breeding, I expect a graded stakes-winning effort from the colt in the Fountain of Youth.

     

    Bourbon War was also pretty impressive winning at Gulfstream at the distance of the Fountain of Youth in his most recent race, boldly rallying between horses on the turn to go from fifth to first by the time the field hit the eighth pole. Drawing off under his own power, Bourbon War earned a very strong 107 figure, which might be one of the best at this time of year if not for the 115 figure Hidden Scroll earned eight days later. However, Hidden Scroll earned his big figure on a sloppy track and in a one-turn mile race and has yet to run two-turns, whereas Bourbon War has three races under his belt and is making his second start following seven weeks off, and so has lots of room to improve. 2018 Eclipse Award winning jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr. rode Bourbon War in victory in January and rides again. As a son of Tapit, who has sired many three year old graded stakes winners over the last few years, including 2016 Fountain of Youth winner Mohayman, there's little doubt Bourbon War has what it takes to perform well enough to win this race.

     

    Hidden Scroll absolutely dominated in a 13 horse field in his debut in late January. He took the lead shortly after the start and widened until geared down to a 14 length victory. The 115 figure he earned is the best figure I've ever noted a three year old earning in the first half of the year. As a son of Hard Spun, the added distance and two-turn nature of the Fountain of Youth should not pose a problem. However, Hidden Scroll has only raced once and he has never raced around two-turns as he is being asked to do in this race. Trainer Bill Mott is not known for winning with a high percentage of horses in their racing debuts, so the win by Hidden Scroll in his debut bodes well for another top effort. Additionally, Mott had good success with Hofburg last year when he entered the maiden winner to run second in the Florida Derby. As such, we should not discount the chances of Hidden Scroll dominating once again.

     

    Everfast is a horse likely coming in under the radar who must be respected, in my opinion. After winning his debut last August in a seven furlong sprint, Everfast didn't do much in five races including three stakes. However, in his second race as a three year old, Everfast finished second of nine in the Holy Bull Stakes at odds of 128 to 1. The 102 figure was decent enough compared to most of the main contenders in the Fountain of Youth and it is reasonable to project he will run better in his third start off the layoff.

     

    Notes about others: Vekoma (110 best figure winning the Nashua Stakes) and Signalman (95 best figure when third in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, before winning the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes with a 92 figure) both return from layoffs significant enough I think they are at a disadvantage to the four contenders above. According to a STATS Race Lens query I ran, trainer McPeek (Signalman) has a one-for-27 record with horses coming back in routes from this type of layoff over the last two years, while trainer Weaver (Vekoma) has a 0 for 8 record. It is certainly conceivable Signalman and Vekoma can run well and be in the top four to earn "Road to the Derby" points, but I do not believe either will win. Code of Honor was disappointing as the odds-on favorite in the Mucho Macho Man in January, his three year old debut, but must be respected off his runner-up effort in the Champagne Stakes last fall so I’ll consider him for a minor award as well.

     

    Win bets: Global Campaign and Bourbon War to win at odds of 7/2 or more, adding a place bet at 5 to 1 or more.

    Note: 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.

     

    Also consider at least a minimum win and place bet on Everfast at odds of 6 to 1 or more (considering he opens at 20/1).

     

    Exacta: Bourbon War, Hidden Scroll and Global Campaign over Bourbon War, Hidden Scroll, Global Campaign, Code of Honor, Vekoma, Signalman and Everfast.

    Read more...
  • 22
    FEB

    Key Races & Bets for Saturday, February 23

    Hal’s Hope Stakes - Race 11 at Gulfstream Park - Post Time 4:58 PM Eastern

    You’re never supposed to fall in love with horses when handicapping a race and deciding on wagering opportunities. You are only supposed to fall in love with bets, or to put it more succinctly, with wagering opportunity. However, in this race I have to do both as Sir Anthony isn’t a stab at 20/1 on the morning line, he’s got a strong probability to win in a race with a number of suspect low odds horses. Fortunately or unfortunately, morning line favorite Breaking Lucky isn’t one of them, but other horse with low morning line odds such as Quip (4/1) and Copper Town (6/1) certainly are suspect, as might be Tale of Silence (5/1), who will be bet from 8/1 starting odds owing to the Pletcher/Velazquez combination in the same manner Copper Town will be bet owing to the Pletcher/Castellano combination. HOWEVER, they have significant knocks – Prince Lucky coming back from eight plus months off with a career best 99 Equibase figure earned in a three year old restricted race before the layoff that isn’t close to what it’s going to take to win here, and with Copper Town having finished 8th, beaten 10 on 12/1 albeit in a grade 1 but running just as badly over the track on 1/26 in a similar grade 3 race when 7th of 8 and beaten 14 lengths. Quip comes back from 9 months off, facing four year olds for the first time, and there’s no telling how he will run.

     

    On the other hand, Sir Anthony is in the best form of his life and the reason why is easily identifiable. He took blinkers off for the non-graded Bruce D Stakes at this one turn mile trip in August and won by 2 lengths, winning three in a row since including the nearly identical Harlan’s Holiday Stakes on 12/15. His last two efforts earned 107 figures so the first of the two was no fluke, neither the second, and he’s come back to work a strong five furlongs so he’s fit. Hernandez rode him in the Harlan’s Holiday and rides back and there is NOT A HORSE in this race with a recent figure good enough to beat Sir Anthony, save Breaking Lucky, if Sir Anthony repeats either of his last two efforts.

     

    Breaking Lucky changed trainers last summer, finished third in a highly rated classified allowance at Saratoga then ran HORRIBLY in the Lukas Classic. The difference between the two was obvious as the first was around one turn and the latter around two. Kept around one turn, Breaking Lucky won a classified allowance at this mile trip here at GP by eight lengths in December then finished nicely from 6th to 2nd in the Fred Hooper Stakes last month. The first of the two efforts earned him a 112 figure and the latter only 98 but Saez was up for both and rides back and in my opinion, Breaking Lucky is the other horse with the VAST bulk of the probability to win this race (in addition to Sir Anthony).

     

    Bets: Sir Anthony to win at odds of 5 to 2 or higher, adding a place bet at 4 to 1 or more.

    Breaking Lucky to win at odds of 9 to 5 or more.

     

    Note: 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 Sir Anthony and Breaking Lucky.

     

    Trifecta: Sir Anthony and Breaking Lucky with ALL with Sir Anthony and Breaking Lucky. (This covers the contenders if they finish first and third).

     

    Doubles: Sir Anthony and Breaking Lucky in Race 11 with R Boy Bode, Jackson, Standup and Gladiator King in race 12.

    Optionally, play Sir Anthony in race 11 with the other five horses not mentioned above in race 12. This covers the field so we’re not left kicking ourselves if Sir Anthony wins race 11 at a nice price.

     

    Texas Glitter Stakes - Race 12 at Gulfstream Park - Post Time 5:28 PM Eastern

    Gladiator King gets the slightest of preference among four pretty equal win contenders in this five furlong turf sprint stakes for three year olds. His 9th place finish in the Holy Bull three weeks ago only proved her hates two turns, having finished a badly beaten 6th in his only other two-turn race. At under a mile, Gladiator King has a record of 3-1-0 in five races and he’s a perfect 2-for-2 at this five furlong turf sprint trip. He gets a good outside post which is not of concern because three of the horses inside have no early speed at all so he can get to the rail or close to it before the turn while stalking likely sizzling early leaders Running for Riz and Yes I Am Free. As such, opening at 6/1, Gladiator King can make us some money here running back to his last sprint, on 12/15, a win in a stakes (on dirt) in which he earned a 96 Equibase figure.

     

    Standup broke 8th of 10 in his debut on 1/17 at this trip in a maiden race, showed no early speed whatsoever, then kicked in the afterburners in the last 8th of a mile to go from 7th, nine lengths back, to be beaten ¾ of a length on the wire when 2nd. I’m not concerned about him being a maiden in a stakes as these are all lightly raced, newly turned three year olds, and considering improvement many Pletcher starters show from start #1 to start #2 (with a 31% win rate) this colt getting up in time to win would be no surprise particularly if he logically improves off the 87 figure earned in the debut..

     

    Jackson broke 11th and last in the Swale three weeks ago and I am drawing a line through that race as he lost all position. Jaramillo gets back on and was up for this first four starts including two wins, the second in a stakes I which he finished very well from 6th in the early stages. Jackson finished 2nd to a seven length winner in his only turf try, rallying from 7th in the early stages and earning a competitive 85 figure. Opening at 8/1 he must be respected for any and all wagers we make involving this race.

     

    R Boy Bode rounds out the quartet of win contenders. He won his only turf sprint, in November, then after nearly three months off returned to finish 2nd to a six length winner who came back to win again. Jose Ortiz rides, a very intriguing move as it’s for a trainer he’s only ridden for twice in the past year, winning once. The 88 Equibase figure in that turf sprint is as good as most of the main contenders here and opening at 12/1 this is another horse we must take seriously as a contender.

     

    Bets: Gladiator King and Standup to win at odds of 3 to 1 or more.

    Consider smaller win bets on Jackson and R Boy Bode at odds of 5 to 1 or more.

     

    Note: 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 Gladiator King, Standup, Jackson and R Boy Bode.

    Race 13 at Gulfstream Park – Post Time 5:58 PM Eastern

    This is a wide open straight maiden race at a mile on turf for three year old fillies, with eight of the 12 in the main body (not including also-eligibles) of the race first time starters There really isn’t a horse I can toss out as a contender, BUT there are two horses I will point out that I personally will be using on pick 3, 4 and double tickets as well as wagering on if the odds are 5/2 or more.

    The first is logical – Comic City, a first time starter owned and bred by Juddmonte Farm and trained by Chad Brown, who has his first time starters mentally ready for turf routes first out, resulting in 22 wins in his last 100 races. Sire City Zip’s foals also run very well first out going long on turf, with a 5 for 23 record debuting in turf routes. With Castellano riding, the filly appears well meant and talented.

    The second is not so logical – Passing Out, who opens at 15/1. She’s a first time starter by Orb with good turf breeding but the key here is trainer intent. Shug McGaughey wins once in a while with first timers but usually give his horses the experience of a race. The signal here is first time Lasix, suggesting this gal is talented and needs no such experience. Jose Ortiz is engaged to ride, and the most recent workout is on turf. This IDENTICAL pattern was in play a couple of weeks ago and the debuting colt ran on big time just missing to a Chad Brown first timer at 14/1.

    Personally, I will be playing Comic City to win at odds of 5 to 2 or ore and betting Passing Out to win and place at odds of 5 to 2 or more.

    Buena Vista Stakes - Race 8 at Santa Anita - Post Time 7 PM Eastern

    Although Vasilika loves the Santa Anita turf course, evidenced by eight wins in nine races including a perfect four-for-four record at the mile trip of the Buena Vista, I think Zaffinah has an upset chance. Looking at just her two-turn turf races since importing to the U.S. in the winter of 2017, Zaffinah has done little wrong either, winning three of seven and finishing second in two others. Her best effort came in her most recent start, on January 21 in the Megahertz Stakes, won by Vasilika, but one in which she was on the rail at a critical point in the stretch with no room to stretch her legs. While Vasilika was in the three path passing leader Ms Bad Behavior, Zaffinah continued to wait then spurted through the inside to miss second by a head at the finish. That effort earned her a career-best 110 Equibase Speed Figure. Considering Vasilika earned 113 figures in her last three winning efforts, with Zaffinah likely to improve in her second start following two months off, if she can secure a path in the stretch to allow her to begin her kick earlier than in the Megahertz, she may be able to turn the tables on Vasilika and post the upset win.

     

    There's not much to say about Vasilika which isn't apparent from her past performances or tremendous record of 2018 when winning nine of 11 including eight in a row, three of those being graded stakes. It was a testament to the work done by trainer Jerry Hollendorfer to help the mare to hold top form from February through November, particularly in the fall when she earned 111, 113 and 113 figures while winning the John C. Mabee Stakes, Rodeo Drive Stakes and Goldikova Stakes in succession. Following her fourth place finish in the Matriarch Stakes in December, Vasilika took 49 days off and returned in top form, once again earning a 113 figure when winning the Megahertz Stakes at the distance of the Buena Vista. Jockey Flavien Prat rode Vasilika in her last nine wins and continues to know just where to place the mare for her best effort. As such, there's no denying Vasilika is the one the other nine entrants have to beat to win this race.

     

    Ms Bad Behavior, Fahan Mura and Compelled all have some degree of probability to be in the top four in the Buena Vista, and if neither Zaffinah or Vasilika runs their best, to win, but I’ll use them in second on exacta tickets only.

     

    Bets: Zaffinah to win at odds of 3 to1 or higher, adding a place bet at 5 to 1 or more.

    Exactas: Box Zaffinah and Vasilika.

    Zaffinah and Vasilika over Zaffinah, Vasilika, Ms Bad Behavior, Fahan Mura and Compelled.

    Doubles: Zaffinah and Vasilika in Race 8 with Kenzou’s Rhythm and Bedeviled in Race 9

    Race 9 at Santa Anita - Post Time 7:30 Eastern

    This may be a lowly 20K claiming race but two horses stick out in my opinion, and neither are favorites. Kenzou’s Rhythm has run three “A” races in a row, a pair of runner-up efforts then a big four and one-half length win last month. All came at this mile dirt trip and the last two earned 111 and 106 Equibase figure, excellent for this level. Apprentice Figueroa was up for all 3 races and all 3 races came following the Morey claim. There are no knocks and the gelding gets a good inside post and has the tactical speed to sit third early off need-the-lead types Impression and Little Scotty to win his 2nd race in a row.

    Bedeviled is the other main contender, losing Figueroa to Kenzou’s Rhythm but picking up leading jockey Rosario. He returned from 10 months off on 1/19 and was in need of a race. It was a sprint anyway and he’s not a sprinter. Stretched out to this mile trip next out he finished 4th of 7, beaten less than a length for 3rd, and now he’s ready to run back to his big effort under nearly identical conditions last January (2018) over the track when he stalked in 4th and rallied to get up by a nose.

     

    Bets: Kenzou’s Rhythm and Bedeviled to win at odds of 2 to 1 or more.

     

    Note: 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.

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