Key Races & Bets for Saturday April 23rd, 2022

Elkhorn Stakes – Race 9 at Keeneland – Post Time 5:16 PM Eastern

My contention in these marathon races on turf, like this 12 furlong Elkhorn Stakes, is that even on slow fractions, if three horses all need the lead to win its going to be difficult for any of them to win. In this race, Two Emmys, who just won the Grade 2 Muniz Memorial Classic (at nine furlongs) in wire-to-wire fashion, is absolutely a need-the-lead type, evidenced by his race six months ago in the Sycamore Stakes at Keeneland, the fall version of the Elkhorn. He went for the lead in that race and led nearly every step of the way before beaten a neck on the wire. Next, there’s Phantom Currency, who just wired the field at a mile in the Grade 3 Appleton Stakes. He is another absolute need-the-lead type as his seven wins (including one where he was disqualified to second) were all earned leading start to finish. Tiberius Mercurius led start to finish at 10 furlongs on the all-weather at Turfway last month and won identically two before that in December, with both wins coming since Maker took over his training.

That makes us go looking for the stalkers and closers for the winner, and landing on Bemma’s Boy and Another Mystery. Bemma’s Boy has run this 12 furlong trip three times, winning twice and finishing second the other time. The first of the three was here at Keeneland where he rallied from fourth to win going away and the other two were stakes, first a three-quarter length loss in the Grade 3 John B. Connally then winning the Grade 2 Pan American Stakes at Gulfstream. In short, Bemma’s Boy has the class to win and is in top form, having missed by a head on the wire in two straight turf races at shorter distance. Back at 12 furlongs, Bemma’s Boy could be up in time.

Another Mystery won this year’s John B. Connally Stakes at 12 furlongs on turf, posting the 23 to 1 upset. He had won a minor stakes on turf two before that and although he never threatened in the Muniz we must remember winner Two Emmys was allowed to coast alone on the front on snail-like fractions. With a more contested pace to run at, and back at the 12 furlong trip of his last win, Another Mystery deserves a strong look at the outcome.

Two Emmys has hung on for second eight times in his career so can be used on exacta tickets, and longshot Cullum Road got back into top form last month with a win and has earned nearly a half-million dollars so could rally past a bunch of these here and help make for a profitable exacta.

Handicapper Picks

Win bets: Bemma’s Boy and Another Mystery at odds of 5 to 2 or higher.

The best way to bet more than one horse to win and to maximize our profit is to “Dutch” the bet, which means to prorate it based on the odds. Amwager.com has a free and easy to use Dutching Tool available where you can set the amount you want to bet, or the amount you want to win, and the math is done for you. This is just one of many tools, and perks, available to the bettor at Amwager.com 

Exactas:

Bemma’s Boy and Another Mystery over Bemma’s Boy, Another Mystery, Two Emmys and Cullum Road

Optionally, for half the amount you bet on the exacta above, play the opposite, which is Bemma’s Boy, Another Mystery, Two Emmys and Cullum Road over Bemma’s Boy and Another Mystery

Doubles:

Race 9: Bemma’s Boy, Another Mystery

Race 10: Unikee

Race 9: Bemma’s Boy, Another Mystery, Two Emmys, Cullum Road

Race 10: Unikee

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Woodhaven Stakes – Race 9 at Aqueduct – Post Time 5:36 PM Eastern

Ohtwoohthreefive may have a 1-2-2 record in six turf races but there’s only one which I’m interested in when looking at his ability to run big in this race. That’s the race on 11/27/21 on the Aqueduct turf at this distance in the Central Park Stakes, an identical race in which he stalked in third early, rallied to lead in the stretch, and battled well to the wire when coming up a half-length short. After that he tried dirt and finished seventh then tried all-weather and finished fifth and neither of those are relevant when assessing the colt’s chances today. He’s been working well for his first start in two months including a best of the day four furlong workout eight days ago and opening at 6 to 1 he could be a great bet in this field.

Heaven Street gets the ground saving rail and just won an identical race, the Columbia Stakes, at Tampa. That followed five months off and so logically he’s going to run even better second off the layoff. The win came in the colt’s first start after moving to the Clement barn and BOTH he and Ohtwoothreefive earned higher Equibase Speed Figures (88 and 85) than morning line favorite Unanimous Consent (2 to 1) did when getting a 77 figure on the turf at Tampa last out.

For exactas, in second position I’ll use the vulnerable favorite Unanimous Consent as well as Fort Washington, who has a nice late kick and could be rallying into second in this situation.

Handicapper Picks

Win bets: Ohtwoohthreefive and Heaven Street to win at 5 to 2 or higher.

In a race where I consider the favorite to be vulnerable, if both horses are above fair odds near post time this is another great opportunity to dutch the win bet using the free tool at Amwager.com

Exactas:

Heaven Street and Ohtwoohthreefive over Heaven Street, Ohtwoohthreefive, Fort Washington and Unanimous Consent

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Race 10 at Keeneland – Post Time 5:48 PM Eastern


There’s nothing complex about the nightcap on a fantastic Saturday card at Keeneland. Unikee sticks out even in a talented field of three year old colts. He showed a lot of talent first out on February 5 when leading early then tiring to third then in his second start five weeks later improved by leaps and bounds as he maturely sat in fifth in the early stages, moving up to fourth on the turn, then second into the stretch, before drawing off and winning by two. This has turned out to be a VERY PRODUCTIVE “KEY RACE” as the second horse finished third in a highly rated race last week and particularly as both the third and fifth place finishers each flattered Unikee greatly by breaking their maidens here at Keeneland at the meeting, each improving nicely. Making the race even more productive, the EIGHTH and NINTH place finishers each won their next starts, and in maiden special weight company. With a 59 and change five furlong workout since raced and Irad Ortiz, Jr. taking the mount to go along with very logical improvement both physically and mentally off that last race, Unikee looks all set to move through this first allowance condition easily and would be a low odds overlay win bet at 3 to 2 or higher odds.

Hopefully, we’re live with nice doubles from race nine, the Elkhorn Stakes, to the logical winner of this race, Unikee. Even if we’re not, Unikee is likely to offer great low odds overlay value opening at 3 to 1.

Handicapper Picks

Win Bets: Unikee at odds of 3 to 2 or higher, a true low odds overlay win bet.

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