Key Races & Bets for Saturday April 30th, 2022

Elusive Quality Stakes – Race 9 at Belmont Park – Post Time 5:32 PM Eastern

The KEYS to profit in this race come in the form or Milton the Monster and American Monarch, who both open at double digit odds. Value Proposition and Snapper Sinclair are the other two contenders, to be used on exacta tickets.

Milton the Monster opens at 12 to 1 for just ONE reason, and that’s because he’s trying turf for the first time, in the 15th start of his career. He’s the FASTEST horse in the race, coming in off a six length win at this seven furlong trip but on dirt, which earned a 113 Equibase figure, and his 119 figure two before that, also at seven furlongs, wins here easily if repeated. He’s been very consistent in his career, evidenced by a 4-2-5 record in 14 starts, and he put in a sizzling four furlong workout (46.6) which was the best of 70 at the distance last week in preparation for the race. Pennington has been up for every one of his last seven starts since switching trainers and sire Jack Milton has had five of his progeny run in turf sprint stakes races, with three of the five having won. There is not a single knock on this gelding who gets a great post to boot.

American Monarch has finished first or second in his last four starts, all at six to seven furlongs on dirt, but he is also bred to run just as well on the sod as a son of American Pharoah out of a Giant’s Causeway mare. Mott trains and Lezcano, who was aboard for a win and a second place effort in the horse’s last two starts, rides again. American Monarch earned 107, 107 and 110 figures in his last three races so fits on every count just like Milton the Monster does.

Value Proposition opens at 3 to 1 in spite of having finished fifth, second and third in his last three races with no excuses, strictly because Chad Brown trains. He won the similar Oyster Bay Stakes four back but that was last October and it followed a win, not a mediocre third place effort. Still, the 111 figure earned in the Oyster Bay makes him a factor here if repeated and since the two keys in the race open at better than 10/1 we won’t toss Value Proposition from exactas. Snapper Sinclair returns to the U.S. off a 10th place effort in the Godolphin Mile in Dubai when way over his head. He returns to sprinting on grass and the last time he did that he nearly won a stakes so he could be coming on strongly late for a big piece if not the win.

Handicapper Picks

Win bets: Milton the Monster and American Monarch at odds of 3 to 1 or higher.

This is going to be a real profit opportunity and the best way to capitalize on betting both horses at high odds to win is 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:

Milton the Monster and American Monarch over Milton the Monster, American Monarch, Value Proposition and Snapper Sinclair.

Milton the Monster, American Monarch, Value Proposition and Snapper Sinclair over Milton the Monster and American Monarch.

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Santa Margarita Stakes – Race 10 at Santa Anita – Post Time 8:36 PM Eastern

Similar to the Elusive Quality Stakes, in this race there are two horses to key at decent odds and two others to use on exacta and double tickets to the next race. The two KEYS to profit are Sharapova and Bellamore and the other two to use on exacta and double tickets are Park Avenue and Miss Bigly.

Sharapova is a lightly raced four year old with a very good 2-1-2 record in six races, three this year and three last year. She ended her 2021 campaign by winning when running in her first two-turn race and she won last out in her third start of 2022 and her first two-turn race of the year. The pattern of improvement is obvious as she went from an 85 figure, to 94, to 101 and she’s got more improving to do. She is bred to do just as well at this nine furlong trip as the mile she won last month when victorious in a 100K stakes and this 200K stakes isn’t a much tougher ask.

Bellamore may be completely under the radar of many bettors and opens at 15/1. She cost $350,000 as a two year old in 2020 and ran two times that year, finishing second. She was off for 15 months and came back in a sprint where she only managed fourth BUT when stretched out to a mile she won, then won again last month, going from a 72 figure to a 91 figure. Logically as a daughter of Empire Maker she will love the nine furlong trip and if she improves by even half as much as she did last out from her previous race she can post the upset here.

Park Avenue has a fine 3-3-1 record in nine races and won at this distance on turf in her most recent race with a 98 figure. Sadler does well moving from turf to dirt so she must be respected for any bets we make involving this race. Miss Bigly has won eight of 17 races on dirt including the Grade 3 Bayakoa Stakes in February at a shorter distance, and she finished second at this distance in a stakes in Ohio last summer. However, her 95, 96 and 94 recent figures aren’t dominant by any means to her 5/2 starting odds make it difficult to bet her to win.

Handicapper Picks

Win bets: Sharapova to win at 3 to 1 or higher and Bellamore to win at 5 to 1 or more. .

This is another great betting race so if both horses are above fair odds near post time this is another opportunity to dutch the win bet using the free tool at Amwager.com

Exactas:

Box Sharapova, Bellamore and Park Avenue

Box Sharapova, Bellamore and Miss Bigly

Doubles:
Race 10: Sharapova, Bellamore, Park Avenue, Miss Bigly

Race 11: Gregdar, Masteroffoxhounds

Race 10: Sharapova, Bellamore

Race 11: ALL

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Charles Whittingham Stakes – Race 11 at Santa Anita – Post Time 9:09 PM Eastern

Gregdar opens at 15 to 1 and is very intriguing in a race much more wide open than the morning line odds make it appear. He has only raced 10 times on turf, with a decent 3-2-2 record, but more importantly his last two wins came in turf routes, one at nine furlongs last March (2021). After that win he ran in a second level allowance at this 10 furlong turf trip and he was sent to post as the 8 to 5 favorite, finishing second in a big effort which earned him a career-best 109 Equibase figure. He ran one more time, last May, then took more than eight months off, returning to finish fifth in a turf sprint, before being beaten inches in a photo and before a second of nine finish three weeks ago. He won the last time he stretched out from a sprint to a route, gets the ground saving rail, and is saddled by top trainer Phil D’Amato, who also saddles Gold Phoenix (who opens at 6 to 1). Considering Gregdar earned 108 and 109 Figures at nine and 10 furlongs last year, which compared favorably with the 109 figure 2 to 1 starting favorite Masteroffoxhounds earned in his most recent race, I’d say Gregdar has a much bigger chance to run well then his odds suggest he does.

Masteroffoxhounds has run this 10 furlong turf trip three times placing once and winning the similar San Marcos Stakes 14 months ago in February 2021. He enters the race off a second place effort at a mile on grass following seven months off and should run even better here.

Handicapper Picks

Win Bets: Gregdar at odds of 5 to 1 or higher.

Exacta: Box Gregdar and Masteroffoxhounds

Also, instead of a place bet on Gregdar, play an exacta of ALL over Gregdar.  

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Ellis Starr

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

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