Key Races & Bets for Saturday December 10th, 2022

Pulpit Stakes – Race 4 at Gulfstream Park- Post Time 1:38 PM Eastern

Top win contenders:
Congruent
and Ari Gold both have the same probability to win, but the morning line odds of 6 to 1 on Congruent as compared to 9 to 5 for Ari Gold demand we consider him for a win bet first and foremost. Congruent is already a stakes winner, having won the Laurel Futurity on October 1, which was scheduled for turf but run on dirt. Given his breeding (Tapit out of a Stormy Atlantic mare which has produced a stakes winner on turf), there is little doubt he can run as well as he did in that race, and as he was completely overmatched in his only start since, in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, all signs point to a race good enough to win, particularly as he put in a very strong five furlong workout one week ago.

Ari Gold added blinkers and led from start to finish last month to break his maiden in his third career start. With an inside post and Saez riding, it is highly likely the colt will be on the lead from the start so it’s only a matter of whether he can withstand the late kick of Congruent and win his second in a row.

Handicapper Picks

Win: 2 to 1 are the minimum odds I would consider a win bet on both Congruent and on Ari Gold. It is likely only Congruent will meet that threshold.

Exacta: Box Congruent and Ari Gold.

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Wait a While Stakes – Race 8 at Gulfstream Park – Post Time 3:38 PM Eastern

Top contenders:
Malleymoo
opens at 8 to 1 although she has no less of a chance to win as compared horses at lower odds. The reason is because she is making her U.S. debut, having run just once, in Ireland. Interesting enough she was bred in Kentucky and her debut was a very strong effort where she rallied to win in a field of 14. She was sent to post as the 2 to 1 favorite in that race as well. The only other foal of her dam won on turf in North America and her two workouts since importing were just fine, on the turf at Palm Meadows. There is no reason to expect her to run any less well in this race, which although a stakes is full of mostly other maiden winners only. As such, she’s the tip pick in this race.

Personal Pursuit won in September off a short layoff in her second career start, rather nicely, then was overmatched in the Grade 3 Matron Stakes, at six furlongs on turf. Stretching out to two turns on grass is of no concern particularly considering the dam produced stakes winner (on grass) Grecian Fire, who earned over $400K in her career. With Gaffalione getting on and with a good inside post to utilize her tactical speed, she could have the lead late and then it’s just a question whether she can hold off the late kick of Malleymoo.

Isabel Alexandra won at first asking in a turf sprint in then wasn’t disgraced a bit when second of 12 in a highly rated allowance race at a mile on grass at Keeneland in late October. She continues to improve, gets Jose Ortiz and could run a lot better than is suggested by her 6 to 1 starting odds.

The favorite in this race, Delight, won the Grade 2 Jessamine Stakes in October from the three post then was decently regarded at 9 to 1 in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf but faded to 10th after being fourth with an eighth of a mile to run. She could run well but will not only be overbet but her 11 post is disadvantageous. I will use her with the two contenders of the three above which offer the best odds.

Handicapper Picks

Win: BOTH Malleymoo and Isabel Alexandra should be considered for win bets at odds of 5 to 2 or more.

The BEST way to maximize profit when wagering to win on multiple horses is to use a “Dutching” tool, which allocates wagers based on the odds. Amwager.com has a great and easy to use dutching tool which allows you to set the amount of money you want to bet, or the amount you want to win, then does the math for you. It’s just one of many great tools, and perks, available at Amwager.com

Exactas:
Box Isabel Alexandra, Personal Pursuit, Malleymoo
Box Isabel Alexandra, Malleymoo, Delight

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Garland of Roses Stakes – Race 8 at Aqueduct – Post Time 3:40 PM Eastern

Top Contenders:
Beguine should get a great trip stalking in third early as need-the-lead types Smash Ticket and Hot Peppers go at it from the opening bell. Considering Smash Ticket opens as the 2 to 1 favorite, this makes the race pretty playable as it appears both “early” pace types will cancel each other out, particularly as Disco Ebo or Snicket may also try for the lead as well. Beguine is therefore the one to beat, with a good outside post and coming off a career-best effort when rallying for second, beaten a half-length, four weeks ago over the track. That effort earned a 100 Equibase Speed Figure which is the best last race figure in the field. That was her first start after changing trainers and her second off a five month layoff, so there are lots of reasons to expect improvement.

Dontletsweetfoolya has won eight of 24 races, more importantly six of 12 at this basic six furlong trip on dirt. She’s earned nearly $400K in her career, which is the second highest total in the field, yet she opens at 10 to 1, mostly because she’s shipping in from Maryland. Sheldon Russell rode her marvelously to win at this distance on dirt last out, following six straight turf races, and she’s come back to put in a strong half-mile drill since then, signaling another big effort.

Betsy Blue won back-to-back in August and September, the last of the two wins at Aqueduct. She then ran in the Iroquois Stakes and Go for Wand Stakes, both without Lasix, so putting lasix back on gives her a good shot to run back to top form. She’s been first or second in 15 of 19 career races and so she’s a must to use on any exacta tickets we play in this race.

Handicapper Picks

Win: Beguine can be bet to win at odds of 9 to 5 or higher.
Dontletsweetfoolya can be bet at odds of 4 to 1.

This is another race where prorating our wagers based on the odds, using a dutching tool like the one which is free and easy to use at Amwager, is a great idea.

Exactas:
We should split the lower odds horses to maximize value so the exactas will be:
Box Beguine, Dontletsweetfoolya
Box Betsy Blue, Dontletsweetfoolya

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Marion County Florida Sire Stakes – Race 9 at Tampa Bay Downs – Post Time 4:31 PM Eastern

This race is interesting because the horse with the best last race in the bunch, by far, opens at 5 to 1. That is Noble Drama, who finished fastest of all from 10th to win a one turn mile last month with a 109 figure. That wasn’t a fluke as he won Back-To-Back stakes at Gulfstream, also at a mile, in May and July of 21. He went winless in six after that but now that he’s back in winning form a second win seems likely, particularly as he leads the field overall in wins (10) and earnings ($779K).

Favorite Willy Boi has a six for 14 record but has lost two in row. Both were Grade 1 Stakes and he won his last start at Tampa, in April, by seven lengths so he will be used on exacta tickets.

Handicapper Picks

Win: Noble Drama at 2 to 1 or more.
Exactas:
Box Noble Drama, Willy Boi

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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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