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Key Races & Bets for Saturday December 2nd, 2023

Demoiselle Stakes – Race 7 at Aqueduct – Post Time 2:45 PM Eastern

Win contenders: Most of All, Ringy Dingy, Shimmering Allure
Vulnerable favorites: Life Talk, Caldwell Luvs Gold

Let’s start with why the first and third morning line favorites are vulnerable, which sets up the race for some nice overlays from fair odds on the three win contenders. Life Talk (8 to 5) is favored based on her fourth of 12 finish four weeks ago in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies. So what? She was 21 to 1 in that race and never threatened. Before that she was third at 9 to 5 in the Frizette with no excuse. She may be dropping from grade 1 to grade 2 but her Breeders’ Cup Equibase Speed Figure (88) isn’t superior to at least what four other horses’ figures, and the only reason she opens at low odds is the perceived class drop and Irad Ortiz, Jr. riding for Todd Pletcher. Caldwell Luvs Gold won the first two starts of her career, in July and August, then finished second and third. The last three were in stakes but restricted to NY breds only and in her last two she ran evenly in the stretch (2nd, 2nd and 4th, 3rd) with nothing special about her to make her a strong contender. The fact she opens at 9 to 2 is mostly because she’s trained by Brad Cox.

The top contender here is Most of All and she opens at ridiculously high odds of 15 to 1. She is trained by Bill Mott, who won the 2019 Demoiselle with Lake Avenue off a similar 10+ length maiden win. Another Mott trainee finished second in this race in 2020 off a maiden win, behind champion Malathaat, so no disgrace whatsoever. Not only does Mott know when his young horses can make the jump into stakes races, the race this filly ran on 10/20 was exceptional as she stalked in second early and was geared down, so easily could have run faster than she did, earning an 86 Equibase Speed Figure which is the second best last race figure in the field, to Let’s Talk, who I think is suspect. Jose Ortiz gets on as Junior Alvarado moves to Shimmering Allure, who he rode to victory last month, and that’s just fine as Ortiz and Mott have teamed up to win a decent number of races the past two years.

Ringy Dingy is THE ONLY horse in the field to have won around two turns, doing so in October in a stakes at Delaware Park. She won a sprint before that with an 83 figure then earned a 76 figure last time out but could have run faster as she too didn’t have to run hard in the final sixteenth based on her six length margin at the wire. Better still, Ringy Dingy is a FULL sister to Defunded, who earned $1.6 million and was a multiple stakes winner, who had no issue with nine furlongs, the distance of this race. Danny Gargan trains her as well as Dornach, the morning line favorite in the Remsen (race 9), and Gargan won the 2022 Remsen with Dubyuhnell, so knows how to get his two year olds to run at this level.

Shimmering Allure won the Tempted Stakes over the track last month, and two before that won nicely as well. Both were one turn miles, and in her only two-turn race, in between the wins, she finished fourth in the Grade 1 Alcibiades Stakes at Keeneland, a race in which she broke slowly to be last of eight and lost a lot of position in a race which ends at the first finish line. Alvarado rode her for the first time in the Tempted and appears to pick her to ride over Most of All, so that’s a good sign as well. In the Tempted, Shimmering Allure earned a career-best 85 figure, as good as Most of All in her last start, so there is little doubt this filly has a shot here.

Handicapper Picks

Win: I think all three contenders are evenly matched and have about the same probability to win, so I would consider betting them to win at 5 to 2 odds or higher. It is highly likely Most of All will be well above those odds, so she will definitely be a win bet. Among Ringy Dingy and Shimmering Allure, the one with the highest odds near post time can be bet as well.

Considering the exceptional betting value in this race, a “Dutching” tool will really help maximize our edge. The free Dutching Tool at Amwager allows us to set the amount we want to bet in total then prorates that money among the two, or three, horses we want to win. It’s just one of many tools and benefits for racing fans at Amwager.com

Exacta: Box Most of All, Ringy Dingy, Shimmering Allure

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Remsen Stakes – Race 9 at Aqueduct – Post Time 3:45 PM Eastern

Top win contenders: Sierra Leone, Dornach

Although Dornach is the one to beat and as of now the fastest horse in this field, there is a lot to be said for Sierra Leone, whose debut effort four weeks ago was a sight to behold. In that debut at a mile around one turn here at Aqueduct, the colt showed a ton of physical, and more importantly mental, ability. Starting in fifth/sixth for the first six furlongs, he was forced to idle behind a wall of horses entering the stretch. Then, Manny Franco pulled him hard right for a clear path, and although Sierra Leone was a bit green (not knowing what to do exactly) and swerving all over the place, he INHALED the three horses in front of him to win without much encouragement from the jockey at all. Since then, the colt put in a spectacular workout with Chad Brown’s other trainee, Domestic Product, running the second fastest half-mile of the day among 112 workouts at the distance. Jose Ortiz takes over as Franco moves to Domestic Product, and considering Ortiz and Brown have won a sparkling 42% of the time at Aqueduct the past two years, that gives us confidence this colt is going to run even better off the experience of a race. Also, there’s no doubt about him handling nine furlongs as he’s a son of Gun Runner.

Dornach is the other horse with the bulk of the probability to win, and I doubt very much he will go to post anywhere near his 5 to 2 morning line odds. A full brother to Kentucky Derby winner Mage, Dornach finished second in his first two starts, the second a two-turn stakes, before moving down to the maiden ranks and winning easily with a graded stakes quality 101 figure no other horse in the field has come close to. With the three post, it’s likely Saez will put Dornach on the lead, as he did in that maiden win, and considering how fast he ran and the improvement which is expected, he would be no surprise and therefore even if a poor win bet because of low odds, he’s an absolute must to use on double and pick 3 tickets as well as in the win position on exacta and trifecta tickets.

Handicapper Picks

Win: Sierra Leone at 2 to 1 or more, being as it’s unlikely Dornach will be 2 to 1 odds or higher.

Exacta:
Box Sierra Leone and Dornach

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Cigar Mile Handicap – Race 10 at Aqueduct – Post Time 4:12 PM Eastern

Top win contenders: Accretive, Dr Ardito, Everso Michievous

Vulnerable favorite – Why Senor Buscador opens as the 7 to 2 favorite is anyone’s guess. He comes out of the Breeders’ Cup Classic, where he finished seventh at nearly 30 to 1. He won two of six other races this year and won the one-turn (like this race) Ack Ack Stakes 14 months ago, but although is best race is competitive, it’s no better nor worse than others, and he’s never run at Aqueduct. Although Accretive opens just slightly higher at 4 to 1, if the public bets Senor Buscador as the morning line suggests, it opens the race up for a nice profit if he doesn’t finish in the top three as I think will be the cases.

Accretive gets slight preference among the top three finishers in the Forty Niner because of a “common race” handicapping theory which has had a good deal of success over the years. This theory states that when two or three horses finish close together in a previous race, often their positions will be reversed the next time they meet. This theory has a lot of value in handicapping this year’s Cigar Mile, because although he was third, beaten a half-length at the finish, Accretive might have won the Forty Niner if not for what occurred at the start. When the gates opened, Accretive broke just a bit to his right and a bit slowly and almost veered into the horse just outside of him. Jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr. had to correct Accretive to his left, and in doing so the horse lost a couple of lengths. Finding himself four lengths back after a half-mile, as compared to within a half-length in his two victories this year, Accretive was then also forced to go about five paths wide on the far turn. Nevertheless, Accretive fought gamely to be within a half-length of the lead with yards to go, but that early expenditure of energy cost him the needed kick, so much so that he was passed late and lost second place by a nose. Prior to the Forty Niner, Accretive earned a career-best 110 Equibase Speed Figure when beaten just a length and a half by Cody’s Wish in the Vosburgh Stakes. Considering Cody’s Wish put on a show to win the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile in his next start after the Vosburgh, we can conclude Accretive is going to run the best race of his career (with a clean start) and may be the one to beat in this year’s Cigar Mile Handicap.

Dr Ardito found himself 11 lengths behind the early leader after a half-mile of the Forty Niner had been run, and 10 lengths behind eventual winner Everso Mischievous. However, jockey Manny Franco, who has now ridden the horse in 11 of his 12 career starts, got Dr Ardito to pick up the pace on the far turn, getting to within four lengths of the leader at that stage of the race. After running five paths wide on that turn, Dr Ardito put in a visually impressive late run to come up just a half-length short, earning a 103 Equibase Speed figure just one point shy of the winner. Dr Ardito truly loves the Aqueduct main track, where he has won five of seven races and has finished second in two others, the fastest of which earned a 107 figure which is higher than the career-best 104 figure Everso Mischievous earned in his most recent race and not far from the Accretive’s 110 best figure. Certainly if the pace is fast as it was in the Forty Niner. Dr Ardito has a chance to run past the field and win.

There’s no knocking Everso Mischievous, who has won four of six races and finished second in the other two. His Equibase speed figures have improved consistently all season, from 97 in June to 98 in August, to 99 in September, to 104 winning the Forty Niner. In that race, Everso Mischievous moved up from second and engaged in a three horse battle on the turn before emerging with a half-length margin and holding the same margin to the wire. As a three year old, Everso Mischievous still has improving to do, and as such has every right to win his second graded stakes in a row.

Handicapper Picks

Win: Accretive at odds of 2 to 1 or more, Dr Ardito and Everso Mischievous at odds of 5 to 2 or higher.

This is another race where the FREE Dutching Tool at Amwager really helps us maximize profit when betting on more than one horse to win.

Exacta: Box Accretive, Dr Ardito, Everso Mischievous

Trifecta: Accretive, Dr Ardito, Everso Mischievous over ALL over Accretive, Dr Ardito, Everso Mischievous.
When we play the exacta and trifecta this way, we win if any two of the three contenders finish 1st and 2nd, or 1st and 3rd, and we win both bets if all three finish in the top three positions.

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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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