Key Races & Bets for Saturday June 25th, 2022

Goldwood Stakes – Race 11 at Monmouth – Post Time 4:47 PM Eastern

If the race goes as drawn in that need-the-lead types Athwaaq, Robin Sparkles and Hey Mamaluke run, and/or if also-eligible Stop War runs, or any two or three of the four, the early pace is going to be hotly contested and HOT, perhaps with a sub :22 opening quarter and a sub :45 half mile. That sets the race up nicely for a number of horses, starting with Bout Time, a lightly raced four year old who might be a perfect three-for-three in turf sprints if not for a head defeat one before last in March. She won her other two turf sprints easily, the most recent last month at Churchill Downs with a last race 98 Equibase figure that is tied for the best in the field, and she’s likely to make the first move on the tiring pacesetters and pressers so gets top billing.

Honey Pants has run 11 times on turf and has finished first or second in eight of those including her last two starts. The most recent of those was in the Very One Stakes on Preakness weekend, a race in which she rallied from seventh of nine early to easily get second. The third horse has come back to win since and that effort, as well as the win right before it in a turf sprint both came as a result of adding blinkers so her top form can be expected to be continued.

Spun Glass is another contender, particularly coming off a nice win at this distance on turf when four lengths back at the top of the stretch before drawing off to win. That was her second start back after eight months off and she’s the other gal with a last race 98 figure likely to be improved upon so she’s definitely one to consider, with her 10/1 starting odds the highest among the top three choices.

For exotics we should consider Champagne Lady, as she gets Paco Lopez and has two wins and two third place finishes in her last four starts. Three were on grass and the cut back from a mile last out to this shorter trip should give her some extra closing speed here. Bay Storm is another in good from with a win and three runner-up efforts in her last four starts, all turf sprints. Additionally, two of the early speedballs – Athwaaq and Robin Sparkles might stick around for a piece.

Handicapper Picks

Win bets:

Bout Time at odds of 2 to 1 or more.
Honey Pants at odds of 3 to 1 or more.

Spun Glass at odds of 4 to 1 or more.

In a big field and with it likely at least two of the three above will go to post at higher than minimum odds, the best way to capitalize 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: Box Honey Pants, Bout Time and Spun Glass

Also Honey Pants, Bout Time and Spun Glass over Honey Pants, Bout Time, Spun Glass, Champagne Lady Bay Storm, Athwaaq and Robin Sparkles

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Lady Jacqueline Stakes – Race 10 at Thistledown – Post Time 4:48 PM Eastern

This is a great betting race with a purse of a quarter million and with a 10 horse field and it also comes before the Ohio Derby so there are double opportunities as well. Four fillies and mares have a chance to win so that’s absolutely we should look at the one with the highest starting odds first. That is Microcap, who opens at eight to one and who has earned $240K to date including a stakes placed effort last July. She enters the race off a win in a very tough allowance field at Churchill Downs three weeks ago. We know that because her Equibase Speed figure of 95 is the best last race figure in the field. To put that in perspective, likely favorite Army Wife earned a 94 figure when third in a non-graded stakes on the SAME DAY Microcap won an allowance race at Churchill Downs. Originally in the barn of Chad Brown, the mare was claimed early in her career and has won three of 10 on dirt since then. She has a good stalking style and put in a very strong half-mile workout leading to this race so may be set to win her second in a row.

Army Wife, Maracuja and Crazy Beautiful are all nice fillies who can win, but who don’t have any more probability to win than Microcap. Army Wife hasn’t won since last July when taking the Iowa Oaks following a win in the Black Eyed Susan Stakes. She was off from November to June and can improve off her third place effort in the Shawnee Stakes three weeks ago. Maracuja won the CCA Oaks at Saratoga last July and is one for four since then, the win coming in an allowance race in April (88 figure). She fired off a short rest for both wins and is coming back from another similar layoff. Crazy Beautiful won the Summertime Oaks last May, then won the Delaware Oaks but is two for seven since. She won the Latonia Stakes on all-weather at Turfway in April but her other two this year were clunkers, though her two most recent works were sharp.

Handicapper Picks

Win bets: Microcap at odds of 5 to 2 or higher.

I might consider Army Wife at 3 to 1 or more, but considering those are her starting odds that may not occur.

Exactas: Microcap over Army Wife, Maracuja and Crazy Beautiful

Army Wife, Maracuja and Crazy Beautiful over Microcap

Army Wife over Microcap, Maracuja and Crazy Beautiful

Doubles:

Race 10: Microcap

Race 11: Barese, Brigadier General, Ethereal Road, White Abarrio, Tawny Port

Race 10: Microcap

Race 11: Ethereal Road, White Abarrio, Tawny Port

Race 10: Microcap, Army Wife, Maracuja, Crazy Beautiful

Race 11: Tawny Port

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Ohio Derby – Race 11 at Thistledown – Post Time 5:35 PM Eastern

Tawny Port won the first two starts of his career (in December and January), both routes, then finished fifth in the Risen Star Stakes in February. Following a career-best 102 Equibase Speed Figure earned when second in the Jeff Ruby Steaks in April in his next start the colt earned enough points for a Kentucky Derby start with a win in the Lexington Stakes three weeks before the Derby. After starting 14th in the Derby, Tawny Port continually passed horses to get to fifth with an eighth of a mile to run but ran evenly thereafter, ending up seventh and just under five lengths from the winner. The 100 figure earned in that effort is tied for the best last race figure in the field with Ethereal Road. However Tawny Port is facing much easier competitors than Ethereal Road and that is the deciding factor in giving this colt top billing in the Ohio Derby. Tawny Port has an additional advantage over Ethereal Road as he can race about fourth in the early stages, which may be the best position to be in because up to three horses (Classic Causeway, Pineapple Man and Brigadier General) should set or press the pace from the onset. Best of all, Tawny Port attracts North American leading jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr. to ride.

Ethereal Road was going to run in the Kentucky Derby until a last minute withdrawal one day before the race. Prior to that the colt finished second in the Rebel Stakes in February with a 90 figure then two races later improved to 94 when fourth behind Tawny Port in the Lexington Stakes. Entering the non-graded Sir Barton Stakes instead of the Preakness two weeks following the Derby, trainer D. Wayne Lukas appeared to have made the right choice with Ethereal Road as he rallied from fifth with a quarter mile to run to draw off by nearly five lengths, earning a career-best 100 figure in the process. That figure continued an improving pattern begun in January so there is a strong possibility this colt could run the best race of his career to win the Ohio Derby.

White Abarrio made his mark on the road to the Kentucky Derby earlier this year when winning the Holy Bull Stakes and Florida Derby in succession, earning 102 then 100 figures. In the Kentucky Derby, White Abarrio found himself much further back in the early stages than he had ever been, as he was 10th after a quarter mile and 12th after a half-mile had been run. He was also five to nine paths wide for most of the race, so fading to from 14th to 18th in the stretch was potentially to be expected. Finding an easier field in the Ohio Derby and with the tactical speed to take the lead if need be or to sit off another horse or horses who may want the lead at the start, White Abarrio has potential to rebound to his best performances of the year which would make him competitive in this situation.

Barese and Brigadier General have races from their past which if repeated are just a cut below the top three and since their odds may be worth the risk we are including them on one set of double tickets from race 10, as well as on some exacta tickets.

Handicapper Picks

Win Bets:

Tawny Port at 2 to 1 or more.

Ethereal Road to win at odds of 5 to 2 or more.

Exactas:

Tawny Port over Barese, Brigadier General, Ethereal Road and White Abarrio

Tawny Port and Ethereal Road over Barese, Brigadier General, Ethereal Road and White Abarrio

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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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