Thursday, 19 September 2019 12:55

Key Races & Bets for Saturday, September 21

Written by Ellis Starr

Brought to you by Amwager.com, a great legal online wagering website.

Parx Dirt Mile Stakes -Race 8 at Parx Racing -Post Time 4 pm Eastern

Coal Front is seven-for-eleven in his career but showed he is not invincible when badly beaten as the heavy favorite in the Grade 3 Monmouth Cup Stakes when last seen, following a seventh of nine finish in the Met Mile. After winning the Godolphin Mile in Dubai in March, it wasn't unexpected for him to not be fully in form in the Met Mile but that effort was worse than what could be expected and since he's lost two in a row after winning three straight, although his best can win this race, his form makes this race very playable.

Bonus Points changed trainers between his 4/13 and 8/17 starts and I don't view the change from Pletcher to Trombetta as negative in any way. He was trying turf for the first time in ages in that 8/17 race and I view it as a workout so it wasn't bad in terms of giving him a race. His most recent work was strong, best of 39, and his form at this level is good enough to win particularly if he runs back to the 2/16 race he won, the John Campbell Stakes, where he beat Monangahela by a head. Rosario sees fit to ride and I see a big move forward second off a four month layoff which means he could post the upset, opening at 8/1.

Monangahela opens as the second choice at 3/1 as he drops after being overmatched in the G1 Whitney. He won the Grade 3 Iselin prior to that but was winless in 11 races in a row before that, the best of which was the head defeat to Bonus Points in February. Still, Irad Ortiz, Jr. sees fit to ride and the 113 Equibase figure earned winning the Iselin is better than the 107 figure Bonus Points earned winning the Campbell so if Monangahela can run back to it he could win.

Golden Brown has won four of five this year, finishing a well-beaten third in the other. The KEY to those wins may be Paco Lopez, who had not ridden him previous to the first win in June and who did not ride him in the Alydar Stakes in which he finished third. With Lopez a perfect three-for-three when aboard and taking the call today, I think Golden Brown may not have the same probability to win as the other three but he also has more of a chance to win then is suggested by his 10/1 starting odds.

Bets:
Win bets: Bonus Points and Golden Brown at odds of 3 to 1 or higher.

When making multiple win bets, use a "Dutching" tool to do the work of allocating your wagering dollars for the best edge. Amwager has a great dutching tool available, among many other great features.

Exactas: Box Bonus Points, Monangahela, Coal Front and Golden Brown.

Pick 3
Race 8 - Bonus Points, Monangahela, Coal Front, Golden Brown
Race 9 - Trophy Chaser, Landeskog, King Jack
Race 10 - Guarana, Street Band, Jeltrin and Horologist

Pick 4
Race 8 - Bonus Points, Monangahela, Coal Front, Golden Brown
Race 9 - Trophy Chaser, Landeskog, King Jack
Race 10 - Guarana, Street Band, Jeltrin and Horologist
Race 11 - Improbable, Spun to Run, Mr. Money

Alternate Pick 4 singling Mr. Money and going deeper in race 10, the Cotillion.
Race 8 - Bonus Points, Monangahela, Coal Front, Golden Brown
Race 9 - Trophy Chaser, Landeskog, King Jack
Race 10 – Serengeti Empress, Guarana, Street Band, Jeltrin, Horologist, Bellafina and Jaywalk
Race 11 - Mr. Money

Gallant Bob Stakes – Race 9 at Parx Racing - Post Time 4:34 PM Eastern

King Jack is a lightly raced colt who could be a multiple stakes winner before too long. He won his first two starts in June and July in impressive fashion, both sprints, before trying two turns in the Shared Belief Stakes last month, which turned out to be the prep McKinzie chose before moving back into grade 1 stakes company later on the day in the Pennsylvania Derby. Meanwhile, King Jack cuts back to one turn where his impressive win before the Shared Belief earned a 117 Equibase figure far superior to any other entrant in this field. He can win on the lead or from off the pace and even the 108 figure earned when second behind McKinzie is the best last race figure in the field so he appears to be a legitimate favorite in this race.

That being said, the second morning line favorite, Bulletin, is suspect, having run five times on turf to date in his career and trying dirt for the first time. Adding to the question of whether he can run as well on dirt, even though he has won three of five on grass, is the fact he has shown ONLY a need-the-lead style in all five starts and he's one of potentially SIX "early" pace types in the field. Drawn just inside of Bulletin is Get Hammered, who earned both wins leading from start to finish and who ran second from start to finish in the other. Bethlehem Road won both his sprints on the lead all the say, the same as Strong Will, and it's possible War Bridle and War Tocsin, with the inside two posts, will have to go fast early too. That really compromises Bulletin's chances here so he's out as a contender.

Trophy Chaser wired the field last out at Gulfstream BUT stalked in third and in second in the early stages in three of his other five starts so could be in a great spot. He also beat older allowance types last out so moving back to three year olds is positive. His three best efforts earned 111, 104 and 105 figure which aren't far off the 108 King Jack earned last out and like the rest here, as a three year old he's likely not peaked by any means. Best of all Jose Ortiz takes the call.

Landeskog could get caught up in the speed duel, but he might rate just a bit as well as he did last out when second for the first half-mile. That was a breakout race for him as he won by almost five and the O'Neill/Cedillo team shipped out of California (like they're doing here) to win the Pocahontas Stakes at Churchill Downs last weekend, so I would definitely consider this gelding a contender based on the 109 Equibase figure last time out.

Bets:
Win Bets: King Jack at odds of 3 to 2 or higher, a low odds overlay win bet.
Trophy Chaser and Landeskog to win at odds of 3 to 1 or more. (Personally I would just pick one of the two at the highest odds near post time)

When making multiple win bets, use a "Dutching" tool to do the work of allocating your wagering dollars for the best edge. Amwager has a great dutching tool available, among many other great features.

Exactas: Box King Jack, Trophy Chaser and Landeskog
Then also (because King Jack is going to be favored) King Jack over Trophy Chaser and Landeskog

Pick 3 (Really only necessary if we played the pick 4 starting in race 8 and did not win the first leg)
Race 9 - Trophy Chaser, Landeskog, King Jack
Race 10 - Guarana, Street Band, Jeltrin and Horologist
Race 11 - Improbable, Spun to Run, Mr. Money

Alternate Pick 3
Race 9 - Trophy Chaser, Landeskog, King Jack
Race 10 – Serengeti Empress, Guarana, Street Band, Jeltrin, Horologist, Bellafina and Jaywalk
Race 11 - Mr. Money

Cotillion Stakes – Race 10 at Parx Racing - Post Time 5:14 PM Eastern

Pace is going to be the key to this race and I'm either going to be right or go down in flames if the pace scenario I envision doesn't come to fruition.

Serengeti Empress gets the rail, in this 11 horse field, which requires she extricated herself from horses coming over to save ground before the first turn. Considering she has had the lead after a half-mile in all but one of her last eight races, consisting of all her two-turn races except last year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies, Ortiz, Jr. will have no choice but to send her from the opening bell. The problem is Jaywalk, who gets the 11 post, and who has even more reason to scurry fast early to save ground. Jawalk has shown nothing but a need-the-lead style in her career including running the opening half mile last out in 46.8. Add Collegeville Girl to the mix as this filly tries two turns for the first time and earned both wins leading from start to finish. I can't see her connections abandoning the only strategy which has worked. Then there's Bellafina. In every one of her two turn wins except one (the Santa Anita Oaks) she has led or been within a half-length of the lead after a half-mile. She certainly can rate, but she's adding blinkers so it could be she will want to have the lead early as well.

With that in mid, although Serengeti Empress, Jaywalk and Bellafina can finish second, perhaps even win, I'm going to be considering these four for win bets and as keys to the exacta three of them likely to go to post at nice prices – Horologist, Jeltrin, Street Band, and on Guarana, the morning line favorite.

Horologist is five for ten in her career, not a bad record at all, including a four for four record in routes. She doesn't have the class as some others in here but she is a late bloomer, having just won a graded stakes for the first time last month when victorious in the G3 Monmouth Oaks. She stalked in third early, about two and one-half to three lengths back, in two of those wins and that style could be the winning one here as she could get first run on the tiring pacesetters and pressers. Luis Saez gets on and that's a good sign and the last race 101 figure isn't that bad compared to the best in here.

Street Band has run big in top company twice this rear, and bombed twice. The first of the big efforts came when posting the 10/1 upset in the Fair Grounds Oaks in March and the other came when dominating by three lengths in the Indiana Oaks in July. She wasn't really disgraced in the Alabama Stakes last month when beaten a nose for second either. She's certainly the horse most likely to be nowhere near the early pace here and if she's about four-five lengths back early, she could be flying late so if she runs back to either of those two efforts, the latter which earned a 103 figure, she could post the upset.

Jeltrin burst on the scene paying over $100 when winning the Davona Dale Stakes in March, then lost four straight, never really threatening in any. Removing blinkers for her first ever race at Parx 19 days ago, she returned to winning form, actually running better than in the Davona Dale, by earning a career-best 102 figure. Reyes rides back and I would not rule out an odds beating performance by this filly who can sit about third or fourth in the early stages so will be conserving energy as many others will not be capable of doing.

Guarana is actually the most probable winner among the four contenders I've written about, but she opens at 9/5. She won the Acorn powerfully off a maiden win then won the CCA Oaks fairly easily although her Equibase figure regressed from 110 to 99 in her first two turn race. Brown has been pointing to this race since then, perhaps even before that, so she's likely fit as a fiddle and if she runs back to, or improves upon her Acorn effort, it is possible the rest are running for second. Although a poor win bet at low odds, we can make money in exotics with an "exacta as a win bet" as mentioned below.

Bets:
Win bets: Horologist, Street Band and Jeltrin to win at odds of 4 to 1 or more. Note: I believe even wagering on three horses and knowing two of the three can’t win, the wager has an edge worth the risk.

Add place bets on any or all of the same three horses at 7 to 1 or more.

When making multiple win bets, use a "Dutching" tool to do the work of allocating your wagering dollars for the best edge. Amwager has a great dutching tool available, among many other great features.

Exactas:
Guarana over Street Band, Jeltrin and Horologist

Box Guarana and Street Band, Box Guarana and Jeltrin and Box Guarana and Horologist

Street Band, Jeltrin, Horologist and Guarana over ALL (if only for $1)

Street Band, Jeltrin and Horologist over Street Band, Jeltrin, Horologist, Serengeti Empress, Bellafina and Jaywalk.

Street Band, Jeltrin, Horologist, Serengeti Empress, Bellafina and Jaywalk over Street Band, Jeltrin and Horologist.

Pennsylvania Derby - Race 11 at Parx Racing - Post Time 5:48 PM Eastern

Mr. Money just wasn't ready for the three year old classics earlier this year but has become one of the leaders in the division and will be formidable in this year's Pennsylvania Derby. Considering he finished seventh then fifth in his first two starts as a three year old, both around two turns, it was with much confidence trainer Calhoun entered Mr. Money in the Pat Day Mile Stakes on Kentucky Derby day. That one-turn mile trip suited Mr. Money perfectly as he dominated to win by five and one-quarter lengths to earn a then career-best 104 Equibase Speed Figure. Stretching out to two-turns in the Matt Winn Stakes in June, Mr. Money was equally impressive when coasting home by six lengths, improving to a 106 figure. Showing even more improvement one month later with a 114 figure, Mr. Money won the Indiana Derby by two and one-half lengths then returned three weeks later to win the West Virginia Derby by six lengths. If this was May and this race was the Kentucky Derby rather than the Pennsylvania Derby, based on those efforts Mr. Money would be among my top contenders because he has shown tremendous acceleration with a quarter mile to run in his last four races. Most notably, in the West Virginia Derby, Mr. Money went from a head in front at the quarter pole to five lengths in front at the eighth pole. The way jockey Gabriel Saez is able to get Mr. Money to change gears at that critical stage of the race is the reason I believe Mr. Money will win the Pennsylvania Derby to earn his fifth straight graded stakes victory in a row.

Spun to Run is the "under the radar" horse in this talented field. Among the field, he is the most familiar with the dirt track at Parx, having won three of five races here, and he comes off a career best effort and on a pattern to improve upon it. After finishing fourth in a sprint to start his three-year-old campaign, Spun to Run stretched out to two turns and won as he pleased in January. Returning in March, Spun to Run ran even better when drawing off by seven lengths and earning a then career-best 99 figure. Although third behind Maximum Security in the Haskell at Monmouth with a 96 figure in his next start, when returning to his home base for the Smarty Jones Stakes on September 2, Spun to Run ran the best race of his career. The 113 figure earned is also the best last race figure in the field, although not the best earned by any horse as that belongs to Mr. Money's 114 figure in the Indiana Derby. Nevertheless, Spun to Run was exceptionally game in the blinkers he was wearing for only the second time in the Smarty Jones as he battled head and head down the entire length of the stretch before asserting himself by a head on the wire.

Improbable added blinkers for the Shared Belief Stakes last month in California and apparently that did the trick in getting him to win for the first time since last December. Blinkers were tried once before, in the Arkansas Derby, and it's debatable whether they did anything to motivate the colt as he was one length behind winner Omaha Beach for the entire length of the stretch. However, after non-threatening efforts in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, the equipment change seemed to help as Improbable earned a career-best 112 figure while retaining a strong three length lead in the last eighth of a mile. Making his second start off a layoff, Improbable can take another step forward to win the Pennsylvania Derby but in my opinion he's no more probable to win than either Mr. Money or Spun to Run and will be the much lower odds of the trio.

Bets:
Win Bets: Mr Money to win at odds of 6 to 5 or more, a low odds overlay win bet.
A smaller win bet can be made on Spun to Run at 5 to 1 or more.

Exacta: Mr Money over Spun to Run and Improbable

Box Mr Money and Spun to Run

Mr Money over Spun to Run, Improbable, Math Wizard and War of Will

For a smaller amount:
Spun to Run over Mr Money, Improbable, Math Wizard and War of Will