Friday, 12 October 2018 12:24

Key Races & Bets for Saturday, October 13

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Nearctic Stakes – Race 7 at Woodbine - Post Time 4:30 PM ET

 

Hemp Hemp Hooray, Kitten's Cat and Lady Alexandra are the win contenders, the first two opening at superb double digit odds out of line with their probability to win (in my opinion) and Lady Alexandra very interesting if her connections choose this spot against males over the race at Belmont. Hemp Hemp Hooray has a record of 3-3-0 in seven races. I know he's run eight times but his race at Ascot doesn't count in my opinion. He adds blinkers worn for his first three races but not his next four and his three races in blinkers consisted of two wins and a neck loss last year in the G2 Summer Stakes here at Woodbine. He's been based here since coming back from England and has finished 2nd twice in stakes against three year olds only, both superb efforts to the same horse, who is not racing here. Hemp Hemp Hooray put in a two phenomenal workouts coming into the race and Hernandez, up for his last two "A" efforts, rides back. As such, all signs point to an odds beating effort.

 

Similarly, if we bet Hemp Hemp Hooray was MUST ALSO BET Kitten's Cat, as they form an uncoupled entry owned by Ken & Sarah Ramsey and trained by Mike Maker. Since they share common ownership and this is a graded stakes they run uncoupled and that helps us because if they were coupled the entry would be 5 to 1 instead of the 20/1 on Hemp Hemp Hooray and the 12/1 starting odds on Kitten's Cat. Kitten's Cat was stakes placed as a three year old and just won at this six furlong turf trip over the track with leading rider Da Silva up for the first time, riding back again. The colt earned a career best 102 figure last out and has improving to do as he was flattered when both the runner-up and third finisher came back to win. By the way, Kitten's Cat won the Juvenile Turf Sprint Stakes as a two year old so he's proven at the top level.

 

I won't go over my analysis of why Lady Alexandra is a contender as I discussed that in detail earlier in the blog when going over the Floral Park Stakes. She led late and missed by a neck in the G1 Highlander Stakes, also versus males in June, North American leading rider Jose Ortiz up then and named to ride her here. Her back-to-back 113 Equibase figure efforts in April and June are some of the best in the field and she's a four year old so has improving to do.

 

For the second position on exacta tickets, in addition to the three win contenders and because two of them open at double digit odds, we can spread with Yorkton, Bushrod and Ikerrin Road.

 

Bets: BOTH Hemp Hemp Hooray and Kitten's Cat to win at odds of 7 to 2 or more. Add place bets at 6 to 1 or more. Bet Lady Alexandra to win at 7 to 2 or more as well. I think three win bets are acceptable here given the edge over the rest of the field.

As always, when making multiple win bets, use a "Dutching" tool with which you can enter the amount you want to spend or the amount you want to win and the calculation of how much to bet will be done for you. Amwager provides a free "Dutching" tool, among other great benefits for the handicapper and bettor.

 

Exacta: Hemp Hemp Hooray, Kitten's Cat and Lady Alexandra over Hemp Hemp Hooray, Kitten's Cat, Lady Alexandra, Yorkton, Bushrod and Ikerrin Road.

 

$0.20 Pick 3 (not necessarily a smart bet but one that could pay very well given the high odds contenders in this race and the ninth race)

Race 7 - Hemp Hemp Hooray, Kitten's Cat and Lady Alexandra

Race 8 – ALL

Race 9 – Thundering Blue, Khan, Funtastic, English Illusion, Johnny Bear and Focus Group

 

Floral Park Stakes – Race 8 at Belmont Park - Post Time 4:43 PM Eastern

 

Lady Alexandra, who is also entered to run in the Nearctic Stakes at Woodbine on Saturday, gets slight preference among four win contenders if she runs here. She loves the Belmont turf where she's three-for-four including a stakes win the last time she ran here in April. We can completely ignore her most recent race which was on the all-weather at Presque Isle Downs and before that she ran huge when missing by a neck (after leading late) against males at the trip in the Grade 1 Highlander Stakes, winning the License Fee Stakes over the course prior to that. She put in a big workout at trainer Motion's Fair Hills base last week and is set for an "A" effort good enough to win given her back-to-back 113 Equibase figure efforts in the License Fee and Highlander.

 

Next in terms of probability are a pair of horses at decent odds in Fire Key and Tillie's Lily with Fire Key having finished first or second in 13 or 22 career races including 11 of 16 on turf, even better still eight of nine at short sprints distances like this one. She put in three really bad efforts in a row in July and August but turned a corner last month winning a 100K stakes similar to this one with Pimental aboard, who comes in to ride from Maryland. Last fall when at the top of her game she ran three "A" races in a row for 113 and 112 figures comparable with the best Lady Alexandra has run and so she does have a shot to upset. The same holds true for Tillie's Lilly, who opens at lower odds than Fire Key, 5/1 compared to 8/1. Nevertheless this filly has a lot of talent as she won the first four races of her career, all turf sprints including her only try at Belmont. She ran poorly in her first stakes try at Saratoga but she was bumped and pinched at the start, denying her first or second position in the early stages she had in all four starts prior to that. She was on an improving pattern from 102 to 106 figures before last and has improving to do as a lightly raced four year old.

 

Lull rounds out the win contenders, a bit of an underlay opening at 3/1 but a must to use on exacta, trifecta and double tickets. She made her four year old debut in March with a game win in the Grade 3 Honey Fox Stakes at a mile then finished third in the Grade 1 Just a Game on Belmont Stakes day, a big effort behind Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf bound A Raving Beauty. She finished third, then second, in a pair of stakes coming into the race, the most recent with a 112 figure comparable, but not superior, to two of the other three contenders and with a 5-4-3 record in 16 career turf starts she's prove quite competitive.

 

Win Bet: Lady Alexandra to win at odds of 2 to 1 or more, Fire Key to win at odds of 3 to 1 or higher and Tillie's Lily to win at odds of 7 to 2 or more.

 

"IF" Lady Alexandra's connections choose to run in the Nearctic Stakes and scratch out of this race, the Win Bets are: Fire Key at odds of 5 to 2 or higher and Tillie's Lily to win at odds of 3 to 1 or higher.

 

As always, when making multiple win bets, use a "Dutching" tool with which you can enter the amount you want to spend or the amount you want to win and the calculation of how much to bet will be done for you. Amwager provides a free "Dutching" tool, among other great benefits for the handicapper and bettor.

 

Exacta bets: Box Lady Alexandra, Fire Key, Tillie's Lily and Lull. (If Lady Alexandra scratches play the remaining three horses).

 

Trifecta bets: Lady Alexandra over Fire Key, Tillie's Lily and Lull over ALL.

 

Also play a trifecta box consisting of Lady Alexandra, Fire Key, Tillie's Lily and Lull. (If Lady Alexandra scratches play the remaining three horses).

 

Doubles: Lady Alexandra, Fire Key, Tillie's Lily and Lull in Race 8 with Victorine in Race 9.

Doubles: Lady Alexandra, Fire Key, Tillie's Lily and Lull in Race 8 with Victorine, Cool Beans and Got Stormy in Race 9.

Doubles: Lady Alexandra in Race 8 with Victorine, Cool Beans and Got Stormy in Race 9.

 

Pebbles Stakes – Race 9 at Belmont - Post Time 5:18 PM ET

 

Victorine won two of her last three starts in France before a fourth of eight finish in the G2 Sands Point last month over the course. She did not race on Lasix for that race but adds Lasix today and that could easily be the key to running back to her best efforts. She cuts back in distance from nine furlongs to eight as she transitions to the strong Clement barn which is winning at nearly a 33% clip in the last month (on 39 races) and which is 22 for 88 with Rosario aboard (as today) in the past year. As such, we should expect big improvement and the slight upset win as the filly opens at six to one.

 

Got Stormy and Cool Beans are the other two win contenders in my opinion. Got Stormy has won three straight and was dominant in her last two starts, both stakes at a mile on grass. She's won at four tracks in her career but just the same she's NOT A STANDOUT as her last three wins earned 102, 82 and 90 Equibase figures, compared to 95 for Victorine even when fourth in the Sands Point Stakes last month. Cool Beans offers excellent value for a second win bet (after Victorine) as she opens at 10 to 1. She only wins when she leads from the start but even if she does lead she doesn't necessarily win. However, she hangs on tremendously as she's been second in three of her last four starts, with a win in the other race, last time out at Saratoga with a 103 figure that compares very well with the best of these. Red hot Brad Cox has done a wonderful job with this gal and we must remember all of these are three year olds so there's no edge in the maturity department for any of them.

 

For the runner-up spot on exacta tickets we will use Monte Cristo, Significand Form and Altea, the first two opening at fairly low odds of 7/2 and 5/1, respectively, although they get potentially disadvantageous outside posts.

 

Bets: Victorine to win at odds of 5 to 2 or more. Consider a second win bet, for a smaller amount, on Cool Beans at odds of 4 to 1 or more. Got Stormy opens at 3 to 1 and the minimum odds I'd consider a win bet would be 7 to 2 so it's unlikely she would be a good win bet.

 

Exacta: Victorine, Got Stormy and Cool Beans over Victorine, Got Stormy, Cool Beans, Monte Cristo, Significand Form and Altea.

 

Pattison Canadian International – Race 9 at Woodbine - Post Time 6:18 PM ET

 

Thundering Blue is the 2 to 1 starting favorite but does stand out even in a grade 1 stakes field. He won the Group 2 Sky Bet York Stakes on July 28 and finished third in a BIG effort behind Roaring Lion and Poet's Word (who beat him only a half-length for second) in the Group 1 Juddmonte International. He then ran a big effort in the 12 furlong Stockholm Cup International. There's no way to know who he beat in that one but it was a field of 12 and even if just a paid workout it served its purpose. He had trouble multiple times in the late stages of the York Stakes and jockey Berry has ridden him fantastically in four straight so accompanying the gelding across the pond is a big sign for another "A" effort good enough to win.

 

Khan is another import, with a career best effort in his most recent race, the group 1 stakes in Germany. Similar to Thundering Blue, he may not have beaten much last time out but he powered home to win by six lengths after stalking the pace early on a soggy course so could run even better in this situation with the jockey that rode him last out also coming in to ride.

 

Of the local contingent, Focus Group, Johnny Bear, Funtastic, Tiz a Slam and English Illusion are worth a look. Even though I feel Focus Group is the only one of the four worth a win bet I will STILL ALSO bet a few bucks on English Illusions so as not to be kicking myself later if he pays $60 to win. English Illusion was just a length behind Johnny Bear in the Grade 1 Northern Dancer last month and should not be double that one's odds (15/1 versus 8/1) on the morning line. Back to Focus Group, he's one of two trained by Chad Brown, getting Jose Ortiz to ride and coming off two career best efforts with 118 and 116 figures, the most recent at a mile and five-eighths, so getting this mile and one-half trip is not a question. He hasn't proven himself in a graded stakes yet but he's just four and I refuse to let Chad Brown beat me at 10/1 with a horse having a legitimate shot.

 

Bets: Thundering Blue to win at odds of 3 to 2 or more.

Second win bets may be warranted on Khan and on Focus Group at odds of 7 to 2 or more, adding place bets at 5 to 1 or higher.

 

As mentioned previously, a WIN, PLACE and SHOW bet on English Illusion at odds of 10 to 1 or more.

 

Exactas: Thundering Blue over Khan, Focus Group, Johnny Bear, Funtastic, Tiz a Slam and English Illusion

 

Exactas: Thundering Blue, Khan and Focus Group over Thundering Blue, Khan, Focus Group, Johnny Bear, Funtastic, Tiz a Slam and English Illusion.

 

Also play the reverse of that exacta, which is Thundering Blue, Khan, Focus Group, Johnny Bear, Funtastic, Tiz a Slam and English Illusion over Thundering Blue, Khan and Focus Group.