Friday, 24 May 2019 16:15

Amwager Key Races & Bets for Saturday, May 25, 2019

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Greenwood Stakes - Race 9 at Woodbine - Post Time 5:30 PM Eastern

 

Although Pink Lloyd loves to win races, more importantly races at this basic six furlong trip at Woodbine, being as he’s 13 for 14 at the distance, I feel he’s not the lock his likely 1 to 5 favoritism suggests he is. At the end of last season, Pink Lloyd lost two in a row at prohibitively low odds and he has a bad habit of hopping in the air at the start, or breaking inward or outward, basically anything other than straight. His last three stakes wins earned him 106, 103 and 105 Equibase figures, not standouts by any means compared to a few others in here. As such, I think we must use him on exacta and trifecta tickets although it might be best to try to beat him entirely for the best value (which I won’t do).

 

The horses with as much probability to win as Pink Lloyd, if they repeat their best efforts, are Marten Lake and Sable Island, both opening at 20/1 odds. Those high odds are more related to Pink Lloyd’s low odds than the chances either of the two horses has to run well, and that’s why this race is highly playable. Marten Lake is a veteran of 43 races, 35 on all-weather, finishing first or second in 15 of those 35 races and earning over $400K. Marten Lake has been first or second in his last seven races, from last August 26 through his last race of the year on December 8. His last race before the layoff earned him a 108 Equibase figure, better than any of Pink Lloyd’s best last year, and I think Marten Lake can pick up where he left off as he’s been working every seven days for his comeback and particularly as his most recent workout six days ago was an exceptional one where he ran a half-mile in 47.4 which was the third best of 54 at the distance on the day. If the work is indicative of his form then he can repeat his 12/8/18 effort and post the upset.

 

Just as likely is Sable Island, a much more lightly raced gelding than Marten Lake but a winner of three of eight career starts on the all-weather main track at Woodbine. Like Marten Lake, Sable Island put in a big half-mile workout in preparation for this race, his first following six months off, and like Marten Lake, Sable Island won his last start before the layoff earning a strong 108 Equibase figure. He’s a four year old who may have improving to do and deserves to be bet in the same way Marten Lake does.

 

Because Marten Lake and Sable Island both offer so much value, for exactas we should play them with a number of horses then come back and play them multiple times with the heavy favorite. Some of the others we’ll use are Blueblood and Circle of Friends, both who have winning races this year.

 

Bets:

Win Bets: Marten Lake and Sable Island to win at odds of 7 to 2 or higher. Add place bets at 6 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: Marten Lake and Sable Island over Pink Lloyd, Marten Lake, Sable Island, Blueblood and Circle of Friends.

Pink Lloyd, Marten Lake, Sable Island, Blueblood and Circle of Friends over Marten Lake and Sable Island.

Pink Lloyd over Marten Lake and Sable Island.

Marten Lake and Sable Island over Pink Lloyd.

 

Trifecta: Marten Lake, Sable Island and Pink Lloyd over Pink Lloyd, Marten Lake, Sable Island, Blueblood and Circle of Friends over Pink Lloyd, Marten Lake, Sable Island, Blueblood and Circle of Friends.

 

Doubles: Marten Lake, Sable Island and Pink Lloyd in Race 9 with Holyanna, Baby Driver and Super Patriotic in Race 10.

Optionally add Meg Fitz, Kitten’s Finest and Marwoods War in race 10 as well.

 

Note: Race 10 is my daily free race for Woodbine available by clicking on this link.

 

Paradise Creek Stakes – Race 9 at Belmont - Post Time 5:51 PM Eastern

 

Uncapped comes out of the highly rated William Walker Stakes on opening night at Churchill Downs (4/27) in which he rallied from far back and last of seven to miss by three-quarters of a length. The winner (Jo Jo Air) ran a big race right back on Preakness day when barely beaten in a turf sprint stakes and with John Velazquez getting on Uncapped, who enters the race with the second best last race Equibase figure in the field (104), this lightly raced three year old appears to have a big shot to win and to make us a profit as he opens at 8 to 1.

 

Pole Setter has probably as good or better a probability to win but opens at 9/2 and may be bet lower as he comes from the sizzling hot Brad Cox barn. Pole Setter was making his third start of the year and his first after nearly two months off last month at Keeneland on a sloppy main track and ran hard from start to finish to win by a nose with a graded stakes quality 113 Equibase figure. He broke his maiden last summer at a mile on grass, no easy task, so I think he’s got what it takes to transfer top form from the dirt last month to the turf, and the race he won on April 7 has since become a KEY race from which two horses behind him have come back from to win.

 

Fog of War opens as the 8 to 5 favorite based on a perfect two-for-two record but both wins were earned as a two year old, the most recent eight months ago. Brown wins at a high percentage with his comebackers but the colt is no lock as his best effort yielded at 100 figure. Mucho opens as the second betting choice at 3 to 1 although he has never run on grass in five races. He’s been working on turf recently and he’s bred to like it, as well as Mott trains, but we must also be wary of horse at low odds trying something for the first time. As such, I’ll use him in the same way I’ll use Fog of War, in exactas only.

 

Bets:

Win Bets: Uncapped and Pole Setter to win at odds of 5 to 2 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 Uncapped, Pole Setter and Fog of War.

Box Uncapped, Pole Setter and Mucho.

 

Daytona Stakes – Race 5 at Santa Anita - Post Time 6:03 PM Eastern

 

Horse Greedy has run at this five furlong turf trip just once, back in the fall of 2016, but it was a big effort when rallying for second and beaten a half-length. He’s had his stops and starts since then and he returns from nearly eight months off, but he’s very confidently placed by a top trainer in Sadler, in this grade 3 stakes, the first sign for a big effort. The second is a pair of six furlong workouts, substituting for prep races, and the third is Victor Espinoza riding, on fire with an 11 for 44 record since returning from his injury. Horse Greedy ran well enough to beat the favorites (Eddie Haskell and Brandothebartender) in this race when winning last July at Del Mar and Sadler has become extremely adept at getting his horses coming back off layoffs to win, with a 25% win rate going back over 18 months. As such, opening at 8/1, Horse Greedy gets top billing.

 

Eddie Haskell has no knocks really, except he’s likely to be the heavy favorite. He’s won seven of 19 races, 6 of 16 on grass and most at this five furlong sprint. Just the same, he’s ZERO-for-THREE in stakes, and all those stakes were for Cal-Breds only, so he’s no lock at all. Kanthaka tries turf for the first time off a pair of so-so efforts to tougher and may be in the exacta, as might Brandothebartender, who has finished third in both starts this year.

 

Bets:

Win bets: Horse Greedy to win at 5/2 or more.

 

Exactas: Box Horse Greedy and Eddie Haskell at least a few times, then for a smaller amount box Horse Greedy and Brandothebartender and box Horse Greedy and Kanthaka.

 

Charles Whittingham Stakes – Race 7 at Santa Anita - Post Time 7 PM Eastern

 

Prime Attraction drops in class off a 12th of 13 finish three weeks ago in the Turf Classic Stakes on Kentucky Derby day. Prior to that, he faded to fifth after leading early in the Santa Anita Handicap in April following four and one-half months off. In the Turf Classic, Prime Attraction pressed the pacesetters in third while three paths wide for nearly the first mile before tiring. Since returning to California, Prime Attraction put in a sparkling half-mile morning workout (47.4 seconds) which was the best of 59 on the day and which I'm taking as a sign he's in top shape. If that is the case, looking at his most recent turf effort prior to the Turf Classic, Prime Attraction earned a career-best 119 Equibase Speed Figure last July when missing by a neck in a desperate photo finish in the Eddie Read Stakes. Jockey Kent Desormeaux, who was in the saddle for the Eddie Read, returns to ride in the Whittingham. The last time Prime Attraction raced on turf prior to the Eddie Read was in the fall of 2017 when, once again, he missed by a head in the photo, this time in the John Henry Turf Cup Stakes earning a 116 figure in the process. Both the 119 figure effort put forth last July in the Eddie Read and the 116 figure from the John Henry are better than any horse in the field has ever earned except for the 125 figure effort put in by Ashleyluvssugar when winning this race in 2017. As such, with the ground saving rail and perhaps more importantly, as the likely early leader all by himself, Prime Attraction could be tough to catch and beat in this year's Whittingham Stakes.

 

Marckie's Water rallied smartly from sixth of eight on the far turn to win by a half-length over the Santa Anita turf course last month, earning a 108 figure in the process. He had been off from near the end of November until near the end of January and ran poorly, so was given another two months rest. That time off did him a lot of good as Marckie's Water returned to finish third in the San Luis Rey Stakes at the distance of one mile and one-half on the turf. Cutting back to a mile and one-eighth last month, Marckie's Water improved to that 108 figure and has potential to improve in his third start off the layoff and back to the form he showed last summer at Del Mar when earning a career-best 114 figure winning at the distance of one mile and three-eighths on grass. Marckie's Water has also won at this 10 furlong distance on grass and jockey Pereira, who rode him for the first time last month, is in the saddle again, which are more signs for a top effort.

 

United is an improving four year old that has only raced six times, winning twice. He was away from the races from last July until February when he moved from Canada to California and into the Mandella barn. In his local debut, United ran poorly when eighth of 10. However, not only may he have needed a race following seven months off, it also appears United needed an equipment change because when blinkers were added for his next start on April 6, the gelding improved markedly to rally from seventh to win going away. In his next start, on May 4, although finishing fourth, United may have actually been more impressive as he launched a rally from last of 10 on the turn while four paths wide and was beaten just a length for the win in a blanket finish. Earning a career-best 104 figure for the effort, United has room to improve and as a son of Giant's Causeway should have no issue with the mile and one-quarter distance he is trying for the first time. As a footnote, if you watched the races last Friday at Pimlico on Black Eyed Susan Stakes day, you might have noticed the Royal and Gold colors of LNJ Foxwoods winning both stakes races they entered, with Covfefe and with Dogtag, so perhaps the owners will continue their hot streak with a win by United in the Whittingham Stakes.

 

We’ll include Ashleyluvssugar in the second and third position on exacta and trifecta tickets because even though I think he is not good enough to win at this level at the age of eight, he’s still competitive enough to be in the money.

 

Bets:

Win Bets: Prime Attraction to win at odds of 2 to 1 or more. Marckie’s Water to win at odds of 3 to 1 or more. United to win at odds of 3 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: Box Prime Attraction, Marckie’s Water and United.

Prime Attraction, Marckie’s Water and United over Prime Attraction, Marckie’s Water, United and Ashleyluvssugar.

 

Trifecta: Prime Attraction, Marckie’s Water and United over Prime Attraction, Marckie’s Water, United and Ashleyluvssugar over Prime Attraction, Marckie’s Water, United and Ashleyluvssugar.