Key Races & Bets for Saturday January 29, 2022

Pegasus World Cup Filly & Mare Turf – Race 9 at Gulfstream – Post Time 3:36 PM Eastern
Win contenders are Wakanaka, Summer in Saratoga and Regal Glory.

This race, the same as MANY on this unbelievably good card, is wide open and there really isn’t a horse I can toss out for being part of the exacta or trifecta. That’s why today’s KEY RACES & BETS is going to concentrate on WIN Contenders, because there will be value on one or more win bets in some of these races and definitely value wagering on Pick 3 and 4 tickets.

Wakanaka is the one I have to mention first, as she opens at 12/1, mostly because she is making her U.S. debut and hasn’t run since last April. Neither are concerns because she’s won SIX of EIGHT races, the most recent the Group 3 1000 Guineas for three year olds, where she was the six to five favorite in a 10 horse field. Rallying from nearly last, Wakanaka drew off late with a powerful turn off foot. She’s now in the Mott barn and if the Hall-of-Fame trainer things she’s ready for these I’ll not argue. That group 3 level in Europe is equivalent to a grade 2 race in the U.S. and this is a grade 3 so at 12/1 she could offer superb value.

Summer in Saratoga also opens at double digit odds, 12/1 in this case and should also be bet to win based on a career best effort last out in the Blushing KD Stakes at Fair Grounds. She won the Grade 3 Dowager Stakes last fall before that and so fits on all counts. Lanerie and this mare REALLY get along as they are SEVEN-for-SEVEN together, not including the race where she stumbled at the start and lost the rider. Her record of seven for 17 is pretty similar to Wakanaka’s 6 for 8 and Regal Glory’s nine for 16 as well.

Regal Glory opens as the 2 to 1 favorite and is not vulnerable as she won the Grade 1 Matriarch when last seen at the end of November and was second in the Grade 1 First Lady prior to that. Still, her best Equibase figure of 111 from the First Lady is not as fast as the 116 figure Summer in Saratoga earned, with Wakanaka’s figures lower but she’s a newly turned four year old who may not have run her best while the other two are six year olds.

Handicapper Picks

Win bet: Wakanaka AND Summer in Saratoga at odds of 7 to 2 or more.

With Wakanaka and Summer in Saratoga likely to go to post at much higher than odds we should consider betting them to win, this is a great race in which to proportion our bets accordingly for the best mathematical edge. This can be best accomplished by using a “Dutching Tool” like the one which is free and easy to use at A Dutching tool lets you set the amount you want to bet or the amount you want to win, then based on the odds your bets are proportioned accordingly. Amwager has a great dutching tool available, among many other great features.


Box Wakanaka, Summer in Saratoga and Regal Glory

Regal Glory over Wakanaka and Summer in Saratoga

Pick 3 (Daily doubles optional between races 9 and 10, and 10 and 11)

Race 9: Wakanaka, Summer in Saratoga, Regal Glory

Race 10: Speaker’s Corner, Payne, Fearless

Race 11: Colonel Liam, Sacred Life, Field Pass, Never Surprised

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Fred W. Hooper Stakes – Race 10 at Gulfstream – Post Time 4:12 PM Eastern

Speaker’s CornerPayne and Fearless are the win contenders.

In the last race there were two high odds horses and one favorite, but in this race the opposite is the case as only Payne opens at double digit odds and therefore he HAS TO BE THE KEY to profit in the exotics. Payne has a very consistent career record of 5-4-3 in 13 dirt races and although he’s a seven year old who has had his issues he usually runs TWO “A” races in a row before going on the shelf. Considering he was coming back from a seven month layoff on 12/26 when winning a classified allowance race he’s going to run as well or better and there’s no concern about his moving from six furlongs to a one-turn mile as he won two of those in a row earlier in this career, one with a 113 Equibase figure which is as good as horses in this race at much lower odds.

Speaker’s Corner run huge last August off a 10 month layoff to win a highly rated allowance race with a 106 figure at seven furlongs so should like this one-turn mile. After a debacle in the Pennsylvania Derby proving only he’s not a two-turn horse, he cut back to one turn at Belmont in October and earned a 118 figure winning by seven, before finishing second in the Discovery Stakes, again a two-turn race. With a superb half-mile work (third best of 58) coming into the race and Alvarado riding for Mott, he should be in the thick of the action.

Similarly, Fearless has a 5-3-1 record in 11 races including the tougher Gulfstream Park Mile last February with a 105 figure. He came back from six months off in November to finish second then improved markedly second time out to win the Harlan’s Holiday Stakes with a 111 figure and is on a pattern to run even better. Unfortunately, he opens at 5/2 and Speaker’s Corner opens at 2 to 1 so neither are likely good win bets but they both must be used on Pick 3 tickets and we can make a profit even if they win provided Payne runs well as expected.

Handicapper Picks

Win BetsPayne to win at odds of 5 to 1 or more.


Box Payne and Speaker’s Corner

Box Payne and Fearless


Speaker’s Corner and Fearless over Payne over ALL

Speaker’s Corner and Fearless over ALL over Payne

For optional doubles between races 10 and 11 refer to the horses used in the pick 3 play at the bottom of race 7

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Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational Stakes – Race 11 at Gulfstream – Post Time 4:49 PM Eastern

Never SurprisedField PassColonel Liam and Sacred Life are the win contenders.

In the 2021 running of this race, Colonel Liam won by a neck as the 5 to 2 betting favorite, in a field of 12. That win preceded winning the Tropical Park Derby four weeks earlier. He went on to win two more graded stakes including the Turf Classic Invitational on Derby day before a poor effort in the Manhattan in June and a layoff since then. Colonel Liam was and is trained by Todd Pletcher, who also has Never Surprised, who won the Tropical Park Derby in his most recent start four weeks ago. Although Pletcher has a good record bringing horses back from long layoffs, the fact Colonel Liam hasn’t run since June and Never Surprised just won last month gives the edge to Never Surprised, who also opens at higher odds (7/2) compared to 3/1 for Colonel Liam. Luis Saez rode Never Surprised to victory and rides back and from the outside with a decent run to the first turn Saez can put him on the lead as he did in the Tropical Park Derby, or let him relax off the pace. Coming off 110 then 113 figure efforts Never Surprised gets slight preference among four horses with a decent probability to win this race. Colonel Liam has no knocks except for the time off and his 113 effort in the Turf Classic, at this distance, is good enough to win if repeated.

Field Pass is approaching $1 million in career earnings, with eight wins in 23 races including the Grade 2 Seabiscuit Handicap when last seen. Umberto Rispoli, one of the top three jockeys in Southern California, rode him that day and travels to Florida to ride and the 113 figure effort, if repeated, gives this veteran a BIG shot to post the upset, opening at 10/1.

Sacred Life, like Field Pass, has potential to upset, opening at 6 to 1. He’s earned $666K in his career, winning or placing in 15 of 22 races so he’s nearly always in the exacta. Two of those big efforts came in the 2019 and 2021 Seabiscuit, when second, most recently beaten only a head while rallying furiously behind Field Pass. Jose Ortiz has been up for three straight, one win and two second place finishes, and since Sacred Life earned the same 113 figure as Field Pass in the Seabiscuit if we like one of them we have to like the other.

Handicapper Picks

Win betsNever Surprised to win at 2 to 1 or more.

Field Pass and Sacred Life to win at odds of 5 to 2 or more.

(Colonel Liam is going to go to post at lower than his 3 to 1 odds so would not be a good win bet compared to either of the other three).

This is another race where, when wagering on two horses (or more) for the best mathematical edge, a DUTCHING tool like the one at Amwager, really helps us maximize the value for our win bets.


Box Never SurprisedField PassSacred Life

Box Sacred LifeField PassColonel Liam

(We should avoid any exacta tickets with both Never Surprised and Colonel Liam on them as those will pay the least of any combinations.)


Box Never SurprisedField PassSacred LifeColonel Liam

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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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