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Posted by on in General

Key Bets & Races for Saturday, June 10

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Acorn Stakes - Race #4 at Belmont Park – Post Time 1:11 PM ET

Union Strike, who has never been worse than 2nd in four career one turn races, missed by a head to Benner Island on the wire in the Eight Belles Stakes on Kentucky Oaks day last month and would have won if she hadn't broken awkwardly to get away 9th and also if she didn't have her path blocked in the stretch, forcing her to alter her path and move laterally instead of straight. She's a Grade 1 stakes winner, having taken the Del Mar Debutante last year and she won her 2017 debut pretty easily in April before the Eight Belles so with a better early placing than last out she can win another grade 1 stakes. 

Sweet Loretta, who is 4 for 4 in one turn races, also ran big in her 2017 debut as a 3 year old when taking the Beaumont Stakes in April at Keeneland. Making her 2nd start of the year she should run even better than last out so has every right to win as well. Abel Tasman has no knocks except she will go to post at the lowest odds of the contenders based on her Kentucky Oaks win last month. That win came as she added blinkers but also as the early pace was contested and hot which benefited her greatly. She can win but is no standout. Benner Island, ran the best race of her career in the Eight Belles but Castellano moves to Sweet Loretta and even though Jose Ortiz is an adequate replacement that jockey move may be notable. Salty won two in a row in March and April including the Gulfstream Park Oaks before a troubled 5th in the Kentucky Oaks finish. She rounds out a quintet with a shot.

Bet Union Strike to win at odds of 5 to 2 or more. 

Play two exactas, keying Union Strike to finish first or second with four other horses. 

The first exacta is Union Strike over Abel Tasman, Benner Island, Sweet Loretta and Salty.

The second exacta is Abel Tasman, Benner Island, Sweet Loretta and Salty over Union Strike. 

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Key Bets & Races for Saturday, June 3

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Penn Oaks Stakes - Race #6 at Penn National – Post Time 6:10 PM ET

Viva Vegas can post the upset, opening at 15/1, as going from a maiden winner to stakes winner as she's trying to do is something Diadura did last year, with Noble Ready going from maiden winner to stakes placed last summer. Viva Vegas came back from four and one-half months off on March 15 and won as she pleased by 6 in her first turf race and first two turn race, with an 88 Equibase figure higher than the maiden figure of most of these including recent stakes winners Party Boat and Adorable Miss. With Paco Lopez riding and likely to run even better than last out in her second start of the year, I'll key on Viva Vegas for profit here. Party Boat and Adorable Miss both should run well as both are coming off stakes wins on turf with 97 and 93 figures, respectively. Noble Ready finished second to Adorable Miss in her most recent start and should be considered for exactas, as should Spanish Harlem, who ran big in her only try on turf in her debut last December and who dominated in her most recent race, but in a three horse field. 

Bet Viva Vegas to win at odds of 3 to 1 or more. Add a place bet at 6 to 1 or more. 

Play an exacta consisting of Viva Vegas and Party Boat over Viva Vegas, Party Boat, Spanish Harlem, Adorable Miss and Noble Ready. 

Play an exacta of Viva Vegas, Party Boat, Spanish Harlem, Adorable Miss and Noble Ready over Viva Vegas and Party Boat.

All-Stakes Pick 4

Race 6 – Party Boat, Adorable Miss, Viva Vegas

Race 7 – Richard's Boy, Take Cover, Rainbow Heir

Race 8 – Virtual Machine, Discreet Lover, Matt King Coal, Page McKenney

Race 9 – Time to Travel, Big Score, Frostmourne

Cost at $0.50 is $54

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123racing Top 25 Payouts

Currently the 123racing wager pays the Top 25 players their money back. On May 1st, we will be trialing a payout structure of 10% of the pool to 4th place onwards. The money-back will be determined by 10% of the pool divided by the entry fee for 4th place onwards.

For example: If the pool total reaches $500 on a $2 entry fee competition, then $50 will be allocated to 4th - 28th (25 x $2 = $50). 1st - 3rd will not recieve money-back due to already winning % of the pool.

Payouts for the 4th place onwards will be made to your 123racing freebet balance should you qualify for one.


VIP Weekly Changes

As a 123bet player, you currently receive generous daily rewards on certain tracks that allow rewards to be paid. The VIP player weekly rewards has been operating as a marketing and promotional tool for 123bet for the past 2 years. This was setup to reward players who bet regularly on 123bet and above certain thresholds.

The VIP weekly will only be offered to players who bet the $500 threshold on a weekly basis and will exclude show wagers and certain tracks that do not allow rewards and/or charge a higher source market fee.

The % rewards will be determined on a week to week basis for each VIP player by the Management.


Negative Pools

Any player that creates a negative pool will not receive their daily rewards and the negative charge will be deducted from any VIP weekly rewards that the player maybe eligible for. Should a player continue to create negative pools, the Management will have the right to disable the players account.


Weekly Leaderboard Challenge

Did you know there is currently $200 up for grabs on a weekly basis split between to the TOP 3 players who score the most points from their BEST ticket on each contest each day? You can view the weekly leaderboard in realtime at 123bet Weekly Leaderboard.

We appreciate your feedback and look forward to being able to continue to offer you personalized service and support at 123bet.

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Key Bets & Races for Saturday, May 27

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Red Bank Stakes - Race #9 at Monmouth – Post Time 4:52 PM ET

Synchrony is a four year old who changed trainers between April of 2016 and his comeback in February. His first start back was on dirt and he tired after rallying to third, but when moved to grass for the first time next out on March 20 he improved by a country mile to win in spite of traffic trouble (taken up) and in spite of going six paths wide at the quarter pole. Following that up Synchrony rallied from 10th of 12 to get second, beaten just a half-length at the end. He's still improving and can post the mild upset, opening at 5 to 1. All Included opens as the 9 to 5 favorite based on winning a similar grade 3 stakes in his most recent start and at this mile turf trip. He's earned over a half-million dollars and should continue in top form but may be too low odds for a win bet. Irish Spirit finished fourth in the same race Synchrony finished second in, just a head and nose behind that one. With two of his three career wins on turf having come on the Monmouth turf course and any improvement he could make up the 3/4 of a length he was beaten last out and win. Rose Brier won a similar Grade 3 stakes on the turf in November but has run poorly in two since, including when seventh in the race common to Synchrony and Irish Spirit. However, with Paco Lopez getting on and having won this race last year, he must be considered for wagers we make involving this race.

Bet Synchrony to win ad odds of 2 to 1 or more.

Play an exacta box and trifecta box consisting of Synchrony, All Included, Irish Spirit and Rose Brier

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One of the best parts of the 123Racing Pick 6 is that every track is able to customize it with their own unique twist. When the wager initially rolled out to the first batch of tracks, it was a $2 entry on the last 6 races of the card. In 2015, when Monmouth Park introduced the wager to their track, they placed a $5 entry on it, this allowed pools to grow - making the payouts more substantial. Last year, Emerald Downs dropped their $2 entry down to $1, similar to Monmouth's approach, they seen an influx in pool size.

If you've been following along with Monmouth Park's season so far, you may have noticed the 123Racing Pick 6 is no longer on the final 6 races of the card. This allows horseplayers the chance to take part of both the 123Racing Pick 6, as well as the Jersey Shore 6 - with a bit of spacing, while some overlay may still occur.

As Monmouth has cards that range from 8 race to 12, the starting race will vary:

8 and 9 race cards, the 123Racing Pick 6 will start in Race 3.

10-12 race cards, the 123Racing Pick 6 will start in Race 4.

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Key Bets for Friday, May 19

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Black Eyed Susan Stakes - Race #11 at Pimlico – Post Time 4:50 PM ET

Shimmering Aspen may have a huge edge in the pace department in this year's Black Eyed Susan Stakes as she was lucky enough to draw the rail. There are only a couple of other horses in the field that have shown a desire to lead early in the race but they won't have a chance here as she stretches out from sprints and can run faster than any of these early but still well within her limits. If any other horse decides to try to go with Shimmering Angel they will compromise their own chances so I am doubtful any trainer will instruct a jockey to do so and that leaves Shimmering Angel alone on the front end. Her last race Equibase speed figure of 95 is the 2nd best in the field already and she's making her 3rd start off a layoff, often a peak in a horse's form cycle, so we should expect an even better effort.

Tapa Tapa Tapa, Lights of Medina, Moana, Actress and Yorkiepoo Princess all have run races with speed figures in the same range as the top pick and can't completely be ruled out as win contenders but may be at a disadvantage to a lone frontrunner like Shimmering Aspen.

Bet Shimmering Angel towin at odds of 2 to 1 or more.

Play an exacta of Shimmering Angel over Tapa Tapa Tapa, Lights of Medina, Moana, Actress and Yorkiepoo Princess 

Play the reverse of those exactas as well, using Shimmering Angel in the second position, but for a smaller amount.


Be sure to follow along with the Preakness Day Best Bets blog to build your BES/Preakness Daily Double

Join Ellis Starr on 123bet and receive $10 FREE when you sign up with Promo Code BetWithEllis.

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Key Bets & Races for Saturday, May 20

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The Very One Stakes - Race #5 at Pimlico – Post Time 12:51 PM ET

Pretty Perfection and Everything Lovely finished 1st and 2nd, respectively, under identical conditions on January 28 in a turf Sprint stakes at Gulfstream Park. Pretty Perfection won a stakes race in her next start in March before an excusable 8th place finish last time out when drawing a poor outside post and going 10 paths wide on the far turn. Everything Lovely has been rested since that January race and has been working very well for her return. Combined, these 2 horses have 9 wins on grass in 23 races and pretty much stand out in this field.

Bet Pretty Perfection towin at odds of 9 to 5 or more.

Bet Everything Lovely to win at 2 to 1 or more

Play an exacta of Pretty Perfection and Everything Lovely over ALL

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Key Bets & Races for Saturday, May 13

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Peter Pan Stakes - Race #4 at Belmont Park – Post Time 3:04 PM ET

Meantime appears to have an edge in the "early pace" department as he led from start to finish when winning his most recent race decisively on April 22. That effort came at the same nine furlong trip as the Peter Panand on a wet track he's likely to get again. There is only one other horse in the field (Lookin At Blessing)that won leading from start to finish, but that win came last September and after setting slow fractions. With Jose Ortiz riding, Meantime should secure an easy early lead, relax, and find enough to hold off the closers and earn his first stakes win, offering value for a win bet at he opens at 5 to 1. 

Master Plan didn't make it into the Derby starting gate from the also-eligible list last week as no horse scratched from the main body of the race but finds a good spot here if he gets some pace to set up his late kick. He started his three year old campaign off with a win in the OBS Championship Stakes in January then finished third in the U.A.E. Derby last month, beaten just over a length in a field of 16. He worked well at Churchill on Derby day and could be set for a career best effort but I'll just use him on exacta and multi-race bets like the pick 3 as his 2 to 1 starting odds are too low to consider him for a win bet.

Timeline is a perfect two-for-two in his career, both wins coming around one turn. In his second start, last month at Aqueduct on a sloppy track, he coasted to a 13 length win but that win came in a field of six and at the first allowance condition so this graded stakes level may be significantly tougher. Nevertheless, if Timeline repeats his last race and none of the others improve significantly, he could be tough to beat.

Bet to Meantime towin at odds of 2 to 1 or more.

Play two exacta boxes: Meantime & Master Plan, Meantime and Timeline


Desert Code Stakes - Race #4 at Santa Anita – Post Time 5:30 PM ET

Arms Runner is the fastest horse in the field, faster than Cistron when he won the Northern Spur Stakes, based on the 103 Equibase speed figure earned when breaking is maiden at first asking just three weeks ago. In that win, Arms Runner showed a lot of maturity coming from off the pace to win and did so down this hillside turf course which is very difficult to win on first time out. Arroyo rides back, the colt has improving to do off the experience of a race, and except for Cistron the rest the field is composed of horses with one career win just like him. 

Cistron is a stakes winner on the dirt and a two time winner on turf, but both wins came at a mile. He's never won sprinting and he's never even run down the hillside course, which could place him at a slight disadvantage to Arms Runner. Nevertheless, the 100 speed figure he earned last out is the second best in the field and on the cut back from a route to a sprint he could be rolling very nicely in the stretch. 

City Storm, like Arms Runner, won down the hillside course in his only try, which came in his second career start in March. He also came from off the pace and showed a good deal of maturity but gets the slightly disadvantageous rail today. Still, with improving to do of the 94 figure effort, he rounds out a trio that comprises the bulk of the probability to win this race.

Bet Arms Runner to win at odds of 8 to 5 or more. 

Consider a win bet on City Storm at odds of 3 to 1 or more.

Play a double consisting of Arms Runner, Cistron and City Storm in race 4 with Kimbear, American Anthem and Bobby Abu Dhabi in race 5.

Play a double consisting of Arms Runner in race 4 with ALL (six horses) in race 5.

Play a double consisting of ALL (seven horses) in race 4 with Kimbear in race 5.


Lazaro Barrera Stakes - Race #5 at Santa Anita – Post Time 6:00 PM ET 

Kimbear rallied from 12 of 13 to sixth in the Santa Anita Derby last time out, his first two–turn race on dirt. Prior to that in his only start at this seven furlong trip he won decisively and in his only other dirt sprint he finished second to multiple winner Iliad. With a strong fourth best of 49 five furlong workout since raced and back at the distance of his best effort, which yielded a field high 103 Equibase speed figure, Kimbear could take some beating. 

American Anthem finished 12th in the Santa Anita Derby after fading badly, beaten six positions and six lengths by Kimbear at the end. He did win a sprint in his career debut last December with a 99 figure so has to be considered as a contender here but will be overbet so although we have to use him on double tickets played he is likely a poor win bet. 

Bobby Abu Dhabi rallied for second into wire-to-wire winner Aristocratic last month and could be running on nicely again as Aristocratic should have lots of company on the front end because Sutton Impact is also a need-the-lead type & capable of running the opening half-mile in 44 and change. He's never been worse than third in three career dirt sprints and must be considered for exacta tickets played as well as multi-race bets like the double.

Bet Kimbear to win at odds of 8 to 5 or more


Race #9 at Santa Anita– Post Time 8:00 PM ET

Liar's Smoker has won a third of his 21 career starts, all seven victories coming on turf including one at Santa Anita in her most recent race. That win came in her second start and first route off the Hollendorfer claim, with Nakatani in the saddle for the first time and riding back again today so a similar effort can be expected. She fits on all counts at this first allowance condition she is still eligible for even though she has seven wins, yet she opens at 10 to 1 which makes her a potential key longshot bet on the day. 

Salsita has been very consistent in her career with 15 first or second place finishes in 33 races including a pair of wins on the Santa Anita turf course. Although seventh in her most recent race, she was only beaten three quarters of a length for the runner-up spot. Dropping in class from 2x allowance/optional $62,500 claiming to this 1x allowance/optional $40,000 claiming level, which she won at last August, she has every right to be in the exacta at the very least. 

All That Heat ran the best race of her career in her most recent start at this mile trip on grass at Santa Anita when winning by two lengths. Prat has been up for both wins, which came since blinkers were added last June, and as she's two for three with blinkers on at a mile on grass (beaten three quarters of a length in her only other start at the trip) she must be given a long look for any and all wagers we make involving this race.

Bet Liar's Smoker to win at odds of 2 to 1 or higher.

Play an exacta of Liar's Smoker, Salsita and All That Heat over ALL.


Join Ellis Starr on 123bet and receive $10 FREE when you sign up with Promo Code BetWithEllis.

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Key Bets & Races for Saturday, May 6

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Woodford Reserve Turf Classic - Race #11 at Churchill Downs– Post Time 5:25 PM ET

Ballagh Rocks is one of two horses (the other being Conquest Panthera) coming out of the Maker's 46 Mile a Grade 1 stakes last month, in which there were five horses in a blanket finish on the wire. He won his last start as a three-year-old in December and his first start as a four-year-old in January then Hall-of-Fame trainer Bill Mott saw fit to put the horse in grade one company off the January win and was almost rewarded with a victory as he closed from the last of 11 to nearly win the race. The key to his four big races in a row were the Blinkers added starting last November when he won on the Churchill Downs turf and with any improvement of his last start he can post the upset in this race, opening at 10-1.

Bal a Bali also added Blinkers four races back, nearly winning the first of the four and winning his most recent start, a similar Grade 1 stakes like this one. Castellano rode him for the first time in that victory and rides again so he fits on all counts for another effort enough to win in this situation.

Conquest Panthera finished a neck in front of the top pick in the Maker's 46 Mile in a career best effort and in his second start off a short layoff and second start as a four-year-old. It won't take much improvement off that effort to earn his first graded stakes win today.

Divisidero won last year's edition of this race by a neck in a big effort to bring his record to a perfect two for two on the Churchill Downs turf. He missed by a nose in his most recent race following a couple of months off is approaching top form once again so would be no surprise if winning this race for the second year in a row.

World Approval missed by a neck in last year's running of this race and enters the race in top form off a sharp win at this 9 furlong trip on grass. He's approaching the million-dollar mark in career earnings and as that last win came off a 5 1/2 month layoff, the same or better can be expected today.

Beach Patrol suffered a narrow defeat on this weekend last year after leading late when run down by a head on the wire in the American Turf Stakes. First or second in four of six races since then, all on grass, although his career record of four second-place finishes and to go along with three wins may suggest he's just as content finishing second as winning, I wouldn't hold that against him as his best race is good enough to be right there on the wire with the other main contenders in this very deep field.

Bet Ballagh Rocks to win and place at odds of 3 to 1 or more

Bet Bal a Bali to win at odds of 3 to 1 or more

Play an exacta of Conquest Panthera and Ballagh Rocks over ALL

Play an exacta of ALL over Conquest Panthera and Ballagh Rocks

Play an exacta of Bal a Bali over ALL

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Key Bets & Races for Friday, May 5

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Alysheba Stakes - Race #6 at Churchill Downs– Post Time 1:17 PM ET

Honorable Duty is a horse on an absolute tear, having won three stakes in a row including the grade 2 New Orleans handicap in April 1. He's 2-for-2 at this distance here at Churchill Downs and six for seven on dirt in his career. Better still, with Noble Bird, Flashy Jewel, El Huerfano and the freshened American Freedom all likely to show early speed, Honorable Duty will love the fast pace like he did last out when making up 13 lengths to get up and neck. Last but not least, he has earned 116 Equibase figures in two of his last three races, with which the exception of the New Orleans handicap runner-up are by far the best recent figures of any entrant in this field.

Breaking Lucky was the runner-up to Honorable Duty in the New Orleans handicap when losing by inches on the wire in a very game effort. Two races before that, he finished second in the grade 1 Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs with a 110 figure. Getting the services of top jockey Castellano for the first time, Breaking Lucky has a decent shot to turn the tables on it Honorable Duty from the last meeting and to win this race, he too benefiting from all the early speed.

Bet Honorable Duty to win at odds of 8 to 5 or more. 

Bet Breaking Lucky to win at odds of 2 to 1 or more. 

Play an exacta consisting of Honorable Duty and  Breaking Lucky over Honorable Duty, Breaking Lucky, Bird Song, El Huerfano, December Seven, Flashy Jewel and American Freedom


Kentucky Oaks - Race #11 at Churchill Downs – Post Time 6:12 PM ET

Up to a little over a month ago, there was a likely standout in this year's Kentucky Oaks- Unique Bella. A slight injury has forced her to the sidelines and from the point that was announced most handicappers were vexed with who would be top contenders were for this year's Oaks. That all changed following the running of the Santa Anita Oaks on April 8, when Paradise Woods crushed a decent field by nearly 12 lengths with speed to spare. She should run even better in the Kentucky Oaks as jockey Prat was just a passenger on her in the Santa Anita Oaks, sitting chilly and trying not to move a muscle as she changed gears tremendously on the turn to go from one length in front to 10 lengths in front in the blink of an eye. With a tremendous 111 last race Equibase speed figure to improve upon, better than ANY Kentucky Derby entrant, Paradise Woods should take some beating in this year's Oaks.

If not for Paradise Woods, Miss Sky Warrior might be the favorite in this year's Oaks. The filly has won five straight since October including the Grade 2 Gazelle Stakes last month in New York by 13 lengths. Just like Paradise Woods, Miss Sky Warrior was geared down in the last eighth of a mile in her last race. She improved to a 103 figure effort with that victory and although that equates to being about five lengths slower than Paradise Woods if they both repeat their most recent efforts, Miss Sky Warrior is not without a shot to leap frog over Paradise Woods in terms of speed figure to beat that one in the Oaks.

A few othersdeserve mention, particularly for exactas and trifectas, starting with Fantasy Stakes winner Ever So Clever. She drew the disadvantageous 12 post in the Fantasy yet still won and gets the ground saving rail to help her chances today. Vexatious missed second by a neck in the Fantasy and had some trouble in the stretch when the eventual runner-up didn't run straight and so her jockey had to alter her path twice in the last eighth of a mile. Opening at 20 to 1 odds, she must be considered for exacta and trifecta wagers we make involving this race. Farrell has won four races in a row including the Fair Grounds Oaks last month, also with a career-best 99 figure. In the Oaks, she didn't really have to be asked when going from 3rd to 1st on the turn before coasting to victory so she may have even better to show us in the Kentucky Oaks. Daddy's Lil Darling and Sailor's Valentine finished second and first, respectively, in the Grade 1 Ashland Stakes last month at Keeneland, both running the best races of their careers but with 92 and 93 figures that need significant improvement to threaten the main contender group here. However, the Ashland has been a significant Kentucky Oaks prep in the past and these two fillies cannot be entirely ruled out.

Bet Paradise Woods to win at 3 to 2 odds or higher.

Play an exacta key of Paradise Woods and Miss Sky Warrior over ALL 

Play a trifecta key of Paradise Woods over Ever So Clever, Vexatious, Farrell, Sailor's Valentine, Miss Sky Warrior, Daddys Lil Darling, Abel Tasman and Salty in second and third.


Join Ellis Starr on 123bet and receive $10 FREE when you sign up with Promo Code BetWithEllis.

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Key Bets and Races for Saturday, April 29

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Elusive Quality Stakes - Race #8 at Belmont Park – Post Time 5:13 PM ET

Never Gone South is trying turf for the first time but with good grass breeding and with seven first or second place finishes in 12 races I have no concerns. He earned a career best 108 Equibase Speed Figure last month when beaten a head in a sprint at Aqueduct and ships up to NY again from trainer Lynch's barn at Laurel, once again getting Angel Arroyo (up for last month's 2nd place effort) to ride. Flattered when the third finisher from that March 18 race came back to win, improving his Equibase Figure by 10 points, Never Gone South could run a lot better than his 15/1 starting odds suggest. 

Hammers Vision, like Never Gone South, is a lightly raced four-year-old with a good record (3-4-1 in 14 starts). He has three first or second place finishes in eight races on grass including a stakes placing last summer at Saratoga. With a win and a runner-up finish in his two starts this year, with Rosario riding and with the horse having finished second in his only try at this distance on grass at Belmont, we should expect a top effort. Disco Partner and Calgary Cat open as the two favorites and although both can run well neither is a standout. They are poor bets to win at low odds but should be used on exacta tickets played. My strategy will be to split them in the exacta and hope they don't run first and second.

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Key Bets & Races for Saturday, April 22

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Robert Hilton Memorial Stakes - Race #9 at Charles Town – Post Time 4:28 PM ET

Poseidon's Prize is 2 for 3 at Charles Town at this seven furlong trip, which at this track is a two-turn race. He powered off to win by seven lengths last out, just 2 weeks ago, after pressing the pace in second and from the ground saving rail may lead from the start or take the same catbird seat position so either way has a big shot here. Liar's Dice is the other main win contender. He too won his most recent race rather easily, at Laurel by five lengths, and he gets one of the top local jockeys in Montano which could offer an edge as he's very familiar with what it takes to win here.

Bet to Poseidon's Prize and Liar's Dice towin at odds of 2 to 1 or more.

Pick 3 – Races 9 through 11

Race 9 – Poseidon's Prize, Liar's Dice

Race 10 – ALL 6

Race 11 – Sunny Ridge, Stanford, Imperative

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Key Bets & Races for Saturday, April 15

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Bel Ali Stakes - Race #7 at Keeneland – Post Time 4:24 PM ET

Scuba is already a winner at this grade 3 stakes level and won at the higher grade 2 level when last seen in November. He can win on the lead or from off the pace and he finished 2nd, beaten nose, in his only previous start at Keeneland, as well as in his next two starts at this 9 furlong trip, so he seems well positioned to run a winning race. Bird Song earned his first graded stakes win last month, his third "A" effort in a row and he too has the tactical speed to be in contention from start to finish. He finished 2nd in his only previous race at Keeneland and his morning workout coming into the race, the best of 50 on the day, tells us he is ready to run his best once more. Taketothestreets has yet to run in a stakes but is ready for this level as he has worked his way through allowance conditions and has won three of his last four races. Opening at very high 20/1 odds that are out of line with my assessment of his probability to win, wagering a few bucks on him to win or to win, place and show as well as using him on exacta and multi-race tickets played may prove profitable if he continues to progress.

Bet to Scuba win at odds of 2 to 1 or more.

Play an exacta box consisting of Scuba, Bird Song and Taketothesteets

Play a double using Scuba, Bird Song and Taketothestreets in race 7 and using Triple Chelsea, Perfect Perfection, Exaggerated and Nobody's Fault in race 8.


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Key Bets & Races for Saturday, April 8

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Race #3 at Keeneland – Post Time 2:12 PM ET

With Maniacal and Control Stake bent on having the lead from the start and at any cost, Homespun Hero gets slight preference among three to take advantage of such a scenario, just as he did last October at Keeneland when winning. Jose Ortiz was aboard that day as today, and the colt is in top form having won his most recent race as well. Owner Ken Ramsey strives to put up as many winners as he can at every Keeneland meeting and so his trainers are instructed to put horses where they belong to add to his numbers. Schivarelli has been facing much tougher when sixth recently in a pair of stakes and the drop to this allowance condition he's already won at may be the key to rebounding to winning form. He's won at Keeneland as well. Esposito returns from nine months off and won his first start of 2016 off a seven month layoff. His only bad race came around two turns and he's been working very well for his return.

Bet Homespun Hero to win at odds of 2 to 1 or more.

Play an exacta box consisting of Homespun Hero, Schivarelli and Esposito 

Play an exacta of Homespun Hero, Schivarelli and Esposito over all

Play a double using Homespun Hero, Schivarelli and Esposito in race 3 and using Giuseppe the Great, Path Less Traveled, Marshall Plan, Souper Fly Over and Switzerland in race 4.

Play another double using Homespun Hero, Schivarelli and Esposito in race 3 and using Giuseppe the Great and Switzerland in race 4.


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Key Bets & Races for Saturday, April 1

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Cutler Bay Handicap - Race #12 at Gulfstream Park – Post Time 5:32 PM ET

Inherit the Wind showed a lot of maturity, and talent, winning in his career debut last month, around two turns on turf. Stalking the pace in second early, he drove past the leader in the stretch to earn a 92 Equibase figure tied with two others (Sir Sebastian and Dover Cliffs) for the best last figure in the field. Likely to improve both physically and mentally in his second career start, he gets slight preference among four horses we can potentially make a profit with in this race and in the pick 3 ending in the Florida Derby. Dover Cliffs is another with a turf route win on the course and a 92 figure effort to improve upon. He missed by a neck in his only other start and appears to have a bright future. Erasmo's Dream won a similar non-graded stakes on the course in February then finished fast for second last time out behind Sir Sebastian so in his current form deserves a lot of respect. Sir Sebastian had traffic trouble when third in the stakes won by Erasmo's Dream then returned to winning form under Paco Lopez, who rides back, so he must be considered strongly as a contender.

Bet any of the four contenders to win that are near 3 to 1 or higher. 

Play an exacta and trifecta box consisting of Inherit the Wind, Sir Sebastian, Dover Cliffs and Erasmo's Dream

Pick3:

Race 12 - Inherit the Wind, Sir Sebastian, Dover Cliffs and Erasmo's Dream

Race 13 – Sadler's Joy, Taghleeb, Patterson Cross, Reporting Star, Mr. Maybe

Race 14 – State of Honor, Impressive Edge, Battalion Runner, Gunnevera

Cost at $0.50 is $40


Pan American Stakes- Race #13 at Gulfstream Park – Post Time 6:06 PM ET

Reporting Star nearly pulled off the 29 to 1 upset in the similar Mac Diarmida Stakes last month when leading late and beaten inches on the wire. Castellano takes over and the horse may still be ignored in the betting in spite of being in top form and a graded stakes winner last year on this day over the course. Patterson Cross finished second in that race so must be strongly considered as a contender here, as must McKnight Stakes winner and runner-up Taghleeb and Sadler's Joy, respectively. Mr. Maybe finished fastest of all but was too late in the Mac Diarmida when rallying from 11th with an eighth of a mile to go and beaten just a length at the end so is another with a chance here.

Bet Reporting Star and Patterson Cross to win at odds of 3 to 1 or more. 

Play an exacta box consisting of Reporting Star, Patterson Cross, Taghleeb, Sadler's Joy and Mr. Maybe


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Key Bets & Races for Saturday, March 25

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U.A.E. Derby- Race #4 at Meydan (Dubai) – Post Time 9:25 AM ET

The most probable winner is Thunder Snow based on his two dominant five length wins in his two most recent races including one over the track at Meydan. However, his starting odds of 8 to 5 make it difficult to bet him to win although he is a must to use on any exacta or trifecta tickets played. One of the better bets to win appears to be Lancaster Bomber, who finished second in the Group 1 Dewhurst Stakes last October then less than one month later finished fast for second of 14 in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf. Given time off to mature by one of the top trainers in the world in Aiden O'Brien this son of War Front can make the transition to dirt just fine as progeny of the sire have been first or second in 12 of 52 graded stakes dirt routes in the past five years. 

Others to consider are Epicharis, unbeaten in four races in Japan, all on dirt including the Hyacinth Stakes last month. That being said, his starting odds of 5 to 1 may not offer the value of Hyacinth runner-up Adirato, who opens at 50 to 1 although beaten under a length by Epicharis. Speaking of 50 to 1 shots, I am very intrigued by He Runs Away, one of two South American four year olds (the other Vettori Kin) eligible to run in this race. He won the Group 1 Nacional Stakes in November powerfully in a field of 13 on dirt with his only race since on turf and the 107 Equibase figure stacks up nicely with the 110 figure favorite Thunder Snow earned in his only start to date on dirt and the 108 career best figure Epicharis has earned. 

Bet He Runs Away and Adirato to win and place at odds of 8 to 1 or more. Consider a show bet if 20 to 1 or higher.

Bet Lancaster Bomber at odds of 4 to 1 or more.

Play an exacta of Thunder Snow over Lancaster Bomber, Epicharis, Adirato and He Runs Away. I would play this multiple times in lieu of a win bet on Thunder Snow

Play a small ($1) exacta box combining Thunder Snow, Lancaster Bomber, Epicharis, Adirato and He Runs Away.

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Key Bets & Races for Saturday, March 18

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Be sure to give Ellis' latest podcast a listen as an additional add-in to his weekly key bets!

Private Terms Stakes - Race #9 at Laurel – Post Time 5:10 PM ET

Hashtag Alex and O Dionysus stand out in this stakes race for three year olds, with Hashtag Alex the far better horse to bet to win opening at 4 to 1 compared to 9 to 5 for O Dionysus. Hashtag Alex has only run three times, the first around two turns without a sprint prep (no easy task), and he improved markedly second time out when a nose shy of victory before an easy five length win last time out. The 91 Equibase figure Hashtag Alex earned in that last win is better than the 90 O Dionysus earned winning the Miracle Wood Stakes so this colt deserves top billing. O Dionysus has no knocks except low odds as that 90 figure last out was a career best. Unlike Hashtag Alex, O Dionysus is running two-turns for the first time but with his tactical speed should be well placed throughout. 

Bet Hashtag Alex to win at odds of 2 to 1 or more.

Play an exacta box between Hashtag Alex and O Dionysus

Play a double using Hashtag Alex and O Dionysus in race 9 and using all eight horses in race 10 as I don’t feel heavy favorite Jenda's Agenda is a standout.

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Key Bets & Races for Saturday, March 11

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Tampa Bay Derby - Race #11 at Tampa Bay Downs–Post Time 5:27 PM ET

Beasley has never been worse than second in three starts and has improved his Equibase figures with each start, going from 97 to 102 to 106 last month when racing at the distance of the Tampa Bay Derby for the first time. He was scratched out of the Fountain of Youth Stakes last week to run here and that makes sense as his last race 106 figure is the best last race figure in the race, even better than the 101 figure Tapwrit earned when second in the Sam F. Davis Stakeslast month as well. With a best of 58 workout last Saturday in lieu of running in the Fountain of Youth, it appears Beasley is set for a winning effort in the Tampa Bay Derby. Tapwrit returned from two months off in the Sam F. Davis, rallying for second behind unbeaten McCraken and earning a career best 101 figure. That was his first two-turn race and so improvement should be expected in his second two-turn race. As such, Tapwrit would be no surprise being in the thick of the action on the wire in this race. Tale of Silence appeared to have run poorly in his two route races last year, but the first of the two was deceptively good as he rallied from 7th on the turn to get within a head of the leader with an eighth of a mile to go before fading a bit to be beaten a length on the wire. He ran poorly in the Remsen after that then ran poorly again when shortened up to seven furlongs in his three-year-old debut in January. However, Tale of Silenceimproved nicely in his most recent start when trailing early in sixth and rallying to second into a runaway seven length winner. Being a full brother to 2008 Wood Memorial winner Tale of Ekati, Tale of Silence should have no problem going long and now that his form is on the upswing with a career best 97 figure last out, he could post the upset. 

Bet Beasley to win at odds of 2 to 1 or more.

Bet Tale of Silence to win and to place for a smaller amount at 5 to 1 or higher.

Play an exacta consisting of Beasley, Tale of Silence and Tapwrit over Tale of Silence, Basha, Tapwrit,<  Beasley, Sonic Mule, State of Honor and Wild Shot

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Meydan Overview - March 4, 2017

News that had become more likely with the passing of time broke this week when it was announced that Arrogate would in fact make the trip to Meydan for the Dubai World Cup. A good thing, right? Well, yes in that it is important that the second richest race in the world attracts the best horses - and there is no doubt Arrogate is that on dirt at the moment - but as a spectacle, is the race now going to be hideously one-sided? Probably. That even factors in Mike de Kock's Mubtaahij losing little in defeat when prepping last week. He finished second to Etijaah, giving that one 15lbs. De Kock was doing cartwheels out of Meydan afterwards, but not before he had another little dig at the dirt surface. “I didn’t want him to run again before the Dubai World Cup as I don’t want him to visit that track more than he has to,” the trainer remarked. Work that one out for yourself.

Super Saturday is unlikely to unearth a credible challenger to Arrogate, with the third round of the Al Maktoum Challenge, which is a Group One, being the official prep. Furia Cruzada and Second Summer are renewing rivalry from the second round, the latter fully expected to reverse form given he should have won last time. Special Fighter is back to defend his crown, although he has not been seen since finishing fourth to California Chrome last March. He also hails from a stable in turmoil in recent weeks, after Musabah Al Mheiri was banned for 12 months for cobalt use. Special Fighter would be a fairytale winner of sorts for Maria Ritchie, who has taken over the reins at the yard, but his absence is an obvious concern. Then there is Lani, who won a bad UAE Derby last year and has since looked fried after an American campaign. Godolphin have rolled the dirt dice one last time, Move Up arriving on the up but completely unproven on the surface. Second Summer is the deserving favourite and gets the vote from these quarters.

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Key Bets & Races for Saturday, March 4

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Herecomesthebride Stakes-  Race #4 at Gulfstream Park – Post Time 1:30 PM ET

The race is very playable because the likely favorite, Coasted, is VULNERABLE. Similar to Eagle last week at Fair Grounds (where we cashed in on $12 winner Honorable Duty), Coasted returns from four months off going two turns against horses with good recent two turn form. She needed a sprint prep last year in her debut before winning around two turns and her trainer is winless in the past two years with horses coming back from this kind of layoff. 

We therefore hone in on two strong contenders, Dream Dancing (morning line 9 to 2) and India Mantuana (morning line 7 to 2). Dream Dancing ran a career best race (92 Equibase figure) in her most recent start on 1/28 at the distance on the course and with Leparoux up for the first time on the filly on turf, riding back here. Dream Dancing made a big move from seventh on the turn to be in front by a head at the eighth pole then widened nicely and making her second start off the layoff should run even better. India Mantuana is the one Dream Dancing has to run down to win. She was privately purchased since her last start on 1/21, a wire-to-wire win over the course, now finding herself in the top Chad Brown barn with Jose Ortiz riding for the first time. With wins in three of her last four turf races and a field high 96 last race figure to repeat or improve upon, she could be tough to catch, and beat. 

Bet Dream Dancing and India Mantuana to win at odds of 2 to 1 or more.

Play an exacta box consisting of Dream Dancing and India Mantuana

Play a daily double consisting of Dream Dancing and India Mantuana in race 4 and Realm, Bird Song, Tale of S'avall and Greenpointcrusader

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