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Key Bets & Races for Saturday, August 26

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Sword Dancer – Travers – Ballston Spa Pick 3 – Races #10, 11 & 12 Saratoga

Race 10 Post Time 4:49 PM ET

The last pick 3 on the Travers day card looks very playable for a profit because the Travers is wide open (more on that later) with some good double digit odds chances and because the other two legs are pretty predictable. In the first leg, the Sword Dancer Stakes, the two European runners (Idaho and Erupt) have a tremendous class edge over the five North American runners based on who they have been facing. For example, Idaho just finished third in the King George & Queen Elizabeth Stakes to a filly (Enable) who has now won four straight Group 1 races including one just this week. Idaho was also favored in his only North American try, last fall in the G1 Canadian International Stakes, in which he was beaten 2 1/2 lengths by Erupt.

In the third leg, the Ballston Spa Stakes, even though Lady Eli is tough as nails, Antonoe may have beaten her last month in the Diana if not blocked late, and Roca Rojo could beat her to win if she repeats her amazing effort in the Distaff Turf Mile on Derby day.

Race 10 – EruptIdaho

Race 11 – West CoastTapwritGood SamaritanGirvinMcCrakenFayeq

Race 12 – Lady EliRoca RojoAntonoe

The cost at $1 is $36 and if Lady Eli is beaten the payoff will be well worth the risk.


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Key Bets & Races for Saturday, August 19

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Lake Placid Stakes - Race #8 at Saratoga – Post Time 5:02 PM ET

This race is playable but better still it's a lead in to a potentially very profitable Alabama Stakes and so some daily double plays are called for to be sure.

Party Boat and Proctor's Ledge just finished 2nd & 1st, respectively, in the Grade 3 Lake George Stakes over the track yet their starting odds of 4/1 and 5/2, respectively, pale to the 8/5 starting odds for La Coronel, not seen in 2 months and last seen 5th of 7 and uncompetitive in the Group 1 Coronation Stakes at Ascot in June. Granted, La Coronel ran without Lasix which she had for all four of her career wins and the top two finishers both came back to win important races, but she shouldn't be 8/5 in this group as even with her best effort there is no guarantee she will win. Uni was making her U.S. debut in the Grade 1 Belmont Oaks in July and her 10th to 3rd finish can be improved upon. As such, we will use four in doubles but if the low odds on La Coronel hold up we will get low odds overlays on both Party Boat and Proctor's Ledge, with their best efforts good enough to win.

Bet Party Boat and/or Proctor's Ledge to win at 2 to 1 or higher.

Play an exacta of Party Boat and Proctor's Ledge over Party BoatProctor's LedgeLa Coronel and Uni.

Play a double using Party BoatProctor's LedgeLa Coronel and Uni in this race and It Tiz WellUnchained MelodySalty and Elate in race 9.

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Key Bets & Races for Saturday, August 12

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Adirondack Stakes - Race #4 at Saratoga – Post Time 2:44 PM ET

This is a KEY BETS blog, and even at low odds Sly Roxy is a KEY BET in this year's Adirondack Stakes. She showed a lot of maturity in her debut 16 days ago here at Saratoga when sitting a length off the pace from the start then moving forward with authority on the turn to draw off by three lengths early in the stretch before easily winning by five lengths. She's bound to improve off the experience of a race and the 87 Equibase figure earned is the second best in the field to Pure Silver, who earned her 90 figure in a statebred stakes and when leading from start to finish, that kind of effort being repeated here perhaps a bit more problematic today from the rail and with other "early" pace types in the field. With Castellano riding back, Sly Roxy should be very tough to beat. Pure Silver could easily hang on for second or third after setting the early pace, as could another horse that led from start to finish in her only start, Limited View.

Bet Sly Roxy to win at odds of 3 to 2 or higher.

Play a trifecta consisting of Sly Roxy over Pure Silver & Limited View over ALL. Play another trifecta consisting of Sly Roxy over ALL over Pure Silver & Limited View.

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Key Bets & Races for Saturday, August 5

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Pick 3 Starting with Race #7 at Saratoga (Lure Stakes) – Post Time 4:34 PM ET

Race 7 – ProjectedVorticityAubenasRing Weekend

Race 8 – Minnie BlipVertical OakDivine Miss GreyFaypienAmerican Gal

Race 9 – War StoryBreaking LuckyKeen IceGun Runner

Cost is $80 with potential for 10 times that based on some of the odds of the contenders.


West Virginia Governor's Stakes - Race #7 at Mountaineer – Post Time 4:35 PM ET

The Player gets the ground saving rail as he stretches out from a comeback sprint following 11 months off, a big effort rallying to miss 2nd by a neck with a career best Equibase figure. Second in the 2017 Indiana Derby before the rest, this well bred colt is likely to run a new career best figure and post the upset opening at 8 to 1. Iron Fist just won the Grade 3 Cornhusker Stakes, then was flattered when runner up Texas Chrome came back to win. Santana has been up for 2 of his last 4 wins and that most recent effort earned a field high last race 111 figure so he should be very competitive again. Page McKenney is all heart, having been 1st or 2nd in his last 12 races going back to two years ago when 2nd in this race. Now with 33 first or second place finishes and $1.5 million in the bank, he shows no signs of slowing down and if Page McKenney goes to post anywhere near his 9/2 starting odds those will be the highest odds he's gone to post at in 12 of his last 13 races and very playable to win and place to be sure. Favorites Matt King Coal and Madefromlucky as well as Fear The Cowboy are all consistent but NOT standouts, so I'll use them in the second position on exacta plays, particularly noting Matt King Coal has the speedy Red Dragon Tattoo right next to him to take away any early speed edge he might otherwise have.

Bet The Player to win at odds of 2 to 1 or higher.

Consider a win and place bet on Page McKenney at 2 to 1 or higher.

Play an exacta consisting of The PlayerIron Fist and Page McKenney over The PlayerIron FistPage McKenneyMatt King CoalMadefromlucky and Fear the Cowboy


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Key Bets & Races for Saturday, July 29

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Vanderbilt Handicap - Race #8 at Saratoga – Post Time 5:02 PM ET

El Deal ships in from Monmouth and is the speed of the speed. He reminds me of Grade 1 Forego winner Private Zone who Navarro trained. El Deal earned a 125 pace figure last time out so it would be pace suicide if another horse tries to take him on. He's two-for-two since joining the Navarro barn and when the trainer gets Castellano to ride they are 4 for 7 in stakes races over the past couple of years. A. P Indian won the Forego at Saratoga last summer off a win in this race and those two Grade 1 wins helped to give him an 11 for 20 career mark. He's zero for 2 this year but finished second both times and his best race is good enough to win so if he can stay close to El Deal he's got a shot. Limousine Liberal gets a jockey change back to Ortiz, who rode him to victory in the Grade 2 Churchill Downs Stakes on Derby day. He's won three stakes in a row and is another that can win if he can stay close to El Deal early and if that one can't go all the way. Bird Song cuts back from two turns to one and has won sprinting. He won the Grade 2 Alysheba Stakes on Kentucky Oaks day and put in a spectacular best of 99 workout for a half mile coming into the race so must be considered a contender as well.

Bet El Deal to win at odds of 2 to 1 or higher.

Play a trifecta box consisting of El DealA.P. IndianLimousine Liberal and Bird Song.

Play a pick 4 as follows:

Race 8 - El DealA.P. IndianLimousine Liberal and Bird Song

Race 9 – Hello Don JulioFrank ConversationSadler's JoyAscend and Bigger Picture

Race 10 – PavelAlways Dreaming and Cloud Computing

Race 11 – Durable GoodsFreedomRemarqued and Magical Sky

Cost is $120 at $0.50 but could pay 5 to 10 times that amount.

If you want to cut down the cost of the ticket to $40 use only Pavel in race 10 because many bettors will be using the other two, meaning if this ticket wins it will be well worth the risk.

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Key Bets & Races for Friday, July 21

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Lake George Stakes - Race #9 at Saratoga –Post Time 5:40 PM

Two stakes fill a great opening day card at Saratoga but the Lake George is the more playable of the two with a field of 10 fairly evenly matched three year old fillies running on the turf. Defiant Honor is the one I'll start with, opening at impossible to pass up odds of 10/1. Following her 6th place debut last summer (beaten only a length and one-half), Defiant Honor has won two races and finished second in the other, that being the similar Grade 3 Jimmy Durante Stakes in California last November. Rested seven months from that race, Defiant Honor returned as if she had never been away, winning on the turf at Belmont last month. Likely to improve nicely off that effort and already proven at this level, the filly gets John Velazquez to ride and has the tactical speed to be in good position from start to finish, or if no one wants the lead had the ability to get that lead and dig in late to post the upset. Sweeping Paddy won the Grade 3 Regret Stakes on the turf at Churchill Downs last month, a career best effort under Saez, who rides back. She led late and lost ground for 3rd and 2nd place finishes, respectively, prior to that but last out she was taken a bit further back early (about six lengths) and that worked out perfectly so if the same tactics are employed she could win her second graded stakes in a row. Party Boat is three for six on turf in her career including a pair of non-graded stakes wins last December and this past April. She ran big  in her most recent race when beaten less than a length in the Penn Oaks in spite of traffic trouble and is reunited with Rosario, who rode her to both stakes victories to date. Fifty Five won the similar Grade 3 Florida Oaks in March and in her most recent race on June 8 finished second in the Grade 3 Wonder Again Stakes to New Money Honey, last year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf winner who came out of the Wonder Again to take the $1 million Belmont Oaks Invitational recently, so she adds to the depth of this year's Lake George field. 

Bet Defiant Honor to win and to place at odds of 5 to 2 or higher.

Consider win bets on Sweeping Paddy and on Party Boat at odds of 3 to 1 or more.

Play an exacta box consisting of Defiant Honor, Sweeping Paddy, Party Boat and Fifty Five.

As for the trifecta there are two options – Option 1 is to box the four above and option two is to take a shot with anyone in the rest of the field for third, maybe even playing that instead of the exacta box. That wager is as follows: Defiant Honor, Sweeping Paddy, Party Boat and Fifty Five over Defiant Honor, Sweeping Paddy, Party Boat and Fifty Five over ALL. The cost of the wager if all 10 horses run is $48.

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Key Bets & Races for Saturday, July 15

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Hockessin Stakes - Race #7 at Delaware Park – Post Time 4:21 PM ET

Pick 3 – Races 7 through 9

Race 7 – Eighty Three, Never Gone South, Always Sunshine, Struth

Race 8 – Lunaire, Frostmourne, Adonis Creed, Master Plan

Race 9 – Songbird

Kent Stakes - Race #8 at Delaware Park – Post Time 4:55 PM ET

Lunaire rallied from eighth to fourth last month in an allowance race at Belmont that has turned out to be a KEY race as winner Bricks and Mortar came back to win the Manila Stakes and the runner-up came back to win as well. Smith rides back and the colt is making his third start off a layoff, often a peak effort. In that race last month Lunaire seared the course in the last quarter with a 21.4 fraction while making up five lengths and has a big shot to post the mild upset here opening at 4 to 1. Likely favorite Frostmourne (8 to 5 morning line odds) is a very good colt who also has run the best two races of his career in his last two starts, culminating with a win in the Grade 2 Penn Mile with a 22.5 last quarter mile and field high 105 Equibase Figure (compared to 100 for Lunaire). None of these, with the exception of Adonis Creed, have run nine furlongs on turf so taking very low odds on Frostmourne as a win bet is not a good idea although he does look tough. Master Plan won the Stanton Stakes over the course last month, with Adonis Creed second, and both should be considered for exotic wagers we make involving this race. 

Bet Lunaire to win at odds of 9 to 5 or more. 

Play an exacta box and a trifecta box between Lunaire, Frostmourne, Adonis Creed and Master Plan

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Key Bets & Races for Saturday, July 8

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Parx Dash - Race #9 at Parx – Post Time 4:31 PM ET

Vision Perfect was claimed for $80,000 out of his most recent race when third in a seven furlong turf sprint at Belmont last month. The horse has won over $400,000 in his career on turf and is only a five year old so it appears to be a good investment on the part of his new owner. The new trainer is none other than high percentage Jason Servis (29% on the year), who has won with 14 of his last 35 claimed horses over the past 18 months or so. Better still, a statistic I looked up from Stats Race Lens tells me over the last five years when Servis claims and goes right into a stakes race his record is 2-1-1 in 7 tries. With top jockey Sanchez named to ride and cutting back from 7 furlongs to five, the horse should be closing fast and can post the upset, opening at 10/1. Amelia's Wild Ride gives us another horse to bet to win, opening at 8/1 in spite of having earned nearly $600,000 in his career. He's making his 2nd start since returning from 14 months off and his troubled 3rd place finish behind Richard's Boy in the similar Turf Sprint Stakes in May was a fine effort after that much time off, particularly as the runner-up came right back to win. Richard's Boy won the Pennsylvania Governor's cup via a disqualification last month and might have won on the square if not for the antics of the original winners so has to be considered a win contender. Mongolian Saturday is a multiple stakes winner who ran second in the Turf Monster Handicap at the distance over the course previously, while Pure Sensation won this race last year and is the one that defeated Mongolian Saturday by a nose the previous summer. That rounds out the win contenders, in preference (probability) order, noting we should probably consider Platinum Prince for the second and third spot on exacta and trifecta tickets played.

Bet Vision Perfect to win at odds of 3 to 1 or more, adding a place bet if 6 to 1 or higher. 

Make an additional win bet, on Amelia's Wild Ride, at odds of 3 to 1 or more.

Play an exacta consisting of Vision Perfect, Amelia's Wild Ride, Richard's Boy, Mongolian Saturday and Pure Sensation over Vision Perfect, Amelia's Wild Ride, Richard's Boy, Mongolian Saturday, Platinum Prince and Pure Sensation

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Key Bets & Races for Saturday, July 1

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Perfect Sting Stakes - Race #7 at Belmont Park – Post Time 4:46 PM ET

Off Limits ran the best race of her career and since coming to the U.S. last time out on June 1 over this course at this mile trip. She had been off for nine months and the time off did her a world of good, so with John Velazquez getting on and improving to do second off the layoff she's got a nice shot to win opening at 4 to 1. Conquest Babayaga missed by a head in a stakes on the course last month as well, Rosario up then and staying aboard. She won two in a row prior that and since changing to the Brown barn and now with three wins and one second place finish on turf in her career would be no surprise to earn her first stakes win today. On Leave finished second to a future stakes star (Cambodia) in the Gallorette Stakes on Preakness day and is another likely to improve second off a layoff since last year. She reeled off four straight wins last spring and summer and so may be sitting on another stakes winning effort. Ultimate Holiday posted the 33 to 1 upset last month in a third level allowance field and in her first turf race ever at Belmont. It may not have been a fluke as she won by nine lengths sprinting on dirt in February for her second win since joining the Nevin barn. There's not much other early speed in the field so we may expect Ultimate Holiday to be in front from the start which makes her pretty dangerous again particularly as she opens at 8 to 1. 

Bet Off Limits to win at odds of 2 to 1 or higher.

Consider a smaller win bet on Ultimate Holiday at 4 to 1 or more.

Play an exacta box consisting of Off Limits, Conquest Babayaga, On Leave and Off Limits.

Consider a trifecta box between the same four horses as well. 

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Key Bets & Races for Saturday, June 24

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Race #7 at Woodbine – Post Time 4:24 PM ET

Brass Compass won at the non-winners of 3 allowance level in March in Florida, equivalent to this non-winners of 2 other than level. He drops out of classified allowance after a 3rd place finish and is in for the optional $62,500 claiming price back at the level of the win. The move back to turf where he won in March and the jockey change to Hernandez help his chances to post the mild upset. Best Bard has been part of the exacta in 15 of 31 races including a 2nd place finish under these conditions last month. He has won at the level so is also in for the optional $62,500 claiming price. DaSilva rode him to the win last fall, the runner-up finish last out, and rides today. Both contenders should benefit greatly from a hot early pace battle between Royal Son, Naveah's Valentine and perhaps U S Marshall as well.

Bet Brass Compass to win at odds of 5 to 2 or higher. 

Play an exacta consisting of Brass Compass and Best Bard over Brass Compass, Best Bard, Johnny Bear, Naveah's Valentine, Niigon's Glory and U S Marshall. 

Pick 3 (2 bets)

Race 7 – Brass Compass, Best Bard

Race 8 – Lounge Act, Dream It Is

Race 9 - Chedington, Awfully Sinful, Aunt Sue

Race 7 – Brass Compass, Best Bard

Race 8 – Lounge Act, Dream It Is

Race 9 - Chedington


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Key Bets & Races for Saturday, June 17

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Alma North Stakes - Race #9 at Laurel Park – Post Time 5:10 PM ET

Follow No One comes off a very strong 6 length win 19 days ago at Monmouth, a race scheduled for turf but run on the main track that let her connections know she is as good on dirt as on turf, where her five starts before that had come. She can win on the lead or from off the pace and on the cut back from two turns to one turn and running 2nd off a layoff she can run well enough to win, providing a lot of value as she opens at 10/1. Sine Wave ran very well when 2nd to Sweet Loretta in the Grade 3 Beaumont Stakes at this 7 furlong trip when last seen. The drop in class to the non-graded stakes level may help her run as she did right before that when winning by 7 lengths at the trip. Yellow Agate began her career with an eye catching win last summer at Belmont before winning the Grade 1 Frizette Stakes in her 2nd career start. She ran poorly around two turns in the Breeder's Cup Juvenile Fillies but has been allowed to mature, returning around one turn and with some sharp workouts as well, signs she can run well enough to win. Shimmering Again also cuts back to one turn and is likely to lead from the start in an attempt to wire the field. Astrollinthepark also has a lot of early speed and lost all chance at the start in the Miss Preakness Stakes last month when she stumbled badly. These last two may battle and tire but can hang on for second. 

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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.


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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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