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Betting with Ellis Starr - August 20, 2016

Posted by on in 123racing Pick6 Wager
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Key Bets and Races for August 20, 2016


Play the King Stakes - Race #8 at Woodbine – Approximate Post Time 4:47 PM ET

Races become more playable with vulnerable favorites and this race has not one but two. Ami's Flatter tries turf for the first time, in his 12th career start, and the rule "never bet a horse at low odds trying something for the first time" certainly applies here are there are horses as good as he is and who have stakes wins on the grass. The other vulnerable favorite is Conquest Enforcer, who beat non-graded foes on the last month, but those were three year olds only and he's facing his elders here with no edge of any kind. Glenville Gardens was beaten just two lengths when fourth in the identical Connaught Cup Stakes in June and has won his two starts since, both on turf, one at this 7 furlong trip. Boulanger rides him well and for a horse with a 3 for 4 turf record, 6 for 12 overall, his 15/1 starting odds may prove to be a gift. Passion for Action is the third choice on the morning line at 3 to 1 and is fairly legitimate as he won the Highlander Stakes at 6 furlongs on the course last time out after missing by a neck in the Connaught Cup. Dimension posted the 20 to 1 upset in the Connaught Cup then proved that to be no fluke winning at 17 to 1 in the King Edward. He's in the best form of his career with no signs of regression. Green Mask missed by a neck in the Highlander and can be a factor but it must be noted he's also entered to run in the Troy Stakes at Saratoga today. Tower of Texas should be considered for exacta and trifecta tickets played based on his nose defeat to my top pick, Glenville Gardens, in his most recent race.

Bet Glenville Gardens to win and place at odds of4 to 1 or more. Consider a win bet on Dimension if his odds stay anywhere near his 6 to 1 morning line.

Play an exacta consisting of Glenville Gardens, Passion for Action and Dimension over Glenville Gardens, Passion for Action, Dimension, Green Mask and Tower of Texas.

Consider playing that exacta in reverse as well because if Glenville Gardens or Dimension finishes second and I am right that the two starting favorites won't run well it can be very profitable too.

Monmouth Oaks - Race #9 at Monmouth Park – Approximate Post Time 5:09 PM ET

Once again a race is playable due to the favorites being vulnerable. Mo d'Amour will be bet based on her last two races being grade 1 stakes and this being a grade 3, not to mention she's trained by Pletcher. However, she never threatened in either and was 19/1 in one and 21 to 1 in the other. We have to go all the way back to February, on the Inner Dirt at Aqueduct, to find a race that would win here. Likewise, Tejana is being bet off a pair of wins but those were a maiden win and a first level allowance win and this is a big step up. Unbridled Mo is the other Pletcher trainee and I would love her to go to post anywhere near her 7 to 2 morning line odds. She too has won 2 in a row but unlike Tejana both wins came at Monmouth, where she's stabled, and she gets leading jockey Lopez. She doesn't need the lead to win and should get a great trip behind likely pacesetter Tejana. Mo Green, a daughter of Uncle Mo like Unbridled Mo, romped on a sloppy track here at Monmouth last month with Lopez up, who moves to Unbridled Mo. However, Gallardo is a suitable replacement and the filly has improve in her last three starts so must be respected.

Bet Unbridled Mo to win at 2 to 1 or more.

Play an exacta box using Unbridled Mo and Mo' Green.

Fourstardave Handicap - Race #9 at Saratoga – Approximate Post Time 5:40 PM ET

Grand Arch won the 2015 edition of this race on a firm course at 8/1 then won the Shadwell Turf Mile on a yielding course. He wasn't disgraced a bit when third behind Tepin in the Breeders' Cup Mile, took seven months off, and ran big when third after leading late while in need of a race. Grand Arch regressed when brought back in under a month but now after nearly two months off and back on a course he likes he has every right to win again. Ring Weekend is the other main contender to win, coming off a neck loss in the Dixie Stakes on Preakness weekend (beating Grand Arch for second by a half-length) that followed 14 months on the bench. He won a stakes at Saratoga in the summer of 2014 and considering he should run much better than when last seen second of a layoff he would be no surprise. Reporting Star, Blacktype and Tourist should be part of the exacta and trifecta.

Bet Grand Arch to win at odds of 3 to 1 or higher.

Play an exacta consisting of Grand Arch and Ring Weekend over Grand Arch, Ring Weekend, Reporting Star, Blacktype and Tourist.

Del Mar Handicap - Race #8 at Del Mar – Approximate Post Time 8:43 ET (5:43 Pacific Time)

Flamboyant needed his last race following four months off and a trip halfway across the world to run in the Group 1 Dubai Turf. Not disgraced a bit when 5th of 15 without his regular Lasix, Flamboyant closed to miss second by a neck and the win by another half-length in the Eddie Read Stakes on opening weekend at Del Mar and should now be set to run back to either of his strong grade 2 stakes wins on grass earlier this year, particularly with leading jockey Prat having been aboard for the first time last month and now more familiar with him. Ashleyluvssugar finished second in the Eddie Read, his second start back after a 10 month layoff, and is another approaching previous top form like when winning the Grade 2 Whittingham Stakes last May. Metaboss was a stakes winner at three last year then took 13 months off. He got back into the winner's circle in his fourth start back last month on the course at a mile and although he hasn't run this far he's bred to get the trip. Bejarano has been aboard for two of his three career wins including last month and rides him back. Quick Casablanca and Finnegans Wake have a shot to finish out the exacta and trifecta.

Bet Flamboyant to win at 2 to 1 or higher.

Play an exacta consisting of Flamboyant, Ashleyluvssugar and Metaboss over Flamboyant, Ashleyluvssugar,  Metaboss, Quick Casablanca and Finnegans Wake.

Pacific Classic Stakes - Race #9 at Del Mar – Approximate Post Time 9:15 PM ET (6:15 Pacific Time)

Dalmore ran the best race of his career, earning a 113 Equibase Figure when winning the Affirmed Stakes last month. Although that figure was below the 120 career best California Chrome earned winning the San Diego Handicap in July (with runner-up Dortmund earning a 119 figure) and below the 115 lifetime best figure Hard Aces earned winning the Cougar II Handicap one day after Chrome, it is the next best last race figure in the field and is better than the three figures Beholder has earned this year. Considering Dalmore is just a three year old, he is not even near full maturity and has much better races ahead of him. For the Exaggerator connections of Keith and Kent Desormeaux, Dalmore gets the nine post position for the Classic, which will allow Desormeaux an excellent trip behind Beholder, California Chrome and Dortmund, who all like to race on the lead or close to the pace in the early stages. As such, Dalmore has a nice shot to outrun his double digit odds in the Pacific Classic. California Chrome didn't lose a step between his Group 1 Dubai World Cup victory in March and his San Diego Handicap win last month when he earned a career best 120 figure. He has won at this 10 furlong trip four times and as this race is run at scale weights (except for Beholder) there is no handicap in that department. Personally, I can't find a single flaw that would have me believe California Chrome may be the anything other than the most probable to win the Classic. However, because he will be the prohibitive favorite he may not offer the most value as a win bet. Beholder is undoubtedly one of the best female stars in horse racing, having won 17 of 23 races and nearly $5 million dollars. Never worse than second in six career races at Del Mar, she dispatched a field of 10 in last year's Classic with a 116 figure, one below a career best 117 earned much earlier in her career. Last year's Pacific Classic was her first attempt at this mile and one-quarter trip and she handled it with ease. Even though her recent figures of 105 and 107 seem far from the 120 and 110 California Chrome earned this year in North America, Beholder stepped up from a 106 figure to 116 in last year's Classic so could be up to the task once more.

Bet Dalmore to win and place at 4 to 1 or more.

Play exacta boxes of Dalmore with Beholder, Dalmore with California Chrome and (for a smaller amount) Dalmore with Dortmund.

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