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Betting with Ellis Starr - August 26, 2017

Posted by on in 123racing Pick6 Wager
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Key Bets & Races for Saturday, August 26


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.

Travers Stakes - Race #11 at Saratoga – Post Time 5:44 PM ET

Good Samaritan ran the best race of his career (105 Equibase figure) in his first dirt start when soundly defeated Always Dreaming and Cloud Computing in the Jim Dandy over the track last month. Lagging last of five in the early stages,12 lengths back and with a slow pace in front of him, Good Samaritan still picked up his pace on the turn and in an eighth of a mile went from eight and one-half lengths back to a neck behind the leader before drawing off to win decisively by nearly five lengths. Over the past 16 years, five winners of the Jim Dandy and two runners-up have won the Travers and with Good Samaritan on a pattern for even better in his 2nd dirt start and 2nd start at the meeting, he gets top billing. After running poorly in the Derby, Girvin took seven weeks off to refresh then returned off the rest to lead late and come up a nose short to Irap in the Ohio Derby before a career best effort(107 figure) when closing from last of seven to win the Haskell Invitational last month at odds of 9 to 1. Although not as significant to success in the Travers as the Jim Dandy, three winners or runners-up from the Haskell have won the Travers in the past 16 years. With Girvin making his third start off a layoff, often a peak effort in a horse's form cycle, and considering he had a very strong workout at Saratoga (59.8 for five furlongs) a week ago, he may post his second graded stakes win at high odds in a row. McCraken, like Girvin, performed poorly in the Derby when eighth and beaten 13 lengths, but recovered nicely to run two "A" races in a row since, earning a career best 113 figure when winning the Matt Winn Stakes in June and following that up with a very big effort in the Haskell when making the lead in the stretch before being run down right on the wire by a nose to Girvin. Although the 106 figure McCraken earned in the Haskell was lower than the previous effort, that figure was significantly better than the last race figures earned by Always DreamingCloud ComputingTapwrit and most of the other entrants in the Travers. As such McCraken's chances to run competitively to the wire in the Travers should not be underestimated.

Fayeq intrigues me to no end. In this article for the 2014 Travers, I was lucky enough to sniff out $41 winner V.E. Day as my top pick, and although Fayeq is not my top choice to win this year's Travers, rest assured I will be betting on him because he is going to go to post at very high odds. Fayeq ran okay in his first two races this spring, both around one turn, but when sent around two turns for the first time starting in June he was a different horse. First he won easily on June 11 then was flattered when the runner-up came right back to win. Then, on July 26 at Saratoga, Fayeq improved once more, this time earning a career best 105 figure as good as the one Good Samaritan earned in the Jim Dandy and better than many Travers entrants. He has been training regularly at Saratoga since early July and his two workouts since winning are better than his workouts previous to the race so it appears he is getting better every day. Being a son of Malibu Moon I have no doubt about his ability to successfully run the mile and one-quarter trip of the Travers, and being a half-brother to multiple graded stakes winner Rachel Alexandra I have little doubt about his ability to perform well in a grade 1 stakes.

Two more to consider, possibly as win contenders but for sure for any exotic wagers like the exacta and trifecta, are West Coast and Tapwrit. West Coast has never been worse than second in six races and enters the Travers off rock-solid 117 and 112 figure efforts winning the Easy Goer Stakes and then the Los Alamitos Derby. The Los Alamitos Derby was formerly known as the Swaps Stakes, from which 2003 Swaps runner-up Ten Most Wanted shipped into Saratoga to win the Travers. Tapwrit won the Belmont Stakes with a career best 104 figure that would be competitive with the best in the Travers field if repeated, but he has been away for 77 days and that is quite a layoff to come back from and then run10 furlongs. The feat was accomplished one time in recent history, by Birdstone in 2004, and considering trainer Pletcher's prowess I will assume Tapwrit is fit and ready to run well.

I will not be considering Always Dreaming (best figure 104 in the Derby) or Cloud Computing (best figure 103 in the Preakness) as contenders to win or in exotics for the Travers. I can't expect them to rebound from the poor efforts shown last month in the Jim Dandy when, after a slow pace, both faded to third and fifth, respectively, after being first and second with an eighth of a mile to go. I was going to consider Irap a contender based on his 112 figure earned in the Indiana Derby, but that race has not been significant in Travers history. In spite of Indiana Derby runner-up Colonelsdarktemper having come back to win the West Virginia Derby and Ohio Derby runner-up Girvin winning the Haskell, I just don't believe Irap is capable of running well enough to win against a field this strong.

Bet Good Samaritan to win at 3 to 1 or higher.

Bet Girvin and McCraken to win at 4 to 1 or higher.

Bet Fayeq to win, place and show at 7 to 1 or higher.

Play an exacta of Good SamaritanGirvin and McCraken over Good SamaritanGirvinMcCrakenTapwritWest Coast and Fayeq.

Play the exacta above in reverse from a smaller amount, for example $1 versus $2.

Shared Belief Stakes- Race #7 at Del Mar – Post Time 8:10 PM ET, 5:10 PM PT

Gato Del Oro opens at 4/1 and is a KEY low odds overlay here as he is a fast improving three year old facing three overbet horses in GormleyBattle of Midway and Klimt, all who he can beat on the square. Gato Del Oro earned a field high last race 114 Equibase Figure winning at this mile trip at Del Mar on 7/19 and that was only the third start of his career. He earned 89 and 97 figures in his first two races and should take another step forward. Gormley is coming back from 11 weeks off and can't possibly be fit enough to win this race off that layoff with a horse like Gato Del Oro in the race who won just 5 weeks ago. Battle of Midway will try to lead from the start but Cistron (on the rail) will keep him honest and Gato Del Oro should get a great trip in third in the early stages. Klimt just ran 2nd from start to finish against West Coast, who does have a shot to win the Travers, but the 108 figure would take considerable improvement to get to the 120 or so Gato Del Ore appears capable of. Longshot Stone Hands has a more than decent shot to get into the exacta at double digit odds.

Bet Gato Del Oro to win at 2 to 1 or higher.

Play an exacta of Gato Del Oro over GormleyStone HandsKlimt and Battle of Midway

Pat O'Brien Stakes - Race #9 at Del Mar – Post Time 8:45 PM ET, 5:45 PM PT

8 to 5 morning line favorite Danzing Candy is legitimate here, having won three races in a row, two of them graded stakes. He has the ability to go to the lead early and control the pace and he can handle a head-and-head duel like he did last time out. His last three efforts yielded 118, 118 and 121 Equibase figures that no horse has come close to so he must be played with respect. However, Giant Expectations, who opens at 12/1, has just a slightly lower chance to win and a much better chance to make us a profit if he does.

Giant Expectations is a lightly raced four year old and like many there was a big chance from his three year old campaign (0 for 6) to what has happened since he started as a four year old in May, first winning by nine lengths then by 2 then with a runner-up effort over the track with a 112 figure that beats EVERY other horse in the field save Danzing Candy if repeated. Cutting back from a mile to 7 furlongs works in his favor, as does Stevens riding back after getting familiar with him in his first start at Del Mar last month. With two sensational workouts (best of 85 and best of 84) since raced this colt is going to outrun his odds big time.

Calculator was a major player last spring (2016) in sprint stakes but has run almost exclusively on turf this year. Back on dirt he could be competitive, while Blameitonthelaw is another new four year old who ran 2nd in three straight this spring before a big win at Del Mar last month with a 110 figure. He faced stakes winners Ransom the Moon and Distintiv Passion in those 2nd place efforts in the spring and may have more class than it appears.

Bet Giant Expectations to win at 5 to 2 or higher and add a place bet at 5 to 1 or more.

Play an exacta box between Danzing Candy and Giant Expectations.

Also play an exacta of Danzing Candy and Giant Expectations over Danzing Candy, Giant ExpectationsMr. HinxBlameitonthelaw and Calculator.



    HOULE, ERIK Saturday, 26 August 2017

    Fayeq is +2200 in the futures on Bovada to win , if you think it can win its worth a $10 bill or more

    HOULE, ERIK Saturday, 26 August 2017

    Erupt is +550 with Idaho at -125 on Bovada would you play $12.50 to make $10 & play $5 for $27.50? are these odds good enough to play this way or wait & ex box the 2 horses? & tri key them w/all ?

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