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Betting with Ellis Starr - January 21, 2017

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Key Bets & Races for Saturday, January 21

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Gulfstream Park – Race #9 – Post Time 4:03 PM

There is excellent value in the Pick 3 from races 9 through 11 as well as the Pick 4 ending in the Sunshine Million's Classic. There may also be some value in this race, a 7 1/2 furlong turf race for first level allowance types. The contenders here are Gentle Kitten, India Mantuana and What's in a Kiss and although they are the three favorites on the morning line it would be difficult to make a case that any of the other six can win. Gentle Kitten fits the condition perfectly off a maiden win last month over the course at the distance. Jose Ortiz was up for the win and rides again and the filly earned the best last race Equibase figure (94) in the field so with improving to do may move right through this first allowance level. India Mantuana finished second to a future stakes star in Bellavais when second in the Ginger Brew stakes on the course at the distance last month. She won two in a row on turf before that so fits on all counts. What's In a Kiss makes her U.S. debut after importing from France and moving into the sizzling hot Brown barn. Castellano gets on and she's been running well against tougher so would be no surprise BUT it must be noted her 2/1 starting odds are low given Browns 2 for 11 record with horses making their U.S. debuts in the past couple of years.

Bet Gentle Kitten to win at odds of 2 to 1 or more.

Of the tickets below, the preferred play is the first pick 3, singling (using only one horse) in race 10, along with the pick 4, which uses three horses in race 10. These two plays combine try to maximize profit. However, there is nothing wrong with the second pick 3 option along with the pick 4 if those amounts are within your budget.

Pick 3

Race 9: Gentle Kitten, India Mantuana, What's In A Kiss

Race 10: My Girl Corey

Race 11: Our Way, Class and Cash, Reporting Star, Go Around, Two Step Time

Cost at $1 is $15

Pick 3 (option 2)

Race 9: Gentle Kitten, India Mantuana, What's In A Kiss 

Race 10: My Girl Corey, True Pleasure, Tybalt's Queen

Race 11: Our Way, Class and Cash, Reporting Star, Go Around, Two Step Time

Cost at $1 is $45

Pick 4:

Race 9: Gentle Kitten, India Mantuana, What's In A Kiss 

Race 10: My Girl Corey, True Pleasure, Tybalt's Queen

Race 11: Our Way, Class and Cash, Reporting Star, Go Around, Two Step Time

Race 12: Tiger of Wales, Piloting, Awesome Slew

Cost at $0.50 is $67.50


Race #10 at Gulfstream Park –Post Time 4:34 PM ET

My Girl Corey tried turf and two turns for the first time when last seen in mid-December, closing well from seventh to second, missing by a half-length and gamely holding off the third finisher by a neck. Working consistently for the hot Brown barn since then and more mature now as a newly turned four year old, she gets slight preference among three that appear to have a big edge, with all three likely to have their late kicks set up nicely by a potential three horse pace battle between Shes Dynomite, Bear Town Cat and Stormin Charlotte. The only knock on My Girl Corey comes from the perspective of making a win bet as she opens at 9 to 5 odds. 

True Pleasure stretches out to two turns for the first time, off a good set of sprint preps, the most recent at five furlongs here on the GP turf. Lezcano rides back and the filly was beaten only a neck for second and another three-quarters of a length for the win so with just slight improvement can get up in time to win. Tybalt's Queen has the most wins in the field, five, and so is in for the optional 16K claiming price. She didn't run a bit last month at GP but won two in a row before that, 3 months earlier, and if the poor effort was a result of needing a race she has a shot at the upset, particularly with the jockey change to Lopez, up for a nice win on turf last June.

Bet Tybalt's Queen to win at odds of 3 to 1 or more as she opens at 10/1. Consider a win bet on True Pleasure 3 to 1 or more. 

Play an exacta box consisting of My Girl Corey, True Pleasure and Tybalt's Queen


Sunshine Millions Turf Stakes - Race #11 at Gulfstream Park –Post Time 5:05 PM ET

Our Way is 3 for 9 on turf including a win last summer in the Better Talk Now Stakes at Belmont with a 104 Equibase figure, his second win in a row. Following that he ran poorly in the English Channel Stakes in October, but that was run on a soft course and doesn't count as relevant. With John Velazquez getting on for the first time and with the gelding having hit the board in five straight before that last effort he's worth a long look here, opening at 8 to 1. Class and Cash could be the lone frontrunner here as he draws the five post and none of the four inside of him have any interest in the early lead. He is four for ten this year and although a couple of those came in stakes he won a second level allowance race recently with a respectable 105 Equibase figure. With sizzling hot Juarez riding he must be respected. Reporting Star and Go Around are two of the classier horses in the field, Reporting Star having finished second in this race last year before winning the Grade 3 Appleton Stakes He's in good form off a fourth place effort following three months off and Saez stays aboard, while Go Around finished just behind Reporting Star last month, also off a layoff, earning a 114 figure compared to 115 for Reporting Star, both those efforts good enough to win here if repeated. Lastly, Two Step Time faces older for the first time but he missed second by a nose in the Tropical Park Derby in his most recent race with a career best 105 figure, before that missing by a head in a big effort in another stakes. As such, he should be considered a win contender as well. 

Bet both Our Way and Class and Cash to win at odds of 3 to 1 or higher. Add place bets if 8 to 1 or more. 

Consider a $1 exacta box consisting of Our Way, Class and Cash, Reporting Star, Go Around and Two Step Tango


Sunshine Millions Classic - Race #12 at Gulfstream Park – Post Time 5:35 PM ET

Tiger of Wales has run in three straight races in Puerto Rico but before that was a staple in the Midwest and in Florida. He gets the rail and is a Florida bred so fits the conditions. He is now back in the barn of Mike Maker, who saddled him to three straight wins from April through July of last year and there's no doubt he can get the nine furlongs as he finished second in a 10 furlong race one before last. Gaffalione takes the call, a good sign as he is 8 for 25 for Maker over the past year, with five of those wins coming at GP, and since shipping back from Puerto Rico the horse put in a very strong half-mile workout in 47.2, the 7th best of 89 on the day. As such, opening at 20 to 1, Tiger of Wales is very much worth betting on. Piloting finished second in the Sunshine Millions Preview Stakes across town at Gulfstream Park West in November, after a sharp second level allowance win, both times earning career best Equibase figures (105 then 107) so must be respected in a pretty light field for the level. Awesome Slew opens as the prohibitive favorite as the only graded stakes winner in the field, having taken the Smarty Jones Stakes last September. He came back from three months off last month and finished a neck from second in the Harlan's Holiday so would be no surprise if winning. 

Bet Tiger of Wales to win and place at odds of 4 to 1 or more.

Play an exacta box consisting of Tiger of Wales, Piloting and Awesome Slew.


Bonus Coverage
LeComte Stakes - Race #11 at Fair Grounds –Post Time 6 PM ET, 5 PM Central

Arklow gets slight preference as his opening odds are 10 to 1, compared to Takeoff, who beat Arklow by a length last time out but who opens at 6/1. He gets a much better post today and wasn't disgraced one bit when beaten a length for the win in a field of 9. Takeoff is on the same pattern as Arklow, as he makes his fourth career start and makes his third straight start in a route. With Florent Geroux in the saddle for the first time and racing at Fair Grounds for the first time last month, Takeoff led from start to finish in a field of nine and gave no other horse a chance to run. Takeoff put in a best of 39 half-mile workout following his win then an even better best of 135 half-mile workout last week so is very fit and likely to run big again. Untrapped actually ran big when last seen in November in his second career start. Untrapped is bred to get the distance and the number one winning jockey for the Asmussen barn, Ricardo Santana, takes the call. Marco Mischief ran very well in his career debut last October in a sprint on dirt, rallying from last in a short field to finish second. Stretched out to two-turns for the first time in his next start, Marco Mischief closed strongly from 11th of 12 at the start to win by a head on the wire. Although the effort came on turf, the colt proved capable on dirt before that and if he has matured in the last two months he can be in the picture in this race at high odds. 

Bet Arklow and Takeoff at odds of 3 to 1 or higher.

Play an exacta box consisting of Arklow, Takeoff, Untrapped and Marco Mischief.


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

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  • Guest
    CCole Saturday, 21 January 2017

    Yet another good hit sir. Always love the insight.

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