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Betting with Ellis Starr - January 7, 2017

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Key Bets & Races for Saturday, January 7

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Ginger Brew Stakes - Race #9 at Gulfstream Park –Post Time 4:03 PM ET

In a wide open 12 horse field of three year old fillies going two turns on turf, there are TWO horses that are key to making a profit in my opinion. The first is Bellavais, who opens at 10/1, ridiculously high starting odds based on a more than decent (25% or so) probability to win. She has run three times and all three were solid efforts. The reason she opens at 10/1 is most likely she inherited her maiden win in her most recent start (11/9/16) via a disqualification. She's improved in every race, gets John Velazquez for the first time and has been working very well at Palm Meadows for her three year old debut. The other main contender is Party Boat, a stakes winner. She's won three races in a row, the first two her only two turf tries then the Wait a While Stakes (scheduled for turf but run on a sloppy main track) last month. Rosario rode her for the 1st time that day and rides back and she's another filly with a bright future and on a pattern for continued improvement. 

Bet Bellavais to win and place at odds of 5 to 2. 

Bet Party Boat to win at odds of 5 to 2 or more

Play an exacta of Bellavais over ALL and play the reverse exacta as well, which is ALL over Bellavais

Play an exacta consisting Party Boat over ALL

Mucho Macho Man Stakes - Race #10 at Gulfstream Park –Post Time 4:34 PM ET

Hemsworth returns off a two month rest after destroying the short field in the Nashua Stakes last fall at Aqueduct. Although he led from start to finish, the pace and speed figure combination of 87/95 tell me he doesn't need the lead to win. With a good outside post in this one turn mile event, Hemsworth can just sit outside the pacesetters and avoid any potential traffic trouble before Gaffalione gives him a shake of the reins to draw off again. That being said, Even Thunder and Sweetontheladies both offer odds very high in relation to their probability and may be good bets, particularly of Hemsworth does not fire. Even Thunder is a multiple stakes winner and I would not discount the form shown in Minnesota or New York. Bravo gets the call and has been so very unlucky at the meeting, with 1 win and 14 second place finishes to date, but is such a good jockey this gelding could turn things around. Sweetontheladies opens at 20/1 and is a perfect three-for-three on dirt in his career, including a stakes for Florida breds only last fall. His last race 94 Equibase figure is par with the best in here and he cannot be ignored at double digit odds.  

Bet Hemsworth to at odds of 2 to 1 or more.

Consider win bets, or win and place bets, on Even Thunder and Sweetontheladies, at 5 to 1 or more. 

Sham Stakes - Race #7 at Santa Anita – Post Time 6:30 PM ET, 3:30 PT

Term of Art started his career in a sprint and finished third, then improved nicely to a runner-up effort in his first route. Next up came a maiden win then (unfortunately) he was sent to the wolves, finishing a well-beaten ninth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile. Entered in the Cecil B. DeMille Stakes at the end of November, originally scheduled for grass, Term of Art stayed in the race when moved to dirt and won convincingly. The key to predicting how Term of Art may perform in the Shammay be how DeMille runner-up Vending Machine improved as that colt won the Eddie Logan Stakes (98 Equibase figure). Given that Term of Art leads the field in route wins with two and has won a grade 3 stakes like this one, he gets top billing to win. Big Hit didn't run that well in the first two starts of his career, the first a sprint and the second a route, but the light bulb really went off in his third start, leading from start to finish in that effort on November 19. If there were any doubts about Big Hit repeating or improving off the effort, those were put to rest by his two most recent workouts, the first being the best of 112 on the day and the most recent the second best of 76. Although Big Hit led from start to finish in his last win, he may not need the lead as his Equibase pace figure/Speed Figure combination (86/96) suggests he can sit off the pace of likely early leader Blabimir (who is stretching out from sprints) and take over before Term of Art makes his late run, perhaps holding on to win. American Anthem showed a lot of maturity winning with a rally from fourth in his debut last month, earning the best last race figure (101) in the field. Although the third horse returned to win, that horse's figure regressed five points (93 to 88). However, with the ground saving rail and likely to improve on the stretch out to two turns for the first time, American Anthem must be considered a contender, if for no other reason than his trainer, Bob Baffert, has won the Sham 2 of the last three years. 

Bet Term of Art to win at odds of 5 to 2 or higher. 

Consider a win bet for a smaller amount on Big Hit at 3 to 1 or more.

Play an exacta box consisting of Term of Art, Big Hit and American Anthem

Play TWO Pick 3 tickets in Races 7 through 9 as follows:

Ticket 1

Race 7 – American Anthem, Term of Art, Big Hit

Race 8 – Skye Diamonds, Calm the Sea

Race 9 – Flamboyant, Itsinthepost, Twentytwentyvision, Perfectly Majestic, Ring Weekend, Some in Tieme

Cost $36 at the $1 minimum level

Ticket 2

Race 7 – ALL seven horses

Race 7 – Skye Diamonds, Calm the Sea 

Race 7 – Ring Weekend

Cost $14 at the $1 minimum level

San Gabriel Stakes - Race #9 at Santa Anita –Post Time 4:30 PM PT, 7:30 PM ET

Ring Weekend is certainly the standout on number of graded stakes wins and to some extent a legitimate favorite but there are multiple ways to profit here even if the favorite wins. Ring Weekend just won the similar Grade 2 Seabiscuit Stakes at a mile and one sixteenth (with a 118 Equibase figure) and is two-for-three at this nine furlong trip so there are no real knocks. He's won his last two grade 2 races and his outside post is unlikely an issue given Van Dyke will drop him back to save ground early and rally wide late. The real value in the race belongs to Some in Tieme, a Brazilian Import who just won at $530,000 Group 1 race. He finished second in that race and was placed first but had run second (beaten a neck) prior to that. Trainer Paulo Lobo is adept at getting South American imports to run well and even with first time Lasix this horse is likely to go to post at very juicy odds. Flamboyant won this race last year at odds of 46 to 1 (123 Equibase figure) then proved that upset not to be a fluke when winning another grade 2 stakes one month later. He wasn't disgraced when third in the Hollywood Turf Cup on 11/25 and Prat gets back on, having ridden him very well last summer at the trip when missing by a half-length and neck in the similar Eddie Read Stakes, more signs for a competitive effort. Itsinthepost and Perfectly Majestic were separated by a neck in a highly rated classified allowance at the trip when last seen, with a respectable 112 Equibase figure and so we can use them both in exactas, as well as Twentytwentyvision, who hasn't been worse than third in any of his 14 starts to date.

Bet Ring Weekend to win at odds of 8 to 5 or more. 

Consider a win and place bet on Some in Tieme at odds of 5 to 2 or more, possibly on Flamboyant at those odds or higher as well. 

Play an exacta consisting of Ring Weekend, Some in Tieme and Flamboyant over Ring Weekend, Some in Tieme and Flamboyant, Itsinthepost, Twentytwentyvision and Perfectly Majestic

Play the exacta above in reverse for half-the amount. For example if you play the exacta above for $2 then play the reverse exacta for $1.


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