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Betting with Ellis Starr - June 10, 2017

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Key Bets & Races for Saturday, June 10


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. 

Pick 3

Race 4 – Union Strike, Abel Tasman, Benner Island, Sweet Loretta and Salty.

Race 5 – Songbird

Race 6 – Disco Partner, Green Mask, Holding Gold, Undrafted, Hogy and Stormy Liberal

Cost at $1 is $30

Manhattan Stakes - Race #10 at Belmont Park – Post Time 5:37 PM ET

Potemkin makes his U.S. debut in this year's Woodford Reserve Manhattan Stakes and offers excellent value, opening at 8 to 1. He adds Lasix off a 7th place effort in a group 1 stakes when very well regarded at 4 to 1 and prior to that he won a Group 1 stakes at this 10 furlong turf trip when nearly favored at 5 to 2 so he fits on all counts. Time Test made his U.S. debut last month so may have a slight experience edge in terms of domestic racing over the top pick. He battled head-and-head the last 8th of a mile in that race here at Belmont and missed by a nose on the wire. In Europe he was a group stakes winner just like Potemkin and with Castellano taking the mount he deserves as much respect as a win contender as Potemkin does. World Approval is the best of the U.S. contingent, as he's earned $1.1 million in his career including the Grade 2 Dixie Stakes in his most recent race. He won the G1 United Nations Stakes last summer and as he's making his 3rd start of the year could move up a stakes level to win again at this G1 level.. 

Bet Potemkin and Time Test to win at odds of 5 to 2 or more. 

Play an exacta consisting of Potemkin, Time Test and World Approval over Potemkin, Time Test, World Approval, Beach Patrol and Ascend. 

Play the above exacta in reverse as well. 

Belmont Stakes - Race #11 at Belmont Park – Post Time 6:37 PM ET

Epicharis showed excellent tactical speed in his five starts to date, racing on the lead or just off the pace. Epicharis stalked the pace in the U.A.E. Derbyin the early stages, took over about mid-race, fought hard with eventual winner Thunder Snow before coming up a nose short on the wire. Thunder Snow came back to just miss in a group stakes in Europe last week which could help flatter Epicharis. Rested since the end of March, Epicharis enters the Belmont Stakes fresh and fit and in a field in which many are hoping to rebound off very poor recent efforts. Therefore he gets top billing to pull off the mild upset, opening as the second betting choice at 4 to 1 odds. Note: Epicharis was treated with an anti-inflammatory earlier this week for an issue with a foot or leg but his connections expect him to run as of this writing. 

Meantime is an improving type who earned a career best 106 Equibase Figure when second in the Peter Pan Stakes last month at Belmont. Experience over the track can be a positive factor and the Peter Pan served as a prep for 2014 Belmont winner Tonalist. Meantime has never been worse than second in the early stages of his races and should be in a good position from the start once again. He also benefits from the services of North American leading rider Mike Smith in the saddle for the first time and so I expect him to run a lot better than his 15 to 1 starting odds suggest. 

Senior Investment had some traffic trouble during the running of the Preakness but managed to rally swiftly when clear, going from eighth at the top of the stretch to third at the wire. Prior to that, Senior Investment earned a career best 107 figure when victorious in the Lexington Stakes. With both the Preakness winner (Cloud Computing) and runner-up (Classic Empire) not running in the Belmont, Senior Investment inherits the role of the horse with the best finish in a recent Triple Crown race and should be running on past many of the other Belmont runners in the last quarter mile.

For exactas and trifectas:

 Lookin At Lee could not duplicate his fast finish for second in the Derby (with a career best 101 figure) when fourth in the Preakness but on the other he hand was just three-quarters of a length behind Senior Investment so he should be considered for the second and third position on exacta and trifecta tickets played. I will also consider Hollywood Handsome for those wagers, as he got his confidence back a bit with an off-the-pace win in an allowance race (with a 98 figure) following a fifth place finish in the Illinois Derby. Another reason to consider Hollywood Handsome is due to his trainer, Dallas Steward, having had a number of horses run well at high odds in Triple Crown races over the past few years such as Commanding Curve, Golden Soul and Tale of Verve. 

The rest:

Since readers will be wondering why I didn't pick certain horses, here are my comments on the rest. These are horses I am not considering as win contenders include the quintet who ran poorly in the Derby such as Irish War Cry (10th), Gormley (ninth), J Boys Echo (15th), Patch (14th) and Tapwrit (sixth) as I just can't expect a rebound to competitive form off those efforts. Twisted Tom won two non-graded stakes recently so doesn't appear competitive at this level. Multiplier ran well to win the Illinois Derby in April but finished a non-threatening sixth 0in the Preakness.

Make a win bet on Epicharis at 5 to 2 or higher.

Make a win bet on Meantime at 7 to 2 or higher, adding a place bet at 7 to 1 or higher.

Make a win bet on Senior Investment at 7 to 2 or higher, adding a place bet at 7 to 1 or higher.

Play an exacta consisting of Epicharis, Meantime and Senior Investment over Epicharis, Meantime, Senior Investment, Hollywood Handsome and Lookin At Lee.

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



    DUNCAN, MARK Sunday, 11 June 2017

    The biggest reason to play here is the 123 game. The weekly contest does more harm than good. The same 3 people win every week because they put in the time to play every contest. The new lower rewards are going to keep us from playing here often, too. Other sites offer comparable rewards and I can get race programs there for free (with rebates). Your PP page almost never even works. I'm not even able to make posts because you have me "disabled by administrator".

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