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Betting with Ellis Starr - May 13, 2017

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Key Bets & Races for Saturday, May 13


Peter Pan Stakes - Race #4 at Belmont Park – Post Time 3:04 PM ET

Meantime appears to have an edge in the "early pace" department as he led from start to finish when winning his most recent race decisively on April 22. That effort came at the same nine furlong trip as the Peter Panand on a wet track he's likely to get again. There is only one other horse in the field (Lookin At Blessing)that won leading from start to finish, but that win came last September and after setting slow fractions. With Jose Ortiz riding, Meantime should secure an easy early lead, relax, and find enough to hold off the closers and earn his first stakes win, offering value for a win bet at he opens at 5 to 1. 

Master Plan didn't make it into the Derby starting gate from the also-eligible list last week as no horse scratched from the main body of the race but finds a good spot here if he gets some pace to set up his late kick. He started his three year old campaign off with a win in the OBS Championship Stakes in January then finished third in the U.A.E. Derby last month, beaten just over a length in a field of 16. He worked well at Churchill on Derby day and could be set for a career best effort but I'll just use him on exacta and multi-race bets like the pick 3 as his 2 to 1 starting odds are too low to consider him for a win bet.

Timeline is a perfect two-for-two in his career, both wins coming around one turn. In his second start, last month at Aqueduct on a sloppy track, he coasted to a 13 length win but that win came in a field of six and at the first allowance condition so this graded stakes level may be significantly tougher. Nevertheless, if Timeline repeats his last race and none of the others improve significantly, he could be tough to beat.

Bet to Meantime towin at odds of 2 to 1 or more.

Play two exacta boxes: Meantime & Master Plan, Meantime and Timeline

Desert Code Stakes - Race #4 at Santa Anita – Post Time 5:30 PM ET

Arms Runner is the fastest horse in the field, faster than Cistron when he won the Northern Spur Stakes, based on the 103 Equibase speed figure earned when breaking is maiden at first asking just three weeks ago. In that win, Arms Runner showed a lot of maturity coming from off the pace to win and did so down this hillside turf course which is very difficult to win on first time out. Arroyo rides back, the colt has improving to do off the experience of a race, and except for Cistron the rest the field is composed of horses with one career win just like him. 

Cistron is a stakes winner on the dirt and a two time winner on turf, but both wins came at a mile. He's never won sprinting and he's never even run down the hillside course, which could place him at a slight disadvantage to Arms Runner. Nevertheless, the 100 speed figure he earned last out is the second best in the field and on the cut back from a route to a sprint he could be rolling very nicely in the stretch. 

City Storm, like Arms Runner, won down the hillside course in his only try, which came in his second career start in March. He also came from off the pace and showed a good deal of maturity but gets the slightly disadvantageous rail today. Still, with improving to do of the 94 figure effort, he rounds out a trio that comprises the bulk of the probability to win this race.

Bet Arms Runner to win at odds of 8 to 5 or more. 

Consider a win bet on City Storm at odds of 3 to 1 or more.

Play a double consisting of Arms Runner, Cistron and City Storm in race 4 with Kimbear, American Anthem and Bobby Abu Dhabi in race 5.

Play a double consisting of Arms Runner in race 4 with ALL (six horses) in race 5.

Play a double consisting of ALL (seven horses) in race 4 with Kimbear in race 5.

Lazaro Barrera Stakes - Race #5 at Santa Anita – Post Time 6:00 PM ET 

Kimbear rallied from 12 of 13 to sixth in the Santa Anita Derby last time out, his first two–turn race on dirt. Prior to that in his only start at this seven furlong trip he won decisively and in his only other dirt sprint he finished second to multiple winner Iliad. With a strong fourth best of 49 five furlong workout since raced and back at the distance of his best effort, which yielded a field high 103 Equibase speed figure, Kimbear could take some beating. 

American Anthem finished 12th in the Santa Anita Derby after fading badly, beaten six positions and six lengths by Kimbear at the end. He did win a sprint in his career debut last December with a 99 figure so has to be considered as a contender here but will be overbet so although we have to use him on double tickets played he is likely a poor win bet. 

Bobby Abu Dhabi rallied for second into wire-to-wire winner Aristocratic last month and could be running on nicely again as Aristocratic should have lots of company on the front end because Sutton Impact is also a need-the-lead type & capable of running the opening half-mile in 44 and change. He's never been worse than third in three career dirt sprints and must be considered for exacta tickets played as well as multi-race bets like the double.

Bet Kimbear to win at odds of 8 to 5 or more

Race #9 at Santa Anita– Post Time 8:00 PM ET

Liar's Smoker has won a third of his 21 career starts, all seven victories coming on turf including one at Santa Anita in her most recent race. That win came in her second start and first route off the Hollendorfer claim, with Nakatani in the saddle for the first time and riding back again today so a similar effort can be expected. She fits on all counts at this first allowance condition she is still eligible for even though she has seven wins, yet she opens at 10 to 1 which makes her a potential key longshot bet on the day. 

Salsita has been very consistent in her career with 15 first or second place finishes in 33 races including a pair of wins on the Santa Anita turf course. Although seventh in her most recent race, she was only beaten three quarters of a length for the runner-up spot. Dropping in class from 2x allowance/optional $62,500 claiming to this 1x allowance/optional $40,000 claiming level, which she won at last August, she has every right to be in the exacta at the very least. 

All That Heat ran the best race of her career in her most recent start at this mile trip on grass at Santa Anita when winning by two lengths. Prat has been up for both wins, which came since blinkers were added last June, and as she's two for three with blinkers on at a mile on grass (beaten three quarters of a length in her only other start at the trip) she must be given a long look for any and all wagers we make involving this race.

Bet Liar's Smoker to win at odds of 2 to 1 or higher.

Play an exacta of Liar's Smoker, Salsita and All That Heat over ALL.

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