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Betting with Ellis Starr - October 1, 2016

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Key Bets & Races for Saturday, October 1 including Santa Anita Pick 4


Rodeo Drive Stakes - Race #8 at Santa Anita–Approx. Post Time 4:00 PM PT, 7 PM ET

Avenge is a rapidly improving four year old coming off a pair of wins on turf and peaking at the right time. She just won the Grade 2 John C. Mabee Stakes, the same race last year's Rodeo Drive runner-up (Elektrum) won and she gets Flavien Prat, who has ridden Avenge to four of her five career wins. Considering Avenge has the ability to lead early or sit just off the pacesetter, in this full field that means she should avoid traffic issues many of the others may encounter and that could be the ticket to earning her second graded stakes win in a row. Frenzified won 4 of 11 in her native Great Britain before making her U.S. debut in June. Feeling the effects of having been away from the races for seven months, she finished third in that comeback effort, but two races later she won the CTT & TOC Handicap rather easily, earning a 112 figure that is on par with the 111 and 113 figures that the 2012 and 2014 winners of this race earned and right there with the 113 and 108 figures Avenge earned in her last two starts. Like Avenge, Frenzified can also run close to the front, and from a ground saving inside post she should be in the thick of the action from start to finish. Generosidade posted the 71 to 1 upset this past March when beating males in the San Luis Rey Stakes on this turf course then finished second against males again in the San Juan Capistrano. Winless in three races since, Generosidade may be turning the corner back to top form following a fast closing second behind Frenzified. Last year, Elektrum won the John C. Mabee as a four year old shortly after an allowance level win then finished second in the 2015 Rodeo Drive following that win but is winless in six races since then. On the other hand, Elektrum was narrowly beaten in her two most recent starts, including when third behind Avenge in the Mabee so it would be foolish to leave out Elektrum as a contender when only a half-length short of victory in her most recent race. Decked Out has run nine times so far in 2016, all against three-year-olds. Her only win of the year came in a grade 3 stakes in April but her most recent effort, in the Del Mar Oaks, put her on the radar as a contender in the Rodeo Drive. In the Oaks Decked Out rallied from last of 10 and even though fifth and five paths wide into the stretch she missed catching the winner by a head on the wire. If I went deeper in my contender list, Zipessa, a grade 3 winner one before last, would be next.

Bet Avenge to win at odds of 5 to 2 or higher. Consider win bets, of smaller amounts, on Frenzified at odds of 7 to 2 or higher and on Generosidade at odds of 4 to 1 or higher.

Play an exacta consisting of Avenge, Frenzified, Generosidade, Decked Out, Elektrum and Zipessa.

Play an exacta consisting of Avenge over Frenzified, Generosidade, Decked Out, Elektrum and Zipessa and also play the reverse of that exacta in case Avenge finishes second.

Pick 4 ($0.50 ticket) – total cost $72
Race 8 - Avenge, Frenzified, Generosidade, Decked Out, Elektrum, Zipessa
Race 9 - Beholder, Stellar Wind
Race 10 - Champagne Room, Zapperkat, American Cleopatra
Race 11 – Belvoir Bay, Miss Katie Mae, Great Page, Coppa

I am also playing a pick 3 starting in race 8, covering some other horses that would have made the Pick 4 ticket too costly.

Pick 3 - $1 minimum – total cost $60
Race 8 - Avenge, Frenzified, Generosidade, Decked Out, Elektrum, Zipessa
Race 9 - Beholder, Stellar Wind
Race 10 - With Honors, Noted and Quoted, Champagne Room, Zapperkat, American Cleopatra

Zenyatta Stakes- Race #9 at Santa Anita – Approx. Post Time 4:30 PM PT, 7:30 PM ET

Stellar Wind handed Beholder the first of two losses in a row following eight straight wins. She won the Clement Hirsch on the square and has been rested since, pointing for this race. Beholder beat her prior to that in the Vanity and Beholder finished second to California Chrome in this year's Pacific Classic after the Hirsch. Although she has a heart of gold and a winning spirit, Beholder has yet to earn an Equibase figure over 017 in her wins this year and that gives Stellar Wind, who earned a 108 figure in the Hirsch, every right to win again. Vale Dori will need to improve off the 105 figure effort winning a restricted stakes in her most recent start but this filly still has improving to do in her third U.S. start and with Bejarano riding for Baffert she may be all out to win and earn her ticket to the Breeders' Cup Distaff so can't be ruled out for some pick 3 tickets played, as well as makes the only potentially profitable exacta wagers in the race.

For pick 3 and 4 tickets use Beholder, Stellar Wind and Vale Dori

Play two exacta boxes, one consisting of Vale Dori and Stellar Wind and another consisting of Vale Dori and Beholder.

Pick 3- $1 minimum – cost $60
Race 9 – Beholder, Stellar Wind, Vale Dori
Race 10 - With Honors, Noted and Quoted, Champagne Room, Zapperkat, American Cleopatra
Race 11 – Belvoir Bay, Miss Katie Mae, Great Page, Coppa

Chandelier Stakes – Race #10 at Santa Anita – Approx. Post Time 5:00 PM PT, 8 PM ET

Zapperkat won in her debut in mid-August like a horse with a very bright future winning by five lengths in a field of nine. Bred to adore two-turns she's trying for the first time, as a daughter of Ghostzapper out of a Lion Heart mare, it's onward and upward off a field high 97 Equibase figure, higher than stakes winners, Bitzka (87) , Champagne Room (95), With Honors (87) earned and higher than Del Mar Debutante runner-up American Cleopatra (92) earned. If Zapperkat improves at the same rate from start one to two the others have previously improved at, she should win. Champagne Room was a nose behind American Cleopatra when third in the Debutante and gets a slightly better inside post plus the services of Mike Smith for the first time. American Cleopatra wasn't disgraced when settling for second in the Debutante after leading late and has improving to do in her third career start. Noted and Quoted and With Honors (trying dirt for the first time after winning both career starts, on turf, are both contenders as well.

Bet Zapperkat to win at odds of 3 to 1 or higher.

With Santa Anita moving to a $0.50 minimum trifecta, play a trifecta box consisting of Zapperkat, Champagne Room, American Cleopatra, Noted and Quoted and With Honors (cost is $30).

Unzip Me Stakes - Race #11 at Santa Anita - Approx. Post Time 5:30 PM PT, 8:30 PM ET

Belvoir Bay posted the mild upset in the Grade 3 Torrey Pines Stakes at a mile on dirt last out and drops into a non-graded stakes while cutting back in distance and moving to turf. She won a stakes on turf at a mile two before that so has all the credentials to win here particularly as she was a turf sprint winner in a stakes last summer in England. Coppa won the first three starts of her career including the Grade 3 Victory Ride Stakes when shipping from California to New York in July. She ran poorly in the Grade 2 Prioress Stakes on dirt after that but returns to California and is bred to like the sod. She also has a good outside post and put in a very sharp 3rd best of 74 half mile workout coming into the race so the only question is whether she can transfer her previous dirt form to this downhill turf trip. Miss Katie Mae ships in from New York off a fast closing second, beaten a neck in a stakes just like this one. She won at this 6 1/2 furlong distance on turf in Canada two before that and gets the services of Flavien Prat, who had the biggest meeting of his career at Del Mar so is expected to pick up where he left off at Santa Anita but giving usual perennial leading jockey Rafael Bejarano all he can handle. Speaking of Bejarano, he lands on Great Page here, for Jerry Hollendorfer, the filly making her U.S. debut out of the tremendous barn of Richard Hannon. Racing on Lasix for the first time, Great Page won a group 3 stakes sprinting on turf last summer and has been working steadily for her local bow so take note.

Bet Belvoir Bay and Coppa to win at odds of 3 to 1 or higher. Consider win bets on Miss Katie Mae and Great Page at odds of 4 to 1 or more.

Play an exacta consisting of Belvoir Bay, Coppa, Miss Katie Mae and Great Page

Play a trifecta box consisting of  Belvoir Bay, Coppa, Miss Katie Mae and Great Page

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