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Betting with Ellis Starr - October 21/22, 2016

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Key Bets & Races for October 21/22

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Friday, October 21

Pin Oak Valley View Stakes - Race #9 at Keeneland– Approx. Post 5:30 PM ET

Azaelia may be a standout in this year's Valley View Stakes on class alone. In her last start, Azaelia just finished 4th of 16 in the French Oaks with both the winner and runner-up coming back to win off those efforts. She finished 2nd in a Group 3 stakes before that, the class of a group 3 in Europe superior to the class of a North American Grade 3 stakes like this one. Geroux takes the call and repeating any of her last two efforts in France should be good enough to win even though her North American competition is very talented. My Impression won like a good thing in the Commonwealth Oaks last month, a grade 3 stakes just like this one. She's now 4 for 7 in her career and Jose Ortiz has been aboard for 3 of her 4 career wins. The 103 Equibase Figure earned in the Oaks is best among those that have run in North America, but nowhere near the 121 figure equivalent Azaelia having earned in the French Oaks. Sassy Little Lila gets a longshot look to win and a big look to be part of the exacta or trifecta if she gets in from the also-eligible list as she won easily by 5 lengths at Saratoga in her most recent start and has shown improvement since debuting in June. The 99 figure was solid and she was flattered when the 3rd finisher won her next start. Linda may not be disadvantaged by her outside post as she can drop back early to save ground then come around the field as she did in her most recent start when rallying from 7th to win for her 2nd victory in a row, both on grass. Her last race 99 figure is on par with most of the main contenders as it is, but like many in here she still has improving to do as a 3 year old. Cheekaboo comes from dead last much of the time, such as last month when 12th with a quarter mile to go and beaten 2 lengths at the end. She won a stakes on Turf in May and the Grade 2 Honeymoon Stakes in June so on occasion she has demonstrated the kind of ability that can win this race. As such, she rounds out a quintet of contenders. Tin Type Gal, Triple Chelsea and Quidura can be considered contenders for second and third on exacta and trifecta tickets played.

Bet Late Spring to win at odds of 3 to 2 or higher. Consider a second, but smaller, win bet on My Impression at 5/2 or higher. Small ($5 or less) win bets can be made on Sassy Little Lila, Linda and Cheekaboo at 4 to 1 or more.

Play an exacta consisting of Azaelia and My Impression over Azaelia, My Impression, Sassy Little Lila, Linda, Cheekaboo, Tin Type Gal, Triple Chelsea and Quidura.

Play an exacta box consisting of Azaelia, My Impression and Sassy Little Lila.

Play an trifecta consisting of Azaelia and My Impression over Azaelia, My Impression, Sassy Little Lila, Linda, Cheekaboo, Tin Type Gal, Triple Chelsea and Quidura over Azaelia, My Impression, Sassy Little Lila, Linda, Cheekaboo, Tin Type Gal, Triple Chelsea and Quidura.


Saturday, October 22

Race #8 at Keeneland – Approx. Post Time 4:57 PM ET

Tale of Life won by nearly 5 lengths at Keeneland in April in his first and only race over the surface. He then finished 3rd, 2nd and 1st before moving into stakes company running badly. Back where he belongs, and with leading man Leparoux getting on, a repeat of his NW2x winning effort one before last on 8/19 at Saratoga (with a 114 figure) gets the job done here if repeated. Hesinfront ran the best race of his 32 race career last month at this distance at Churchill Downs, earning a 109 figure in a race scheduled for turf but run on the main track. Claimed out of that race for a hefty $62,500 price tag, winning jockey Albarado rides back and the new trainer (who wins 25% off the claim as it is) put a very strong best of 30 five furlong workout into the horse since then. Catholic Cowboy won at Keeneland in April under IDENTICAL conditions. He drops out of the Grade 1 Woodward Stakes where badly overmatched and considering that win in the spring came off a 2 month layoff and that he's coming off a similar layoff here his chances of being competitive here have to be taken very seriously. Raagheb didn't like turf last out that he was trying for the 1st time so that can be ignored. He won at this distance on dirt in April and won at Keeneland a year ago so is not without a chance to run very well.

Bet Tale of Life to win at odds of 2 to 1 or higher. Consider win bets (of a smaller amount) on Hesinfront, Catholic Cowboy and Raagheb at 4 to 1 or more.

Play an exacta consisting of Tale of Life, Hesinfront, Catholic Cowboy and Raagheb.

Plan an additional exacta consisting of Tale of Life  over Hesinfront Catholic Cowboy and Raagheb.

Play a daily double consisting of Tale of Life, Hesinfront, Catholic Cowboy and Raagheb in race 8 with Lightstream, Curlin's Approval and Lucy N Ethel in race 9.


Maryland Million Classic - Race #10 at Laurel– Approx. Post Time 5:13 PM ET

Admirals War Chest, winner of the 2015 Maryland Million Classic at 9 to 2 odds, opens at 9 to 2 odds here in spite of coming into the race on a nearly identical pattern. He won his last start before last year's Classic, an allowance race on a sloppy track at a mile and 70 yards, and he enters this year's race off a win on a sloppy track in an allowance race at a mile and 70 yards. He gets the same jockey and has every right to repeat. Just Jack is the other win contender, with a 4 for 8 record in his career and coming in off a win in his dirt route debut 20 days ago over the track under Carrasco, who rides here. He's a 3 year old that has beaten older three times already and would be no surprise. Flash McCaul and Noteworthy Peach both should be considered for the runner-up spot on exacta tickets.

Bet Admirals War Chest to win at 2 to 1 or higher.

Play an exacta consisting of Admirals War Chest & Just Jack over Admirals War Chest, Just Jack, Flash McCaul and Noteworthy Peach.


Lexus Raven Run Stakes- Race #9 at Keeneland - Post Time 5:30 PM ET

Lightstream has shown ability in every one of her five starts to date and since her career debut in March when winning at this seven furlong trip with a stakes quality 116 Equibase Figure. Proving that to be no fluke, she won the Beaumont Stakes at Keeneland in the spring in only the second start of her career. In her most recent race, Lightstream rallied furiously from sixth to be beaten just three-quarters of a length in the Test Stakes at this distance, bringing her record at seven furlongs to three wins and one runner-up finish in four races. With a good outside post for the Raven Runand reunited with Julien Leparoux, who rode her to her first two wins including the Beaumont¸ Lightstream should be able to stalk likely pacesetter Lucy N Ethel from the start and go by in the late stages just as she did in the Beaumont six months ago. Curlin's Approval is a rising start among three year old filly sprinters. She has won three of four career starts including her most recent effort. That effort came in the Added Elegance Stakes in Florida, in which she sat in second for the first half mile before gradually drawing off to win. The 105 figure she earned is on par with the figure Lightstream earned when second in the Test and so if this gal can repeat that effort, she has every right to win the Raven Run. It is always difficult to rank unbeaten horses, particularly those with credentials in graded stakes, below others, and that is certainly the case with Lucy N Ethel, who is a perfect four-for-four in her career. After winning two races in Pennsylvania in November and December, the latter of the two with a 102 figure, Lucy N Ethel ventured to Florida to take the Old Hat Stakes in January before a freshening. Returning in September, she posted the upset at 22 to 1 in the Prioress Stakes with a career best 114 figure that could put the rest of these to shame if repeated. However, that may not be repeatable as the Prioress was run at six furlongs and Lucy N Ethel has never run this seven furlong distance. Still, she has the top early speed in the race and any horse that tries to go with her will have the wind taken out of their sales so that's unlikely to happen, leaving Lucy N Ethel all alone on the lead in the early stages. Considering that style has led to her four wins to date, she could win again.

Bet Lightstream to win at odds of 2 to 1 or more. Make a second, smaller, win bet on Curlin's Approval at 4 to 1 or higher.

Play an exacta box consisting of Lightstream, Curlin's Approval and Lucy N Ethel.

Play the same three horses in a trifecta box.


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