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Betting with Ellis Starr - Preakness Day 2017

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Key Bets & Races for Saturday, May 20


The Very One Stakes - Race #5 at Pimlico – Post Time 12:51 PM ET

Pretty Perfection and Everything Lovely finished 1st and 2nd, respectively, under identical conditions on January 28 in a turf Sprint stakes at Gulfstream Park. Pretty Perfection won a stakes race in her next start in March before an excusable 8th place finish last time out when drawing a poor outside post and going 10 paths wide on the far turn. Everything Lovely has been rested since that January race and has been working very well for her return. Combined, these 2 horses have 9 wins on grass in 23 races and pretty much stand out in this field.

Bet Pretty Perfection towin at odds of 9 to 5 or more.

Bet Everything Lovely to win at 2 to 1 or more

Play an exacta of Pretty Perfection and Everything Lovely over ALL

Longines Dixie Stakes - Race #12 at Pimlico – Post Time 5:39 PM ET

Projected, a multiple winner in France, ran fourth in his U.S. debut in a grade 3 stakes in March then ran in an allowance race on April 9 that would've been a stakes race at many tracks as it contained multiple stakes winners Plueven, Kaigun and most significantly, Divisidero, who improved to win the Grade 1 Turf Classic last weekend. In that race last month, Projected battled head and head the entire length of the stretch to prevail by a nose and Rosario rides back for the very strong Brown barn, choosing this horse to ride over to others he rode recently, more signs were looking at a winning effort and a rising star. 

Blacktype ran huge in the Grade 1 Maker's 46 Mile last month when beaten 2 lengths after being unprepared at the start. He had been off 5 months and prior to the layoff and rallied from 10th to 2nd, beaten less in length, in the stakes. Having won the Grade 2 Commonwealth Turf Cup last summer on this circuit, Blacktype may just need to break with his field to earn his 8th career win today. 

World Approval adds to the depth of this great stakes field as he's approaching the million-dollar mark in career earnings. He was scratched on Derby day when the turf course came up less than firm and he's a grade 1 winner who is in form as he won a stakes race when last seen in April following nearly 6 months off. 

Ring Weekend finished 2nd, beaten a neck, in last year's running of this race and enters the race in decent enough form off a pair of fourth-place finishes in very tough company in California at a mile, which may not be his best trip. John Velazquez gets back on and was up for his runner-up finish in this race last year as well as a win 2 races later in a grade 2 stakes just like this one. 

Top of Mind could be our longshot of note to help make us a sweet profit in this race as he finished 1st or 2nd in 4 straight from last June through last October. One of those efforts was when beaten a half-length at 29 to 1 by Blacktype in the Commonwealth Turf Cup so he's proven he fits with these. He may have needed his last start on April 22 following 6 months off and he ran pretty well when rallying from 12 to be beaten less than 3 lengths at the wire so at the minimum we should probably bet a few dollars to win and place as well as to remember to include him on any exacta or multi-race tickets we play involving this race.

Bet Projected to win at odds of 5 to 2 or more

Bet Blacktype to win at odds of 5 to 2 or more

Play an exacta consisting of Projected and Blacktype over Projected, Blacktype, World Approval, Ring Weekend and Top of Mind.

Consider playing the reverse of that exacta as well, which is Projected, Blacktype, World Approval, Ring Weekend and Top of Mind over Projected and Blacktype.

Preakness Stakes - Race #13 at Pimlico – Post Time 6:48 PM ET 

Conquest Mo Money could have the early lead in the Preakness very little early pace pressure, or he could find himself close at hand in second if Always Dreaming insists on having the early lead. Conquest Mo Money won the first three races of his career, all around two turns and including two stakes races, before a second place finish in the Sunland Derby. Next out in the Arkansas Derby, Conquest Mo Money had to battle for the early lead from the start but showed a lot of physical and mental toughness to still be leading in the stretch before being passed by Classic Empire in the final stages. Having earned a career best 102 Equibase Speed Figure in the Arkansas Derby and on a pattern for significant improvement, as well as being much more fresh than the five horses that ran in the Kentucky Derby just two weeks ago, Conquest Mo Money may be able to establish a leisurely pace and go all the way to post the upset in this year's Preakness.

Always Dreaming improved to a career-best 104 figure when winning the Kentucky Derby authoritatively by two and three-quarter lengths. Not threatened in the last eighth of a mile in the Kentucky Derby, or in the Florida Derby before that, Always Dreaming is on an improving pattern of figures which suggests he hasn't peaked yet. Drawn inside of the only other horse with early speed, Always Dreaming could lead from start to finish, or he could sit second early and stay within touch of likely pacesetter Conquest Mo Money to can go by that one as easily as he did the pacesetter in the Derby. 

Classic Empire was treated like a pinball at the start of the Derby when bumped very hard in the opening strides. Later in the race, when asked to rally he responded nicely and was bumped again with about an eighth of a mile to go. Still, he ended up fourth and was making up ground on the third place horse as the field crossed the wire. With a better early placement in the Preakness, Classic Empire could run back to his Arkansas Derby effort which earned a 103 figure. As such, Classic Empire deserves a great deal of respect as a win contender in this race.

Bet Conquest Mo Money to win, or to win and place, at odds of 4 to 1 or more

Play an exacta of Conquest Mo Money and Classic Empire over Always Dreaming, Conquest Mo Money, Classic Empire, Multiplier, Cloud Computing, Senior Investment and Lookin At Lee

Play a trifecta of Always Dreaming over Conquest Mo Money, Classic Empire, Multiplier, Cloud Computing, Senior Investment and Lookin At Lee

Kona Gold Stakes - Race #9 at Santa Anita– Post Time 8:00 PM ET

Calculator cuts back to one turn, his best trip, with two wins, two second place finishes and one third place finish from his last five one-turn races. Arroyo rode him just once previously, to a strong off-the-pace win one before last on March 2 following 6 1/2 months off and he was way over his head in the Grade 1 Maker's Mark Mile off that effort. Since returning to California, Calculator has put in three big workouts including a smashing 1:10 six furlong drill. He should be mid-pack early and up in time to win here. 

Eastwood returned from 22 months off in April and ran big for 2nd in a highly rated race. Arroyo moves to the top pick (another sign for Calculator) but Talamo is an able replacement and with improving to do 2nd off the layoff Eastwood should not be counted out as a contender. 

Ransom the Moon also makes his 2nd start off the layoff, having returned from nearly five months off on April 30 for a sharp 4 length win under Prat, who rides back. That win came at this 6 1/2 furlong trip and the horse has come back to work very sharply for the hot D'Amato barn so rounds out a trio for exacta profit at the least.

Bet Calculator to win at odds of 2 to 1 or higher.

Consider win bets on Eastwood and Ransom the Moon at odds of 3 to 1 or more

Play an exacta box between Calculator, Eastwood and Ransom the Moon

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



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