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Betting with Ellis Starr - September 2, 2017

Posted by on in 123racing Pick6 Wager
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Key Bets & Races for Saturday, September 2

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Cross - Country Pick 4 – Starts at 6:11 PM with Race 10 (Spinaway Stakes) at Saratoga

Leg 1 (Saratoga Race 10) – Separation of PowersLady IvankaPure Silver

Leg 2 (Saratoga race 11) – Gun Runner

Leg 3 (Del Mar race 7) – PoeticDancing BelleMoonshine MemoriesJust a SmidgeSpectator

Leg 4 (Del Mar race 9) – Pretty GirlMrs McDougalCambodiaGoodyearforrosesMadame Stripes

The cost at the $0.50 minimum bet amount is $37.50

Spinaway Stakes – Race 10 at Saratoga – Post time 6:11 PM ET

This may be my last 123racing blog for a while as they make some business changes. If you've appreciated these insights please let them know you would like me to continue. In the Spinaway Stakes, Pure Silver isn't the lock her even money starting odds make it appear she is. Lady Ivanka is playable opening at 9 to 2 as she won easily by 8 lengths in her debut last month and Ortiz rides back, the filly having put in a big best of 55 four furlong workout coming into the race to send a big signal she's in top shape. Pure Silver is 3 for 3 and certainly can win, as can Separation of Powers, who opens at 6 /5 off an 11 length debut win.

Bet Lady Ivanka to win at odds of 2 to 1 or more. Use all three horses on any double or pick 3 tickets played as well as in the Pick 4 that starts this page.


Woodward Stakes - Race #11 at Saratoga – Post Time 6:46  PM ET

"Nothing to see here, move along." Gun Runner might get a challenge from Rally Cry off his win at the distance over the track but when a horse this good has the chance to control the pace in a short field it makes it very difficult to beat him. The good news is Gun Runner, when used as a single (the only horse in a multi-race sequence), turns the Pick 4 into a Pick 3 and the Pick 3 into a double.


Del Mar Debutante- Race #7 at Del Mar – Post Time 8:10 PM ET, 5:10 PM PT

Poetic earned an 87 Equibase Speed Figure winning in her career debut on July 30 and although a bit lower than the best figures in the field such as the 99 figure earned by Gas Station Sushi in her career debut one week later, it was the manner in which Poetic earned the win that has me believing she can win the Debutante. Poeticwas seventh in the early stages of that race and moved up with little encouragement from jockey Mike Smith as she went from fifth, to third, to the front with about one-sixteenth of a mile to run. Poetic showed a lot of maturity with that effort and as she is likely to improve by leaps and bounds both physically and mentally. With the outside post she is likely to get a very good trip in the Debutante and therefore is my top choice to win.

Dancing Belle earned an 87 figure when finishing second to Spectator in the Sorrento Stakes last month at Del Mar, beaten five and one-quarter lengths. However, typical of the way the Desormeaux brothers (trainer Keith and jockey Kent) think, I believe that effort served as a prep for an even better effort in the Debutante. In the Sorrento, Dancing Belle was fifth in the early stages and when Desormeaux asked her to run Spectator had already scooted off to a two and one-half length margin. Rather than ask his horse for any more, Desormeaux made sure Dancing Belle was clearly second and just let her run to the wire. That effort reminded me of the effort Texas Red put forth at Del Mar in the 2014 FrontRunner Stakes when he was third before taking a big step forward to post the upset in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile. As such, I think Dancing Belle is the biggest late threat in the field and if she can out-finish Poetic in the final eighth of a mile, she can win.

Moonshine Memories appears on paper to have led from start to finish when winning in her career debut last month, but actually she was second between points of call and responded to multiple challenges before drawing off to win by a length. With a strong 96 figure to improve upon, Moonshine Memories does lose the services of Mike Smith to Poetic, but her replacement, Flavien Prat, is the leading jockey at the meet. Another likely to improve off the experience of a race, Moonshine Memories deserves respect as a contender in this year's Debutante.

Just a Smidge broke a couple of lengths slowly in her debut in mid-July, moving up steadily to be second with a half-mile to go then edging clear to win by a length and one-quarter. The 87 figure earned was as good as the figure Poetic earned winning her debut and Dancing Belle earned when second in the Sorrento Stakes. Considering Just a Smidge won on her own without the jockey using the crop, she has a lot of upside as well.

It's incredibly difficult to rank Spectator this low among contenders as she is the only horse to have two wins, with the last coming in the Sorrento Stakes over the track. She was my top pick in the Sorrento owing to the fact her maiden win produced four next-out winners and she proved an easy victress at 4 to 1 in that race with a 97 figure that is the second best last race figure in the field. Considering she, along with Sorrento runner-up Dancing Belle and Gas Station Sushi, are the only horses to have run as far as six and one-half furlongs, the additional half-furlong is of no consequence and therefore it is very conceivable Spectator could continue to keep her unbeaten record intact with a win in the Debutante.

About the rest (since there are only three): Gas Station Sushi earned the best last race figure (99) in the field with a strong win after breaking slowly. Horses that win after trouble are often overbet in their next starts but she's certainly not without a chance. Gabrielleelizabeth ships in from Florida off a very strong win with an 82 figure and from the rail is the likely early leader. Three horses behind her in her last race came back to win and she worked very quickly at Del Mar since shipping in. Piedi Banchi earned an 82 figure with a sharp win last month but at five furlongs so it may be asking a lot to run as well at this seven furlong distance in a field in which most of the others have run farther already.

Bet Poetic to win at 2 to 1 or higher.

Also bet Dancing Belle to win and place at odds of 4 to 1 or higher.

I would not be averse to an addition win bet, on Moonshine Memories, at 3 to 1 or more.

Play a trifecta box consisting of PoeticDancing BelleMoonshine MemoriesJust a Smidge and Spectator.


John C. Mabee Stakes - Race #9 at Del Mar – Post Time 9:10 PM ET, 6:10 PM PT

Pretty Girl and Mrs McDougal are co-top picks here, opening at 8/1 and 5/1, respectively. Pretty Girl comes out of the common Yellow Ribbon Handicap on 8/5 on the course, won by Cambodia, but she was beaten just 3/4 of a length and as such the difference in the two horses odds, 9/2 for Cambodia and 8/1 for Pretty Girl, demands which one we look at first for a wager. Pretty Girl finished 2nd in the Grade 2 Santa Ana Stakes in March and this being her 2nd start off a layoff with Smith riding back Pretty Girl can make up that 3/4 length difference from last out to post the upset. Mrs McDougal finished third in the non-graded Osunitas Stakes on opening weekend and although failing as the 4/5 favorite can win here because she was coming back from 10 months off. Likely to be much more fit and with leading jockey Prat riding back, this gal who won the Grade 2 Lake George Stakes at Saratoga as a 3 year old can run add to her strong record of 5 for 11 on turf particularly as she's making her 2nd start since transferring to the Hall-of-Fame Mandella barn. Cambodia has won 2 of her last 3, both graded stakes, the most recent the similar Grade 2 Yellow Ribbon Stakes, so must no considered a win contender, while Goodyearforroses missed by a half-length to the incomparable Lady Eli in the Grade 1 Gamely Stakes when last seen and fits on all counts as well. Madame Stripes won the Osunitas for her fifth straight "A" effort and her 8/1 odds add to the potential for a nice profit in this field.

Bet Pretty Girl and Mrs McDougal to win at 5 to 2 or higher.

Play an exacta box consisting of Pretty GirlMrs McDougalCambodiaGoodyearforroses and Madame Stripes.

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