Key Bets & Races for Saturday, November 18


Artie Schiller Stakes – Race 8 at Aqueduct – Post time 3:47 PM Eastern Time


Monster Bea ran big last time out on 10/13 at Belmont, better than his 4th place finish makes it appear. He had to wait for room at a critical stage and when clear was closing fast but it was too late. His race before that was a graded stakes in California at a distance (1 3/8 miles) way too far but he’s running at a mile for the 2nd time in a row and three before last at Belmont he missed by a neck in an allowance race with a stakes quality 109 Equibase figure he bettered last out to 112. Last summer, Monster Bea posted the 12/1 upset in the Oceanside Stakes at Del Mar and I think he’s sitting on the same kind of effort here. Fire Away finished in front of Monster Bea in that allowance race last month at Belmont, missing the win by a half-length and also showing a lot of interest and late kick in the final yards. John V sticks with him, getting off Delta Prince to do so, and rode the horse to a sharp win last November over this course with a 106 figure. Like Monster Bea, Fire Away earned a career best figure (115) in his most recent race and could be sitting on another top effort. A Lot comes out of the same race as the other two contenders, having finished 6th, beaten 3 lengths. Not only was A Lot coming back from nearly a year on the bench but he stumbled at the start and lost at least two lengths. A Lot won the very similar Elusive Quality Stakes on the Belmont Turf last spring (2016) and two years ago as a three year old won the Paradise Creek Stakes, also on the turf, so likely to improve physically in his 2nd start off the long layoff, if he get a better break, A Lot can make some significant (I didn’t want to say “A Lot of”) noise in this race. Delta Prince is hard to ignore as a contender but in truth he’s got a shot but is no standout. He opens as the 5/2 favorite based on dropping from a 3rd place finish in a grade 2 stakes when last seen on 9/4 at Saratoga. Before that, Delta Prince just won a NW2X allowance race, something the other three contenders did much earlier in their careers. On the other hand, Delta Prince has never been off the board in seven races and his four efforts this year earned 110, 117, 116 & 113 figures so he certainly fits with these. In addition to these four win contenders, we should consider Night Prowler (3rd in this race last year) and Blacktype (2nd in this race last year and riding a two race winning streak) as contenders, but in watching the Grade 2 Knickerbocker Stakes Blacktype won last month, I wasn’t very impressed with either of their late kicks.


Bet Monster Bea to win at odds of 4 to 1 or more, adding a place bet at 6 to 1 or more.


Bet Fire Away to win as well, also at odds of 4 to1 or more, adding a place bet at 6 to 1 or more. Use a ditching tool like the one at Amwager to help allocate the bets for the best profit.


Play an exacta of Monster Bea, Fire Away, A Lot and Delta Prince over Monster Bea, Fire Away, A Lot, Delta Prince, Night Prowler and Blacktype


Play the reverse of that exacta as well, which is Monster Bea, Fire Away, A Lot, Delta Prince, Night Prowler and Blacktype over Monster Bea, Fire Away, A Lot and Delta Prince


Frost King Stakes – Race 8 at Woodbine – Post time 4:38 PM Eastern Time

Smooth Talk and Silent Sting stick out a bit in this stakes for two year olds, with Silent Sting getting preference insofar as betting is concerned as he opens at 9 to 2 compared to 5 to 2 for Smooth Talk. Silent Sting finished 2nd after leading late in his debut in September then five weeks later improved markedly to win with something left in ridden out fashion, at this 7 furlong trip. Flattered when the runner-up (Beer Pressure, who is also entered here) came back to win, Luis Contreras rides Silent Sting back and appears to have chosen this colt over both Royal Laser, who Contreras rode to his maiden win and a 4th place finish in a stakes. One of just two h9orses in the field to have won at this 7 furlong trip and on an improving pattern of Equibase figure, Silent Sting appears very capable of earning a stakes win in his 3rd career start. Smooth Talk has a similar pattern to Silent Sting, having finished 3rd in his debut then winning easily. He too was flattered when the runner-up from his win came back to win, and like Contreras, Smooth Talk’s jockey, DaSilva, appears to have chosen him to ride as DaSilva rode both Handsome Like Me and favorite Be Vewy Vewy Quiet in their most recent races, the latter in a stakes. It must also be noted that when DaSilva teams up with trainer Day-Phillips, they win at a very strong rate, with 55 victories from 147 races going back five years. Beer Pressure and Be Vewy Vewy Quiet are both consistent horses in form, with a combined record of 3-4-1 in 8 races, so we must use them on exacta and trifecta tickets played.


Bet Silent Sting and Smooth Talk to win at odds of 9 to 5 or higher. If you are an Amwager member use the dutching tool to allocate your win bet appropriately in order to achieve the best profit.


Play an exacta consisting of Silent Sting, Smooth Talk over Silent Sting, Smooth Talk, Beer Pressure and Be Vewy Vewy Quiet


Play an exacta consisting of Silent Sting, Smooth Talk, Beer Pressure and Be Vewy Vewy Quiet over Silent Sting and Smooth Talk


Play a trifecta box consisting of Silent Sting, Smooth Talk, Beer Pressure and Be Vewy Vewy Quiet


Play two more trifectas:


Silent Sting and Smooth Talk over Silent Sting and Smooth Talk over ALL


Silent Sting and Smooth Talk over ALL over Silent Sting and Smooth Talk


Desi Arnaz Stakes – Race 5 at Del Mar – Post time 5:30 PM Eastern Time (2:30 Pacific Time)

The obvious contenders have the bulk of the probability to win in this year’s Desi Arnaz Stakes but there’s still a play on a low odds overlay with Ms Bad Behavior, who opens at 5 to 2. Ms Bad Behavior is the one to beat based on her very strong 3 1/2 length winning effort last out at 6 1/2 furlongs under Pereira, who rides back. That effort yielded a career best and field high 101 Equibase figure that will be tough to beat particularly if it is improved upon as it should be. Midnight Beau missed by a nose to Dream Tree last month, both making their career debuts, with decent 93 figures that logically should be improved upon off the experience of a race, but they would need to improve significantly to beat Ms Bad Behavior is they are to win this race as long as she improves even a little off her last start. 


Bet Ms Bad Behavior to win at 6 to 5 or higher, a low odds overlay


Play doubles using Ms Bad BehaviorMidnight Beau and Dream True in race 5 with YuvetsiGo ArgentoSnow CloudPainting CornersZero Zee and Not Too Shiny in race 6

Play additional doubles using Ms Bad Behavior in race 5 with YuvetsiGo ArgentoSnow CloudPainting CornersZero Zee and Not Too Shiny in race 6



Race 6 at Del Mar – Post time 6 PM Eastern Time (3 PM Pacific Time)

With Lajatico and Red Livy, and possibly Bowie, all insisting on the lead at any cost from the moment the gate opens, the three listed contenders should all be rallying strongly past the tiring leaders in the stretch. Yuvetsi ran very well in her first two career starts, last fall, both down the hillside course at Santa Anita. Returning at a mile in her 2017 debut in January she set a fast pace then tired then returning 3 months later down the hill she didn’t show any spark at all. However, with a nice workout pattern including a six furlong work as her most recent, reunited with Van Dyke (up for the first two races and not the two since) and with a good outside post to stalk the speed and stay out of traffic trouble, she could fire a big shot off the 7 1/2 month layoff she’s returning from. Go Argento should also appreciate the fast and contented pace scenario. When last seen in March, she took blinkers off worn for all her previous races and the result was a strong rally to win. Pedroza rides back so the filly has a shot to pick up where she left off earlier this year, with a turf sprint win. Snow Cloud gets a big look if she draws into the race from the also-eligible list, as she’s won 3 times at this 5 furlong turf trip at Del Mar. The most recent of those wins came in July at the higher NW2X level and as she’s won at that level and at this NW1X allowance level she’s eligible to run here if she’s in for the optional 40K claiming price, which she is. Fuentes rode her to that 7/20 win at 11/1 under tougher conditions from an outside post so we can expect the mare to be coming on strongly if she runs. Painting Corners missed by just a half-length last time out under these conditions so should be considered for multi-race bets at the least. Zero Zee was coming back from nine months off in the same race as Painting Corners and can improve off his fifth place finish. Not Too Shiny has a win at the trip but his last two races were poor efforts. Just the same, it’s not a bad idea to go deep in this turf sprint for multi-race bets.


Bet Yuvetsi and Go Argento to win and place at odds of 5 to 2 or higher. Since both open at 12/1, both can be played. Use a ditching tool like the one at to help earn the best profit betting two horses in this situation and others like it. 


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Ellis Starr

Ellis is a well respected handicapper and contributor of AmWager. He has been a public handicapper for more than twenty years, educating racing fans of all skill levels with detailed commentary few other handicappers provide.

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