Key Horse Races & Expert Handicapper Bets - April 24, 2021

Wicked Trick just aced the field at this seven furlong trip and at this NW3X allowance level but is back under identical conditions, essentially getting a second bite at the apple he just ate, because Linda Rice is willing to enter him for the optional $100K claiming price, hoping no one is interested for that hefty amount. Not only did the horse win at this seven furlong distance in his most recent race but he put together SEVEN wins in a row between July of 2019 through January of last year, the first at this distance as well, so now that he’s back in winning form following four defeats since the last of the wins, he’s going to be very tough to beat.

American Power goes for his fifth win in a row and is ALSO in for the optional 100K claiming price as he’s ineligible for the allowance condition. The last two of those wins came at this distance at Aqueduct, and he’s won at Belmont as well so there are no knocks. As to the difference between his starting odds of 3/1 and the 6/1 Wicked Trick opens at, I don’t understand as Wicked Trick has earned as high as a 112 Equibase figure in his career while American Power has earned up to a 108 figure. Still, at anywhere near his 3/1 starting odds he may be playable to win, with a VULNERABLE favorite in Looking At Bikinis (2/1) in the race coming back from five months off and easily defeated twice as the favorite at the level last fall.

Handicapper Picks

WinWicked Trick AND American Power to win at odds of 2 to 1 or more.

This is absolutely the kind of race to bet two horses to win if the odds are right because of the false favorite Looking At Bikinis.

When making multiple win bets, use a “Dutching” tool to do the work of allocating your wagering dollars for the best edge. A Dutching tool lets you set the amount you want to bet or the amount you want to win, then based on the odds your bets are proportioned accordingly. Amwager has a great dutching tool available, among many other great features.

Exacta: Box Wicked Trick and American Power


Race 7Wicked TrickAmerican Power

Race 8Therapist


Race 7Wicked Trick

Race 8TherapistOlympic RunnerFront Run the Fed

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Elusive Quality Stakes – Race 8 at Belmont – Post Time 4:40 PM Eastern

Therapist gets top billing and is a key low odds overlay win bet, opening at 7/2. He won the IDENTICAL First Defence Stakes last June, off a layoff from the previous October, and is returning from a layoff since November today. He also won the 2019 Elusive Quality Stakes as the 5 to 2 second choice. Those are just two of NINE career wins in 22 turf races, and he appears ready to fire a winning shot fresh and to give Eric Cancel (who rides Wicked Trick) back-to-back wins on the card.

Front Run the Fed is a contender but not a good win bet, opening ta 2/1. He has won four of 10 turf races including the Better Talk Now Stakes last summer at Saratoga. Like Therapist, Front Run the Fed returns from a layoff since last November and although he finished fourth off a similar layoff last May he did win off a similar layoff in the spring of 2019.

Olympic Runner opens at ridiculously high 12/1 odds and helps make this a profitable race if part of the exacta. He had no interest in running in the much tougher Grade 2 Muniz Memorial last out at the end of March but prior that was first or second in four stakes including when missing a neck in a career-best effort in the Grade 3 Canadian Turf Stakes just before the Muniz. Any of those four efforts repeated here make him very competitive and I would not hesitate to bet on him anywhere near his 12/1 starting odds.

Handicapper Picks

WinTherapist to win at odds of 2/1

Exacta: Box TherapistFront Run the Fed and Olympic Runner

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San Francisco Mile Stakes – Race 9 at Golden Gate Fields – Post Time 7:45 PM Eastern

Keeper Ofthe Stars checks all the boxes when it comes to predicting which horse has the highest probability to win this year’s San Francisco Mile Stakes. A winner of six of 13 career starts on turf, the mare beat some of the top fillies and mares in the U.S. last year twice in a row, first when winning the Buena Vista Stakes in February at this mile trip with a 112 Equibase Speed Figure and second when taking the Gamely Stakes last May with a career-best 115 figure. After a couple of disappointing efforts in June and August, Keeper Ofthe Stars was given time off, returning in top form following eight months off to win on the Golden Gate turf three weeks ago. Having put together back-to-back wins twice in the last 18 months and with a lot of improving to do physically in her second start back from a layoff, this mare (who gets a five pound weight break versus her male rivals) is the one to beat.

Ohio (BRZ) also enters this race off a sharp effort in victory, winning the Cotton Fitzsimmons Mile Handicap at Turf Paradise for the third year in a row. With that win, Ohio (BRZ) brought his record at one mile on turf to seven for 20, including when victorious in the Frank E. Kilroe Mile at Santa Anita in March, 2019, with a career best 119 figure. In the fall of that year, Ohio (BRZ) finished second in the Berkeley Handicap at Golden Gate. His win in the Fitzsimmons Stakes came in his second start back following 10 months off so like Keeper Ofthe StarsOhio (BRZ) can be expected to improve off the 104 figure earned last time out and could give Keeper Ofthe Stars all she can handle in the stretch run.

Restrainedvengence is certainly no slouch, having earned more than any other horse in the field. His best effort may have been when beaten a head in the City of Hope Mile at Santa Anita in the fall of 2019 where he earned a 113 figure, but he also ran just as well when capturing the All American Stakes last May at Golden Gate with a 112 figure. Like the other two top contenders, Restrainedvengence is likely to improve, having returned from five months off in March when sixth then running a much better race last month when second in the Santana Mile Stakes. Although he finished fourth in last year’s San Francisco Mile, Restrainedvengence won his only other start on the Golden Gate turf course and must be respected as a contender to win in this year’s race.

Handicapper Picks


Win: Bet Two of the Three contenders among Keeper Ofthe StarsOhio and Restrainedvengence to win at odds of 2 to 1 or more, with preference to the pair at the highest odds near post time. With a bad favorite in the race in Whisper Not, we have a lot of value in making this bet.

This is another race where a DUTCHING tool does us a lot of good and helps us to make a profit. Both horses open at 6/1 and at that level we would be evenly but it is unlikely both will be the same odds near post time so a Dutching tool saves us doing the math to determine the right wagering amounts.

Exacta: Box Keeper Ofthe StarsOhio and Restrainedvengence


Race 9Keeper Ofthe StarsOhio and Restrainedvengence

Race 10StyledomeMiss Peaky Blinder

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California Oaks – Race 10 at Golden Gate Fields – Post Time 8:15 PM Eastern

Miss Peaky Blinder just broke her maiden in her most recent race, on March 7, BUT then again few of these have more than maiden or claiming wins to their credit. The win came when shipping up to Golden Gate from Santa Anita and moving from turf to all-weather, and I highly suspect trainer Neil Drysdale was testing the filly to see if she took to the surface with this race in mind. The effort yielded an 84 Equibase Speed Figure which is within two points of three other horses and nearly the best in the field. The reason for that big effort may not have just been the switch to all-weather but also wearing blinkers for the first time and I think not only is the effort repeatable, it can be improved up on in her third start following a layoff. She’s a well-bred daughter of Candy Ride who cost $300K at Auction and has every right to be good enough to post the upset here, opening at 10/1.

Styledome opens at lower odds, 4/1, but also has every right to run well enough to win. She won two of nine races in Ireland and those two were her last two before importing to the U.S., more importantly BOTH were on all-weather like the surface at Golden Gate. BOTH were on a left handed track like she will run over in this race as well. Better still, like Miss Peaky Blinker did last month, Styledome ships up from Santa Anita and moves from turf to all-weather, with her fourth place effort at the end of March having earned her a very strong (in this field) 85 figure.

For exactas in the second position we have a number of horse to use, mostly those who may want the lead early and can hang on. Those are Risen LadyA Real HeroPizazz and Freedom Flyer.

Handicapper Picks


Win: Bet BOTH Miss Peaky Blinder and Styledome to win at odds of 3/1 or more.

Exacta: Miss Peaky Blinder and Styledome over Miss Peaky BlinderStyledomeRisen LadyA Real HeroPizazz and Freedom Flyer.

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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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