Key Horse Races & Expert Handicapper Bets - January 09, 2021

Race 8 at Gulfstream Park – Post Time 3:46 PM Eastern

Grand Saman went to post at 7 to 2 in a race at this identical five furlong turf trip at Gulfstream last month and won easily under Zayas yet he’s 12/1 to start here. This veteran is 9 for 28 on grass, with EIGHT of those wins here on the Gulfstream Turf and at this distance. He was RECLAIMED by trainer Klesaris and owner Hibiscus Stables three back at Monmouth, those connections having lost him via the claim in February and having big success with him previously. Zayas has had big success with the horse was well, with four wins in nine races. Now that he’s back in winning form he should be very dangerous and can easily post the upset.

Long Blade has won six of 13 on turf in his career, three at Gulfstream Park. He moves back to turf off two dirt starts and won his last turf sprint and he’s already won at this level (like Grand Saman) so he’s in for the 25K optional claiming price. He doesn’t need the lead to win and can sit off likely early speed horses Henry’s World, Living Vicariously and Big Drink of Water then make the last move.

Emicrack is an unknown commodity, making his first start in the U.S., second career start and first on Lasix. He won his debut in February of last year in his native Chile and has put in some decent workouts. Trainer Sanchez is a very strong trainer with 15 wins in 72 turf sprints and a 133% profit on win bets and many of those wins have come with Berrios in the saddle. If this colt had broken his maiden in a turf sprint at first asking in the states I doubt he’d be 20/1 on the morning line and I’d be kicking myself if he won or completed the exacta at high odds and I didn’t include him on my tickets.

Freewheeler and Bourbon Currency round out the contenders, with a shot of being part of the exacta or trifecta but not nearly as good win bets as the other three, opening at 6/1 and 4/1 and likely to be bet lower. Freewheeler is 4 for 7 first or second on turf and Bourbon Currency is 11 for 21 first or second on turf but neither is a standout.

Handicapper Picks


Grand Saman and Long Blade at odds of 3 to 1 or more.

For a much smaller amount Emicrack at odds of 8 to 1 or more.

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 and Trifecta:

Box Grand SamanLong BladeEmicrackFreewheeler and Bourbon Currency.

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Race 9 at Gulfstream Park – Post Time 4:17 PM Eastern

South Sea gets slight preference among four horses with about an equal probability to win. He qualified for this $16K starter allowance level when dropping into a $12,500 claiming race last time out and finished third at 3 to 1 and he won back in August at Gulfstream Park at a similar distance (6 ½ furlongs compared to this 7 furlong trip). Red hot Edgard Zayas getting on helps his chances to run even better first off the claim by the high percentage trainer Delgado barn.

All Around ran poorly in the Claiming Crown Rapid Transit Stakes, a starter allowance race similar to this one, but that was one tough group. In a starter allowance race just before that he finished second, just a half-length back, in a big effort and he won two in a row before that. Repeating any of those three efforts gives him a legitimate shot to win and the jockey change from Meneses to Saez helps as well.

Secret Touch and Town Classic open at lower odds than the two aforementioned contenders but other than that fit on all counts to run well enough to win. Secret Touch ships out from California off a third place finish to a horse which won the San Antonio Stakes in his next start and the horse won a similar starter allowance race back in January 2019, as well as put in two nice wins in July and August last year. Town Classic finished second in the Claiming Crown Rapid Transit Stakes, a starter allowance stakes not different from this starter allowance that isn’t a stakes. He’s game but he’s also now finished second in four straight races and in each he has been in front or within a head of the lead with an eighth of a mile to go and still been beaten on the wire. The question is whether he’s just been beaten by one better horse or whether he lacks winning instinct.

Handicapper Picks


South Sea and All Around to win at 3 to 1 or more.

This is the perfect race for using a “Dutching” tool like the free one at Amwager, because it will allocate the win bets based on odds, putting more on the lower odds horse automatically. That is just one of many other great features and perks at

Exacta and Trifecta: Box South Sea, All Around, Secret Touch and Town Classic

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Tropical Turf Stakes – Race 10 at Gulfstream – Post Time 4:49 PM Eastern

Frostmourne and Ride a Comet are the keys to profit here opening at 6/1 and 5/1, with Admission OfficeDoctor MountyAnalyze It and Tusk worth considering on exacta tickets.

Frostmourne has won six of 13 races so knows how to win and likes doing it, with four of those wins coming at this mile trip and one of those a win at Gulfstream. He won five of his first eight including the Grade 2 Penn Mile and Grade 3 Hill Prince Stakes as a three year old, then ran poorly in three straight and took 14 months off until December, 2019. Even though he was off for 11 months, Frostmourne returned last November to win, powerfully, wire-to-wire, in a classified allowance race at Churchill Downs. That was his first start for Kenneally and he’s been off just enough time not to regress second off the layoff. His half-mile workout on 12/31 was sensational and he gets John Velazquez to ride so coming into the race with the BEST last race Equibase figure (117) in the field and having won graded stakes previously, Frostmourne appears to be the one to beat.

That being said, Ride a Comet is in the best form of his career and would be no surprise. He’s seven for 12 in his career and won two in a row since returning from TWO years off in October. He’s two-for-two on turf so the transition from all-weather at Woodbine to the turf is no concern and his recent turf workout at Palm Meadows was sensational as well.

Handicapper Picks

WinFrostmourne and Ride a Comet at odds of 2/1 or more.

This too is the perfect race for using a “Dutching” tool like the free one at Amwager, because it will allocate the win bets based on odds, putting more on the lower odds horse automatically. That is just one of many other great features and perks at

ExactaFrostmourne and Ride a Comet over FrostmourneRide a CometAdmission OfficeDoctor MountyAnalyze It and Tusk.

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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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