Key Races & Bets for Saturday April 22nd, 2023

Race 4 at Keeneland – Post Time 2:36 PM Eastern

A quick glance at this race, and then a more thorough examination, yields the same conclusion. Market Analysis appears to tower over this field of high priced ($62,500) claimers. He joined the high percentage Diodoro stable between October, 2021 and January 2022 and won his first start for the new barn very easily in a field of 10, then finished second after leading late, then won again. Stepped up a bit over his head he finished eighth in the Grade 3 Oaklawn Mile Stakes a year ago this month and then when dropped in class to win he stumbled at the start and lost all chance. Given two months off, Market Analysis returned last July at this seven furlong trip and won more easily than it looked in a nine horse field, setting a track record. He’s been off since then but since he fired to win both last January off a rest and again in July we should have confidence he is set to fire big once again and if he does he’s going to be very tough to beat particularly because his off-the-pace style is set up by need-the-lead types Newbomb, who won’t have an easy lead to himself because Pole Setter (with a seven pound apprentice) will also want the lead at any cost from the moment the gate opens.

Handicapper Picks

Win: Opening at 9 to 2 odds, Market Analysis could be a big low odds overlay because his probability of success suggests his odds should be about 8 to 5 and he should be bet at any odds above that 8 to 5 threshold.

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Ben Ali Stakes – Race 9 at Keeneland – Post Time 5:16 PM Eastern

Top Contenders:
Among three horses which can win this race, Trademark is very likely to offer the best return for a win bet, opening at 6 to 1. This is in spite of having earned nearly a half-million dollars and having won two of his last three races. Those two wins came last October and November and most importantly the first of the two wins came here at Keeneland six months to the day, at the distance of one mile and one-eighth which is very similar to the mile and three-sixteenths distance of this race. He returned from three and one-half months off in March in the Challenger Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs and at a shorter distance and led for the first half-mile before tiring to fifth, which might have been expected. Now that he has a race in the books after the layoff, and as he returns to the track he earned a big win over, with a 106 Equibase Speed Figure that would be competitive with the best of these if repeated, Trademark has every right to post the mild upset and win.

Pioneer of Medina comes from the strong Pletcher barn and also fits at this level and trip. He won the Grade 3 Mineshaft Stakes one race before last in February, prior to that finishing second in the Harlan’s Holiday Stakes. His most recent effort was a poor sixth in the New Orleans Classic Stakes and so he gets a change of jockey to red hot Tyler Gaffalione (10 for 41 at the meeting). From the ground saving rail Pioneer of Medina has a lot of options such as to try to go for the lead or to come from off the pace, and he’s won with both running styles previously. Considering his Mineshaft effort earned a 109 figure he fits perfectly with these and would be no surprise if winning.

Skippylongstocking is certainly a win contender but opening at 7 to 5 odds he’s the one we would least like to win in terms of win bet profit. He’s won five of 16 races in his career including the Challenger Stakes in March (in which Trademark was fifth) and he won the Harlan’s Holiday Stakes in December (in which Pioneer of Medina was second). Irad Ortiz, Jr. was up for both wins and rides back and those efforts if repeated would make Skippylongstocking competitive here, BUT he’s no standout as they yielded 105 and 106 figures where are no better than the best figures in representative races of either Trademark or Pioneer of Medina.

Handicapper Picks

Win: Trademark and Pioneer of Medina at 2 to 1 or more.

If both horses are 2 to 1 or more near post time it’s time to remember when betting two horses at greater than minimum odds/fair odds, it presents a good opportunity to use the free dutching tool at, where you can set the amount you want to bet or the amount you want to win, and the math is done for you to help achieve the best edge. This is just one of many tools, and perks, for bettors at

Exactas: Box Trademark, Pioneer of Medina, Skippylongstocking

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Race 10 at Keeneland – Post Time 5:48 PM Eastern

Top contenders:
With Nobals, Angaston, Just Might, Nobody Listens, Dowagiac Chief and also-eligible Spicy Marg ALL horses which require the lead for their best, and with it requiring only two or three of those to battle on much faster than average fractions, there are three horses which should benefit MIGHTILY from that pace scenario – Mark of the Z, Ice Chocolat and Beer Can Man.

It doesn’t hurt that they have won 18 of 38 combined turf races and finished second in another eight, for a 66% win/place rate either, nor that they open at odds of 8/1, 12/1 and 5/1. Mark of the Z also has shown a liking for the Keeneland turf, having a record of 2-1-0 in 4 races including a win in October 2021 and October of last year, both at the distance and both with E.T. Baird in the saddle as today. He was overmatched in the Shakertown Stakes two weeks ago, won by Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint champion Caravel, and will move up on the slight drop to classified allowance company. Ice Chocolat gets red hot Irad Ortiz, Jr., who has never ridden the horse before and who rarely rides for the Casse barn. Ice Chocolat closed from fifth to win a similar race at Woodbine in October before a bang-up second in the Kennedy Road Stakes and like Mark of the Z is making his second start of the year and dropping from stakes. Beer Can Man ships in from California for superb trainer D’Amato, who has won with both starters he’s shipped into Keeneland at the meeting. Prat has ridden the horse in his last five races, including a win and two runner-up effort and a third place finish, all but one in a stakes race. Beer Can Man is returning from 14 months off but has been sizzling works in California before leaving for Kentucky and is ready to run another “A” race, now as a gelding.

Handicapper Picks

Win: I am looking to bet two of the three horses – Mark of the Z, Ice Chocolat and Beer Can Man, provided they are 5 to 2 odds or higher.

With it being likely we will get exceptional value compared to fair odds on two of the trio of contenders, this is another race where the free and easy to use dutching tool at Amwager is going to be a great asset to our profit making potential.

Box Mark of the Z, Ice Chocolat, Beer Can Man

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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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