Key Races & Bets for Saturday April 27, 2024

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Race 5 at Aqueduct -Post Time 3:28 PM Eastern

Top Contenders: Mister J T, Got Thunder

There is a lot of early speed in this six furlong starter allowance race, with Capone (on the rail) having led at the start or having been within a head of the lead in his last six races. Printrack, Chateau, Ryan’s Cat and possibly Colonel Vargo are also need-the-lead types and it’s only going to take two or three to go all out from the start for all of them to tire late and set up the two closers.

Mister J T gets the outside post and Irad Ortiz, Jr., fresh off a huge meet at Keeneland. Ortiz, Jr. rode the gelding to a win at Aqueduct last October, rallying from fifth early to win by three, and that race is absolutely representative of today’s conditions so the result could be the same, particularly as Mister J T is running first off the claim by Atras and moving from that 32K claiming level to this 16K starter allowance level from which he cannot be claimed.

Got Thunder is part of an entry with Mr Phil, who hasn’t won since April of last year. On the other hand, Got Thunder not only won at this starter allowance level in October, from off the pace, but led late and finished second by a neck in his most recent race, so is sitting on another top effort.


Win: We should consider win bets on Mister J T and on Got Thunder at 2 to 1 or higher odds.

When consider betting two horses at high odds which will be the case here, we should consider DUTCHING the bet, which means to prorate wagers for the best value. There’s a free DUTCHING tool at Amwager which allows us to set the total amount we want to win and prorates our wagers for the maximum edge.

Race 5: Mister J T, Got Thunder
Race 6: Carson’s Run, Good Lord Lorrie, Walley World

Woodhaven Stakes – Race 6 at Aqueduct - Post Time 4:02 PM Eastern

Top contenders: Good Lord Lorrie, Carson’s Run, Walley World

Turf season has started in New York and the Woodhaven is a stakes race at a mile for newly turned three year olds. Good Lord Lorrie gets slight preference even though he’s only run once, mostly because he will go off at higher odds than the other two contenders. That win, last summer at Saratoga, was visually impressive as he was steadied at the start to get away slowly but then he rallied with the maturity of a horse which had run previously, moving up to third then drawing off late. As a more mature three year old, he should be even stronger and he’s bred for the mile as well as gets Prat for strong trainer Weaver.

Carson’s Run won the Grade 1 Summer Stakes last summer at Woodbine, on the turf, in a field of nine and did so with authority when rallying from last of nine. He didn’t run well in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf last November when ninth but he too has been freshened for his three year old campaign. He won in his debut around two turns on turf so there’s little doubt he can run well enough to win fresh, and obviously even if his odds are too low for a win bet he’s a must to use on exacta, double and multiple race bets we make involving this race.

Walley World has run three “A” races in a row since a poor debut last September at Saratoga but with a legitimate excuse as he clipped heels and stumbled. He finished second in a stakes race here at Aqueduct in November and returned in February to finish second in a race on the grass in Florida. Franco was up for his win and stakes placed effort and rides him back so Walley World rounds out a trio which stands out against the others in this field.


Win: Good Lord Lorrie and Carson’s Run have minimum odds of 2 to 1. Walley World has minimum odds of 5 to 2.

As it is likely Good Lord Lorrie will exceed that threshold, he is the one we are most likely to want to bet on.

Exacta: Box Good Lord Lorrie, Carson’s Run, Walley World

Star Shoot Stakes - Race 8 at Woodbine - Post Time 4:52 PM Eastern

Top contenders: Rosa, Dancing Duchess, Sabatini

The 2024 Woodbine meeting kicks off this weekend, and the opening featured Star Shoot Stakes is a pretty good race with seven newly turned three year old fillies running six furlongs. Only a couple are coming back from layoffs since last year and one of them is Rosa, who won in her career debut over the track last July, in impressive fashion as she rallied from seventh of eight in the early stages. She may get a fast pace to run into here as it appears Mystic Lake and C C Royal only can run well when leading early and will be sent to battle for the lead. Trainer Attard has a very strong record of 11 for 44 with horses coming back from six months off or more, which this filly is doing, and considering she’s already a stakes winner, having won the Presque Isle Downs Debutante last September, she may run as well as she did in her debut last summer and win this race.

Dancing Duchess didn’t run well in her debut, last May, but then ran three “A” races in a row from June through August, all sprints, including runner-up efforts in a pair of stakes. Stretched out to a mile last September, she showed she only wanted to sprint, then when shortened up to one turn for the Algonquin Stakes in October, she cruised from seventh to first in the final eighth of a mile to win. She’s been working well for her return and Civaci, who was up for her first win and one of her runner-up stakes efforts, takes the call.

Sabatini may break her maiden in a stakes, which is not unheard of at this time of year with three year olds and at Woodbine. She debuted last month on the same all-weather course as at Woodbine, but at Turfway Park, rallying a bit from fifth to end up third at the end. She likely got a lot of experience out of the race and the aforementioned pace battle between Mystic Lake and C C Royal may benefit her late kick. She cost $625,000 at Auction and is in the hands of superb trainer Josie Carroll, who wins at a very high 33% rate with her maiden second time starters (12 for 35 over the past three years) and who has won a couple of stakes races with similar horses in the past. Likely to go to post at higher odds than many of the others, Sabatini must be respected as a contender.


Win: Rosa and Dancing Duchess can be considered for win bets at 5 to 2 or higher.

Sabatini should be considered for a win bet at odds of 4 to 1 or more.

Exactas: Box Rosa, Dancing Duchess, Sabatini

San Francisco Mile (Grade 3) - Race 7 at Golden Gate Fields - Post Time 8:45 PM Eastern

Top contenders: Sumter, Lammas
Other contenders: Cathkin Peak, Prince Abu Dhabi

Sumter ships up from Southern California for Hall-of-Fame trainer Richard Mandella, off a fine third of 10 finish in the similar All American Stakes just a bit over three weeks ago. That effort earned the Sumter a career-best 112 Equibase Speed Figure. Sumter finished fourth in the higher level Seabiscuit Handicap last fall with a 110 figure and those two efforts are his two most recent tries in two-turn turf races like the San Francisco Mile. When wanting to know how trainers based on one circuit due on another, Race Lens comes in very handy and in this case an easy query regarding how Mandella does with horses he runs on the Golden Gate turf who made their most recent start in Southern California reveals very strong record of winning five of his last 10 starts. Jockey Periera, who has won four of eight races for Mandella going back to the beginning of 2023, and with the that last race Equibase Speed Figure one of the best in the field, it appears Sumter has a big shot to win this race.

Lammas earned the highest last speed figure in the field 116, in his most recent start. That was when winning his second in a row on the all-weather main track, as the turf course wasn’t ready for racing until this week. Lammas has also won on turf, here at Golden Gate last September in the Sam Spear Memorial Stakes, so moving back to the turf is not an issue for a horse who puts “A” races together, evidenced by a strong career record of 9-6-4 in 29 races. Jockey Orozco rode Lammas for the first time in his win one before last, then again last out and with a ground saving inside post and a big late kick, Lammas could win this third in a row.

Honorable mention goes to Cathkin Peak and Prince Abu Dhabi, the latter being the only also-eligible in the field so needing one of the 12 horses in the main body of the race to scratch. Cathkin Peak won his most recent race on March 24 with a strong rally from last of eight, earning a competitive 105 figure. Cathkin Peak was claimed out of that race for a hefty price tag of $80,000 and can earn his new connections more than that with the $105,000 winner’s share of the purse. Cathkin Peak has earned more than $400,000 in his career, winning or placing in eight of 17 previous races on the grass, some of those stakes races including the City of Hope Mile Stakes in the fall of 2022. He’s in good current form and should be competitive. Prince Abu Dhabi is a lightly raced four year old with six wins in just eight races. Only one was on turf and that was when third in the Alcatraz Stakes on the Golden Gate turf course last May. He had been away from the races from August until returning in March, winning off that seven month layoff as if he had never been away at all and earning a career-best 107 figure in the process. Likely to improve second off the layoff, Prince Abu Dhabi is another who could have a say in the outcome in this year’s San Francisco Mile Stakes.


Win: We should consider win bets on Sumter and on Lammas at odds of 3 to 1.

Win bets can also be considered on Cathkin Peak and Prince Abu Dhabi at 9 to 2 or more.

This is another excellent example of where Dutching our win bets would give us an edge, using the free Dutching tool at Amwager.

Exactas: Box Sumter, Lammas, Cathkin Peak and Prince Abu Dhabi

Sumter and Lammas over ALL

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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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