Key Races & Bets for Saturday January 6th, 2024

Race 7 at Gulfstream Park – Post Time 3:08 PM Eastern

Win contenders: Jamestown, American Diamond, Quality G

Jamestown ran poorly in the first five starts of his career, through May, and we can draw a line through ALL of those races. He changed trainers in the late spring and after three and one-half months off returned, without blinkers worn for all his previous starts. He was entered in a mile and three-sixteenths race first time back, on 8/24, and ran fourth of nine while needing the race. It was then no surprise when he improved markedly second off the layoff near the end of October, winning in a field of 10. He fits the first allowance condition perfectly here, is coming back from a similar rest since his last start as before the win, gets a good inside post and John V to ride, and trainer Tagg has won back-to-back with three of his last seven last out winners, so likely to offer decent value Jamestown gets slight preference among a trio of win contenders.

American Diamond has won three times on turf, the most recent three races back in September in a strong field at the non-winners of two lifetime (except claiming) level at Kentucky Downs. He ran poorly after that in October but rebounded with a good, non-winning effort last month in a race scheduled for turf at Gulfstream but run on the all-weather. He was six wide on the turn and missed by a neck, nose and half-length in a four horse photo. Gaffalione gets BACK on and that’s significant as Tyler has been up for two of the horse’s previous three wins.

Quality G will likely go favored because Pletcher trainers, Irad Ortiz, Jr. rides and because he missed by a neck at 6 to 5 odds in an identical race four weeks ago. On the other hand, he lost that race after leading late and now has FIVE runner-up finishes in eight turf races, to go along with one win. Even though he can win repeating that last effort, or his win at the non-winners of two level two before that in September, he’s not trustworthy as a win bet but I will use him on doubles to the next race.

Handicapper Picks

Win: Fair odds on all three contenders – Jamestown, American Diamond and Quality G, are 3 to 1. It’s highly unlikely Quality G will be above that threshold so we will consider win bets on the other two. If both are above 3 to 1 this is a good opportunity to “Dutch” the bet, which means to allocate our wagers based on the odds. To do this we can use a Dutching tool. There’s a free “Dutching” tool at Amwager, which allows us to set the total amount we want to bet, then prorates our wagers for the best mathematical edge. This is just one of many tools, and perks, available for racing fans at Amwager.

Race 7: Jamestown, American Diamond and Quality G
Race 8: Pirate Radio, Tapit Three Times, Rezasrolex

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Race 8 at Gulfstream Park -Post Time 3:37 PM Eastern

Win contenders: Pirate Radio, Tapit Three Times, Rezasrolex

Pirate Radio was claimed by D’Angelo out of his 11/3 all-weather sprint and immediately stretched out to two-turns on all-weather for the first time. Jose Ortiz was aboard for the first time for that start on 12/22, the best of his career to date as he battled head-and-head the last eighth of a mile to prevail by a nose. He’s on a pattern for even better here third off a layoff and second route off a layoff and fits perfectly at this non-winners of two lifetime level, with Ortiz riding back. The 69 Equibase Speed Figure is the best in the field, last race and all-time, and is likely to be improved upon, so for a trainer that wins nearly 25% back to back, Pirate Radio looks like the one to beat.

That being said, Rezasrolex and Tapit Three Times have to be considered win contenders as well, having just finished first and second, respectively, four weeks ago at this level. Both exited maiden wins previous to that and earned 66 figures in the process and get top jockeys in Irad Ortiz, Jr. (Rezasrolex) and Paco Lopez (Tapit Three Times) as well as good inside posts.

Handicapper Picks

Win: Minimum odds for a win bet on Pirate Radio are 9 to 5, with 5 to 2 minimum odds on both Rezasrolex and Tapit Three Times.

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Limehouse Stakes – Race 10 at Gulfstream Park – Post Time 4:35 PM Eastern

Top win contender: Valiant Force

Let’s get this out of the way – If Valiant Force had won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint, which he lost by a half-length, I would have finished a lot higher than 60th in the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge, as I liked him a lot that day. Putting that aside¸ Valiant Force is a standout in this field and although possibly will go to post at odds too low for a win bet, is a STRONG single (the only horse to use) on any double, pick 3 or pick 4 tickets we play involving this race. In June of this year he won the very important Group 2 Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot, earning an exceptionally strong 110 Equibase Speed Figure in the process. Two months later he really wasn’t disgraced when fifth of nine in a Group 1 race in France, and that is why his connections sent him to the Breeders’ Cup, where he flew home from 10th to 2nd in the final eighth of a mile. Since resuming training a bit over a month ago, Valiant Force has put in two spectacular workouts, on dirt, so although he’s never run on the surface I have no doubt he can do it and therefore we can assume he can repeat the efforts he put forth in June and in November, which none of the other six entered here can come close to.

Handicapper Picks

Win: Since Valiant Force should win about 60% of the time if this race was run over and over, his fair odds are in the range of 1 to 2, but I don’t recommend betting horses to win at those odds. Therefore if he’s 4 to 5 or higher I’d consider him a low odds overlay win bet. If not, Doubles as below will have to suffice for profiting on his winning.

Race 10: Valiant Force
Race 11: Typhoon Fury, Reminder, Palm Tree, Agate Road

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Dania Beach Stakes – Race 11 at Gulfstream Park – Post Time 5:05 PM Eastern

Win contenders: Typhoon Fury, Reminder, Palm Tree, Agate Road

Typhoon Fury may offer the best value among a quartet of win contenders, as he finished third at 10 to 1 in his most recent race. On the other hand, he was a head behind the runner-up in that race in a field of 12. That was the Central Park Stakes, no less significant than the Pulpit Stakes which Palm Tree and Reminder finished third and second in, respectively, last month at Gulfstream Park. Typhoon Fury draws a better post that those two and the likely favorite (Agate Road) does, and he gets Luis Saez to ride for the first time, which can’t hurt his chances. In the Central Park, Typhoon Fury was bumped hard by the horse to his inside and found himself last out of the gate, eventually rallying for third but after going six paths wide entering the stretch. His win on turf prior to that showed a lot of ability as he stalked in second and he was denied a close-up position early in the Central Park but with a good break could run back to that effort.

Reminder closed from ninth of 10 to miss by a neck when second in the Pulpit Stakes four weeks ago, with Palm Tree another head back in third. Both earned strong Equibase Speed Figures of 88 and 87, comparable to the 87 figure Typhoon Fury earned in his win in November before the troubled trip in the Central Park. Both Reminder and Palm Tree broke their maidens on turf as well and both can be expected to be competitive here.

Agate Road won the Grade 2 Pilgrim Stakes on turf in October before a fifth of 11 finish in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf, so on the drop in class will likely be favored here. However, his Pilgrim effort was no better than the best recent efforts of either of the other three contenders, so he’s no standout, and the outside 10 post certainly might be an equalizer. Even though it’s unlikely he will be a good win bet at low odds, he’s a must to use on double tickets started in the 10th race and on any exacta tickets we play in this race.

Handicapper Picks

Win: We must start with Typhoon Fury, as he is likely to present the best return for the risk, and consider a win bet at odds of 3 to 1 or more. We could consider a second win bet on either Palm Tree or Reminder, if either is 3 to 1 or higher, preferring the horse which is the highest odds of the pair. Fair odds on Agate Road are also 3 to 1.

If we do end up considering win bets on more than one horse, then a Dutching tool like the one which is free and easy to use at, will provide us with a nice edge.

Exactas: The best plays here involve using Typhoon Fury with the other three:
Typhoon Fury over Reminder, Palm Tree, Agate Road
Reminder, Palm Tree, Agate Road over Typhoon Fury

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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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