Lady Jacqueline Stakes – Race 11 at Thistledown – Post Time 5:35 PM Eastern

Analysis and main contenders:
Sixtythreecaliber opens at five to one in spite of a runner-up effort in the higher level Grade 3 Shawnee Stakes at Churchill Downs three weeks ago. THE REST of the 12 horse field comes out of allowance races, starter allowance races or out of the non-graded DuPont Stakes on Preakness weekend. The Shawnee was a winning prep for last year’s Lady Jacqueline Stakes winner, Army Wife, who had run third in the Shawnee, and the 2021 Lady Jacqueline runner-up who had finished second in the Shawnee previous to this race. Sixtythreecaliber won the Grade 3 Comely Stakes last fall at this nine furlong trip as well, which was her third win and second stakes win in a row at the time. She ran poorly in her first two starts of 2023 but the second of those was the MUCH TOUGHER Grade 1 La Troienne Stakes, and based on her most recent effort with a field high 109 Equibase Speed Figure, in spite of opening as the fourth choice in the betting, Sixtythreecaliber is the one to beat.

Misty Veil and Interstatedaydream finished second and first, respectively, in the DuPont Stakes on May 19 with the latter leading from start to finish and the former running second in the last eighth of a mile. I’m not a huge believer in weight making a difference, but it could be the case here as the two gals had equal weight of 120 last time and this time Misty Veil goes down to 118 while Interstatedaydream goes up to 124, a six pound difference. The DuPont was run at the same nine furlong trip as the Lady Jacqueline and the 105 figures both horse’s earned was strong, but still a bit short of what Sixtythreecaliber earned (109) in her last race.

For exacta and trifecta tickets, we’ll toss in La Da Vida for second and third position, as she was third the entire length of the stretch behind Interstatedaydream and Misty Veil in the Du Pont, the same position she finished in this past January and February in the Pippin and Bayakoa Stakes. I will also use Secret Fix in those positions as she is the likely early leader and has hit the board in eight of 13 career races on dirt.

Handicapper Picks

Win: First, I’m looking to bet Sixtythreecaliber to win at odds of 2 to 1 or higher.
Then, if Misty Veil (who opens at four to one) or Interstatedaydream are 3 to 1 or higher near post time, I’d bet the one at the highest odds to win as well, for a lesser amount than on Sixtythreecaliber.

Sixtythreecaliber over La Da Vida, Misty Veil, Interstatedaydream, Secret Fix

Misty Veil, Sixtythreecaliber, Interstatedaydream over La Da Vida, Misty Veil, Interstatedaydream, Sixtythreecaliber, Secret Fix

Trifecta: Sixtythreecaliber over La Da Vida, Misty Veil, Interstatedaydream, Secret Fix over Sixtythreecaliber, La Da Vida, Misty Veil, Interstatedaydream, Secret Fix

Race 11: Sixtythreecaliber
Race 12: Bishops Bay, Lord Miles, Hayes Strike

Race 11: Misty Veil, Sixtythreecaliber, Interstatedaydream
Race 12: Bishops Bay

Race 11: Sixtythreecaliber
Race 12: Bishops Bay


Get up to $150 signup bonus and cashback rewards when you bet with AmWager.


Ohio Derby – Race 12 at Thistledown – Post Time 6:20 PM Eastern

Analysis and main contenders:
Bishops Bay is my top choice to win this year’s Ohio Derby, adding to the hot hand trainer Brad Cox has held this month in stakes races for three year olds, having saddled Idiomatic to win the Shawnee Stakes three weeks ago and similarly saddling Salute the Stars to victory in the Pegasus Stakes last weekend. Bishops Bay has run three times to date and all three were “A” efforts, first winning in his debut in February and next prevailing gamely by a neck when stretched out to two turns for the first time in March. Returning on May 13 in the Peter Pan Stakes, Bishops Bay pressed the pacesetter from the moment the gate opened, then got the lead by a head before engaging with eventual winner Arcangelo in a head-and-head battle for the final eight of a mile. Although losing the battle at the end, Bishops Bay ran markedly better than in his previous race, going from an 88 Equibase Speed Figure to 97. Arcangelo returned two weeks ago and improved to a 100 figure in the 1 ½ mile Belmont, and with Bishops Bay running the same mile and one-eighth trip as he did in the Peter Pan it can be assumed he’s going to improve once more, particularly having put in a very strong five furlong workout (59.4) in Kentucky one week ago.

Hayes Strike has won two of his last three races, both stakes for three year olds. The first of the two was on March 18 when taking the Private Terms Stakes, earning a 91 figure in the process. After a poor seventh place effort in the Blue Grass Stakes in April, Hayes Strike improved to a 100 figure in his most recent race on May 29, putting in a visually impressive rally from ninth with a quarter mile to run, to seventh with an eighth of a mile left in the race, to win the Texas Derby by a nose. Jockey Christian Torres was riding Hayes Strike for the first time in that race and rides back again, so we can assume the same effort, or an even better one, could be forthcoming in the Ohio Derby.

Lord Miles posted the 59 to 1 upset to win the Wood Memorial in April when last seen. He had drawn into the Kentucky Derby field after a couple of scratches that week but did not run in the race and has been in steady training since. Although he had run poorly in the Holy Bull Stakes (sixth) in February and in the Tampa Bay Derby (fifth) in March, Lord Miles showed a lot of moxie in the Wood when battling head-and-head with both Hit Show and Dreamlike for the last eighth of a mile. Certainly if he can repeat that effort, which earned a 100 figure, following more than two months off, Lord Miles would be a contender to win this race.

As to Two Phil’s, I think he will run well again but not well enough to win, the reason being his tendency to lose ground in the final eighth of a mile. Starting with his 2023 debut in the Lecomte Stakes this past January, Two Phil’s rallied from fifth in the early stages to get to second, within a head of the leader with an eight of a mile to go, only to be beaten more than two lengths at the end. One month later in the Risen Star Stakes, Two Phil’s rallied from seventh to get within inches of the leader in the stretch, but was passed and settled for third. After winning the Jeff Ruby Steaks on the all-weather surface at Turfway Park in March, Two Phil’s indisputably ran the best race of his career in the Kentucky Derby, earning a 102 figure. However after rallying from fifth to make the lead entering the stretch, Two Phil’s once again didn’t have the needed physical or mental energy, was passed by Mage near the wire and barely holding off Angel of Empire for the runner-up spot. So even though his Equibase Speed Figures have improved in his last three races, from 92 to 97 to 102, I feel he may be vulnerable to a more tenacious foe in the final yards and will end up second, or even third, in this year’s Ohio Derby.

Handicapper Picks

Win: Bishops Bay is a low odds overlay and can be bet at 3 to 2 or more.
I might consider a second win bet on either Hayes Strike or Lord Miles at odds of 5 to 2 or more, but on the higher odds of the pair near post time.

As we may be considering win bets on more than one horse, this is a great race to take advantage of the mathematical edge provided by a “Dutching” tool, which prorates wagers for the best value. There’s a 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: Bishops Bay over Two Phil’s, Lord Miles, Hayes Strike
Lord Miles
, Hayes Strike over Bishops Bay

Trifectas: Bishops Bay over Two Phils, Lord Miles, Hayes Strike over Two Phils, Lord Miles, Hayes Strike

Get up to $150 signup bonus and cashback rewards when you bet with AmWager.


She’s a Tiger Stakes – Race 7 at Pleasanton – Post Time 7:45 PM Eastern

Analysis and Contenders:
Buyback, Anthonys Cleopatra and Ascendancy are three of five horses which ran in the Golden Poppy Stakes run on April 29 on turf. The best finish that day belonged to Buyback, who battled for the lead from the start and still held it into the stretch, before fading to fourth. Ascendancy ended up sixth, Anthonys Cleopatra ninth, Clockstrikestwelve eighth and Tam’s Little Angel was 10th. All five have run at least once since, with Ascendancy winning an allowance race on the turf on May 20, a race in which Buyback finished fifth but may have run MUCH better if not rearing in the air at the start to lose all chance, especially considering in the Golden Poppy she had led from the start. In spite of losing any chance she had and finding herself 10 lengths back early and last of 10, Buyback rallied to end up fifth at the end. Although she did lead from the start in the Golden Poppy and although her last two starts were on grass, Buyback has a HUGE shot to run well enough to win here if she runs as she did in last year’s edition of this She’s a Tiger Stakes, in which she established a mid-pack position of fourth in the early stages and rallied strongly in the stretch to miss by a nose at the end. Espinoza was up that day and rides her today, and as this is her third route start of the year after a big layoff Buyback may be peaking to run as well today as she did last year, which this time could lead to a victory.

Anthonys Cleopatra ran very gamely in that allowance race three weeks ago when second behind Ascendancy, although out finished by that one in the stretch where she began third and Ascendancy began fourth. She finished eighth in this race last year as the 9 to 5 favorite off a win in the California Oaks but is a much better filly now as evidenced by a career-best 101 Equibase figure in her most recent start.

Ascendancy is going for her third win in a row, first on conventional dirt, where both the other two fillies have won previously and so have a bit more experience on the surface. On the other hand she’s rallied strongly in her last two races to win with authority, with figures of 100 and 104 which are the best and second best (to the 101 figure Anthonys Cleopatra earned recently) in the field this year. Now with nine first or second place finishes in 16 races, and noting her three prior dirt efforts were all sprints and way before she got into her current top form, Ascendancy rounds out a strong trio which possess nearly all the probability to win and to finish second in this race.

Handicapper Picks

Win: Fair/Minimum Odds on all three contenders – Buyback, Anthonys Cleopatra, Ascendancy – are three to one and I will be the one at the highest odds, above that threshold, near post time.

Exactas: Box Buyback, Anthonys Cleopatra, Ascendancy

Share This Story!

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.

Related Posts