Key Races & Bets for Saturday May 13th, 2023

Man O’ War Stakes – Race 5 at Belmont – Post Time 3:07 PM Eastern

When trainer Charles Appleby ships a horse to the U.S. we must take note and such is the case with Warren Point, who has a very strong career record of 4-2-1 in seven starts. A Race Lens query reveals that over the past five years, Appleby’s horses have made 34 starts in North American in grade 1 races on turf, winning 16 (47%) while placing in another eight. Similarly, when Appleby starts a horse in the North American grade 1 race after a previous race overseas, nine of 20 of those have won and six more have finished second. In both cases betting $2 on every one of those horses yields anywhere from a 55% to a 71% profit. Warren Point can add to those numbers by repeating his most recent effort when second and just a half-length behind the winner in The Amir Trophy Stakes in Qatar in February among a field of 12. He earned a career-best 113 Equibase Speed Figure for that effort which is on par with the 112 and 113 figures earned by other horses in races similar to this one. As a four year old and as he’s making his third start of 2023, Warren Point has improving to do, and he gets the services of world-class jockey Frankie Dettori to boot.

Red Knight changed trainers to Mike Maker prior to last July and immediately won the Colonial Cup Stakes at a mile and one-half, beating 11 other horses. One race later he posted the 12 to 1 upset against a stellar field in the Kentucky Turf Cup, earning a then career-best 112 figure. After a poor 11th place showing in the Breeders’ Cup Turf, Red Knight was given two and one-half months off and rebounded with another marathon win in the William L. McKnight Stakes, earning a new career-best 113 figure, before a narrow defeat by a head in the Elkhorn Stakes last month, where he battled head-and-head for the lead for the entire last eighth of a mile before coming up short to Verstappen. North American leading jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr. rode Red Knight for the first and only time in the McKnight and returns to the saddle in the Man O’ War after not riding him in the Elkhorn, and that could make the difference in turning the tables on Verstappen and beating Warren Point (GB) for the win in this race

Verstappen won just one race among the first eight in his career prior to December of last year, when jockey Declan Cannon got aboard for the first time. Since then he’s won three of four and finished second in the other. He earned a 101 figure for his first win in December, bettering that to 105 in February then to 109 when second in the Kentucky Cup Classic Stakes in March. Next, in the Elkhorn Stakes, Verstappen continued his pattern of improvement to a new career-best 112 figure. In that race, Verstappen put in an eye-catching rally on the far turn moving from seventh to the lead while in the four to six path then battled down to the wire to beat Red Knight by a head. As a four year old with room to improve, Verstappen has every right to run another big race and be competitive down to the wire in this year’s Man O’ War Stakes.

Value Engineering won the H. Allen Jerkens Stakes on at a mile and five-eighths on all-weather at Gulftream (moved from turf) then finished second behind Red Knight in the McKnight Stakes before winning the Mac Diarmida Stakes, at this 11 furlong trip. He threw in a clunker in the Elkhorn when last of eight but if we draw a line through that race he fits strongly here and opens at 12/1.

Handicapper Picks

Win: Warren Point could be a low odds overlay at odds of 8 to 5 or more. If he is less than that we will cover him on exacta and trifecta key bets below.

I would absolutely also consider a win bet on Value Engineering at odds of 4 to 1 or higher and on Verstappen at odds of 4 to 1 or more.
(Red Knight has fair odds of 4 to 1 but opens at 7 to 2 and is unlikely to offer requisite value for a win bet).

When betting two horses at greater than minimum odds/fair odds there is a big opportunity to get an edge by using 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: Warren Point over Red Knight, Verstappen, Value Engineering

Trifectas: Box Warren Point, Red Knight, Verstappen, Value Engineering
ALSO – Warren Point over Red Knight, Verstappen, Value Engineering over Red Knight, Verstappen, Value Engineering

Race 5: Warren Point
Race 6: Arcangelo, Asmodeus, Bishops Bay

Race 5: Warren Point, Red Knight, Verstappen, Value Engineering
Race 6: Arcangelo, Asmodeus, Bishops Bay

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Peter Pan Stakes – Race 6 at Belmont – Post Time 3:40 PM Eastern

Arcangelo should not be 10 to 1 as he is on the morning line. Maybe he should be 4 to 1 but not 10 to 1 considering his most recent race on March 18 at Gulfstream Park was a career-best effort which earned a 97 Equibase Speed Figure. That is the FASTEST/HIGHEST in the field, even better than the 96 figure 8 to 5 morning line favorite Bishops Bay earned in his debut in February. Arcangelo should run even better second after two months off and Castellano, who was up for the first time in victory last month, rides back. The colt put on a strong 59 and change five furlong work at Belmont coming into the race and there’s no question he can get the nine furlongs as he’s a son of Arrogate, who has produced multiple stakes winners at the trip including Secret Oath.

Bishops Bay is a contender but a very poor win bet so we’ll use him on exacta tickets. He is two-for-two and the second off the pair came in his first route but still he’s one of four horses in this field who has never run the trip. At least with Arcangelo we’re getting a good return for this question, but not on this colt. Cox continues to remain hot and is winning nearly 1/3 of the time back-to-back and Bishops Bay has good tactical speed so we can expect him to be anywhere from on the lead to third in the early stages and still around at the wire as he’s a son of Uncle Mo who should get the trip.

Asmodeus is another horse which should not be going to post at double digit odds but he opens at 15 to 1. Just like Arcangelo, this colt only has a maiden win to his credit but most of these have the same record and this time of year, late starters like this group who missed the Derby preps, can make the step up from maiden to stakes. He added blinkers last out and won nicely after missing by a nose prior to that, and that effort earned a FIELD HIGH 103 Equibase figure so if he can run back to it he can post the upset.

Handicapper Picks

Win: Arcangelo and Asmodeus to win at 4 to 1 or more.
This is another superb race to use the dutching tool which is free and easy to use at

Exacta: Box Arcangelo, Bishops Bay, Asmodeus

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Long Branch Stakes – Race 8 at Monmouth – Post Time 4:05 PM Eastern

Trainer Reid has a pair of horses entered here in Didinger and Ninetyprcentmaddie and interestingly enough he named Paco Lopez to ride Didinger and did not name a jockey on Ninetyprcentmaddie, which suggests he is likely to run the first and not the second. Regardless, these are the two keys to profit in the race, with a combined record of 6-5-1 in 14 races. Didinger opens at higher odds, 8/1, as compared to his stablemate and he might be the better of the two as well as he’s never been off the board and tries stakes for the first time off a very strong five length win last month. That followed four months off and he’s likely to improve nicely second off the layoff as well. Ninetyprcentmaddie stretched out to two-turns for the first time this past February and was beaten more than 50 lengths in the Withers BUT that had to have been an outlier as he won by nearly 10 lengths in a non-graded stakes the next month (March) and just got beaten by a head on the wire in the Federico Tesio Stakes four weeks ago. He had stalked in second and opened up but was run down while well clear of the next horse and the winner of that race, Perform, is likely to run in the Preakness next week.

For the exacta I will also consider Coffeewithchris (with six first or second place finishes in 12 races), Offaly Cool (coming off a five length win off the claim) and Hayes Strike (the 3 to 1 starting second choice but with just two wins in 10 races). I am taking a stand against the 5 to 2 starting favorite Slip Mahoney as he benefited from the mud when second in the Gotham and ran poorly in the Wood Memorial. Other than that he has only a maiden win to his credit and that was around one turn.

Handicapper Picks

Win: Didinger and Ninetyprcentmaddie at 2 to 1 or more.

Exactas: Didinger and Ninetyprcentmaddie over Didinger, Ninetyprcentmaddie, Coffeewithchris, Offaly Cool, Hayes Strike.

Then, also the opposite, which is Didinger, Ninetyprcentmaddie, Coffeewithchris, Offaly Cool, Hayes Strike over Didinger and Ninetyprcentmaddie. (This way if both top contenders run one-two we win both bets)

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San Luis Rey Stakes – Race 9 at Santa Anita – Post Time 8:11 PM Eastern

Planetario imported from his native Brazil sometime early last year and into the barn of Hall-of-Fame trainer Dick Mandella. He had won five of eight, all on turf, in South America including TWO Group 1 races, all on left-handed tracks as run North American tracks. He made his U.S. debut last June in a classified allowance race and really didn’t show much, finishing fifth of six. HOWEVER, now after 11 months off Mandella sees fit to put him in this Grade 3 stakes and that’s a BIG sign. The horse won at this 12 furlong turf trip in his final race in Brazil in November, 2021, earning a 110 Equibase Speed Figure which would likely beat these. Dicey Mo Chara earned a 110 figure winning the San Gabriel Stakes last December and Opry earned a 112 figure winning a turf race at Saratoga, but in 2021, and the rest of the field is far behind in terms of class and how well their best races stack up. As such, Planetario, who is one for one at this 12 furlong turf trip, gets top billing.

Dicey Mo Chara deserves respect for winning the San Gabriel Stakes at nine furlongs last December and finishing second in the Charles Whittingham Stakes in April, most importantly he deserves respect for finishing second in this race last year, one of only two times he’s run this 12 furlong trip. That being said, with a record of 4-5-3 in 20 starts (compared to 5-0-0 in nine starts for Planetario) he may not be a good win bet at likely odds of 3 to 1 or less.

Offlee Naughty posted the 11 to 1 upset in the Whittingham, his first start after four months off. He led late and missed by a nose at this 12 furlong trip last October and making his second start off a layoff, the same or better of an effort that he put forth five weeks ago might be expected so he rounds out a trio of contenders in this race.

Handicapper Picks

Win: Planetario to win at 2 to 1 or more.

Exactas: Box Planetario, Dicey Mo Chara, Offlee Naughty

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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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