Key Races & Bets for Saturday November 25th, 2023

Notebook Stakes – Race 4 at Aqueduct – Post Time 1:19 PM Eastern

Analysis and Key Contender:
Up to six of these two year olds only know how to run to the lead and it will only take two or three to go way too fast to have the ability to hold off Aggelos the Great, a proven stalker. He finished second and third, respectively, in his last two starts, in similar stakes for NY breds, to the same winner, who is not in this field, and the only time previously he ran this six furlong distance he rallied from fifth to draw off by five lengths in powerful fashion. He gets the two post position with one of the “need the lead” types inside and four or five with the same style outside and that gives him a BIG shot to get up in time under Franco, who rode him to that win at the trip in September.

Handicapper Picks

Win: Aggelos the Great to win at 2 to 1 or more

Race 4: Aggelos the Great
Race 5: Freedom Trail, Integration, Classic Catch

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Hill Prince Stakes – Race 5 at Aqueduct – Post Time 1:48 PM Eastern

Top win contenders: Freedom Trail, Integration, Classic Catch

Freedom Trail showed talent in his very first race 14 months ago in September, 2022 when winning around two turns on turf at first asking. His second career start was in the Awad Stakes on this Aqueduct turf course and he did not disappoint, rallying from sixth of seven to win. Moving to dirt for the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes the next month, Freedom Trail finished eighth of nine and that proved his best races were to be on the grass. Rested three and one-half months, Freedom Trail reappeared in a stakes race in Florida in March but only managed fourth. That was the first of four races in which he was uncompetitive, all stakes. However, a brief layoff from mid-July until September 21 appears to have made a big difference. This is because in his most recent race on September 21, Freedom Trail showed top form when rallying from sixth in the early stages to miss by a neck on the wire. That effort earned him a career-best 112 Equibase Speed Figure which is also the best in the field. Considering the colt is now making his second start following two months off, even better is expected, and that should make Freedom Trail the one to beat in this year’s Hill Prince Stakes.

Integration is undefeated in two races and appears to have a bright future on the grass. Similar to Freedom Trail, Integration won a two-turn turf race in his debut, then in his second career start stepped up in class, winning a stakes. That was the Virginia Derby, and Integration improved from a 91 figure in his debut to 107 in that race. Rested a couple of months since then, but having shown capable of winning fresh as he did in his debut, Integration also has every right to improve his effort and figure and is a very strong win contender in this field.

Classic Catch has raced entirely on dirt in his nine starts, but not for lack of trying to run on the grass because his last two races were scheduled for the turf but run on the main track. Those were his two best efforts. The first of the pair was on August ninth when, at the longer distance of one mile and one-quarter, Classic Catch stalked the pacesetter in second from the start and gamely fought down to the wire to prevail by a neck. That effort earned a career-best 101 figure. Two months later on October 7, Classic Catch just missed by three-quarters of a length in the Jockey Club Derby Invitational, finishing three lengths clear of the third horse and earning a 99 figure. With a pedigree which suggests he will run as well or better on grass, Classic Catch would need just the slightest improvement to run as well as the top two contenders, so he rounds out a trio which appears to have the edge in this race.

Handicapper Picks

Win: First, Freedom Trail is a win bet at 9 to 5 or more.
Then, minimum odds on Integration are 2 to 1 and minimum odds on Classic Catch are 3 to 1.

The best way to bet is, assuming Freedom Trail is 9 to 5 or more, bet him first, then make a win bet on the one of the other two at the highest ratio to fair odds. Example: Integration is 3 to 1 near posts time and Classic Catch is 6 to 1. In that case Classic Catch is a 100% overlay as compared to 50% for Integration.

However, another way to bet is to use 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 in total 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

Exacta: Box Freedom Trail, Integration, Classic Catch

$0.50 Trifecta: Freedom Trail, Integration, Classic Catch over ALL over Freedom Trail, Integration, Classic Catch
By playing both bets, we can win if any two of the three horses finish 1st and 2nd or 1st and 3rd, and we win both if two of the three finish first, second and third.

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Aqueduct Turf Sprint Championship – Race 9 at Aqueduct – Post Time 3:43 PM Eastern

Top win contenders: Our Shot, Witty
Secondary contenders: Alogon, Thin White Duke

Our Shot is very consistent, with a 3-2-1 record in seven races on grass, all short sprints like this one. He gets the benefit of a very strong pace battle as Nothing Better, Fore Harp, Grateful Bred and perhaps also Dancing Buck all need the lead for their best efforts and are all capable of running the first half mile in 44 seconds to do so. Our Shot has run exceptionally well from as far back as ninth and as close as second but I suspect Irad Ortiz, Jr., who is riding him for the first time, will have him mid-pack early and rolling past horses late as was the case three back in a classified allowance turf sprint at Saratoga. He missed by a neck, by three-quarters of a length, and by two lengths, in recent similar stakes and looks very tough in this situation based on his form since June in these kinds of races.

Witty finished second in four straight races between May and August, three of those turf sprint stakes like this one, then switched trainers and has won two in a row since. Similar to Our Shot, Witty is exceptionally consistent, with two wins and three seconds in six career turf sprints, and in his last start he closed from last of 12 to win going away so he is very likely to get the same trip as Our Shot based on the fast early pace scenario. As such he should be closing very fast in the stretch and has every right to win his third in a row.

Alogon and Thin White Duke are only slightly less probable to win in my opinion, and depending on their odds may be good win bets as well. Alogon won the only previous time he ran on the Aqueduct turf, at this six furlong trip one year ago, leading from start to finish. That was just how the race played out as his two wins since then have come from off the pace. We can ignore his most recent race on 10/7 which was moved to the main track and his effort right before that, on 9/9, in a turf sprint stakes like this one, is good enough to win if repeated. In that race he battled head-and-head for the last eighth of a mile with Nobals, who next won the Breeders’ Cup Turf sprint and that is why Alogon must be considered a win contender here.

Thin White Duke beat Our Shot by a neck in the Harvey Pack Stakes at Saratoga this past summer, probably the best effort of his career. He stayed in the off-turf Belmont Turf Sprint the next month and finished second, then finished third in the mud in a stakes for NY Breds only a few weeks ago. Lezcano was up for the win and gets back on, and Thin White Duke also has the style to close fast in the stretch so must be considered at least for exacta and trifecta wagers made in this race.

Handicapper Picks

Win: We must start with Our Shot, who can be bet to win at 8 to 5 or more.
Then Witty can be considered for a win bet at 3 to 1 or more.
Alogon and Thin White Duke have minimum odds of 9 to 2.

To take best advantage of potential overlays and value in the win pools, this is another great race where a tool like the Dutching tool at Amwager, comes in very handy.

Exactas: Box Our Shot, Witty, Alogon, Thin White Duke

Trifectas: Our Shot over ALL over Witty, Alogon, Thin White Duke
Playing both the exacta and trifecta is a way to win twice if Our Shot is victorious and any of the other three finish second or third. We win both bets if two of the other three finish second AND third.

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Kennedy Road Stakes – Race 9 at Woodbine – Post Time 5:12 PM Eastern

Top win contenders: Flag of Honour, Dream Shake, Ice Chocolat
Secondary contender: War Bomber

Jazz Hands is absolutely a “need the lead” type and draws the rail, demanding he be sent hard so that no other horse comes over and takes his path. The problem is Patches O’Houlihan has an identical running style, and although he has raced in second early in one race among seven he’s won, he won the other six while being on the lead from the start. Maclean’s Posse led from start to finish in his last race and had been within a head of the lead after a half-mile in four of his last seven. Then there’s Rockcrest, who although having faded in the stretch in four straight, wired the field the last time Hoyte rode him in April, and that suggests the jockey will attempt the same tactics as the horse’s last three wins were when leading from start to finish.

With such a high probability of a hot, and hotly contested, early pace, Flag of Honour gets top billing. He raced in North America for the first time just 20 days ago after importing from Australia. He won a $100K handicap down under in May at six furlongs on the grass and had five workouts on the all-weather before that first local start, and it was pretty impressive because he jumped in the air when the gate opened to be away last of 10 then moved up to fifth after a half-mile, then led in the stretch, before being beaten just a head and a half-length for all the marbles. Leading jockey Kimura gets on to go along with second start off the layoff improvement and a strong 102 last race Equibase Speed Figure which is tied for the best in the field (with need the lead types Jazz Hands and Maclean’s Posse) which is likely to be markedly bettered.

Dream Shake is nearing the half-million mark in earnings, some of it when winning the Grade 2 Connaught Cup Stakes on turf in July. He’s one for one on the main track at Woodbine and he enters the race off a strong effort when rallying from 11th of 13 in the Nearctic Stakes, beaten inches in a six horse photo for the win on the wire. He shipped back to trainer Stidham’s Maryland base after the Nearctic, worked well, and returns for another “A” effort good enough to win particularly with an early pace scenario which favors his running style.

Ice Chocolat was a nose in front of Dream Shake in the Connaught Cup, and he ran big the last time he ran on the Woodbine main track when second, beaten less than a length, in the Jacques Cartier stakes in May. He was also second in THIS RACE last year so fits on all counts and gets a good outside post as well.

War Bomber has won seven of his 22 races, nearly equally on turf and on all-weather. He found a mile and one-sixteenth around two turns too much in the Autumn Stakes 13 days ago but ran big when shortened up in July, rallying from sixth to second behind Dream Shake in the Connaught Cup. He won the Grade 2 King Edward at a mile on turf (one turn) after that and his best effort makes him a contender here.

Handicapper Picks

Win: Flag of Honour is the one I’m going to look to bet to win first, at 5 to 2 or more.
Then I’ll consider win bets on one of the other three, at these odds or higher:
Dream Shake – 7 to 2
Ice Chocolat – 7 to 2
War Bomber – 5 to 1

This is yet another race where using a Dutching tool like the one at Amwager, really helps gain an edge when wagering on multiple horses in a race.
Box Flag of Honour, Dream Shake, Ice Chocolat
Box Flag of Honour, Dream Shake, Ice Chocolat, War Bomber

Flag of Honour, Dream Shake, Ice Chocolat over ALL over Flag of Honour, Dream Shake, Ice Chocolat
Playing the exacta and trifecta gives us lots of coverage, as we win either bet if two of the top three contenders finishes 1st & 2nd or 1st and 3rd.

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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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