Key Races & Bets for Saturday July 2, 2022

Alapocas Run Stakes – Race 4 at Delaware Park – Post Time 2 PM Eastern

Whereshetoldmetogo likely won’t go to post at his 4 to 1 morning line odds, but considering Drafted opens at 2 to 1 and has won two straight stakes, that one should go favored and we should still get low odds overlay value on Whereshetoldmetogo on win bets. This gelding LOVES to win, with six wins in his last 10 races going back to the beginning of last year and with ALL of those wins in stakes, including this race LAST YEAR at 6 to 5 odds. He fired to win in March off a three month rest and should fire off a two month layoff here with Toledo aboard and in the saddle for his last FOUR wins. Having won five of seven at Delaware Park there are NO questions about his love for the track and the race he won on April 29 is a KEY RACE with the third, fourth and fifth horses all winning next out and with the runner-up finishing second in his next start so we can expect a top effort from this horse.

Defend and Hopeful Treasure have less probability to win than Whereshetoldmetogo BUT both open at 10/1 and that makes them good plays here for exacta bets and perhaps for small win bets. Defend is a perfect three-for-three when rightfully ignoring his 10th place effort 11 months ago in the Grade 1 Hopeful Stakes where he did not belong. ALL three wins have come over the track and he fits on all counts. Hopeful Treasure won the Grade 3 Fall Highweight Handicap at Aqueduct last November and won last July at Delaware. He finished third when last seen and with nine first or second place finishes in 15 dirt races must be considered.

Drafted won the Grade 3 Runhappy Stakes in May at Aqueduct then the Mr. Prospector last month at Monmouth so fits at the level BUT the 96 and 99 Equibase figures for those two wins ARE NOT dominant if repeated particularly compared to the 110, 110 and 104 figures Whereshetoldmetogo earned in his last three wins. Furthermore, Defend earned a 96 figure off a seven month layoff in June and can improve and Hopeful Treasure earned a 112 in the Fall Highweight so both could run as well or better, and at better odds, as compared to Drafted.

Handicapper Picks

Win bets: Whereshetoldmetogo at odds of 9 to 5 or more.

For much smaller amounts, Defend and Hopeful Treasure can be considered for win bets at 5 to1 or more.



Whereshetoldmetogo over Drafted, Defend and Hopeful Treasure

For a smaller amount: Defend, Whereshetoldmetogo and Hopeful Treasure over Drafted, Defend, Whereshetoldmetogo and Hopeful Treasure

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Christiana Stakes – Race 5 at Delaware Park – Post Time 2:30 PM Eastern

Four horses can win here, but I am AGAINST the 5 to 2 morning line favorite Parnac, who makes her U.S. debut and won two of two in Germany but with low figures. Additionally, Clement has a poor six for 62 record going back five years with foreign shippers on turf.

Instead I’m starting with Center Stage, who opens at 12/1. She won in her first turf race, first route, one before last on May 7 and easily by five lengths. That followed two sprint preps where she was third, then second. Moving to face older fillies and mares one month later, the filly was decently regarded at five to one and was saving ground on the inside when SHUT OFF at the critical stage of the race. The jockey was forced to check her back out of traffic, losing a ton of ground, before wheeling her out for room but it was too late. Nevertheless, after having gone from 1 ¾ lengths back to 5 ½ lengths back and from fifth to ninth, Center Stage still rallied to get fourth, a neck from the third finisher. That was enough for solid trainer Delacour (25% wins in 2022) to enter her in this stakes and I think with a better trip she can win in an upset.

Lay the Groundwork ships in from New Jersey for Chad Brown and although he keeps his second string there she may be good enough to win. She won in her first two turn race and second start in February in a race scheduled for turf and run on all-weather, then after three months off she too ran against older fillies and mares in an allowance race last month, finishing a decent second in an effort she can move up off. Brown teamed up with Carrasco (who rides here) to win two of four stakes in the last couple of years which is another reason to consider this filly a decent contender.

Shad Nation and Tasweya gets mention as well, opening at 5 to 1 and 10 to 1, respectively. Shad Nation won a turf route in her debut last fall at Belmont, no easy task, then ran fifth in a stakes. After five months off she finished sixth in a stakes but improved to finish third near the end of April and it is notable Clement ships in from Saratoga where the filly has been training, with a record of 3-2-1 in six races when coming into Delaware the past few years. Tasweya is a Shadwell bred and owned filly who won her debut in a turf sprint last fall then after three losses won a turf route four weeks ago. She’s on the improve and her odds are higher than they should be.

Handicapper Picks

Win bets: Center Stage at odds of 3 to 1 or higher.



Center Stage over Lay the Groundwork, Tasweya and Shad Nation

Center Stage and Lay the Groundwork over Center Stage, Lay the Groundwork, Tasweya and Shad Nation

For half the amount as the exacta above, play the opposite (because of the high odds on Shad Nation and Tasweya), which is Center Stage, Lay the Groundwork, Tasweya and Shad Nation over Center Stage and Lay the Groundwork.

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Delaware Oaks – Race 6 at Delaware Park – Post Time

Republique and Shotgun Hottie are the top two betting choices on the morning line and the two most logical winners, so note although I did not mention doubles or pick 3 tickets in the fourth or fifth races, or from this race to race seven, that may be the best way to capitalize and profit on either of them winning.

Republique should use her rail position to full advantage and take the lead from the start, but if Midnight Stroll chooses to lead at all costs then this talented filly can sit second, just as she did in her first two-turn race at the end of May when winning fairly easily. Shotgun Hottie is already a stakes winner, having won the Ruthless Stakes at Aqueduct in February after moving to the Morey barn. She was no match for Venti Valentine one month later in the Busher but was clearly second to that seven length winner. Then in April in the nine furlong Gazelle Stakes, Shotgun Hottie rallied from sixth of seven into a horribly slow pace to get third. With the possibility of a very square pace in this situation if Chardonnay, Unadulterated and Frippet all try to go for the lead with Midnight Stroll, Shotgun Hottie can pass them all for the win.

Handicapper Picks

Win Bets:

Republique and Shotgun Hottie (either or both) at 2 to 1 or more.

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Kent Stakes – Race 7 at Delaware Park – Post Time 3:30 PM Eastern

Wow Whata Summer and Uncle Irish are the keys to profit in this race, and both may offer exceptional value for win bets if their morning line odds of 8 to 1 and 12 to 1, respectively, hold up. Wow Whata Summer may have been 80 to 1 last month in the Penn Mile when pulling the huge upset but perhaps that was legitimate. He had finished second in his debut, on turf, last July then beaten less than a length in a stakes while still a maiden last August. Next came a pair of fourth place finishes in two-turn stakes then a poor and irrelevant try on dirt before a five month layoff. On his return in April he closed well from 12th to third sprinting then came the stretch out and upset. Conner rides back and the pattern of a 95 Equibase figure in the sprint followed by a field high 102 figure last out in the Penn Mile suggests he’s still improving and can win his second graded stakes against three year olds only in a row.

Uncle Irish tries turf for the very first time, in his 13th career start, but each of his last three races routing on dirt have been better than the one prior and his last was a five length romp with a 100 figure effort. Ness has been winning at a 30% clip at the meeting and this year and it’s RARE to get a double digit price, or even high odds, on his starters but this one is legit particularly as the trainer’s record going from dirt to turf off a win is a strong 10 for 23 in the past two years.

Handicapper Picks

Win bets are called for on both Wow Whata Summer and on Uncle Irish at 3 to 1 or higher.

With it likely at both contenders will go to post at higher than minimum odds, the best way to capitalize and to maximize our profit is to “Dutch” the bet, which means to prorate it based on the odds. has a free and easy to use Dutching Tool available where you can set the amount you want to bet, or the amount you want to win, and the math is done for you. This is just one of many tools, and perks, available to the bettor at 


Wow Whata Summer and Uncle Irish over Wow Whata Summer, Uncle Irish, Speaking Scout, Elizar, Main Event and Tommy Bee

Wow Whata Summer, Uncle Irish, Speaking Scout, Elizar, Main Event and Tommy Bee  over Wow Whata Summer and Uncle Irish

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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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