Key Races & Bets for Saturday, July 13

Hockessin Stakes – Race 6 at Delaware Park – Post Time 4:13 PM Eastern

For the purposes of the pick 3 ending in the Delaware Handicap, race 8, we should use all five particularly as there are horses in each of the next two races at decent odds, so if one of the favorites wins here the bet should still be worth the risk. All five of these sprinters can win, even Arthur’s Hope, who opens at the highest odds of the quintet at 8 to 1. He earned a 112 Equibase Figure winning a classified allowance last month over stakes winner Life in Shambles, for his 11th career win in 22 starts. That 112 figure is the second best last race figure in the field, with only Always Sunshine’s 117 figure better. Altissimo, who opens as the second highest price in the field at 9 to 2, has nearly won five in a row, all stakes, four of them for Ohio breds only. However, in the one defeat, he missed by a head to Colonel Sharp, who opens at 3 to 1 so Altissimo’s 9 to 2 odds are a bit higher than they should be as both horses have the same probability. There are no knocks on 8 to 5 favorite No Dozing but he’s no standout either. He won a classified allowance last July and the Bold Ruler in November then took seven months off. His comeback was poor as he faded from second early to seventh and he is NOT dropping in class.

Bets: Win bet on Arthur’s Hope and Altissimo at odds of 3 to 1 or more.

When making multiple win bets, use a “Dutching” tool with which you can enter the amount you want to spend or the amount you want to win and the calculation of how much to bet will be done for you. Amwager provides a free “Dutching” tool, among other great benefits for the handicapper and bettor.

Pick 3’s (two tickets)
Race 6 ALL five
Race 7 Completed Pass, Parlor, O Dionysus, Just Howard
Race 8 Gotham Gala, Escape Clause

Race 6 ALL five
Race 7 Completed Pass
Race 8 Gotham Gala, Escape Clause, Elate, Blue Prize

Glasgow Stakes – Race 7 at Delaware Park – Post Time 4:49 PM Eastern

This race is a lot more wide open than the morning line odds would make you believe. The 3 to 2 starting odds on Parlor are as much based on the fact he’s dropping out of the Grade 2 Wise Dan Stakes as anything else. However, he was 33 to 1 that day, and his last win came in a NW3X allowance race 14 months ago. He can win but he’s no standout, not even a little. Just Howard is winless in three races this year and like Parlor, earned his last win, 11 months ago, in an allowance race. His morning line odds are 5/2 and that’s just ridiculous as he has about a 20% chance to win at the most so they should be about 4 to 1 .O Dionysus, who won the 12 furlong Cape Henlopen Stakes on this turf course last year but who is winless since including a third place finish in that same race one week ago, opens at 9 to 2. They all have a chance but aren’t really playable except in pick 3 and double tickets.

On the other hand, Completed Pass is a superb bet anywhere near his 12/1 starting odds. This is one competitive horse as evidenced by six wins and three second place finishes in 11 races. He tried turf for the first time four races back in April and except for a fifth place effort in a grade 3 stakes on soft turf last out ran huge in all three races, winning one and missing by a neck in the other two. ALL THRE were 100K stakes races just like this one so the only question is whether he can run two turns as all three were five or five and one-half furlongs. Being as he’s only raced 11 times, there’s no reason he can’t get the distance and run as well, and certainly his Equibase figures are every bit as good as the three previously mentioned horses opening at much lower odds.

Bets: Win bet on Completed Pass at odds of 2 to 1 or more, adding a place bet at 5 to 1 or more.

Exactas: Box Completed Pass and Parlor. Box Completed Pass and Just Howard. Box Completed Pass and O Dionysus.

If you did not play the pick 3 starting in race 6, or if none of the horses won that leg, or if you just want to press for more profit, here are some Doubles:

Completed Pass in race 7 with ALL in race 8.
Completed Pass in race 7 with Gotham Gala, Escape Clause, Elate, Blue Prize in race 8.
Completed Pass, Parlor, Just Howard and O Dionysus in race 7 with Gotham Gala, Escape Clause, Elate, Blue Prize in race 8.
ALL in race 7 with Gotham Gala and Escape Clause in race 8.

Delaware Handicap – Race 8 at Delaware Park – Post Time 5:25 PM Eastern

Gotham Gala has good upset potential in this race. She started her career on turf, went zero for two, then moved to dirt, where she won by 12 lengths last September. Two races later she won again, followed by a poorer effort which led to a six month layoff. After a third place finish in a two-turn race in May without a sprint prep first, Gotham Gala was entered in the Obeah Stakes where she cruised in front from start to finish, earning a career-best 94 Equibase Speed Figure which was an eight point improvement off her previous effort. Gotham Gala has the breeding to handle the 10 furlong trip of the Delaware Handicap as a daughter of Smart Strike so there are no concerns there. Although she led from start to finish in the Obeah, Gotham Gala proved last year she can come from off the pace to win. Jockey Danny Centeno has been aboard for all three of her career wins and rides today so from an inside post can take the early lead if no other horse wants it or can sit off the pace and rally in the stretch. Considering favorite Elate earned a 99 figure winning the Fleur de Lis last month, with logical improvement off the 94 figure effort Gotham Gala put forth last month, she can run as well or better than the favorite to win this year’s Delaware Handicap.

Escape Clause is another upset possibility, if she can repeat the effort she put forth in the Apple Blossom Handicap in April. In that race, Escape Clause stalked in second, took the lead on the far turn and held it to just near the wire, coming up a nose short to Midnight Bisou, who returned to win the Ogden Phipps Stakes last month, a race in which Escape Clause was a well-beaten fourth. The 115 figure Escape Clause earned in the Apple Blossom is nearly as good as the 119 figure Elate earned winning the Personal Ensign Stakes last summer and the 117 figure Blue Prize (ARG) earned winning the Falls City Handicap in the fall of 2017 and the longer distance could help Escape Clause run back to her Apple Blossom effort, as she finished third, beaten only one length, in the 11 furlong Red Carpet Handicap on turf last fall. Having put in two workouts at Delaware Park, the first of which was a rock solid second best of 70 on the day at the distance of four furlongs, Escape Clause must be strongly considered a contender in this race.

Elate would go over the $2 million mark in career earnings with a win in the Delaware Handicap, having banked $1.69 million to date while winning six of 15 races and finishing second in five others. She won the 2018 edition of this race following eight months off and earning a 110 figure. She could run even better this year as she has had three races, most recently winning the Fleur De Lis Handicap last month with a 99 figure. She earned higher 105 and 111 figures, respectively, in the Azeri Stakes and Apple Blossom, although she was no threat to win either. However, back in winning form and having won back-to-back grade 1 stakes in the summer of 2017, Elate could be formidable in this situation.

Blue Prize (ARG) is a tough competitor who has been first or second in 15 of 19 races, earning $1.1 million in the process. She put together three straight graded stakes wins last year, including the Fleur de Lis, before a fourth place effort in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff. Her two races this year have been okay but not great, first finishing third in the La Troienne Stakes in May with a 99 figure, then regressing slightly to a 97 figure when beaten a length and one-half by Elate in this year’s Fleur De Lis. As such, I think Blue Prize (ARG) can be a contender for a minor award and should be considered for exacta and trifecta tickets in this race, but it may be difficult for her to beat any of the three previously mentioned contenders.

Bets: Gotham Gala and Escape Clause to win at 3 to 1 or more, adding a place bet at 5 to 1 or more.

When making multiple win bets, use a “Dutching” tool to do the work of allocating your wagering dollars for the best edge. Amwager has a great dutching tool available, among many other great features.

Trifecta: Box Gotham Gala, Escape Clause, Elate and Blue Prize.

Diana Stakes – Race 9 at Saratoga – Post Time 5:46 PM Eastern

Don’t let the fact this year’s Diana Stakes drew six horses, or the fact four are trained by Chad Brown, keep you from playing the race. ALL SIX can win, even Thais, who opens at 15/1. Highly regarded since coming to the U.S. two summers ago, she has won just once in eight races, BUT she is adding blinkers while making her second start after five months off. Brown’s record when adding blinkers in a turf route stakes race is amazing. I looked up the details of this and he’s only done it five times. I usually hate it when a trainer makes a blinker change for a stakes as it suggests the trainer doesn’t know that to do and is just trying something, but NOT CHAD BROWN, who has done this 12 times, with four of the horses winning and 11 hitting the board. Considering Thais pressed the pace in second from the start and was two lengths behind the leader from start to finish, perhaps the focus with blinkers will get her to run a big race. Mitchell Road, who opens at 8/1, is another potential win bet in spite of the Brown powerhouse of Rushing Fall, Sistercharlie and Homerique. Mitchell Road has done absolutely everything right in seven races for Bill Mott, winning five and finishing second in the other two. The 111 and 107 figures she earned in her last two stack up with the best in here (Rushing Fall 113, Sistercharlie 116 last fall and Homerique just 93 last month) so I must consider Mitchell Road a win contender in the same breath as the rest.

Bets: Thais and Mitchell Road to win at odds of 3 to 1 or more.

When making multiple win bets, use a “Dutching” tool to do the work of allocating your wagering dollars for the best edge. Amwager has a great dutching tool available, among many other great features.

Doubles: ALL in Race 9 with Payne in Race 10.

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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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