Key Races & Bets for Saturday, November 16

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James F. Lewis III Stakes – Race 6 at Laurel – Post Time 2:51 PM Eastern

The bulk of the probability to win lies with Raging Whiskey and Newstome, with morning line favorite Tuggle vulnerable on two counts. Tuggle won his debut at five furlongs leading from start to finish in June then finished third in the Saratoga Special after leading early, before two routes. So, either he’s a need the lead type but won’t get the lead as Raging Whiskey is faster early and inside of him in the gate, or the routes dulled his early speed, which will allow Raging Whiskey an easy early lead as none of the three horses inside him in the gate are faster. Raging Whiskey ships out from California after his second poor try on grass in his last three races. In between those came a HUGE effort on dirt when he lead through fast fractions and won by eight in the Capote Stakes at 6 1/2 furlongs. This six furlong trip is no issue and since coming to Laurel he put in a very sharp workout for a half-mile which was the second fastest of 42 on the day so he’s showing all signs he’s fit and has all his speed.

Newstome relaxed in third and drew off late by three lengths in a statebred stakes at Presque Isle Downs on the all-weather last month, two before that winning on conventional dirt at Parx powerfully as well. In between came an irrelevant turf race. McCarthy rides and the 89 last race Equibase figure is second only to the 94 Raging Whiskey earned in his Capote Stakes win so Newstome has a strong chance to win if Raging Whiskey can’t go all the way on the front end.

Bets: Win bets on BOTH Raging Whiskey and Newstome at 2 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.

Exactas: Raging Whiskey and Newstome over ALL.

Race 6 – Raging Whiskey, Newstome
Race 7 – Cofactor, Still Alive and Lucky Trinity

Key Cents Stakes – Race 8 at Aqueduct – Post Time 3:20 PM Eastern

My Sassy Sarah makes a number of changes which are all positive and should help her run well enough to win in this stakes race for NY breds. She debuted on turf at Saratoga in a sprint and ran big to rally from fourth and lead late but was run down and lost the win by a length and the runner-up spot by a head. Improving markedly off that effort, My Sassy Sarah won as she pleased by four lengths at six furlongs, on turf, before stretching out to two-turns and being raised in class significantly to run in the open (non-restricted to just NY Breds) Grade 2 Miss Grillo Stakes. Rallying from sixth of eight early, she got almost even with the leaders at the eighth pole before tiring a bit to sixth, but beaten just three lengths. Today she cuts back to a sprint, moves back into statebred only competition, and drops in class, so if able to handle the dirt should take some beating. To that end, red hot Rosario gets on and trainer Nevin has a very strong record of 4-2-0 from 13 races in the last two years where her horses have moved from turf to dirt and route to sprint. The 92 Equibase figure My Sassy Sarah earned in her win is the best figure any horse in the field has earned so if able to run back to that effort she’s the one to beat.

Playtone, Single Verse and Time Limit all have a shot to be part of the exacta, but except for Single Verse, who opens at 5/1, none would offer enough value for win bets. Playtone broke her maiden by six last month in her third career start and fits nicely “IF” she can relax off the pace early and not try to lead from start to finish as she did last month. That’s because Time Limit is a need-the-lead type and since that’s her only advantage will be sent to the front, possibly holding second as she did last month in the Grade 3 Matron Stakes (on turf). Single Verse rallied from third to win going away on a muddy track at Belmont on 10/4 then 17 days later ran second from start to finish in a stakes at Finger Lakes. She’s never been worse than second in five races and that number could be six when all is said and done today.

Miss Sassy Sarah to win at odds of 9 to 5 or more, a low odds overlay win bet.

Exacta: Miss Sassy Sarah over Playtone, Single Verse and Time Limit

Warrior’s Reward Smart Halo Stakes – Race 7 at Laurel – Post Time 3:20 PM Eastern

A hot and contested early pace scenario is highly likely here, starting with Letsstaypositive, who has led from the start in both her career starts and who has to GO, GO, GO from the rail to not get covered up. The problem is Cruise and Danze wired the field in her only win, as did Summer Fortune (who is suspect as the 2 to 1 morning line favorite ) and Ilchester Cheetah, who has earned all three wins leading from the opening bell.

Cofactor, Still Alive and Lucky Trinity just need to relax as they’ve done in the past to get the major shares of the purse, with Cofactor getting preference because she has won two in row. After improving off her third place debut in August to win one month later, she went from Monmouth to Keeneland and rallied from fifth to win by a head after a tough battle in the stretch. Bravo was up for both wins and rides back and since shipping to Laurel the filly put in a very sharp 47.2 four furlong workout which was the second best of 27 on the day and which signals she can take another step forward and earn a stakes win in this situation.

Still Alive opens at odds too high to ignore for a horse with some decent probability to win, 10/1. She showed she could rate one before last when second in the opening quarter mile, like Cofactor winning at the first allowance level. Next she was overmatched and perhaps found seven furlongs too far in the Parx Juvenile Fillies. Cutting back to the six furlong trip of the win, she could be in a great spot in the early stages behind the dueling pacesetters and has potential to be there at the wire if not possibly to post the upset win.

Lucky Trinity showed a lot of maturity, and ability, winning first time out 13 days ago over the track. Sixth of nine early, she made a big move on the turn to go from three back to a length in front at the eighth pole then drew off comfortably. Considering the effort earned a 77 Equibase figure very similar to the 77 Still Alive earned in her allowance win on 10/20 and the 79 figure Cofactor earned in her allowance win at Keeneland, if Lucky Trinity takes a step forward she has potential to post the mild upset, opening at 6 to 1.

Win Bets: Cofactor to win at 9 to 5 odds or higher.
For slightly smaller amounts, Still Alive and Lucky Trinity can be bet to win at 7 to 2 odds or higher.

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.

Exacta: Box Cofactor, Still Alive and Lucky Trinity.

Trifecta: Cofactor, Still Alive and Lucky Trinity over Cofactor, Still Alive and Lucky Trinity over ALL.

Delta Mile Stakes – Race 8 at Delta Downs – Post Time 9:11 PM Eastern

Favorite Forevamo is vulnerable here opening at 3/1 which makes the race very playable. Stephen’s Answer gets the two post and appears to be a “Lone Frontrunner” with good position in this two turn mile. He was claimed by high percentage trainer Diodoro for a measly $7,500 three back out of a turf race and has won easily twice since by an average of six lengths, leading from start to finish both times at Delta, at seven furlongs (also around two-turns) and with Hamilton riding as today. The 94 and 97 figures, both in allowance races, are as good as ANY of the best in here including the recent 96 Foravamo earned when fourth in the Downs at Albuquerque in August (which is another knock on the favorite coming back from three months off). Coming into the race Stephen’s Answer put in a strong half-mile and although I don’t expect the 10/1 morning line to hold up I do expect the horse to go to post at higher odds than his strong probability to win suggests for a trainer who has won with 25% of over 900 starters on the year.

Trevilion fits here off a win in the statebred Gold Cup Stakes at the distance over the track last month with a 100 figure. He doesn’t need the lead and should be tracking Stephen’s Answer from the start so if that one can’t lead all the way Trevilion can get up and win his second stakes in a row. Late Night Mischief is three for six at Delta and won a seven furlong allowance race last month with a competitive 94 figure so is another key contender here.

Win Bets: Stephen’s Answer to win at odds of 5 to 2 or more.
Trevilion and Late Nite Mischief 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.

Exacta: Box Stephen’s Answer, Trevilion and Late Nite Mischief.

Also, Stephen’s Answer, Trevilion and Late Nite Mischief over Stephen’s Answer, Trevilion, Late Nite Mischief, McFeely, Harlan Selection, Extirpator and Forevamo.

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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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