Key Races & Bets for Saturday, November 9

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Pumpkin Pie Stakes – Race 7 at Aqueduct – Post Time 2:50 PM Eastern

Honor Way is a bit of an in-and-out type but with six wins in 20 career dirt races, some of her best races could win here and give her a mild upset at 6/1 on the morning line. Two of those six career wins on dirt have come at seven furlongs, including last month at Belmont. Although it was in a starter allowance race, the mare ran third in the Interborough Stakes at Aqueduct in January to Dawn the Destroyer, who ran big in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint last week, and she enters the race off a that strong win with a 96 Equibase figure which best is the figure among ALL in this field except Majestic Reason, who I think is vulnerable. Excellent trainer Baker took her from Rice for $62,500 three back in July and she could get the connections even and then some with a win here in her current form.

Saguaro Row put back-to-back wins together in April and May following over a year on the shelf, both under Rosario, then ran badly when overmatched in a grade 2 stakes, then rebounded to run second in a nearly identical (to this race) seven furlong stakes at Saratoga. Again overmatched in a grade 2 stakes, Saguaro Row was beaten a neck for second last time out at seven furlongs in Maryland and the key to a return to top form good enough to win is the fact Rosario is getting back on because in the race he rode her to victory in May she earned 100 figure.

Philanthropic is the only one of the top three morning line choices I can endorse for a win bet. She’s two for two since joining the Servis barn in June and returning from a seven month layoff and Servis keeps his horses in form to the tune of winning 34% of the time back to back in dirt sprints over the last FIVE years. The 95 figure earned in victory last out is strong and if she can improve third off the layoff she can win again, but she’s no sure thing.

Last True Love has two wins in nine starts this year and both came in March. Still, opening at 12/1 she’s got a small shot as she can lead early, stalk in second, third or fourth early, or come from far back. She won in March at this seven furlong trip after stalking early and if Philanthropic goes early she could get a great trip in the same early position so with those two wins early this year having earned her 104 and 96 figures, she rounds out the win contenders.

Second morning line favorite Majestic Reason is suspect as she did not make up any ground at this seven furlong trip in the stretch one before last at low odds then even though overmatched by the winner in the Gallant Bloom Stakes last out she was no match for the runner-up or third finishers.

Honor Way and Saguaro Row to win at odds of 5/2 or more.
A small win/place bet on Last True Love may be justified at 6 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 Honor Way, Saguaro Row, Philanthropic and Last True Love.
Trifecta: Box Honor Way, Saguaro Row, Philanthropic and Last True Love.

I’m going to play the Double from race 7 to race 8 and the Pick 3 for races 7, 8 and 9 as follows:
Race 7 – Honor Way, Saguaro Row, Philanthropic, Last True Love
Race 8 – Frontier Market, Curlin’s Honor, Caribou Club, Dr. Edgar
Race 9 – Freewheeler, Turned Aside, Embolden, Fly Fly Away, Mystic Lancelot
The cost of the pick 3 at the $1 minimum level is $80
The cost of the double at the $1 minimum level is $16

Note: If you feel bold, or if one of the horses in race nine scratches, consider these horses in race 9 as well:
Jack and Noah, Axiomo

Artie Schiller Stakes – Race 8 at Aqueduct – Post Time 3:20 PM Eastern

With Gidu, Voodoo Song and Abiding Star all absolutely NEED-the-LEAD types, as long as two or more of the three run, the race sets up for the closers. On one hand, two of the four closers are favorites and fairly legitimate, but there are two others to consider which make this race playable in and of itself, as well as part of the pick 3 and the doubles from the previous race and to the next race.

Dr. Edgar showed he could rate in second four times in his last 10 races, winning three and missing by a neck in the other. ALL of those last 10 races, including the three wins, were on turf, including the Grade 3 Appleton Stakes, Grade 3 Fort Marcy Stakes, Grade 3 Poker Stakes and Grade 2 Knickerbocker Stakes. STILL, he opens at 6/1 and I don’t get it. He led into the stretch last month in the Knickerbocker, won by Lucullan, who ran pretty well in the Breeders’ Cup Mile last weekend, and Davis has piloted him to three of his last five wins so all signs are GO for a big effort.

Curlin’s Honor opens at even higher odds, 10/1, though six of his last eight races were in graded stakes as well. He didn’t win any of them BUT he was only worse than third in one of those eight races and particularly his runner-up effort behind Synchrony in the Grade 2 King Edward Stakes at this mile trip in June is good enough to win here if he can repeat the effort, which is appears he can as he got a confidence building win in last month in a classified allowance race at Woodbine.

Frontier Market and Caribou Club are the legitimate favorites and we can only hope to split them in the exacta with one of the higher odds contenders. Frontier Market has been first or second in his last 10 races, all on turf, the best of which on 8/24, one before last, earned a 110 figure on par with the 109 Curlin’s Honor earned in August and the 110 Dr. Edgar earned in the Poker in June. He gets the rail and Irad Ortiz, Jr so there are no knocks EXCEPT perhaps as indicated by his career record of 3-7-0 in 11 races. Caribou Club was an also-eligible for the Breeders’ Cup Mile and would have drawn in after scratched but left California by the time the late scratches were announced. He has run two “A” races in a row, the most recent with a 109 figure winning the Grade 3 Baltimore Washington Turf Cup Stakes at the end of September. He’s a very competitive horse and would be no surprise if winning.

Bets: Win bets on BOTH Dr. Edgar and Curlin’s Honor are warranted at 7 to 2 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.

Exactas: Frontier Market, Curlin’s Honor, Caribou Club, Dr. Edgar over Frontier Market, Curlin’s Honor, Caribou Club, Dr. Edgar, Gidu, Voodoo Song and Abiding Star. (Because there’s always a chance one of the early front runners can hang on for second).

If you played the pick 3 starting in race 7 and none of the contenders won that leg, you can consider doubles using the contenders from that pick 3 in this race and the next race as follows:

Race 8 – Frontier Market, Curlin’s Honor, Caribou Club, Dr. Edgar
Race 9 – Freewheeler, Turned Aside, Embolden, Fly Fly Away, Mystic Lancelot

I would even go so far as to recommend doubles with the same four horses in race eight and adding Jack and Noah and Axiomo in race nine.

Atlantic Beach Stakes – Race 9 at Aqueduct – Post Time 3:50 PM Eastern

Mystic Lancelot won his debut, in August at Saratoga, a turf sprint, like a good thing by powering off by three lengths in a nine horse field at 9 to 5 odds. Stretched out to two turns and shipped to Canada to run in the Grade 1 Summer Stakes, around two turns, on a soggy turf course, he was sent to post as the 2 to 1 favorite in a field of 10 but could only manage a ninth race finish. Shipped to Keeneland Indian Summer Stakes, Mystic Lancelot ended up fourth of nine, a nose from third place finisher Axiomo (who is entered here) and two lengths behind sensational Kimari, who ran big in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Sprint last week. Facing easier here and back in New York, Mystic Lancelot is reunited with John Velazquez, up for the debut win, which earned a very strong (for a two year old) 98 Equibase figure so with a repeat of that effort, or even more logically, improvement off the effort, he can win.

Turned Aside finished third in his debut in a turf sprint at Belmont in September, then second at the end of the same month (behind Jack and Noah, who is in this race) then he won powerfully by four lengths when the light bulb went on. A two year old going from a maiden race to stakes is no big deal and the 94 figure he earned is the BEST last race figure in the field. Assuming he can take another step forward, Turned Aside can win, particularly with Lezcano riding back and picking over Rice’s other charge, Montauk Daddy, who he rode in all three career races. Rice wins 25% back-to-back and this colt could add to those numbers.

Freewheeler and Embolden finished second and third, respectively, in the Futurity Stakes last month at Belmont on the grass. The race was won by Four Wheel Drive, who duplicated the effort to win the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint last weekend. Freewheeler adds blinkers to improve off his fast finish for second and run back to the effort which saw him win by five in his only other race. However, the 91 figure last out is a bit (just slightly) behind the first two mentioned contenders best figures. Embolden earned a 96 figure winning by 10 lengths in his second career start and first on turf, then 90 when winning a stakes for Virginia Breds only at Colonial in September then repeated that 90 when a half-length behind Freewheeler in the Futurity. Blinkers go on this colt as well and Rosario stays aboard.

Last mentioned of a quintet of contenders, but not least, Fly Fly Away may be a New York bred but that’s meaningless given his pedigree as he’s a half-brother to multiple turf sprint stakes winner Disco Partner, who has won his share in open (not restricted) stakes. Fly Fly Away won his second start, first on turf, gamely by a nose in August then stretched out to two runs and finished fifth, an irrelevant effort when assessing his chances in this sprint. Castellano gets on and trainer Clement, who has conditioned many horses for this owner/breeder including Disco Partner, knows he’s got a very good horse here so opening at 12/1 I would not leave this colt out as a contender for a second.

Win Bets: Mystic Lancelot to win at 3 to 1 or more.
Consider smaller win bets at 9 to 2 or more on Turned Aside, Embolden and Freewheeler, the latter two unlikely to make that threshold.

THEN, I am betting a few dollars to win and to place on Fly Fly Away at odds of 5 to 1 or more.

Exacta & Trifecta: Box Mystic Lancelot, Turned Aside, Fly Fly Away, Embolden and Freewheeler.

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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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