Key Races & Bets for Saturday, October 6


Hill Prince Stakes – Race 9 at Belmont Park – Post Time 5:00 PM Eastern


Have At It and Prioritize just finished 2nd and 3rd, respectively, in the Better Talk Now Stakes at Saratoga, separated by a neck at odds of 7/1 and 9/1. In spite of running very well in a similar stakes, they open at 8/1 and, even more out of line, 15/1, because of the nature of how heavily Chad Brown’s Raging Bull will be bet, opening at 6/5. However, these are ALL three year olds and when comparing the 98 Equibase Figure Raging Bull earned winning the Saranac Stakes to the 102 and 100 figures Have At It and Prioritize earned just five days earlier, the keys to profit in this race are obvious. Add to the mix Ride a Comet, who finished third behind Raging Bull in the Hall of Fame Stakes on August 3 then flattered that one by shipping to California to win the Del Mar Derby, with a field high and career best 113 figure on par with the 113 Raging Bull earned in the Hall of Fame. Both those figures would be dominant if repeated but with Raging Bull earning a 95 figure when second in the Manila before the Hall of Fame, the 113 figure effort looks to be an outlier. I’m not sure about the big effort Ride a Comet put in last out, but then again comparing his 3/1 starting odds to the odds offered on both Have At It and Prioritize, I’ll still be happy keying on the two higher odds horses on exactas, with a very specific trifecta strategy below to cover the favorites running well.


Win & Place Bets: Have At It to win at 5/2 or more, adding a place bet at 5/1, a KEY BET on the day.

For a smaller amount, Prioritize to win at 7/2 or higher, adding a place bet at 5/1 or more.


As always, 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.


Exacta bets: We will split the favorites as there’s no value in them finishing first and second, as follows:

Box Have At It, Prioritize and Raging Bull. Box Have At It, Prioritize and Ride a Comet.


Trifecta: Raging Bull and Ride a Comet over Have At It and Prioritize over Raging Bull, Ride a Comet, Have At It and Prioritize.


Doubles: ALL in Race 9 with Trophy Chaser in Race 10

Have At It and Prioritize in Race 9 with ALL in Race 10

Raging Bull, Ride a Comet, Have At It and Prioritize in Race 9 with Trophy Chaser in Race 10

Have At It and Prioritize in Race 9 with Endorsed, Trophy Chaser, Complexity, Call Paul and Aurelius Maximus in Race 10.


Speakeasy Stakes – Race 4 at Santa Anita – Post Time 5:05 PM ET (2:05 PM PT)


Mae Never No is a standout in this “Win & You’re In” to the new Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint. Trained by Wesley Ward, who rarely ships to California, she’s a filly facing males, which Ward does an incredible job with in spotting where his young fillies can beat boys. Although Keeneland, Ward’s home base, is running the Indian Summer Stakes, another BC Juvenile Turf Sprint prep, Ward ships because he also has a very strong contender in that race, the filly Chelsea Cloisters. Mae Never No has won two of three, the most recent a stakes race when leading start to finish, the other in May in her debut from off the pace under Stevens, who gets the call here.


For some doubles and pick 3’s we will also use Hartel and Owning, who don’t look as fast as Mae Never Know, but who appear so far superior to the other four that for the purposes of multi-race bets have to be considered, particularly as I am taking a shot for the upset in race 5.


Bets: Mae Never Know to win at 8 to 5 or more, a low odds overlay KEY BET.


Doubles: Mae Never Know in Race 4 with All in Race 5.

ALL in Race 4 with Distinctive B in Race 5

Mae Never Know, Hartel and Owning in Race 4 with Distinctive B in Race 5.


Pick 3: (3 options:

Race 4 – Mae Never Know, Hartel, Owning

Race 5 – Roy H, Distinctive B, Ransom the Moon

Race 6 – Miss Southern Miss, Fizzy Friday, Poster Girl, Rubilinda

Race 4 – Mae Never Know

Race 5 – Roy H, Distinctive B, Ransom the Moon

Race 6 – Miss Southern Miss, Fizzy Friday, Poster Girl, Rubilinda


Race 4 – Mae Never Know, Hartel, Owning

Race 5 – Distinctive B

Race 6 – Miss Southern Miss, Fizzy Friday, Poster Girl, Rubilinda


Champagne Stakes – Race 10 at Belmont Park – Post Time 5:35 PM ET


The principal “Occam’s Razor” suggests when there are two solutions, the simpler (or more obvious) is usually correct. When applied to handicapping, it means if a horse looks like the best horse, in the absence of contrary evidence, it usually is. Of course, applying the principal all the time just puts us on the same horse as most of the public (the favorite) and that’s no fun. However, in this year’s Champagne Stakes, the obvious horse, Trophy Chaser, opens at 10/1 and that has to be taken advantage of. Trophy Chaser, like most of the others in this race, broke his maiden in his most recent race. That was a six furlong sprint at Gulfstream Park. Not only did he win by 15 3/4 lengths, he earned a 115 Equibase figure, normally higher than the figure earned by the winner of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile next month on a historical basis. The effort and figure do not appear to be inflated, as other speed figure makers have his figure the best in the field as well, and the figure wasn’t earned leading from start to finish, rather the colts showed maturity sitting in 2nd in the early stages. With a strong workout coming into the race and a solid local jockey in Junior Alvarado riding, if this colt goes off anywhere near double digit odds it could prove to be a gift not only because of everything mentioned previously but also because the runner-up came back to win and the 3rd finisher improved to finish 2nd in his next start.


The uncoupled Brown entry of Complexity and Aurelius Maximus are talented colts who win by 4 1/4 and 7 3/4 lengths, respectively, last out, with 104 and 95 figures to improve upon. Endorsed was very impressive rallying to get up by a neck with a 106 figure, and Call Paul won the Saratoga Special with a mediocre 88 figure but earned a 102 figure in his debut and is another talented colt. However, none of them offer the value Trophy Chaser offers.


Bets: Trophy Chaser to win at odds of 2 to 1 or more, adding a place bet at 4 to 1 or more.


Santa Anita Sprint Championship Stakes – Race 5 at Santa Anita – Post Time 5:38 PM ET, (2:38 PM PT)


In spite of the class of both Roy H and Ransom the Moon, I am going to take a shot with Distinctive B, who may be all alone on an easy early lead in this short field. Horses often outrun their own ability when on an easy early lead and can gain a confidence sometimes seen never before or after those kinds of efforts. Distinctive B earned a career-best 115 Equibase Speed Figure in his most recent start, on August 26, when coasting to an easy four and one-half length win, so it is presumed he could have run even faster. Last year, Roy H earned a 117 figure when second to Ransom the Moon in the Bing Crosby Stakes before winning the Santa Anita Sprint Championship and that is the kind of effort Distinctive B may be capable of that could propel him to the upset win.



Ransom the Moon and Roy H don’t need any talking up, each having won two of four meetings versus the other, with the former having won the Bing Crosby recently and the latter having won this race last year before winning the Breeders’ Cup Sprint.


Bets: Distinctive B to win at 2 to 1 or more.

(note: If we are alive in doubles we don’t need to make a win bet)


Exactas: Box Distinctive B and Roy H. Box Distinctive B and Ransom the Moon

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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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