#5 Honovi – minimum win betting odds 5/2
#1 Morocco – minimum win betting odds 9/5
Exacta: Box 1, 5, 3 (Imperial Mission)
Box 1, 5, 8 (Cashanova)
Box 1, 5, 6 (Botswana)
Honovi was 8 to 1, as his starting odds are for this race, when he checked in sixth of seven in an identical race on July 26. That race was MUCH better than it looks on paper, as he was beaten just two and three-quarter lengths at the end. That margin happens to be the same margin he was behind the leaders with 3/16 of a mile to go and with 1/8 of a mile to go. In short, Honovi had no chance to run at full stride the entire last 3/16 of a mile because he was stuck behind a wall of horses. Prior to that he rallied from 12 lengths back early to get second in a big effort, similar to the one he put in three races before that in January when beaten in a blanket finish. Just needing a little path to stretch his legs in the late stages today, Honovi can get up in time and post the mild upset.
Morocco is the starting favorite on the strength of his half-length defeat to similar when last seen on July 12. However, his record this year is one-for-eight and in his career he has twice as many second place finishes (8) than wins (4) so he’s no lock. Since joining the Maker barn via the claim in February, Morocco is one for six although he was over-matched in a stakes in one of those races. He gets the rail and should be finishing late so has to be used on all exacta tickets we play but opening at 7 to 5 odds he’s a poor win bet.
Ellis Starr, a.k.a. “Ubercapper,” has been a racing fan for 50 years and understands all aspects of handicapping as well as betting. More than 25 years ago, Ellis was one of the first handicappers to publish his selections on the Internet and to share his knowledge on a daily basis.
Ellis is the National Racing Analyst for Equibase, the Thoroughbred industry’s official source for Racing Information, writing a widely distributed “Race of the Week” story analyzing top races in North America, which also appears on the web site America’s Best Racing. Ellis also publishes insights, analysis and selections for other races around the country as blogs and as a podcast which may be found at Amwager and Keeneland Select, as well as via twitter @ubercapper and on the web sites of top racetracks such as Del Mar, Ellis Park, Keeneland, Santa Anita and Woodbine.
Ellis also participates in handicapping tournaments, winning the Belmont Shootout a few years back and the National Handicapping Championship Charity Challenge in 2017. He is among the few that participate annually in the Keeneland Tournament of Champions.
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