Kentucky Downs Preview Ladies Sprint
#7 Lead Guitar – minimum win betting odds 5/2
#1 Dance Rhythms – minimum win betting odds 3/1
#3 Whimsical Muse – minimum win betting odds 3/1
1,3,7 over ALL
It was really had to pick which race to cover for the Race of the Day today because many of these stakes races have big fields with lots of horses whose odds are higher than they should be given their probability to win. That’s what happens with stakes races where there are four, five or even six strong contenders. In this race that is the case, in addition to the fact the TWO starting favorites have LESS probability to win than is suggested by their odds. That fact particularly makes this race a great betting race.
Morticia (3/1) and Into Mystic (7/2) are those two favorites and although they can win I don’t believe they will. Morticiahas banked over $1 million, winning 10 times in her career, all turf sprints. BUT, her last win came in the Ladies Sprint at Kentucky Downs last summer off a good fourth at Saratoga one month earlier. She’s just not in that kind of form coming into this race as she faded to last of eight when last seen June 19, her worse effort since her debut in June of 2016. Prior to that she finished fourth in her 2020 debut after leading. I’ll try to beat her here. Into Mystic is 3 for 10 in her career but only one of her 10 starts was on turf and it was a fourth place finish at 32 to 1. She’s not bred especially well for sprinting on turf as her sire is much better with horses going long on grass and she’s low odds to start based on just the fact she’s dropping from a grade 2 race, BUT she was 32 to 1 and fourth in a seven horse field isn’t good enough for me for her to be a contender here.
Lead Guitar ran on dirt for the first time last time out on 7/9 and finished fourth. That’s TOTALLY IRRELEVANT when assessing her form but it’s the reason she’s 12/1 to start. She never missed the board (no worse than third) in five previous races on grass, winning two. Those two wins were impressive, particularly the one in June off an eight month layoff after moving to the Kenneally barn where she rallied from ninth of 10 to win going away. That’s an effort which is good enough to win here if (when?) repeated.
Dance Rhythms and Whimsical Muse both won at this distance on grass at Churchill Downs in their most recent races. Dance Rhythms rallied from ninth and was visually impressive. She makes her third start off a layoff and has improving to do, as well as has won at the distance on the Ellis Park turf. Prior to that, Dance Rhythms finished sixth, beaten only a length in a blanket finish and after being bumped and hampered with an eighth of a mile to run. Whimsical Muse won that race (May 30) and is making her first start since then so deserves a lot of consideration as a win contender too but it’s odd she opens at 8/1 whereas Dance Rhythms opens at 15/1 when in my opinion they have the same chance to win.
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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