#7 Well Spent – min. win betting odds 5/2
#8 Mission from Elle – min. win betting odds 5/2
#3 Crystal Lake – min. win betting odds – 3/1
3,7,8 over 3,5,7,8
#5 is Devious Charm, who I think can manage 2nd but isn’t a win contender as she has finished 2nd through 5th in her last 11 races since earning her only win.
The most likely pace scenario is one in which Ununderstandable, who is stretching out from a sprint to a route, and who added blinkers last time out, is sent for the lead. That’s the way she earned her only win, last September, at seven furlongs, and she won’t have to run nearly as hard or as fast early to get to the front from her two post. However, she was beaten 19 and 22 lengths, respectively, in her two races this year and she’s very unlikely to be around late.
With a fast pace likely, Well Spent should be able to improve off her last start when beaten a neck on 7/2 on the main track in a race scheduled for turf. She earned her only win on grass and makes her third start off a layoff so should take the needed step forward to win. She was 7 to 2 when barely beaten 17 days ago yet opens at 6 to 1 here.
Mission from Elle ran second in the same race Devious Charm ran in on 6/19 at Churchill at this level and distance on grass but she’s making her third start off a layoff and the first comeback was irrelevant as she was running a mile on turf off 11 months on the bench without a prep. She put in a smashing 47 flat, best of 93, half- mile workout last week and is ready to run big.
Crystal Lake is very interesting. She earned her only win in her first turf route last fall in California when sitting in second early then drawing off by four lengths. She’s only run so-so since but those were all on the main track and when put back on turf in May in a tough field at Churchill Downs she led from the start and faded to third but was only beaten a length by the runner-up and two lengths by the winner. In the same off-turf race Well Spent finished fast for third in last month, Crystal Lake pressed in second and had no kick so faded to fifth but back on the sod it could be a different story and she could easily be part of the exacta, possibly posting the mild upset win opening at 6 to 1.
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.
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