#7 Smart TIme – min. win betting odds 7/2
#4 Nifty – min. win betting odds 7/2
#9 Keepin It Classy – min. win betting odds 7/2
#8 Mucho – min. win betting odds – none (use in exactas)
#3 Manny Wah – min. win betting odds – none (use in exactas)
4,7,9 over 3,4,7,8,9
3,4,7,8,9 over 4,7,9
4,7,9 over ALL
I am REALLY looking forward to betting on this race because there is the possibility for big profit. From a handicapping and betting perspective, when a horse is lightly raced that means it may be significantly under-bet (ignored in the wagering) relative to other horses with more races. However, considering handicapping and picking horses which can run well is as much of a matter of “what have you done lately” as “what are you going to do today” that leaves open the possibility a horse many people can’t see improving and winning can do just that.
That is the case with Smart Time, a home bred from the excellent Don Alberto Stable, which often pays millions for horses at auction. He’s raced only three times and has won twice, finishing second the other time. He’s stepping up a bit from first level allowance to this non-graded stakes level but everything about him says he can do it. After winning impressively by 11 at this six furlong trip in his debut last May (2019), Smart Time finished a fine second in a field of nine one month later then was off for 11 months. Returning as if he’d never been away, Smart Time won in a field of 11 at Churchill on May 23. Working sensationally in the morning for this start, as a four year old with improving to do and having shown a will to compete and win, I think Smart Time can post the upset or at least run a lot better than his 20/1 starting odds suggest he will.
Nifty is another who’s done little wrong in his career, winning or placing in six of nine races. He had no shot one before last when Absolutely Aiden led from start to finish but that isn’t going to happen today as Grey Attempt and possibly Seven Trumpets may want the lead. Nifty returned off the loss to Absolutely Aiden to win impressively last month at Churchill Downs and is another who appears ready to make his mark in the sprint stakes division.
Keepin It Classy opens at 20/1 as well. He ran okay, not great, in his first six races but when he changed trainers last August (2019) he was different, first winning by 10 then finishing third and winning again last September. Rested for nine and one-half months, Keepin It Classy stalked the pace three weeks ago and got up by a head and with today’s likely hot battle up front he might be able to run similarly at high odds.
Mucho (career record 3-4-2) and Manny Wah (3-4-5) are both good sprinters but not standouts by any means and as they open at 5 to 2 and 7 to 2 odds they must be used on exacta tickets but are poor win bets as neither stands out on any level. The ONLY reason Manny Wah is the favorite is he ran third to Volatile in the Aristides Stakes last month and Volatile is the prohibitive choice to win the Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap at Saratoga on Saturday.
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.
Weekend Stakes Blog at https://www.keeneland.com/media/news/
Weekend Key Races & Bets Blog and Podcast at amwager.com/handicapping/ellis-starr-blog
Analysis of major stakes races every Friday at equibase.com/free
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