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    Ellis Starr

    Ellis Starr, a.k.a. “Ubercapper,” is the National Racing Analyst for Equibase. He publishes detailed analysis and selections for Keeneland and other tracks regularly which can be found at Equibase, Keeneland Select and other web sites. Ellis writes a widely distributed “Race of the Week” article which appears on the Equibase web site as well as America’s Best Racing. Ellis will be posting his analysis daily for one race taken right from his complete selection and analysis report. Additionally, you can follow Ellis’ insights on twitter @ubercapper.

    Friday, October 13, 2017

    Race #9

    Buffalo Trace Franklin County Stakes  - Grade 3

    #8 Always Thinking - Minimum odds 7/2
    #13 Childhood - Minimum odds 4/1
    #11 Nobody's Fault - Minimum odds 4/1
    #5 Ruby Notion - Minimum odds 4/1
    #1 Miss Ella - Minimum odds 5/1

    Exacta: 5,8,11,13 over ALL (At the $1 minimum level the cost of the wager should be {depending on how many horses run} $44 and we win if 5, 8, 11 or 13 wins no matter who finishes 2nd, hoping for a big payoff in a full field)

    Exacta option 2: Box 1,5,8,11,13 (At the $1 min level the cost of the wager is $20. We win if any 2 of 5 finish 1st & 2nd)

    This year's edition of the Grade 3 Buffalo Trace Franklin County is one heck of a race with a full field of 12 PLUS four also-eligibles in an over-subscribed field who will run only if horses in the main body of the race scratch (withdraw). Many of these fillies and mares are true professionals running short on turf and in stakes and the race can go any of a number of ways, with traffic potentially playing a big role with so many horses, each hoping to get a clear path to run in the late stages.

    Contenders: Always Thinking just ran the best race of her career, winning a nearly identical stakes with a $100K purse in Maryland last month. In that race, Always Thinking rallied from 13 lengths back to draw away late, and as a four year old she is still maturing. Veteran jockey Joe Bravo gets the call and should be able to keep her off the rail and out of traffic trouble until the stretch run when he lets her loose to pass most or perhaps all of these for her 2nd win in a row.

    Childhood is one of the also-eligibles, and I really hope she gets into the race as she's making her first start in the U.S., although she was bred in Kentucky and sold at the Keeneland auction in 2015 (for $180K). Childhood won twice in a row last summer and fall, both short sprints like this one, in Ireland, beating MALES both times, before a poor race in April off a six month layoff. Privately purchased by excellent trainer (and former jockey) Wesley Ward since then, she's only been in training for the last month and appears fit. She gets Lasix and as a 3 year old has a lot more improving to do, and best of all her dam (mother) has produced FOUR multiple winners, all who earned more than a quarter million dollars.

    Nobody's Fault finished 2nd under identical conditions at Keeneland in April, behind multiple stakes winner Lady Aurelia (trained by Ward) and she enters the race off a fine 3rd place effort in the Royal North Stakes in Canada in July. She also won a stakes at Churchill Downs like this one in May with Lanerie in the saddle as today so she must be given a lot of respect as a contender.

    Ruby Notion is trained by Ward same as Always Thinking, and she gets veteran jockey Garcia, who mostly rides Ward's trainees in their morning workouts but when riding in the afternoon is very strong, having won 27 races from 75 in the last year, better still with a 4 for 10 record for the trainer in Stakes races. Ruby Notion finished 3rd behind Miss Ella in a similar stakes race this summer at Saratoga and won at Churchill Downs just prior to that, and as a lightly raced four year old with a 4 for 10 overall record is another who can get the job done.

    Miss Ella won this race last year, from the 9 post, this year getting the rail which in a big field like this could be problematic. Also, she finished 7th in her most recent race, won by Always Thinking, and with no real excuse. Still, she's been 1st or 2nd in 10 of 18 career races and know what to do when the gates open.

    Honorable mention goes to #4 Kasuga, the horse that will be in front early. She's 2 for 2 at the distance on turf and has been 1st or 2nd in her last two races. She could stick around for a share of the purse at the least.

    Follow Me on Twitter @Ubercapper

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