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.
Apple Betty - Minimum odds 5/2
Lots o' Lex - Minimum odds 3/1
Daring Duchess - Minimum odds 7/2
Rachel Wall - Minimum odds 4/1
SEVEN of the 13 entered in this year's Grade 3 Dowager Stakes, a marathon (mile and one-half) on turf, can win. I've narrowed the main win contenders to the four above. However, I would not argue with ANYONE that felt #4 Paige, #6 Robillard or #13 Oakley Girl can win and wanted to include them on multi-race wagers such as the double, pick 3 and pick 4.
Apple Betty is one of 6 in this 13 horse field that has run at the distance, which is important because it is not run very much. She makes her U.S. debut after running 3 times in Europe. In her most recent race, a Group 2 stakes in Germany, she led early and settled for 4th to a very nice filly in Parveneh. Before that she finished 3rd in a group 3 stakes to a next out stakes winner in Left Hand. She's a 3 year old facing older for the 2nd time but at this time of year that's fine, and underrated jockey Hernandez comes down from Canada to ride for world-class trainer Jean-Claude Rouget. As such, she could get the job done as this Grade 3 level in the U.S. is actually easier than the class level of her last 2 races.
Lots o' Lex posted the 12 to 1 upset in a 140K stakes at Kentucky Downs last month. Although that wasn't graded, it had the equivalent level to this grade 3. Channing Hill was in the saddle for the very first time and rides back. The only time she previously ran at this distance, Lots o' Lex finished 5th in the 2015 Bewitch Stakes, at this distance here at Keeneland. She's much improved since then and can post the upset just as she did last month.
Daring Duchess might have won a race at this 12 furlong trip on turf on 9/1 at Saratoga but her jockey dropped the whip with an 8th of a mile to go. She won her next start, on 10/5, at 10 furlongs and certainly can get the trip. She picks up jockey Geroux, with a few stakes wins at the meeting, and has a big shot to be in the thick of the action at the wire.
Rachel Wall has run the two best races of her career in her last two starts, finishing 2nd on 8/4 at 11 furlongs then winning at this 12 furlong trip on 9/1. In that 9/1 win she beat Daring Duchess. Trainer Motion is having a very strong meeting with 7 wins to date and this gal rounds out a strong quartet that can win this year's Dowager Stakes.
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You can get my selections and analysis for the entire Keeneland card at Equibase, TrackMaster, Keeneland Select, TVG, Twinspires, Xpressbet as well as many and other wagering sites, usually in the handicapping store.