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Expert Picks

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, April 19, 2019

Race 9 at Keeneland
Friday, April 19, 2019
Grade 3 Hillyard Lyons-Baird Doubledogdare Stakes

#8 Golden Award – minimum win betting odds 2/1
#2 Blue Prize – minimum win betting odds 2/1

Exacta: 2,8 over ALL (because any of the nine have a chance to finish second)

Golden Award gets preference over multiple graded stakes winner Blue Prize because she’s going to be higher odds near post time and because, in my opinion, she has the same probability to win as the likely betting choice.

Golden Award is a lightly raced four year old filly who, except for a fifth place finish in the first start of her career 11 months ago, has never been worse than second. Better still, she has won three races in a row, each better than the rest in terms of the Equibase Speed Figure she earned. Golden Award won at this distance in November with a steady rally from fourth then two months later in January won by three and one-half lengths to earn a career-best 99 figure. To put that in perspective, when Blue Prize won the Grade 1 Spinster Stakes last October at Keeneland, she earned a 98 figure and although Blue Prize has earned higher figures such as 110 when winning the Fleur Di Lis Handicap last June and 103 winning the Locust Grove Stakes last summer, Golden Award has improving to do as a four year old compared to the fully mature Blue Prize.

Additionally, Golden Award calls the barn of Hall-of-Fame trainer Bill Mott home and is a half-sister to 2009 Kentucky Derby winner I’ll Have Another. Even though Golden Award only has $150K in earnings compared to $1 million for Blue Prize, is must be noted that when Blue Prize was a four year old just like Golden Award is now she was still running at the same second allowance level Golden Award won in her most recent race. As such, Golden Award could take a bit step forward to win this year’s Doubledogdare Stakes and perhaps when she's six year old she may have banked $1 million as well.

Blue Prize has no knocks except for returning from five months away from the races. Joe Bravo rode her to victory in the Spinster last fall at Keeneland and rides her again and the mare wasn’t disgraced a bit when fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff, beaten just a head by the tremendous Midnight Bisou. In her 2018 debut after four months off, Blue Prize finished a disappointing seventh, but her workouts suggest she’s fit and aside from Golden Award the rest appear to have much less probability to win than the two listed contenders so at the least we need to play Blue Prize in the win spot on exacta tickets.

More racing content:
Follow Me on Twitter @Ubercapper
Analysis of major stakes races every Friday at equibase.com/free
Weekend Stakes Blog at keenelandselect.com/blogs/ksblogger
Weekend Key Races Blog and Podcast at amwager.com/handicapping/ellis-starr-blog

Free Selection for one free race daily at:
Keeneland - keeneland.com/racing/wagering/expert-picks/Ellis Starr
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Woodbine - woodbine.com/handicapping/ellis-starr/

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