My Best Bets of the Day: Ellis Park Has Interesting Card

While we may not be offering our full analysis and handicapping tips and strategies for entire race cards for the next couple of weeks, we will be looking at several races each day. Today, we take a look at several nice races carded at Ellis Park.

The key for Ellis Park races today, at least for us, is whether or not the events will stay on the turf course. If they are moved off and over to the main track, then we will scratch out, as well.

The other key that we are looking at is the fact that it could be a really nice day for several trainers — like Brendan Walsh, Brad Cox, and Buff Bradley.

Here is a closer look at our best bets of the day at Ellis Park:

2nd: Yaafour (1): This is a British-bred colt that has turned up State side in the barn of Brendan Walsh, who is having a solid 2018 season, and has won one of two races so far at the Pea Patch. This one ran a very nice third against tougher over the synthetic track at Presque Isle in his last start on June 21. Now, gets shipped to Henderson for this one at a lower level. Got the blinkers for the first time last out and that seemed to sharpen this one up immensely. Look for a solid run from the rail in this spot.

4h: Just You Wait (3): This is a 3YO filly by Gemologist and is also trained by Walsh. She will move over to the grass for the first time today after running a solid fourth before tiring at Churchill Downs on May 2. Winner of that one has already come back to win, and the trainer hits with .12% of those making the grass debut. This filly is a solid work horse, and should improve off the lone appearance. The dam of this one is by More Than Ready, and that is plenty of grass sire power for this spot.

5th: Upset Brewing (2): My Best Bet of the Day. In 12 lifetime starts to date, this daughter of Justin Phillip has one win. But she has 7 seconds and 2 thirds. Definition of a hard knocking, honest as heck filly. She tries every time out, and she has been facing some very good ones in the past, as well. In the last 7 races, she has hit the board in 6 of them. The lone exception as a 6th in the G3 Beaumont Stakes at Keeneland in April. There are no Gas Station Sushi or Kelly’s Humor types in this spot. Trainer Buff Bradley has done a masterful job with this one and she should be poised to get even today. I like her over Rose of Mailibu (4) and Take Charge Niki (6) in the exotics.

6th: Shakes Creek (4) & Super Bound (6): These are a couple of first timers from the barn of Brad Cox, who just so happens to hit with .21% of those making the first appearance in the afternoon. Both of these have demonstrated some real talent in the morning works to date, and have a shot to hit the winner’s circle on debut. The dam of the first one has 4 winners from 5 starters and has a SW in that mix. Nice work on July 1 to prep for this one and tighten down the screws. The latter is a 4YO making the first ever start and has been training lights out, too. The move on June 30 was impressive, to say the least, and this one gets a rider who has won 5 races out of the last 8 tries over the past two weeks for this barn. If that is not enough, and it should be, the trainer sports a 7-3-2- record in the last 19 starts over the past 14 days. Wow.

7th: Saham (8): This 6YO son of Lemon Drop Kid — trained by Walsh — has run three seconds in a row, and those come on the heels of two thirds in a row. The last race was a doozy, running second as the favorite. This trainer hits with .30% of those returning to the races for the first time after being beaten as the betting choice. Very good right now. The horse to beat, though, is one from the Cox Barn — Chocolate Ride (5). This one has raced only once this year, beaten just 21/2 lengths as the even money favorite at Indy on June 5. Will be equipped with blinkers again today, and the trainer hits with .33% of those getting the shades back on. Should appreciate this level of competition, and should show more in this spot. The Upset Special, though, just may be Foxtrot Charlie (2) — a 5YO son of English Channel. Throw out the last one, which came off the turf. Two back this one ran a huge race to Mr. Cub — who has been on fire this Spring and won a Stakes event at Churchill Downs. If this one stays on the grass, I like this one’s chances of being in the money at 12-1 ML odds. Rider does well over this grass course, too.

8th: Marquee Prince (6): This one for the barn of Cox just may be the second “Best Bet of the Day.” This 2YO son of Cairo Prince will be making the first career start, but the connections paid $215,000 for him as a yearling last October, and he has fired two bullet works in a row for a trainer that is absolutely red hot right now. Top jock gets the call, and the mare of this one was Stakes Placed, to boot. If this one stays on the grass, I may just fire a bullet like this one has been doing in the morning.

Good Luck & All the Best/Gene

The horse broke well today,” Gaffalione said. “I had the horse inside, Dunph, going to the lead and then (Gun It) showed a little bit of speed. When I saw they were intent on going I just tried to get him back and got him to relax. He came back to me nicely and settled well down the backside. Got a little keen going into the far turn and wanted to move a little early. But I didn’t want to take too much away from him so I tried to sit as long as I could. He was waiting on horses down the lane but I kept him at task and there was plenty of horse there.”

“Mark (Casse, the trainer) and his team have done a great job,” Gaffalione said. “They’ve had a ton of confidence in this horse the whole way. It’s just an honor to be able to ride the horse. He’s just so professional, trains great and he’s a pleasure to be around.”

Tyler Gaffalione, Rode of War of Will to victory in the G2 Risen Star Stakes at the Fair Grounds
  • Gene McLean

    Gene McLean

    Gene McLean began his professional career in 1977 as a sportswriter and columnist for the Lexington Herald-Leader in Lexington, Ky., and was recognized as one of the state’s best writers, winning the prestigious “Sportswriter of the Year” honor in 1985. Now the President and Publisher of The Pressbox, McLean sets ...

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