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Ellis Starr (@Ubercapper) Handicaps Grade 3 Hendrie and Grade 2 Dance Smartly

July 23, 2022

TORONTO, July 23, 2022 – Guest expert handicapper Ellis Starr (@Ubercapper) takes a closer look at handicapping Sunday’s Grade 3 Hendrie and Grade 2 Dance Smartly.

To view Starr’s daily “Plays of the Day” for Woodbine.com, click here.

Ellis Starr (@Ubercapper) Handicaps Grade 3 Hendrie and Grade 2 Dance Smartly

Race 3Hendrie Stakes – Grade 3 – Post Time 2:10

Top contenders with minimum odds for considering win bets:

#2 Boardroom – 2 to 1
#6 Dynasty of Her Own – 4 to 1
#5 Artie’s Princess – 4 to 1

How I would wager $20:

$5 exacta boxes: 6, 2 and 6, 5

These bets maximize our profit potential because Dynasty of Her Own should go to post at the highest odds of the trio.

Other possible wagers:

Trifecta: 2, 5, 6 over 2, 3, 5, 6 over 2, 3, 5, 6

At the $0.20 minimum level this bet has a cost of $3.60. We win if #2, #5 or #6 wins then if any of the other three finish second or third, in any order. #3 is Amalfi Coast.

Boardroom has won six of nine races including the Grade 2 Royal North Stakes last month. This grade 3 race is still significant but the move from grade 2 to 3 is a class drop. She also won the Grade 3 Seaway Stakes and the Grade 3 Whimsical Stakes last year, both on the main track she’s racing over today. The mare loves to win and has the tactical speed to stay in touch with early likely leader Artie’s Princess, who bested Boardroom twice in 2020, but who has lost to Boardroom in their two meetings since then. Boardroom is making her third start off an eight-month layoff and has improved from a 91 Equibase figure to 94 last time out, but considering she earned 100 and 110 figures last year we have not seen her best in 2022.

That being said, Dynasty of Her Own is very interesting, particularly from a wagering standpoint as she opens at 15 to 1. This is in spite of an awesome career record of 11 for 23. That doesn’t even tell the whole story because many of those came on dirt (where she’s 1 for 7) and on turf (0 for 5). On all-weather, this mare is 10 for 11. She’s earned $316,000 in her career, compared to $390,000 for Boardroom, with one of those wins coming in the California Oaks in 2020 at Golden Gate Fields in California on a similar surface, and her best effort this past February earned a 97 figure, which is slightly better than the 94-figure effort Boardroom earned last time out. Most of her wins were earned leading from the start, but she has won from off the pace as well and it is notable leading jockey Kimura get on board.

Artie’s Princess possesses six career wins the same as Boardroom, in 10 starts (one more than the favourite). She returned from 11 months off in May and faded to fourth after leading early in the Whimsical Stakes, in which Boardroom rallied for second, but she did improve nicely to a 97-figure effort in the restricted Ballade Stakes last month. Like Dynasty of Her Own, Artie’s Princess wins mostly leading from start to finish but she can sit off the pace just as well and Patrick Husbands, who has been up for three wins in three tries, rides her once again.

Race 10 – Dance Smartly Stakes – Grade 2 – Post Time 5:58

Top contenders with minimum odds for considering win bets:

#3 Fev Rover – 5 to 2
#5 Seasons – 4 to 1
#7 Wakanaka – 4 to 1
#4 Lady Speightspeare – 4 to 1

How I’d wager $20:

$10 win on #3 Fev Rover

$4 win on #5 Seasons

$1 exacta boxes: 5, 3 and 5, 4 and 5, 7

Even though the eight fillies lined up for this year’s Dance Smartly have some fantastic credentials, if Fev Rover repeats any of a number of efforts she put forth in 2021 when racing in Europe, she should have a significant edge on the rest of the field. This filly ran in five group 1 stakes between October of 2020 and October of last year, with group 1 races the best in all of Europe and as good, or better, than grade 1 stakes in North America. She also ran in two group 2 races. She was second, third or fourth in four of those seven races, and since coming to North American and joining the Mark Casse barn she’s been working exceptionally well, with two of her last three morning drills the best of the day for the distance. Husbands gets on and she gets first time Lasix so it appears she in form and ready to run her best, which should be good enough to win.

Seasons is similar to our high odds contender (Dynasty of Her Own) in the Hendrie Stakes in that using her on exacta tickets with three logical, lower odds horses, will help maximize our profit. She opens at 12 to 1, but there’s really no reason because among all the local runners she’s as good as any. Possessing a 2-3-2 record in eight career start, Seasons is on an improving pattern in her third start off a long layoff, having finished second in April then having won on the Woodbine turf last month. She has a big late kick, evidenced by having run the last quarter mile in under 23 seconds in three recent races, and hopefully that leads to her passing many of these in the stretch to be part of the exacta at the least.

Wakanaka is winless in four starts since importing to the North America in January, but all four were graded stakes and in three of them she ran competitively. Most recently she made up 10 lengths in the last half-mile to finish second in the Grade 1 Just a Game Stakes at Belmont and like Seasons, Wakanaka can run the last quarter in under 23 seconds so she could be passing many of these late. Still, opening at 2 to 1 odds, there’s little value in betting her to win because her best efforts (with 103 and 98 Equibase figures) are far below the 103 to 113 figure efforts Fev Rover put forth in seven of her last nine races.

Lady Speightspeare enters the race off a strong win in the similar Grade 2 Nassau Stakes over the course three weeks ago. She’s run well of similar short rests such as when she won the Grade 1 Natalma Stakes in the summer of 2020 as a two-year-old. Emma-Jayne Wilson has been aboard for all five of her wins (in 10 races) and the filly can win on the lead or from just off the pace, but given there are really no other horses which like to be in front in the early stages of a race, it is likely Wilson will have Lady Speightspeare in front from the start and playing “come catch me” with the field.

Follow Me on Twitter @Ubercapper

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