“Day After Preakness” Sweepstakes

Wager this Sunday, May 20, and grab a piece of our BetPTC Cash prize pool and a Hawthorne Sports Bottle.  You had to be on-track at Hawthorne back in March to obtain one on these sharp looking giveaways.

It’s true! In addition to the great cash rewards you earn when you wager on our selected tracks, now you can compete in a free-to-enter sweepstakes, compliments of BetPTC.  We’ve got some great racing-related prizes up for grabs, along with some BetPTC wagering credits!

1) If you are a BetPTC customer, you’re officially registered for entry into the sweepstakes.
2) Wager $100 or more total on any ONE of the following tracks this Sunday, May 20!  Bets can be made online, by mobile or by phone.
Eligible Tracks:
Emerald Downs
Hawthorne (Harness)
Lone Star Park
Monmouth Park
Woodbine
Top Prizes for the BetPTC Sweepstakes
Four players receive: $100 cash credited to their BetPTC account.

Six players receive: A Hawthorne Sports Bottle, a $15 value.

Winners will be selected and notified on Monday, May 21, 2018.

How to Play:

Wagers can be made online at betptc.com, by phone, or by mobile at betptc.mobi.

Wagers can be made on any type of bet that BetPTC accepts for the designated contest/promo track(s).

Disclaimers:

BetPTC may at times post information, commentary and/or selections of races when appropriate. BetPTC shall not be liable for any inaccurate, incomplete, or missing information that is posted. Such information is posted only to help players make their selections and any opinions or analysis posted by BetPTC regarding the outcome of the races should not be taken as a recommendation of which horses to select.

Each player agrees that BetPTC.com may use his or her name and picture for publicity if they are a prize winner without further compensation.

BetPTC reserves the right to change the schedule and rules without notice, or cancel the sweeps due to unforeseen events.

 

Tournament Director:

Rich Nilsen, Player Services manager at BetPTC.com, rich.nilsen@betptc.com

Early Look at Justify and the 2018 Preakness Stakes Hopefuls

By Justin Dew

With the announcements Sunday morning that Good Magic and Lone Sailor are confirmed for the Preakness, we are getting a better look at the probable field and can start thinking about how we might want to attack the race as bettors. Justify will be the odds-on favorite, and deservedly so. Good Magic figures to be the solid second choice. I don’t believe Bolt d’Oro is confirmed just yet, but he’ll take some money if he runs, as will Arkansas Derby runner-up Quip. From there, we have Bravazo, Tenfold, Lone Sailor, Sporting Chance, and Diamond King on the list of Preakness hopefuls. So, let’s call it an expected field of up to 9-10 at the moment.

Bravazo will remind people of Oxbow, who won the Preakness in 2013 after an also-ran effort in the Derby for Calumet and Lukas. And if you want to bet on the big forward jump for Bravazo, be my guest. But I don’t see it. And I don’t see Sporting Chance getting it done either.

Tenfold was the hot horse going into the Arkansas Derby and ran ok, but just wasn’t up to the class of Magnum Moon, Quip, or even, dare I say it, Solomini. He’s probably got a number of nice wins in his future, but the Preakness seems just a touch out of reach for him.

Now, for Justify and Good Magic. They clearly asserted themselves as the top two of this crop. Both ran fantastic races in the Kentucky Derby. And they drew clear late. Good Magic was my Derby pick, and I almost lost my voice with a 1/4 mile to go. I swear I thought Jose had Justify beat. But then as we all saw, Mike Smith got another gear out of Justify and the race was over as Good Magic barely held 2nd.

I saw something in the video of Travis Stone calling the Derby from the booth that disappointed me as a Good Magic fan. As Justify was galloping out nicely after the wire, even after running those fast early fractions, Good Magic was completely stopping. He was spent. Nothing left. The race had taken everything he had to give. Now, word is he came out of the race very well, and I’m sure that’s true. And the Preakness is 100 yards shorter than the Derby. So if you’re a Good Magic fan, like me, there are things to hang your hat on. But if I’m being honest, I can see him running 5th easier than I can see him winning. And he’ll be a one-third the price that he was in the Derby.

Justify, on the other hand, looks better every time I watch the Derby replay. I don’t think there is one thing you can point to as even a potential negative, other than maybe this alleged foot issue that may or may not have cleared up. But, he is, like every other Kentucky Derby winner, trying to come back in two weeks off a tough effort. Does the lack of juvenile seasoning catch up with him here? Did that Churchill Downs surface take a toll? Can you accept 2-5 or lower? For me, the answer is no. Yeah, he’s obviously the most likely winner. You don’t need me to tell you that. But for betting purposes, you have to try to get clever.

For me, the race comes down to three key horses: Quip, Diamond King, and Lone Sailor. I don’t think either horse is in the same class as Justify or Good Magic. But it just may not matter in the Preakness. I think Quip will be the early leader, and if you can envision a scenario where Justify and Good Magic start being ridden hard at the 5/16ths pole, maybe you can see Quip kick clear and two fresh horses closing ground down the lane.

Diamond King passed on the Peter Pan on Saturday for this, and he picks up top rider Javier Castellano. I think he’s live, and he’ll be a price. And Lone Sailor just looks like one of those mediocre stakes horses like Tale of Verve who can suck up late when everyone else has stopped.

So, for the moment, that’s the half-hearted attempt to beat the big favorites in the Preakness. Play Quip to win. And box him with the other two in the exacta, using ALL in 3rd in the trifecta, and maybe getting crazy and using ALL in 3rd and 4th in the superfecta too. Just think what that super would pay with Justify and Good Magic out of the top two spots.

Of course, Justify will probably win by five.

BetPTC Graded Stakes Preview – 5/12/18

BetPTC.com / Graded Stakes Preview

BetPTC.com

Belmont Race 3- The Vagrancy Handicap- 6 1/2 furlongs dirt- 2:34pm EDT
BetPTC.com Selections- #6 Holiday Disguise / #4 Ascertain / #3 Chalon
#6 Holiday Disguise- Figures to sit back and let the speed duel it out up front over a track where she is 2 for 2 and at a distance she is sure to love, given her 1 for 1 record and her win last out going just 100 yards farther. #4 Ascertain- If you forgive the disappointing effort at Charles Town last out and chalk it up to the bad start and maybe her dislike for the bullring, you are still left with a mild class disadvantage. But that helps the price for Todd Pletcher. She romped by 8 1/2 at Gulfstream in her first start of the year. And with the main speed drawn to the inside, she can get the trip she needs. #3 Chalon- The class of the field and probably our most likely winner. Easy to see her on the lead at some point in the stretch, and they will need to catch her.
Belmont Race 10- The Peter Pan Stakes- 1/8 miles dirt- 6:18pm EDT
BetPTC.com Selections- #4 Blended Citizen / #3 Just Whistle / #6 High North
#4 Blended Citizen- Ignore the comment in the DRF PPs regarding trouble in the Blue Grass. It didn’t happen. And that certainly won’t help the price. Nor will name recognition stemming from the Kentucky Derby entry. But no 3yo spent more time in traffic during the Derby prep season than this guy. And he never stops running. Was also flattered by Arawak’s big effort with trouble on Derby Day. #3 Just Whistle- Flattered Derby also-ran Hofburg with the win last out, a win over 10 foes at Keeneland. This one has some big upside and should be running late. #6 High North- Trainer Brad Cox is firing on all cylinders these days, and this one has kept some good company dating back to last year. Could some value to the exotics.
Belmont Race 11- The Man O’ War Stakes- 1 3/8 miles turf- 6:50pm EDT
BetPTC.com Selections- #6 Call Provision / #7 Hi Happy / #2 Sadler’s Joy
#6 Call Provision- One of three in here for Chad Brown. This one needed his last and didn’t run badly at all. This distance is his game and while there is a total lack of true speed in here, maybe we can expect to see him a little closer this time and be the first to tackle One Go All and the second pick in here, which is….. #7 Hi Happy- Speaking of One Go All Go, Hi Happy left him in the dust in his last. This one has done nothing wrong in two starts for Pletcher, and would be the top pick were it not for the expected price. #2 Sadler’s Joy- Such a disappointment last time in the Pan American. Seems to be one of those classy animals who needs a fast pace to make his run, and it’s hard to see where that fast pace is going to come from in here. Would be no surprise, obviously, and Wake Forest could be primed and ready and blow by everyone anyway.

Get the BetPTC Spots under the “handicapping” menu within your wagering account.

BetPTC Stakes Preview – KY Derby Day 2018

Churchill Downs Race 9- The American Turf- 1 1/16 miles turf- 3:37pm EDT

BetPTC.com Selections- #8 Arawak / #3 Threeandfourpence / #13 Dragon Drew

Let’s try to light up the toteboard here with some price plays. #8 Arawak- Ditches the blinkers and picks up Gary Stevens for trainer Doug O’Neill in his first start on the grass since the fall. We know he’s a faster horse now than he was back then, and there is every reason to believe this is his preferred surface. #3 Threeandfourpence- Has kept good company and we can toss the last effort over dirt. Should be favored and has every right to beat the Americans. #13 Dragon Drew- Ran a sneaky-good race at Keeneland last out, and did nice things over the Fair Grounds Grass before that. Another big price.

Churchill Downs Race 10- The Pat Day Mile- 1 mile dirt, 4:28pm EDT

BetPTC.com Selections- #5 Mississippi / #9 Givemeaminit / #2 Lombo

#5 Mississippi- Took the lead briefly in the Florida Derby, and didn’t stop running like so many others. Lures Leparoux off Madison’s Luna. Should be forwardly placed and ready to make his move as they turn for home. #9 Givemeaminit- Doesn’t want to go two turns, and the one-turn record for this BC Juvenile 4th-place finisher is very solid. Can keep the leaders within reach and then pounce. #2 Lombo- Wired the Grade 3 Lewis field at Santa Anita, and is another one that is probably better avoiding the routing game. Dangerous if left alone under Kent.

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Churchill Downs Race 11- The Turf Classic- 1 1/8 mile turf- 5:25pm EDT

BetPTC.com Selections- #3 Kurilov / #5 Channel Maker / #10 Beach Patrol

#3 Kurilov- Can let Shining Copper make the lead and then be the first to make his move when that one hits a wall. The “Other Chad Brown” acquitted himself nicely in his North American grass debut at Gulfstream. A forward move here and he’ll be dangerous. #5 Channel Maker- Lost to the top pick and then went out west and ran very well in the Kilroe. If the pace up front is too tough for the front-runners, this guy can be the one. #10 Beach Patrol- Probably needs a race, is likely pointing for other spots, and likely needs more ground. But he’s Beach Patrol, thus me must be respected.

Churchill Downs Race 12- The Kentucky Derby- 1 1/4 miles dirt- 6:50pm EDT

BetPTC.com Selections- #6 Good Magic / #18 Vino Rosso / #17 Solomini

#6 Good Magic- If you believe in form cycles, then you have to think this guy is going to fire his career best race. Will it be good enough? If he makes the same kind of jump in here that he did when winning the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, then it can certainly be good enough. Should sit just off the pace and make a sweeping move as they turn for home. #18 Vino Rosso- If you accept that he just didn’t like Tampa Bay, then what you have is an improving horse who is every bit as fast as the big guns. John Velazquez landed here, and he had options. #17 Solomini- Completes the Curlin trifecta as the “Other Baffert”. Has danced every dance and had trouble in both starts at Oaklawn. if they take him back and then unleash him, he’s got a shot to make his presence felt.

Jump in and Join the Fun – 2018 KY Derby weekend

TIME IS RUNNING OUT

Rich Nilsen, a 14x NHC qualifier who has a wealth of experience running wagering pools, is the Captain for this swing at these two great days of racing.  He is joined by the Fat Bald Guy, Dan Cronin.  This duo teamed up last year to sweep all three Triple Crown races (see below)!
Nilsen was also the captain of a pool that took down 2 of the 4 winning Pick-6 tickets in the nation when Street Sense won the KY Derby.  That incredible Pick-6 hit returned over half a million dollars!*
Contributions for the 2-day wagering pool begin at $50 and whatever amount you contribute gives you the appropriate percentage of the wagering pool for up to TWO days of action. For complete details on this membership exclusive at BetPTC.com, log in and click “handicapping” and then PTC Pools.

A TRIPLE CROWN SWEEP FOR THE NEW PTC POOL!

A wet, messy track at Churchill Downs was no problem for PTC Pool experts Rich Nilsen and Dan Cronin as they crushed both days of the big weekend by hitting huge, multiple Pick-4 and Pick-5 wagers!  All of the contributing BetPTC members shared in the winnings which was over $20,000 after tax and over $28,000 with withholdings!   The pool, which began with $13,000, nearly tripled upon the conclusion of the KY Derby card.
On Preakness Day, the pool members and contributors lost a heart breaker when Classic Empire was run down in the final strides.  With some proper ticket structure, the pool did have the Pick-5 ending with Cloud Computing, but a huge score would have occured if Classic Empire had hung on.  Despite that tough loss, the PTC Pool eked out a small profit on the day.
Three weeks later on Belmont Stakes Day, the PTC Pool struck again. It was starting to look like a tough day for everyone involved, but then the handicapping duo hit the late Pick-4.  Four double-digit winners in a row, beginning with Ascend in the G1 Manhattan, led to an amazing $23,203.75 hit for fifty cents!  After taxes withheld (which players can attempt to get back on their taxes), the return was over $17,000.
Congratulations to everyone who participated and see you in the next PTC Pool!
* past performances are no guarantee of success.

 

Early Oaks Thoughts

by Justin Dew

2018 Kentucky Oaks Thoughts According to Dew

It seems pretty clear that Monomoy Girl and Midnight Bisou, both of whom’s names trigger my iPad to tell me that I misspelled a word, are going to be your favorite and co-favorite in the Kentucky Oaks. They’ve done impressive things on the racetrack, and bettors will wager on them accordingly. But the key to betting on any race is to find value, and I think there are reasons to take a stand against one of them while using the other with perhaps a bigger price in the exotics.

First, Midnight Bisou. My gut tells me she will be at her best around one turn. I realize she is a dual-graded stakes winner at 1 1/16 miles, but those wins came against questionable competition. And I’m also not a huge fan of taking a short price on a daughter of Midnight Lute at 9 furlongs shipping east for the first time, especially when I suspect she’ll try to come from behind. She’s good. But I don’t think this will be her best game.

BetPTC member bonusMonomoy Girl confuses me a little. She has two wins coming from way back, and four other wins going wire-to-wire. My guess is she will be part of the Oaks pace, and the way she drew off in the Ashland suggests that she won’t have a problem with the additional 100 yards. The question with her is the price. She’ll be favored. Additionally, she won’t be able to coast alone like she did at Keeneland. So she’ll need to really be the best filly to win this, because I don’t see her stealing it.

As for who are the most logical alternatives, I think there are a few ways you can go. For one, I think it’s interesting that Kieran McLaughlin is pointing the very promising Sara Street to another race Derby weekend. Is that because he thinks Take Charge Paula has a big shot? And what about Coach Rocks, who just beat Take Charge Paula? Does she have another move forward in her? Or do we need to look to the Oaklawn and Fair Grounds preps? Or the Gazelle?

I can probably make an interesting case for five or six of the alternatives to the top two. And since I just don’t love either‘s chances, the key to cashing big on the Oaks, for me, is to figure out who is prime for her best effort at a big price.

BetPTC Graded Stakes Preview – 4/28/18

Parx Race 8- The Lyman- 7 furlongs dirt- 4:04pm EDT

Bet PTC Picks- #5 Flashy Kyem / #8 Driven to Compete / #2 The Man

#5 Flashy Kyem- Turf-route-to-dirt-sprint is the move for this guy who ran against better down at Tampa this winter, and he comes in off two bullet works for Keith Nations, who is hitting at a 28% clip this year. The value play. #8 Driven to Compete- You have to respect Todd Pletcher, especially with anything that won twice in a row going a one-turn mile at Gulfstream. This one turns back off the local routing win. Should get a nice trip from the outside post. #2 The Man- Winner of seven straight and undefeated over the strip, but hasn’t raced in nearly eight months, and it’s tough to take low odds on a horse who’s lone effort at this distance was a loss.

Santa Anita Race 4- The Santa Barbara- 1 1/2 miles turf- 4:30pm EDT

BetPTC Picks- #1 Lucy De / #6 Plein Air / #2 Pantsonfire

#1 Lucy De- One of four in here for Richard Baltas, and this one bounced back from the failed attempt against Plein Air with a win of her own against lesser, and then ran OK in the Grade 2 Santa Ana. The distance should suit her, and one of the Baltas runners will probably keep Plein Air honest early, setting up Lucy De’s close. #6 Plein Air- Unbeaten at the distance and definitely the one to beat, though at low odds. #2 Pantsonfire- Has three wins from five starts over the surface, although she has never been farther than 10 furlongs, and that effort didn’t inspre much confidence that this distance will be her best game. Still, she belongs.

Santa Anita Race 5- The Californian- 1 1/8 miles dirt- 5:00pm EDT

BetPTC Picks- #5 The Lieutenant / #4 Dr. Dorr / #1 Soi Phet

#5 The Lieutenant- Wasn’t able to catch Dr. Dorr last time due to the pedestrian fractions, but there is slightly more speed in here, plus an extra furlong. Will come running late. #4 Dr. Dorr- Has won four of six over the surface for Bob Baffert, and may just have the speed to get a comfortable lead if Talamo decides that’s the plan. But can he hold on? #1 Soi Phet- The other logical contender for the early lead. The only runner in the field with a win at the distance.

JUMP IN THE POOL FOR THIS YEAR!

Throwouts for the Kentucky Derby

So he will be on all of my tickets. No doubt about it.

by Justin Dew

Since anything worse than a 2nd-place finish would have kept My Boy Jack out of the Kentucky Derby starting gate, that’s exactly what I was hoping for in the Lexington Stakes (contested on April 14). Things didn’t turn out as I had hoped. And now I am forced, against my will, to make a decision about how to use him from a wagering perspective in the Derby. I didn’t ask to be in this position. But here I am.

The reality is that I don’t think My Boy Jack is anywhere near the threat to win the Kentucky Derby that Good Magic, Audible, and Justify are. But to totally dismiss him from trifecta and superfecta consideration takes wagering confidence that I don’t think I have at this point. At least as it pertains to My Boy Jack. Other than his stalk and fade effort in the Sham when he was closer to the early pace than he prefers to be, My Boy Jack has made up ground in the closing stages of every route race in his career. Actually, he made up ground at the end of his 5 furlong career debut as well.

Last year’s Kentucky Derby runner-up Lookin at Lee had a similar running style. But in my opinion, if you are looking to find a big price to spice up your Derby exotics, you would be better served trying to find a horse that more closely mirrors the “accomplishments” and running style of two recent Dallas Stewart Kentucky Derby entrants: Golden Soul and Commanding Curve. Both of them ran 2nd in the Kentucky Derby, and as I don’t have their career PPs right in front of me, if memory serves, they ran a lot of races just behind mid-pack at the start, and slowly (perhaps even VERY slowly) made their way to just beyond mid-pack by the end of the race.

JUMP IN THE POOL FOR THIS YEAR!

So neither horse showed a flash of speed at any point in most of their races. But they showed the ability to keep moving forward as everyone else was stopping. My theory is that in a race like the Kentucky Derby, as almost every horse is completely out of gas with 1/8th mile still to go, you need to find the horse that will be slowing down less dramatically than most or all of the others. And I wonder if My Boy Jack is that kind of horse. It seems like many of his fans think he is. I am not so sure. We will talk about horses that I think are better exotics-fillers in another discussion. But for now, I’ll plan to limit my use of My Boy Jack to the 3rd and 4th spots, and likely not on every ticket. For the most part, I am against this horse.

Ok, what about Magnum Moon? I’ll predict right now that he won’t even be among the top four favorites in the wagering. He’ll be behind Justify, Mendelssohn, Audible, and Good Magic. I have never been high on him, and I saw nothing in the Arkansas Derby that would change my mind. If he runs in the Derby exacta, I will tear up every exotic ticket I have.

The only horse I want out of that Arkansas Derby is Solomini. He was really wide all the way around, and just wasn’t able to mount a serious closing effort with the fractions as slow as they were. I see him being nearly 20-1 in the Kentucky Derby, and when was the last time a Bob Baffert trainee went off at those odds? (I’m seriously asking because I have no idea). Solomini fights hard every time. He was the best horse when he beat McKinzie at Los Al before being DQ’d. His Rebel effort wasn’t bad at all. And I liked his performance at Oaklawn. Was it great? No. Do I think he can win the Kentucky Derby? Not really. Can I see him chugging along for 3rd or 4th? Absolutely. So he will be on all of my tickets. No doubt about it.

As for the horses drawing into the Derby, other than possibly Dream Baby Dream, I won’t be using any of them should one of them manage to make it to the starting gate. But back to Firenze Fire for a moment. I don’t see him being at his best at this distance, or really any distance beyond a mile. They should skip the Derby with him.

Let’s take a crack at an early exacta elimination list (throwouts) from the current list of 20….

Firenze Fire- Not his distance.
Magnum Moon- I am not buying the hype at all.
Mendelssohn- Won’t get the same track at Churchill Downs that he did at Meydan.
Lone Sailor- Big threat to finish last in my opinion.
Promises Fulfilled- Not a bad horse, but I like too many others more.
Noble Indy- He’s not as good as too many others, and the price doesn’t excite.

KY Derby Oaks Undercard

By ART PARKER for BetPTC.com

It will not be long before Kentucky Derby weekend is upon us. Derby Day and Oaks Day make up the big week at Churchill Downs. Naturally the talk on the Derby and the Oaks never stops but little is said about the undercards on both days, which are filled with great races and great opportunities.

On Oaks Day the big races on the undercard are the La Troiene for fillies and mares (8.5 furlongs); the Alysheba (8.5 furlongs); the Twin Spires Turf Sprint (5 furlongs on the turf), The Eight Belles for three year old fillies (7 furlongs); The Edgewood for three year old fillies (8.5 furlongs on the turf.)

JUMP IN THE POOL FOR THIS YEAR!

On Derby Day the big races on the undercard are The Humana Distaff for fillies and mares (7 furlongs); The Churchill Downs Distaff Mile for fillies and mares (8 furlongs on the turf); The Pat Day Mile (8 furlongs); The American Turf (8.5 furlongs on the turf); The Churchill Downs Stakes (7 furlongs); The Old Forester (formally known as the Woodford Reserve at 9 furlongs on the turf.)

What makes the undercards on these two days exciting is that a player can experience high quality racing with unusually good wagering opportunities. When examining these traces over the last few years we find that favorites have won only 8 of 33 times for a subpar 24% win rate. Like so many big days at a race track, many novices and amateurs are in attendance and that usually means more money on the favorites.

Of these races the lowest price to win was Tepin in the 2016 Distaff Mile at odds of .30-1.00. The longest price was 18.70-1.00 by Camelot Kitten in the American Turf in 2016, oddly enough trained by Chad Brown (how many times do you get his horse at that price?)

The median of all winners is 5.30-1.00, which makes the median winner pay more than $12.00. That gets my attention.

Other than Todd Pletcher, no other winning trainer of the undercard races in the last three years has ever won the Derby.  Here are the trainers that have been in the Winner’s Circle after undercard races the last three year (multiple winners number of victories in parenthesis):

Todd Pletcher (4); Mark Casse (4); Buff Bradley (3); Brad Cox (3); Jorge Navarro (3); Chad Brown (2); Dale Romans; Brian Lynch; Bret Calhoun; Bill Mott; Vann Belvoir; Paul McGhee; Tom Amoss; Ian Wilkes; Peter Miller; Rusty Arnold; Ben Colebrook; Simon Callaghan.

I’ve always been told that horses that like the Matt Winn Turf Couse at Churchill Downs really, really like it. Upon examination of turf races we see some truth to that. Trainer Buff Bradley won three races on the turf course with the same horse, 2015-2017. Divisidero won the American Turf once and the Woodford Reserve twice. That happened to be three of his five lifetime wins. Trainer Mark Casse’s Tepin won back to back editions of the Distaff Mile in 2015 and 2016.

What isn’t true about the Matt Winn Turf Course is that far outside posts cannot win going short. The 2015 Twin Spires Turf Sprint at 5 furlongs was captured by Power Alert that broke from the 10 post. In the same race in 2017 Green Mask won the race from the 12 post.

The dirt sprints have experienced one gate-to-wire winner, which was Private Zone in 2015. All sprint winners have been in the top three runners when they get to the quarter pole. The Pat Day Mile, similar to an extended sprint, has had the same results. A horse needs to be close and in contention when running one turn on the dirt.

Where do winning horses come from for the undercards? Keeneland has produced almost half of the winners over the last three years (16 of 33). Gulfstream is next (7 of 33), then Oaklawn and Southern California (each with 4 of the 33 total), Tampa and Fairgrounds one each. Strangely New York has not been the sight of a last race for an undercard winner during these years.

The undercards at Churchill Downs on Oaks Day and Derby Day are always outstanding. There are plenty of opportunities with the undercards races. Remember it is just as nice to win money on something other than the Oaks and the Derby.

BetPTC Graded Stakes Preview 4/21/18

Keeneland Race 9- Grade 2 Dixiana Elkhorn- 1 1/2 miles turf- 5:30pm EDT

BetPTC.com Selections- #3 Call Provision / #2 Oscar Nominated / #10 Itsinthepost

#3 Call Provision- Chad Brown can’t seem to miss here at Keeneland, and Call Provision should be ready to fire off the layoff. This guy runs his race every time and while the lack of pace signed on is a concern for anyone coming from way back, this son of Lemon Drop Kid is no stranger to chasing slow fractions. #2 Oscar Nominated- Loses his jock to the top pick, but is 2 for 4 at the distance and has the ability to be closer to the pace than most of the others. #10 Itsinthepost- Should be favored and we know he loves the distance. Also sports a win over the strip. Are the west coast grass horses as good as those in the east?

Charles Town Race 11- Grade 2 Charles Town Classic- 1 1/8 miles dirt- 5:36pm EDT

BetPTC.com Selections- #4 Something Awesome / #6 Diversify / #2 You’re To Blame

#4 Something Awesome- Deftly stretched out the talent from 7 furlongs to this 9 furling distance last out at Laurel, and the 3rd-place finisher who also lands here won a Grade 3 at Aqueduct out of that event. Prado should sit just off the pace and pounce at a price. #6 Diversify should set the tone early and should hang on for a big piece with the class edge. He may need a race off the layoff, however. #2 You’re To Blame was no match for War Story last time, but Todd Pletcher sees fit to ship up here for the big purse.

Laurel Race 10- The Federico Tesio- 1 1/8 miles dirt- 5:40pm EDT

BetPTC.com Selections- #4 Noble Commander / #6 Diamond King / #11 Holland Park

#4 Noble Commander- Undefeated sprinting against Florida-breds down south, but it’s hard to imagine Mark Casse would bring the horse and lure Julien if he wasn’t confident in this one’s ability to stretch out. Should be up close early. #6 Diamond King- Also tries to stretch out exiting the Grade 3 Swale against better. Has a win over the track for John Servis. #11 Holland Park- Ditches blinkers for McLaughlin. Already has a win and and a 2nd at this distance. Defeated 18-length next-out winner American Lincoln, who also lands here, in last.

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