Dan’s Double: Digging a Bit Deeper for Sleeper at Laurel

Eclipse Sportswire

Dan’s Double of the Week, featuring handicapping analysis from America's Best Racing's New York correspondent Dan Tordjman, is brought to you by Horseplayers.com, the official online qualifying site of the Breeders' Cup Betting Challenge (BCBC) and National Horseplayers Championship (NHC). Horseplayers.com offers low-cost feeders every day and BCBC and NHC qualifiers every weekend, and it’s the only site where you can qualify for the $1 million BCBC. It’s free to sign up – click here to get information about registering and how to enter contests.

When it comes to making money when handicapping races and betting on horse racing, it’s all about picking winners. Tordjman – @DanonymousMan to those who follow him on Twitter – is one of the sharpest horseplayers around.

Each Week, Tordjman will provide readers with his two best bets of the weekend and strategies for how to bet them. Good luck! 

Saturday, Oct. 31

Laurel Park, Race 4, 2:04 p.m. ET

weekend TV schedule

Friday, Oct. 30: 12:30-6 p.m. ET on FS2; post time varies on TVG

Saturday, Oct. 31: 12-6 p.m. ET on FS2; post time varies on TVG

Sunday, Nov. 1: 12-6 p.m. on FS2; post time varies on TVG

#9 Le Smarty: This is one of my sneakier plays on the Saturday Laurel card. If you only look at where this filly has finished in her last five races you might think she’s been helplessly beaten each time. The story that’s harder to see on paper is that Le Smarty has had to overcome extremely wide trips in her recent races, especially last out where she travelled five wide all the way around and still found herself battling for the lead in midstretch. That was also her first attempt stretching out from a sprinting distance to a longer route distance of a mile and 70 yards. In this field, though she’s drawn wide again, Le Smarty should have enough speed to clear to a stalking position (two to three wide at worst) and be able to save some energy in reserve so that she can kick late against a very soft-looking group of maidens (horses who’ve never won before). The main threat will be #2 Ski Bunny. She’s taking a huge drop in class to this near-bottom claiming level — which is certainly not a great sign — but has shown enough against tougher to think that she could overmatch this field.

Strategy on a $10 Budget 

$2 win, place, show on #9 Le Smarty ($6)

$1 exacta: 2,9 with 2,6,9 ($4)

Strategy on a $25 Budget

$4 win, place, show on #9 Le Smarty ($12)

$1 exacta box: 2,6,9 ($6)

$.50 trifecta: 2,9 with 2,3,6,9 with 2,3,6,9 ($6)

Strategy on a $50 Budget

$8 win, place, show on #9 Le Smarty ($24)

$1 exacta box: 2,6,9 ($6)

$2 exacta: 9 with 2 ($2)

$1 exacta key box: 3 with 2,6,9 ($6)

$1 trifecta: 2,9 with 2,3,6,9 with 2,3,6,9 ($12)

Laurel Park, Race 5, 2:37 p.m. ET

#2 Blessed Arion: This horse came back from a 10-month layoff last out to run a huge race on a sloppy main track at Pimlico. He pressed an extremely fast pace and was just passed late by a horse who’d been sitting off his pace duel with returning foe Zyramid, who nipped him by a nose for second. It was the third time in six races dating back to last year that Blessed Arion had a race washed off the turf. The good news is that if the race this Saturday gets washed off again — there is the possibility of rain on Friday and Saturday — he can handle a wet track and you’d expect him to take another step forward second off the layoff. But if it stays on the turf, that would be even better. When he was last seen on the turf, he followed up a 2 ¾-length maiden win with a strong second-place finish in allowance company at Colonial Downs. Trainer Amanda Rawlings doesn’t have the largest barn but she has quietly won with 21% of her starters this year.

Strategy on a $10 Budget

$5 win, place on #2 Blessed Arion ($10)

Strategy on a $25 Budget 

$8 win, place on #2 Blessed Arion ($16)

$2 exacta key box: 2 with 8,12 ($8)

Strategy on a $50 Budget

$10 win, place on #2 Blessed Arion ($20)

$6 exacta: 2 with 8 ($6)

$4 exacta: 2 with 12 ($4)

$2 exacta key box: 2 with 8,12 ($8)

$.50 trifecta box: 2,8,12,13 ($12)

Last Week’s Earnings: $0

2020 Earnings: $4,287.83

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