Dan’s Double: Shooting for the Stars at Woodbine

Horses race on turf at Woodbine. (Penelope P. Miller/America's Best Racing)

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, Sept. 12

Woodbine, Race 8, $250,000 Bison City Stakes, 4:17 p.m. ET

#1 Ballroom of Mars: We’re going to “shoot for the stars” with this selection (20-1 on the morning line) and hope we can cash with a big price this week. #2 Afleet Katherine will be heavily bet on the heels of her runner-up finish in the Woodbine Oaks Presented by Budweiser to one of the Queen’s Plate favorites in Curlin’s Voyage. But if you watch the replay of the Oaks, you’ll note that Afleet Katherine enjoyed the best trip of any in that race. #6 Justleaveitalone had a much more arduous journey in the Oaks, and she returns here with a legitimate shot. In her race prior, she just held off Ballroom of Mars. In that race, Ballroom of Mars was sitting well off of a very slow pace, which forced her into a wide and early move. She gained significant ground and looked like she might even go by Justleaveitalone. But she ended up hanging and never hit the front. She actually did the same exact thing in her race prior, too. She overcame a wide trip, looked like she had the momentum to roll past them late but with only one horse in front of her, she stopped advancing. Then, when a horse passed her on the outside, she dug back in and then nearly went by the horse she initially refused to pass. So, the addition of blinkers here certainly might help. Trainer Catherine Day Phillips, when adding blinkers for the first time, has won with 27% of starters over the past five years from a very solid 44-race sample.

Strategy on a $10 Budget 

$3 win, place, show on #1 Ballroom of Mars ($9)

Strategy on a $25 Budget 

$5 win, place, show on #1 Ballroom of Mars ($10)

$2 exacta: 1,2 with 1,2,6 ($8)

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

Strategy on a $50 Budget

$8 win, place, show on #1 Ballroom of Mars ($24)

$6 exacta: 1 with 2 ($6)

$3 exacta: 2 with 1 ($3)

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

$1 trifecta: 1,2 with 1,2,6 with 1,2,6,8 ($8)

$.20 superfecta: 6,8 with 1,2,6,8 with 1,2,6,8 with 1,2,6,8 ($2.40)

Woodbine, Race 10, Queen’s Plate Stakes, 5:41 p.m. ET

#6 Halo Again: The two favorites in this race — Plate Trial winner #12 Clayton and Woodbine Oaks Presented by Budweiser winner #10 Curlin’s Voyage — are both drawn out wide. That could work against them in a race that appears devoid of early speed and knowing that they’ve both done their best work sitting off of paces that were hot. So those two are going to have to work a little bit to get into a spot where they don’t lose ground and where they don’t get caught too far back. One of the two speed horses — and the one drawn closest to the rail — is #6 Halo Again. They’re going to have to just send him from the gate. He just might get loose and slow things down on the front end. Though he was second to Clayton last out, he was previously 2-for-2 at Woodbine, including a win at  1 1/8 miles last November in the Coronation Futurity. His only losses prior to the Plate Trial were in open graded stakes company in Kentucky Derby preps — he finished eighth in the Grade 3 Lecomte Stakes and fourth in the Grade 3 Jeff Ruby Steaks.

Strategy on a $10 Budget 

$3 win, place on #6 Halo Again ($6)

$2 exacta: 6 with 2,10 ($4)

Strategy on a $25 Budget

$5 win, place on #6 Halo Again ($10)

$5 exacta: 6 with 2 ($5)

$2 exacta: 6 with 3,5,10,12,14 ($10)

Strategy on a $50 Budget

$10 win, place on #6 Halo Again ($20)

$8 exacta: 6 with 2 ($8)

$2 exacta: 2 with 6 ($2)

$2 exacta: 6 with 10 ($2)

$2 exacta: 6 with 3,5,12,14 ($8)

$.20 superfecta: 6,10 with 2,6,10 with 2,5,6,10,12,14 with 2,5,9,12,14 ($11.60)

Last Week’s Earnings: $0

2020 Earnings: $4,021.68

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