After Churchill Downs Thursday Card:

Total Day Results 8 / 2-2-6
2021 Overall 852 852 / 311-306-371
Win % of Top Pick 36.50%
Payoff% of Top 3 Picks Overall 38.65%
2021 Top Pick in the Money Overall — 554-852 65.02%
2021 Top Selection ITM / CD 144-212 67.92%
2021 Top Selections Win / CD 85-212 40.09%
“Key Horses” @ CD 20 / 11-3-1 55.00% Win / 75.00% ITM
“Key Horses” in 2021 125/ 56-28-9 44.80% Win / 74.40% ITM

After Belmont Park “Bonus” Selections:

Total Day Results 7 / 4-2-4
2021 Overall 859 859 / 315-308-375
Win % of Top Pick 36.67%
Payoff% of Top 3 Picks Overall 38.73%
2021 Top Pick in the Money Overall — 559-859 65.08%
2021 Top Selection ITM / CD 144-212 67.92%
2021 Top Selections Win / CD 85-212 40.09%
“Key Horses” @ CD 20 / 11-3-1 55.00% Win / 75.00% ITM
“Key Horses” in 2021 127/ 57-28-9 44.88% Win / 74.02% ITM

A mixture of some good and some ugly. We will skip the bad. But overall on Thursday, we handicapped 15 races. We had a combination of 6 wins, 4 seconds and 10 thirds.

We also had some exactas that returned the likes of $12.00, $12.80, $4.10, $71.00, $13.60 (at Churchill Downs) and $8.70, $19.70, $2.75 and $36.25 (Belmont Park) for each $1 played correctly.

Particularly like the $71.00 and the $36.25 mutuels.

We are back for some more action on Friday.

Here’s a look at Churchill Downs’ selections…sorry, ran out of time and we don’t have any “Bonus Selections” from Belmont Park today.

But…

We are working on both Churchill Downs and Belmont Park for Saturday. Whet the appetite.

Here’s today’s looks at Churchill Downs…

1st: 1-6/3-5-4/2…Tizplenty (1) is the ML favorite and figures to be the PT favorite when gate time comes call at 12:45 p.m. ET today. This 2YO daughter of Speightstown is by one of my most favorite sires of all time. And, she ran lights out in the first start here on May 13. Just ran out of gas late after setting the early fractions. Will return as a beaten favorite today and the barn scores with .26% of those kind. Needs to break well from the rail, but that was not an issue in the debut. And, the rail? Is winning at a .34% rate this meet. Hmmmm. I bet the 1 to win/place and then box the 1-6 in the exactas. I will key the 1 over/under all the numbers listed in two smaller versions.

2nd: 7-2/4-5/1-3-6…Keen Mind (7) is a horse who is obviously named after me. Right? LOL. This is a 2YO son of Keen Ice (who just so happened to defeat American Pharoah) and comes in off a 3rd as the odds-on favorite in the career debut at Indy Grand on May 3. Was in the 4-path for much of that affair and could get a better trip here with an expert in the saddle. Drops into the MCL ranks for the first time and the barn wins with .30% of those. Look out. I bet the 7 to win/place/show and then box the 7-2 in the exactas. I will key the 7-2 over/under the 4-5-1-3-6 in two smaller units. More with the 4-5 than the rest.

3rd: 3/4-5/6-2-1…The first “Key Play of the Day” comes here with Ann in the Middle (3). This gal won here last November for the $30,000 tag. Off until April 23 and ran against much tougher at KEE. Bumped at the start of that one and nothing to offer after that. Drops all the way to the $10,000 level here and the barn wins with .57% when getting this big a plunge. Sharp work on May 28. I go here. I bet the 3 to win/place and then key the 3 over/under all the numbers listed in two exactas. More with the 4-5.

4th: 2-5/3/1A-7/4-1/6/(8)-(9)…Zippy Baby (2) gets the nod here. This 3YO gelding will get the first start from the new trainer and the barn wins with .15% on debut. Drops into the claiming ranks here and that should assist. Barn wins with .26% of the last 194 that have dipped into the claiming ranks for the first time. Last start was much better than looks, too. Big shot here. Code Duello (5) comes from the barn of red-hot trainer Brad Cox, and figures to be a tough out here, too. Ran 3rd over the sod here last time out at this same level. Barn wins with .24% in turf starts and that is with a sample size of 1,126. Blinkers come off here and the barn wins with .30% of those losing the shades. Like this one. I bet the 5 — take note — to win/place/show and then box the top 2 solidly in the exactas. Solidly. I will key the top 2 over/under the 3 in two smaller units. And, I will key the top 3 numbers over/under the 1-7 in two smaller.

5th: 2-7/5-4/3-6…Volcanic (2) is my selection here. The 2YO son of Violence should have plenty of speed to offer in this career debut and the connections paid $230,000 for him at the 2020 KEE September Yearling Sale. Has worked very well. Look at the May 16 move at KEE. Wow. Sire gets .17% winners on debut. Dam has 1 winner from 3 starters. Lot to like here. I bet the 2 across the board and then box the 2-7 in the exactas. I will key the 2-7 over/under the rest of the numbers listed in two smaller units. More with the 5-4.

6th: 3-4/1-6/2-5…Trickizar (3) has raced at this same distance a total of 18 times in the career. The 6YO mare has a record of 6-3-1 in those efforts. Here, though, she has only one previous run and did not hit the board. Will step up to the big leagues from the Cincy track today. But she is doing well and she has hit the board in 4 of the last 5 with 3 wins in the mix. One to beat. Hoptown Honey (4) goes for a trainer who has won with .19% of the 148 starters this year, and has a win in six starts here this meet. Drops all the way to the $10,000 price tag here and she should fit with this group very nicely. In 6 previous starts here? A win, 3 seconds and a third. Consistent sort always hustling at the wire. I bet the 3-4 across the board and then box those two in the exactas. I will key the 3-4 over/under the rest of the numbers listed in two smaller units.

7th: 5-6/4-8/3-7/2-1/(9)…This is a turf event that is scheduled to go 1-mile. Here’s hoping that it stays on the sod. If it does? Good race forthcoming. I will give the edge to Two Emmys (5), who ran a huge one in a Stakes event at the Fair Grounds last time out in March. Has some speed and should relish the cut back in distance here, too. In 6 starts at this distance, this one has a win and 2 seconds. First start here. Frostmourne (6) ran a huge one in a G3 two starts ago at Gulfstream Park. Has a win in only previous run here and has 4 wins in 8 starts at this distance. Gets a top rider. My pick. I bet the 6 — take note — to win/place/show and then box the 5-6 in the exactas. I will key the 5-6 over/under the rest of the numbers in the exactas in two smaller units. More with the 4-8. 

8th: 5/2-1/3/6-4…The second “Key Play of the Day” comes here with Get the Prize (5). This 5YO son of Candy Ride drops back into reality after a try against the really, really, really good ones in the G1 Churchill Downs here on May 1. Going into that one, he had won two in a row and been right there in the last three. But spit the bit in the last against the likes of Flagstaff, Lexintonian, and Whitmore. But, then again, most do. Looks ideal spotted here for the return and the cutback in distance should help. At this preferred distance? A perfect 2-for-2. Has 3 seconds in 5 starts here. Time to make the circle. I bet the 5 to win/place and then key the 5 over/under the numbers listed. More with the 2-1-3 than the rest.

9th: 1-8-(16)/2-3-9/5-6-7-(11)/(12)-(14)/4-10…The final event of the day is a 5.5-furlong sprint over the sod, and here’s hoping it stays on the lawn. If it does, I will go stern with Spicy Marg (1). This one comes from the barn of Wesley Ward, who is winning at a .23% clip here this meet. Switches to the top rider on the grounds here and this one should prefer the return to the grass surface, too. In 2 turf starts, to date, this one has a win and a third. Works are really good coming in. I bet the 1 to win/place/show and then box the top 3 numbers in the exactas. I will key the 1 over/under the 8-16-2-3-9-5-6-7 in two smaller units. More with the 8-16-2-3-9.

Good Luck & All the Best / Gene