(Sampling some of Mike’s famous “Brunswick Stew”)

Total Day Results 10 / 5-4-5
2021 Overall 1,495 1495 / 566-529-714
Win % of Top Pick 37.86%
Payoff% of Top 3 Picks Overall 40.33%
2021 Top Pick in the Money Overall — 1016-1,495 67.96%
2021 Top Selection ITM / CD 69-96 71.88%
2021 Top Selections Win / CD 34-96 35.42%
“Key Horses” @ CD 15/7-4-2 46.67% Win / 86.67% ITM
“Key Horses” in 2021 225/ 100-52-23 44.44% Win / 77.78% ITM
“Longshots of Day” @ CD 15/2-1-3 13.33% Win / 40.00% ITM
“Longshots of Day” @IGR (9-8-21) 11/3-0-0 27.27% Win / 27.27% ITM
“Longshots of the Day” @ SAR (8-28-21) 4/0-2-0 00.00% Win / 50.00% ITM
“Longshots of the Day” @ KY Downs 19/2-1-2 10.53% Win / 26.32% ITM

Not a bad day at the ole’ ball yard on Friday. Five winners from the 10 races, and our two “Key Plays of the Day” both rang the bell. We also had one “Longshot Special of the Day” hit the home run.

On the day, we cashed 8 exactas for a return of $29.80, $6.70, $12.80, $21.80, $37.40, $11.30, $5.00 and $12.80 for each $1 played correctly. Hope you had more than the bare minimum.

Hoping for more on Saturday.

Here’s a look at our Saturday selections:

1st: 1-8/4/1A-3-5-6/7/2…Cody’s Wish (1) gets the heavy lean in the ole’ lid-lifter at the big oval in Lou Lou on Saturday. This 3YO son of Curlin is bred to do the job. Out of a Stakes-wining mare who has thrown a winner from three starters and this one has started the career with 3 straight 3rds — all against top notch competition. HOF trainer wins with .21% of those that return to the gate as a beaten favorite and with .17% of those stretching out from a sprint distance to a route. Should appreciate this 1-mile distance and gets a rider who knows how to find a winner’s circle. Last time this guy was in KY? He took home the gold. Extreme (8) is a 4YO son of Speightstown and you know how I feel about this sire, if you read these lines very much. One of my favs. Trainer is, too. This one has been knocking on the door. Should appreciate the return to the dirt and look out here. Trainer has 2 wins in just 5 starts this meet, and is winning at a .26% rate this year. Class act. I bet the 1-8 across the board and then box these two in the exactas. Sternly. Stern. Ly. I also key the 1-8 over/under the 4-3-5-6-7 in two smaller units.

2nd: 1/7-5-6/4-2/3…The first “Key Play of the Day” comes early in the proceedings and with my second rail horse to start off the card — Six Pack (1). So many reasons to like this 3Yo son for Flatter. Comes in here off a claim last time out, and the new barn operation wins with a whopping .36% when it drops off the purchase. Won here just two starts back. Will be coming late and gets the barn’s go-to rider up. Plus, there’s the name right? I would not be right if I was attending a “Beer Conference” (which I am) and now pick this horse. Right? I bet the 1 to win/place/show and then key the 1 over/under the numbers listed in the exactas. More with the 7-5-6.

3rd: 5-1/8-6/3/2-7/4…Devilly (5) ran a bang-up 2nd in the career debut and just missed at the wire. Was bet down to favoritism in the debut, and this barn wins with .18% on the 2nd career start. Moves to the dirt, and this one has been training very well over the main surface, too. Sharp work on Sept. 25. Look out here. Knowing Glance (1) could give the railbirds the third win in a row to begin the day. This one comes from the barn of Al Stall, Jr., and he has won 2 of 3 this meet — with a third, to throw into the mix. Horses are firing and this one has begun the career with back-to-back 3rds at Saratoga. No stretch to think that this son of Jimmy Creed will fire from the rail here. I bet the 5-1 across the board and then box these two in the exactas. I will key the 5-1 over/under the 8-6-3-2-7 in two smaller units.

4th: 2-1/4-8/3-6/7-5…On the Rise (2) gets the edge in this tilt, and the 3YO daughter of Upstart should be a handful at this level. Ran huge for the $30,000 tag last time out. Inches up the scales here to $50,000, but the barn wins with .40% when moving up a class rung. Gets a rider who is having a solid meet and the works are lights out. Lights. Out. Should be a speedy type in here. Front Street (1) could give the rail watchers a 4th straight win, too. This one has raced 11 times and still looking for that elusive circle. But? She has 5 seconds and 2 thirds. One of these days. One of these days might be Saturday. I bet the 2-1 across the board and then box these two in the exactas. I will key the 2-1 over/under the 4-8-3-6 in two smaller units.

5th: 5-6/3-4/2/1-7…You always bet the #5 in the 5th race, right? Well, you do when the numbers dictate it. This time, for me, they do. Tkotchke (5) is a tough name to sneak past the ole’ spell check monitor, but this 3Yo gelded son of Frosted just ran a nice 2nd at Ellis Park last time out. Nearly won that one as the PT favorite. Barn wins with .25% when returning with a beaten favorite, and with .14% when cutting back from a route to a sprint distance. Gets off the slop here, too, and the race two back was won by a horse that has found Stakes races, of late. This one gets a new pilot and that is a huge step up. Father G (6) goes for that pesky trainer Tommy Drury. Comes in off a solid effort against much tougher. Drops in class here and to the lowest price tag, yet. Last time in straight claiming? Won for fun here in 2019 and that was against tougher, too. Look for this one to improve immensely and the cut back in distance does NOT hurt. I bet the 5-6 across the board and then box these two in the exactas. I will key the 5-6 over/under the 3-4-2 in two smaller units.

6th: 3-4-11/5-9-10-12/1-(1A)-8-7…In Dreams (3) will be making the career debut here for the barn of Brad Cox, who has been unusually quiet for much of this abbreviated September meet. Has won with only .09% of the first 22 starters. But don’t worry. He will heat it up. This may kick start that bunson burner. Has been working very well and the barn wins with .25% of the last 894 to race in the MSW ranks. Threat. Hippodrome (4) ran a huge one in Virginia to start the career. Has worked well since that race and gets a solid rider, who is having a very good meet. Son of Ghostzapper went wide in the inaugural run, or could have won it. Look out here. Dr. Perry (11) is a 2YO son of Into Mischief and cost a hefty $690,000 at the 2020 KEE September Yearling Sale. Ran a disappointing 5th in the first start at Saratoga. But was last to leave the gate that day. Backers bet their money that day. Should expect the same here. Maybe better results with a better start, too. I bet the 4-11 — take note — across the board and then box the top 3 in the exactas. I will key the top 3 numbers over/under the 5-9-10 in two smaller units.

7th: 11-4/3-5/2-8-9/6-12-(1)-/13-10/1A…Trafalgar (11) is the ML favorite coming off a very nice 2nd in the debut effort at Saratoga on Sept. 4. Has trained well before and after that initial effort and gets one of the world’s best in the saddle. Could be sitting on go and primed for a huge one here. Brigadier General (4) comes off a nice 3rd at Saratoga last time out and has some speed to offer here. Gets a rider switch and the work on Sept. 26 was spot on. Spot. On. Goes to a route for the first time and the barn wins with .14% of those. Barn wins with .21% when it moves up from two sprints to a route. I bet the 11-4 across the board and then box these two in the exactas. I will key the 11-4 over/under the 3-5-2-8-9 in two smaller units.

8th: 2/3-5-6/4-1…G3 Lukas Classic…What a nice one here. Racing Secretary Ben Huffman and Stakes Coordinator Dan Bork have done a masterful job, per usual. Look at this field. But I go with my next “Key Play of the Day” — Knicks Go (2). This 5YO “freak” is a racing blur and is coming off two straight huge wins — the last in the G1 Whitney Stakes. This is likely the final tuneup for the Breeder’s Cup Classic for this one and he will bolt right from the gate to the front. Gets the world’s top rider. Enjoy the show. These kind don’t come along very often. This one is special. I bet the 2 to win and key over the 3-5-6-4-1 in a single exacta.

9th: 1-2-9/11/3-8/6-10/5-7-4…Could be a good day for the rail horses — including Grand Cru Classe (1). This 4YO filly has run in three straight Stakes and comes into this one for the 2021 debut. That is the only concern for me. The layoff. But this one has run very well off a vacation before and no reason to expect that the HOF trainer does NOT have this one cranked for this effort. Works are good. Has won 3 of 5. Has speed. Has talent. Could be gone here, too. Jilted Bride (2) rates a chance for another HOF trainer. this one has raced 4 times this year with a 2-1-1 record. In three previous tries here, has a 1-1-1 mark. Gets a new rider that should fit. Will be coming late. Very late. But will be coming. Portal Creek (9) is another speedster. May be the one to catch. Threat. I bet the 1-2 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exactas. I will key the top 3 numbers over/under the 11 in two smaller units.

10th: 10/6-11-7-2/1-4/3-9/5-8…G3 Ack Ack Stakes…This is my next-to-last “Key Play of the Day.” I go strong with the #10 in the 10th race. Have to, right? Well when the numbers add up, I do. Beau Liam (10) comes in with three impressive and strong wins in the first three career starts. Won the last at Saratoga by 6. Moves up to Stakes company for the first time and that is a challenge. But? This one has the talent to move up and move on. Look for this one to be challenging the Graded Stakes ranks soon. I’m all in. I bet the 10 to win/place/show and then key the 10 over/under the 6-11-7-2-1 in two smaller units.

11th: 10/12-7-4-6/1-3-(13)-11-9/2-8…The final race of the day is the final “Key Play of the Day,” too. I go all in with Runnin’ Ray (10). this one has won two the last three outs and missed by a half-length in the last outing. In 13 career starts, he has 4 wins and 3 seconds. Gets a new rider here, and this one should fit perfectly. Has speed. Will gun it. Can he last? Only question. Has 2 wins in 5 starts here before. I bet the 10 across the board and then key the 10 over/under the 12-7-4-6 in two exactas. 

Good Luck & All the Best / Gene