Days Results 8 / 4-3-2
2023 Overall — 393 393 / 124-134-172
Win % of Top Pick 31.55%
Payoff % of Top 3 Picks Overall 36.47%
2023 Only / Top Pick in the Money Overall — 227-393 57.76%
2023 Only / Top Pick in the Money @ TP — 199-346 57.51%
2023 Only / Top Pick Wins @ TP 108-346 31.21%
2023 Only / “Key Horses” @ TP 40/20-7-3 50.00% Win / 75.00% ITM
2023 Only / “Key Horses” @ FG 5/1-1-1 20.00% Win / 60.00% ITM
2023 Only / “Key Horses” @ GP 4/4-0-0 100.00% Win / 100.00% ITM
2023 Only / “Key Horses” @ OP 1/1-0-0 100.00% Win / 100.00% ITM
2023 Only / “Key Horses” Overall 53/26-8-4 49.06% Win / 71.70% ITM

(Stats to be updated after Turfway Park’s card on Friday night)

Here’s our looks for the Stakes races at the Fair Grounds on this Saturday afternoon trip to the Kentucky Derby, which is far more exciting than any March to the Final Four (IMO):

8th: 6-9-1/8/3-2/5/7/4…Tom Benson Memorial Stakes…Didia (6) has not run since last August and has only run twice in this country since shipping here from Argentina. But this one is perfect 2-for-2 here and has now won 5 in a row. Training well at KEE for the return. Has talent and will travel. My pick. New Year’s Eve (9) has not run since last September, when she was 4th in the Dueling Grounds Oaks at KY Downs. In 2 lifetime tries at this distance, she is a perfect 2-for-2. Gets Flavien Prat up here and that could be enough. Big shot. Adventuring (1) can be known to disappoint in some big opportunities. Has not won since capturing the G3 Ladies Marathon at KY Downs last September, too. In two trips at this distance? Just 2 thirds on the resume. Gets a new rider here, and one who should be — in my opinion — riding first chair for Team Cox. Best in the business right now. Could help. But this 5YO mare needs some help, too. I bet the 6-9 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exactas. I will key the top 3 number over/under the 8 in two smaller units. 

9th: 2-3/7-8-6/5/1…G2 New Orleans Classic…I give the edge to Art Collector (2), who is coming off a huge win in the G1 Pegasus World Cup Classic last time out. If you remember, we picked him that day at odds of nearly 16-1. Won’t get those numbers today, but this one looks to be one of the top older horses in the world right now. Could duplicate the effort here. West Will Power (3) is not to be taken lightly, though. This one has be either first or second in the last 5 outs — all Stakes. Will be a tough out with the speed he can throw at you. I bet the 2 across the board and then box the 2-3 in the exactas. Sternly. I will key the 2-3 over (only) the 7-8-6-5 in a smaller unit. 

10th: 1-6/3-5/7-4//2/8/9…G2 Muniz Memorial Stakes…This is a 11/8-mile test over the stressed-out turf and I will go with Atone (1) in this spot. This one won the G1 Pegasus World Cup Turf Classic last time out and came with a powerful run to do that. If he can duplicate that? Look out. In 4 tries at this distance, has 2 wins and 1 second. Gets Luis Saez up here and that’s an improvement, too. Has hit board in 14 of 19 turf tries. Consistent sorts gets the nod. Two Emmys (6) has run over this sod 11 times. Has a nifty record of 4-4-1. Won the G3 Fair Grounds Stakes here last out by over 4 lengths. Powerful. Big shot. I bet the 1-6 across the board and then double down on the exacta box. Sternly. I will key the 1-6 over (only) the 3-5-7-4 in a smaller unit. 

11th: 5-3-4///1-2…G2 Fair Grounds Oaks…This 11/16-mile prep for the G1 Kentucky Oaks has 3 outstanding fillies out of the condensed 5-horse field. Three of the best. I will go with Hoosier Philly (5) in this spot. She was undefeated as a 2YO and maybe should have won the 2YO Championship. She was that good and that dominant. Made the 2023 debut in the G2 Rachel Alexandra Stakes on Feb. 18 and stumbled at the start. She flopped around a bit and then got caught on the rail. While everything went right in 2022, nothing went right in this race. She is on the outside here and with a clean break should have a perfect set-up. Look forward to redemption and validation here. I’m all in. I bet the 5 to win-place and double down on the win. Triple down on the win. Maybe more on the win. I will key the 5 over (only) the 3-4 in the exactas. Bullish. 

12th: 2-9/1-4-3-5/6-7-11/10/8-12…G2 Louisiana Derby…Instant Coffee (2) may be the only 3YO in the world who can beat the 2YO Champ and early KY Derby Favorite Forte. But to do that, he may need to win this race, too. Will go 13/16-miles here and carry the Derby weight of 122. This son of Bolt d’Oro looks to be the perfect play. Stalks. Closes. Wins. Has the best rider in the country up. Adds up for me. Tapit’s Conquest (9) is a roommate of our top pick and may be ready to challenge him, too. Gets a new rider here and that may be the biggest move and improvement that this son of Tapit could ever get. If you can’t get Saez here, this may be the best choice. Look for this one to run huge. I bet the 2-9 across the board and then hammer down on this exacta box. I will key the 2-9 over/under the 1-4-3-5 in two smaller units. 

Good Luck & All the Best / Gene