(Updated Statistics From NYE to Come Later — After the NYE Races are Run Today)

(Jack & Ford show off their new Columbus Crew hoodies that “Pops” got them for Christmas. Back home, but the boys really helped me with my handicapping this week. Hoping for some wins.)

It’s New Year’s Day. Start to something new. Let’s hope for some better luck than what 2020 wrecked on all of us for the past 12 months. If nothing else, maybe it is just a change of the calendar will help us all with a change of attitude.

If there is a resolution that we can all muster, it is this:

We can all strive to be kinder.

We all can all endeavor to be nicer.

We all can try to be friend rather than foe.

We all can hope that the vaccine will help us heal both body and soul.

Here’s hoping that we can all find a few more winners both on the track and in our individual lives.

Here’s hoping.

And, here’s our looks for Turfway Park on New Year’s Day:

1st: 9-8/6-5-3/4…Uncle Earl (9) drops to half the asking price over the last time out, when offered up for $15,000. This kind of drop should help, and the barn wins with .14% when hunting a win like this. Last time out at this price tag was on Dec. 3. Nearly won that day. Beaten a nose. Return to this level should propel this one, too. Stalker will be a tough out here. Gets a new rider and the barn wins with .18% on the third start off the layup. Victoryatvicksburg (8) drops to a career low level today, as well, and the barn is looking for the first win of the meet. Has a second and a third in the first three starts. Like the Dec. 2 move over this track. Gets a rider who has 2 wins in 15 rides so far this meet. Will be coming at the wire. I bet the 9-8 across the board and then box these two in the exacta. I will key the 9-8 over/under the 6-5-3-4 in two smaller units.

2nd: 3-2-5/6/4/8-1…Faith Factor (3) came from the clouds to win here on Dec. 12. Had to dart to the inside to find room and her best closing stride. Barn wins with .18% of those that won the last race. Gets a new rider for this one, but he had a win in 5 tries for this barn. In 2 starts here, has a win and a third. In 8 tries over an AW surface? Has a 3-1-2 mark. One to beat. Triple Scout (2) was claimed last time out for $12,500. Now, she is offered up for $5,000. Need a bigger truck? But this one should be a tough one in this spot, if she finds her racing groove. Stalker will get the first jump on the rest. Market Money (5) drops to the bargain bin today. Last time he ran for this price tag was in December of 2019. Was claimed then and moved to the grass surface. Gets the meet’s top rider and rates a shot. I bet the 3-5 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the 3-5 over/under the 2-6-4-8-1 in two smaller units.

3rd: 6-1A/4/2-7-1/5-8/9-3…Stay Happy (6) comes from the barn of the well-regarded Eddie Kenneally. Won the last time out for $10,000 at Churchill Downs on Nov. 18. Was a beast on the lead that day. Looks well-spotted for this one. Boa Nova (1A) looks to be the best of the entry, even though both would rate a shot if they are both in the starting gate at post time. This one won the last time out here on Dec. 19, and the barn wins with .17% when won the last race. Also, the barn wins with .50% when they drop off the win. This one looks like a tough out here, too. I bet the 6-1A across the board and then box these two sternly in the exacta. I will key the 6-1A over/under the 4-2-7-5-8 in two smaller units.

4th: 2-1-9/(13)/4-3/8-5-11/10-6-7…Visitant (2) was an easy winner here last time out on Dec. 12. In 5 starts over an AW surface, this one has 4 wins and a second. This son of Ghostzapper just loves the AW surfaces. Ran third to Mucho Gusto in the G3 Affirmed Stakes in June of 2019. looks like he may be back in good form now, after a long vacation. Barn is winning at a .33% rate this meet and wins with .21% when won the last race, too. Love the combo and the barn has gone 3-2-1 in the last 9 races. Bizzee Channel (1) is no slouch here, either, in what promises to be a very nice event. This 5YO gelded son of English Channel nearly won here on Dec. 3 against these types. Lost the lead at the wire after setting the fractions. Ran 2nd to Big Agenda at KY Downs earlier this year and in 4 stars over the AW, has a win and two seconds. Speed. Come catch me. Royal Mesa (9) came with a nice run in the last event at Churchill Downs, against much better. Ran up against G1 winner Hog Creek Hustle that day. Should be making a late move here. May just motor right past them all today. Can’t dismiss for a top notch trainer who does not get the credit he should. I bet the 2-9 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the top 3 numbers over/under the 4-3 in two smaller units. I will also key the 2-9 over/under the 1-4-3-8-5-11-10 in two smaller units.

5th: 10/5-9-11-3/8-6-7/(13)-(14)-12…Ready N Waiting (10) is my first Key Play of 2021. This 4YO daughter of Constitution drops all the way from the $40,000 level to the $15,000 price tag today. Gets the blinkers for the first time, too. Barn wins with .20% when dropping this much at once, and with .27% when getting the shades for the first time, too. Gets a rider who has only 3 wins in 35 starts here this meet. Hmmm. But this one looks much  best coming in. I bet the 10 to win/place/show and then key the 10 over/under all the numbers listed above. More with the 5-9-11-3-8-6.

6th: 8-7-5/6-11-2-3…Colorofacloud (8) will get the saddle from a trainer who I have totally not familiar with or know anything about. Ships in from Hawthorne for this one, and does drop all the way to the near-bottom of the MCL ranks. Should fit with these and the rider does have .11% winners out of 37 rides this meet. Does go from a sprint to a route today, and the barn wins with only .06% of those in 29 starts. Hmmm. Discreet Demons (7) ran at this same level last time out and nearly won when taking to the AW for the first time. If she can duplicate that effort? Well, the Washington-bred may have a chance to break the maiden here. I just don’t make it a habit of betting Washington-breds. Innovate (5) will gets the plunge to the near-bottom here, too. Gets the blinkers for the first time for a top notch trainer. This one is likely to run late, if at all, but I can’t dismiss the daughter of Uncle Mo — who did cost $200,000 at the 2018 KEE September Yearling Sale. I bet the 8-5 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the 8-5 over/under the 7-6-11-2-3 in two smaller units. Horizontally? Such as Pick 3, 4, 5, 6? This is an “all button” race for me.

7th: 2-4/3-7-11-12/6-8-9/10/5-1…Alta’s Award (2) nearly won against a high-class bunch at Churchill Downs last time out on Nov. 29. High Regard won that one by just a length over this one, who will make the AW debut here. Barn wins with .21% when making the third start off a layup, and gets the meet’s top rider here. Love the works of late, especially the last one over this track on Dec. 15. I like. A lot. Miss Imperfection (4) is my first Longshot Special of 2021. I can toss the last one when racing against our top pick. Had a tough ride from a very cold, cold jockey that day. Look at the race two back. Finished in front of our top pick in that one. I love the 10-1 ML odds offered up by the folks at Brisnet. com and I will include here. Has a win in only previous run at TP, too. I bet the 2-4 across the board and then box these two sternly in one exacta. I will key the 2-4 over/under the 3-7-11-12-6-8-9-10 in two smaller units.

8th: 8-9-1/7/4-6/12-10-11…The last race of the day is a wide open affair, as well. I will give the slight edge to Good Alternative (8), who ran third on debut at Woodbine in mid-October. The “Place” horse that day came right back to win the next outing, and this one will get the first start for a new trainer today. Has been working very well for the return to racing. Barn wins with .20% of those away this long. Don’t know this rider, who will get the first mount here. Interesting choice. Karakontie Flyer (9) ran third here on Dec. 9. In 7 career starts, has 3 thirds. Flashed speed last time out, which was a change of racing styles. Interesting to see what the filly will do today. Will need some racing luck and some improvement, too. But gets a top rider for this one, as well. Sky Factor (1) has posted two seconds in row for one of the sport’s best young trainers — who is poised to have a spectacular 2021. Has trained well for this one. Chance. I bet the 8-1 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the top 3 over/under the 7 in two smaller units. I will also key the 8-1 over/under the 9-7-4-6-12-10-11 in two smaller units.

Good Luck & All the Best / Gene