Day Results 11 / 4-3-4
2020 Overall 877 877 / 312-288-351
Win % of Top Pick 35.58%
Payoff % of Top 3 Picks Overall 36 .15%
2020 Top Pick in the Money –561-877 63.97%
Top Selection ITM / SAR 18-26 69.23%
Top Selection Win / SAR 10-26 38.46%
Top Selection ITM / Ellis Park 31-40 77.50%
Top Selections Win / Ellis Park 13-40 32.50%
“Key Horses” @ SAR 2-2-0-0 100.00% Win / 100.00% ITM
“Key Horses” @ Ellis Park 5/2-2-0 40.00% Win / 80.00% ITM
“Key Horses” in 2020 115-41-25-16 35.65% Win / 71.30% ITM

We had a pretty good day down at the ole’ “Pea Patch” in Henderson, KY. Both our “Key Play of the Day,” and our “Upset Special of the Day,” although went off at 3-1, both won. Easily. Impressively. Convincingly. Just as we predicted.

We won three races in a row. Our top picks returned $6.20, $13.00, $14.60, $16.60 and $7.80 for each $2 played across the board. We nailed exactas that returned $12.90, $8.00, $14.70, $26.90 and $95.20 for each $1 played.

Fun times in the big city.

Not so much, though, up at “The Spa” and Saratoga. Only one modest winner. Did hit three exactas out of the four races, though, and they each returned $11.00, $34.75, and $18.80 for each $1 played.

We are looking for more on this sunny day in the Commonwealth. Just know, folks, that better days are coming. That’s the only way I get up in the morning. That’s the only way I go to sleep at night. As Annie sings at the top of her lungs: “The Sun Will Come up Tomorrow. Tomorrow. Tomorrow. It’s only a day away.”

Here’s are picks for today. Today. Today. It’s the only day we can live and enjoy right now — any way.

Saratoga:

3rd: 6-5-1/3…G2 Ballston Spa Stakes…This will mark the return of the great Sistercharlie (5), who has been brought back to the races for her 6YO campaign. Last year, she won 3 of 4 and added a third in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf. The year before, she won 4 of 5 and added a second in the G2 New York Stakes. Overall, she has raced 15 times in the career. Has 10 wins, 3 seconds and a third. She has earned over  $3.66 million in her brilliance. So? Easy pick here, right? I don’t think so. I think she could be primed to perfection by trainer Chad Brown, and still not win this one. Simply put, the race just does not set up for her. There’s only 5 horses in the field. There is very little speed. And, the distance may be too short for her to make her patented late move with rider Johnny Velazquez. Layoff. Five horses. Little speed. Short distance. If you are going to beat this great Champ, it should be today. Starship Jubilee (6) could be that one. In 8 times at this distance, she has 4 wins, a second and 2 thirds. She lost this race a year ago by a narrow half-length and came from a stalking spot. She is the most likely of the group to go to the front today. And, she is good enough to carry them the entire way. Call Me Love (1) ran a good one at this distance in the G3 Beaugay to begin the NA career on June 3 at Belmont Park. She didn’t care for the stretch out last time. But the barn hits with .23% on the third start off the layup and this trainer-jockey duo is red, red, red hot. Last 45 mounts together, they have combined to win .29% of the time. Much higher at this meet.  I bet the 6 to win/place and then key the 6 over/under the “all button.” I box the 6-1-5 in a “saver.”

7th: 7-8-6/3/(1)-(2)-(5)/1A-10-4/9…If this 1-mile event stays on the grass, it should be a hell raiser. Nice horses abound, and all around. I will give the edge to Proven Strategies (7) — despite the fact that the barn has been ice cold here so far this meet with a 0-for-7 mark and endured a horrid meet at Churchill Downs earlier this Spring. Still, this 3YO son of Sky Mesa ran well to be 2nd in the G2 Pennine Ridge last time out and nearly won the English Channel Stakes at GP on May 2. Probably needed the last race after the layoff and the caliber of competition was stiff, too. Rider who has won on this one twice returns to the saddle today. A positive. Lonesome Fugitive (8) moves up off a MSW win last time out at Belmont Park. Came from the back to score by a neck on the wire. Typical Chad Brown training job and running style. Now, this 3YO Irish-bred moves up to face winners and a Graded-Stakes placed winner above. Tough company. But looks promising here. Perjury Trap (6) is another Chad Brown pupil, and this one broke the maiden last time out, too. That was back in November of last year and came in the first start over the sod. Training sessions look good. If it comes off the turf, look at the top 2 that have been entered for the MTO. Solid numbers there. I bet the 7 to win/place/show and then box the top 3 in one exacta. I will key the 7 over/under the 8-6-3-1A-10-4 in two smaller units.

8th: 1A/6-3/8-1-2/7-5…Sounds crazy, but one of he best 3YOs in the country — by the end of the year, mind you — could be in this Optional Claimer. I think it could be possible. Money Moves (1A) is a 3YO son of Candy Ride and is a perfect 2-for-2 to start the career. Has not been out since March after winning at a mile at GP. Trainer off to a great start here. And, wins with .30% coming off this kind of a layup. This guy cost $975,000 at the OBS April Sale a year ago. Must have looked the part, too. My first Key Play of the Day. I bet the 1A to win/place/show and then key the 1A over/under all the numbers listed in the exactas. More with the 6-3-8 than the rest.

10th: 2-4/5-3/1…G1 Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap…Just 5 horses will line up in the starting gate for this 6-furlong contest, but what a quintet. Wow. The prohibitive favorite, and, perhaps, the best sprinter in the land since the days of 2019 and Mitole will make his Saratoga debut today. That is Volatile (4). This 4YO son of Violence is just what his name suggests, too. He is explosive. Won the Aristides Stakes at Churchill Downs last time out by 8. Throttled down at the wire, too. Just missed the track record. Race before, at Oaklawn Park, he won by 71/2 lengths. Time before that, last November at Churchill Downs, he won by 3. In 5 career starts, he has 4 wins and a second. No telling how good this one is. Or going to be. Could be an absolute monster. But…He will face today a horse that has run 21 times at this distance and has compiled a record of 12-6-2 in those races. Has won over $2.2 million going 6 furlongs. And, despite only 1 win last year, he has returned for the 7YO campaign and has two wins and a second in the first three starts this year. Will come from off the pace. Question is? Is there enough pace to close off of, and is Volatile really as good as Mitole? If he is? Goodbye. I bet the 2 to win/place and then box the 2-4 solidly. Solidly.

Ellis Park:

1st: Editor’s Note: I really didn’t handicap this one, but I see that my good friend Tom Proctor is dropping Freshman Class (4) into this one for just $10,000. This 4YO daughter of Union Rags cost $250,000 at the 2017 KEE September Yearling Sale and is out of a Stakes-winning mare who has produced 2 winners — and one turf winner — from 3 starters. Worth this money as a claim. Just writing.

2nd: 3-4/5-1-2-6…Readyformycloseup (3) was claimed two races back for $40,000. Shows up today for the $30,000 tag. Trainer hits with only .06% of those making the 2nd start after a purchase, but this one has trained really well since the last race — against too tough — and the barn is off to a terrific start here with a 3-1-1 record in the first 10 starts. Gets a top rider to take the reins back. My pick. I bet the 3 to win/place/show and box the top 2 in one exacta. I key the 3 over/under all the numbers listed in two smaller units.

3rd: 4-7-2/5-6…Midnight Bourbon (4) is a first time starter for the Asmussen barn and this one has all the looks and makings of a winner on debut. Cost $525,000 at the KEE September Yearling Sale last year. Dam has 3 winners from 3 starters and 2 Stakes winners, so far. This one has been training lights out at both Churchill Downs and KEE, before that. And, gets a top rider for the mount. Adds up for me. I bet the 4 to win/place and then key the 4 over/under the numbers listed. I will box the 4-7-2 in a softer version.

4th: 1-7-9/2-4-10/3-11-6/5-8…Ten Flat (1) didn’t show much in the first try, but had all kinds of reasons and excuses. Bumped and bothered terribly at the start, compromising all chances. Was bet aggressively in that one and the winner and the “show” horse both came right back to win the next outing. Barn hits with .28% of those getting to the sod for the first time and this dam has a turf winner, too. Works are spot on and the rider has won with .26% of the last 19 mounts. Adds up strong for me. I bet the 1 to win/place/show and then key the 1 over/under the “all button” in two exactas. I will box the 1-7-9 in one more, as well.

6th: 3-5-2/4-6-1/8-10/9…Private Island (3) rallied after a horrid start to be 4th in the debut. That was just 5 furlongs and now stretches out to a route for the first time and tries the grass for the first time, too. Barn his with .12% on the first try at two turns and just .08% on the sod for the initial excursion. But…This one gets a top rider here and the “place” horse in the last outing came right back to win the next outing. Looks like this one has the experience edge, too. I bet the 3 to win/place/show and then box the top 3. I will key the top 3 over/under the 4-6 in two smaller units.

7th: 2-7/1-6/3-4-5…What a nice allowance for the 3YO fillies here. I give the slight edge to Street of Dreams (2). This one ran 2nd to Tonalist’s Shape in the G2 Forward Gal last time out. That was way back in February and this one has been off since. But has been training very well and the barn does OK with fresh horses off a layup. Rider familiar with this one, too. Regal Beauty (7) will make the first start for the new barn operator after running 4th and last in the G2 Santa Anita Oaks. Was beaten 15 that day, but that was by Swiss Skydiver. Trainer hits with .14% on the first try and this one has trained OK for this move. I bet the 2 to win/place/show and then box the top 2 in the exacta. I will box the 2-1 solidly in another exacta, too. I will key the 2 over/under the numbers listed in two shorter versions.

8th: 8-9-7/1-6-3…Stage Ready (8) ran a good one in the 2020 debut, but that came at Indy Grand on July 8. Long layoff since last November. This one ran well here last summer, though, with a win and a second in two starts. Gets the meet’s top rider up and the trainer is super hot with a 3-0-2 record in the first 7 starts here this meet. My pick. Solid. I bet the 8 to win/place/show and then box the top 3 in one exacta. I will key the 8 over/under the “all button” in two shorter versions.

9th: (13)-1-11-7/10-8/2-5/9-3-12/4…If the AE horse — Jolting Joe (13) — draws in, then the 3YO colt is a must use. Has not been out since last November, but has been training lights out for a barn that is red hot here and wins with .23% of those returning as a beaten favorite. Three straight 2nds to start the career. Talent here. If not, I go to the far inside and land on Parkland (1). This one ran a huge 2nd last time out when going a marathon distance at KEE. Cut back should help and the rider is top notch. My Upset Special of the Day just may be Cibolian (11), who is listed at 12-1 in the ML. Comes from the barn of Rusty Arnold and this one should improve off the last run when bothered throughout the race, and, yet, still was 4th. I go here, too. I bet the 13 if gets in. If not I bet the 1-11. I def use the 11 across the board. I box the 13-1-11 if they all get in. If not, I key the 1-11 over/under the 7-10-8-2-5-9 in two smaller. 

Good Luck & All the Best / Gene