Day Results 9 / 1-5-7
2020 Overall 812 812 / 288-265-326
Win % of Top Pick 35.47%
Payoff % of Top 3 Picks Overall 36.08%
2020 Top Pick in the Money –518-812 63.79%
Top Selection ITM / KEE 14-27 51.85%
Top Selection Win / KEE 7-27 25.93%
“Key Horses” @ KEE 2-0-0-1 00.00% Win / 50.00% ITM
“Key Horses” in 2020 108-37-24-16 34.26% Win / 71.30% ITM

Apologies. On Friday, I offered up a miserable betting strategy and group of contenders. One win on the card. One.

Our 3 top picks did manage 5 seconds and 7 thirds, but I tell people all the time: “If I run second, it is not going to be a very good day.”

Friday was not a very good day.

But we are back. In the saddle. On the horse. Ready to ride. Ready to win. That’s the nature of this sport and game. Some days are diamonds. Some days are stones. To quote the late, great John Denver.

Here’s what we got for you today:

1st: 8-6-2/1A-4-5-1/7…Looking At Liberty (8) gets the nod in the lid-lifter for us. The 4YO gelded son of Lookin at Lucky has run two seconds in two starts this year, after bypassing the first 3 years of his life. Both efforts have been solid and closing at the wire. Barn hits with .40% when going a route of ground for the 2nd time. Copper King (6) cost $625,000 at the 2017 KEE September Yearling Sale. Has earned $106,000 to date. Looks to be a career maiden. In 12 starts, has 5 seconds and 4 thirds. Loves to change late and burn money. I know that he has been the PT favorite at least 4 times already. Underneath. For me. Kid Shelleen (2) ran a huge one last time out, and has already been claimed twice in the career — after just two starts. Moves up to face MSW contenders today. Barn hits with .08% on the first start after the claim purchase. Rider choice is interesting. Chance. I bet the 8 to win/place/show and then box the top 3 in one exacta. I will key the 8-2 over/under the 6-1A-1-4-5-7 in two smaller units.

2nd: 9-6/8-10-11-4/5-2/3-7…Therideofalifetime (9) returns to the ring today after running a nice second at Churchill Downs on debut. Gets a nice rider switch and should be coming at the wire again. Son of Candy Ride should appreciate the added distance and the barn has been hot of late. Swill (6) is a first-timer for the barn of Brad Cox, who hits with .18% making the racing debut. Sire of this one wins with .16% of those making the debut. Sharp works for the racing start. Like the rider choice. I bet the 9-6 across the board and then box those two in the exacta. I will key the 9-6 over/under the 8-10-11-4-5 in two softer versions.

3rd: 9-6-12/1/7-10-3-2/11-4-8…Crown Jewel (9) should be salty in this spot for trainer Steve Asmussen. The 4YO daughter of Medaglia d’Oro won easily two starts back and then ran a nice one when facing winners for the first time on June 19. The winner of that one came back to run lights out here on Friday. Barn hits with .26% of those returning as the beaten favorite. Love the 3-1 price in the ML. Mundaye Call (6) is a daughter of Into Mischief — the hottest sire in the world these days. Will be making the 2020 debut and will make the first start for the barn of Brad Cox. He wins with .26% of those. The connections paid $950,000 for this one in 2018. Looks the part. Could score off the bench. Golden Curl (12) could spice up these odds rack. In 5 starts, has a win, a second and two thirds. Works good of late. Ran behind our top pick in the last outing, too. Shorter distance could help a lot. I bet the 9-12 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the 9-12 over/under the 6-1 in two more.

4th: 4/2-6/1-3/5…G2 Appalachian Stakes…This is the first of 6 straight Graded Stakes events, and what a day of racing this should be. I will key the once beaten Alms (4) in this spot. Huge rider switch for me. And, this one was way wide and really given no shot from the #12 hole last time out at Churchill Downs. Impossible post, truly, when going a mile. Much better post today and this one has the stalking style to be right in the mix heading for home. Rebounds today, IMO. I bet the 4 to win/place/show and then key the 4 over/under the other numbers listed. More with the 2-6.

5th: 5/3-8/7-9-4/2-6…G1 Madison Stakes…Another “single” for me here with Guarana (5). Simply put? She is a monster. Has raced 5 times with 4 wins and a second. The lone miss came in a race that extended two turns to 11/16. At one turn? She looks awesome. Daughter of Ghostzapper won a G1 in her second career start by 6 lengths. Wow. I do think that Sally’s Curlin (3) — who is a one-turn specialist, too — will be kicking for home late and could make a race of it in the final 100 yards. Don’t dismiss this one, who is owned by some great friends of mine. This gal can run. Especially when she is at one turn. I bet the 5 to win/place and the 3 across the board. I will box the 5-3 solid. I will key the 5 over (only) the numbers listed. I will try the 3 over/under the 5-8-7-9-4 in a much smaller version.

6th: 8-9-2/10-13-1-11/7-5/3-6-4…G2 Shakertown Stakes…The 5.5-furlong turf race is the toughest event in the sport to handicap, IMO. So much depends on the break. So much depends on a clean trip. So many things to go wrong. So few things to go right. Bound for Nowhere (8) should be the favorite and most likely will be. In 4 races over this course, he has two wins and a second. Comes in off a huge effort at Santa Anita in March. Working lights out here for a trainer that can get them geared up for this specialty distance. My pick. Texas Wedge (9) has been unlucky in the last two. Needs a little more room, but the jockey knows how to win on him. Has a second in only previous try here. Widman Jack (2) has 3 wins, 2 seconds and a third in 6 starts at the distance and gets HOFer Mike Smith up again. Steps up in class today. We shall see. I definitely use both of Rusty Arnold’s horses in here, too. Totally Boss (10) was eliminated in each of the last two. Toss them. Totally. Leinster (13) ran a good one last time out when he had to force his way in-between and split horses. In 4 starts here, between the two of them, they have combined for 2 wins, a second and a third. Hmmm. I use. Take note. I bet the 8-10-13 across the board. I box the 8-10-13 in one exacta. I key the 8-10-13 over/under the 9-12 in two more. I will key the 8 over/under the 9-2-10-13-1-11. How’s that for conviction?

7th: 3-2-6/1-4-5…G1 Ashland Stakes…With the departure of Swiss Skydiver to the Blue Grass, this race truly opens up and becomes a truly interesting affair. The rider’s decisions in this short field will make a big difference. If Venetian Harbor (2) can sneak off to an easy and lonely lead? Goodbye. On a speed-favoring track, she be gone. If challenged, though, it could set up perfectly for the best stalker in the bunch — and, perhaps, the best horse of the group, too — Bonny South (3). Like the switch to HOF rider Johnny V on this one. She will be coming at the wire. But she will need someone else in this group to soften up the speed. Speech (6) ran within a neck of Gamine just two races ago. And, we all know that Gamine may be the best 3YO filly in the world right now — including Swiss Skydiver. Great race. I bet the 3 to win/place/show and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I key the 3 over/under the 2-6-1-4-5 in two softer versions.

8th: 4-6-8/5-2/1-3-7…G1 Jenny Wiley Stakes…This G1 Stakes event will be contested at 11/16-miles over the sod. Wow field here. Wow. Rushing Fall (4) has raced 12 times in the career. Has 9 wins and 2 seconds. yet, the only time she was off the board came just last October and it came here when she was 4th in the G1 First Lady. Was so far wide that day, she had no shot. Broke from the #10 hole and went just a mile. In 4 races at this distance, she has 3 wins and a second. Looks much the best. But what if she gets hooked in a speed duel? Could happen in this group. Jolie Olympic (6) has raced 6 times. Has 5 wins and a second. Likes to be close to the front, too. And, gets Mike Smith up. Hmmm. Toinette (8) has never lost at this distance — a perfect 2-for-2. Has 8 wins in 12 starts overall. In only previous try here? A win. Lots of folks look to be up front. Could set up for a huge score by a late closer. That could be Mucho Unusual (5). Never been out of California, but does have ability to run late. May want to include a bit. I bet the 4 to win/place and then key the 4 over/under the numbers listed in the exactas. More with the 6-8-5-2 than the others. I’m going with the known quality and quantity here.

9th: 8-9-3/7-1-10-5/12-13-2…G2 Blue Grass Stakes…What a race this is. Truly. Interesting plots throughout — especially with the entry of the filly Swiss Skydiver (7). In 7 career starts, she has 4 wins, a second and a third. This year? Three wins and a third in 5 starts. But she is facing colts today for the first time and that is a difference of major proportions. She has speed. She is likely to use it with Mike Smith up. But there is other speed in here, too. Can she out-duel those and hold off the others? We shall see. But I am betting against. Basin (8) is 8-1 in the ML and just ran second to Charlatan in a division of the G1 Arkansas Derby. Could be sitting on a huge effort for Team Asmussen. Looks like he could stalk and pounce. Attachment Rate (9) finally gets more ground today, and I think this son of Hard Spun has been begging for it for awhile now. At 20-1 in the ML? Wow. I’m in. Both of my top two should be considered Upset Specials of the Day. Art Collector (3) may be the hottest 3YO in the country right now and I’ll be rooting hard for these connections, too. Class acts. All around. Deserve a good one. So what to do? I’m betting the 8-9 across the board and then boxing my top 3 numbers in one exacta. I will key the 8-9 over/under the 3-7-1-10-5-12 in two smaller versions.

10th: 3-6-8/1-1A-7-9-10/2-5…The finale is a 13/16-mile endurance test over the grass course, and I will give a strong edge to Romantic Pursuit (3). This one has a win and a second at this funky distance and is coming off a near miss 2nd last time out at CD. Just nipped at the wire in that one in a tough-beat. If she can duplicate that effort today? Bingo. Kuora (6) will make the first start in NA today after three straight wins in Peru. Working good here. Chance. Gamblin Train (8) is my next Upset Special of the Day. The 4YO filly is 30-1 in the ML. If you can get half that price? I jump in hard. Can win off the bench, and working good for a great friend of mine. Look out. I bet the 3-8 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the 3-8 over/under all the numbers listed in two shorter versions. I def use the 8 here.

Good Luck & All the Best / Gene