Day Results 8 / 1-3-3
2021 Overall 41 41 / 12-14-15
Win % of Top Pick 29.27%
Payoff % of Top 3 Picks Overall 33.33%
2021 Top Pick in the Money Overall — 24-41 58.54%
2021 Top Selection ITM / TP 19-32 59.38%
2021 Top Selections Win / TP 8-32 25.00%
“Key Horses” @ TP 4 / 1-1-0 25.00% Win / 50.00% ITM
“Key Horses” in 2021 7 / 3-1-0 42.86% Win / 57.14% ITM

Managed just one winner on the Thursday night card, and that is out of the 8 races that were presented over the “new and improved” Turfway Park Tapeta surface.

And, that lone trip to the winner’s circle came in the finale.

Any way you cut it?

Not very good.

And, a long night.

But there is some good news to report. Always a silver lining somewhere, right?

We cashed three tickets across the board, and two of those produced winning results and positive cash flow.

And, we hit exactas that returned $12.80 and $28.20 for each $1 played.


If you followed our lead, we scored the $174.80 exacta in the 2nd race for each $2 wagered. And, we encouraged a minimum of $2 played in that event.


We are back for Friday Night Lights. And, here we go:

1st: 7-4/5-8-9-3/2/1…Seductive (7) goes for a trainer who wins with .25% of the last 61 tries over the AW surface, and just two races ago — at this same level — the barn teamed up with this one to run off to a near 6-length win right here. If this 5YO Irish bred can duplicate that form? Look out. In 10 starts over the AW, this one has a 2-3-0 mark. Worth a repeat here. No Interest (4) could spice up this odds rack a bit, if she can find her best running shoes. In 17 previous tries over the AW, she has a 6-3-3 mark and has a win here, too. Ran OK here on Dec. 31. Had some traffic issues and drifted a bit in the stretch. But surely needed that race. Had been off since July. If that race tightens her up a bit? Barn wins with .33% making the 2nd start off the layup. I bet the 7 to win/place/show and then box the 7-4 in one exacta. Rather stern. I then key the 7-4 over/under the 5-8-9-3-2 in two smaller units.

2nd: 5-7/9/1-8/3-2…Baby White Sox (5) should be considered as a favorite when they head into the gate, by the fans and their betting dollars. This 4YO son of Bayern ran a solid 2nd last time out at Churchill Downs, when he encountered a sloppy racetrack. Will make the AW debut tonight. Had a nice third against much, much tougher at Churchill Downs last May. Look for more here tonight. Good Juju (7) is something that our country needs right now, to be sure. This one comes from the barn of trainer Ian Wilkes, one of the best people to ever work in our industry. In 12 races so far at Turfway, the barn has a 2-4-1 record. This one ran 2nd at Churchill Downs on Nov. 11. Led much of the time in that one before tiring late. Apprentice rider sticks for the mount tonight. May be able to carry them the entire way. Chance. I bet the 5-7 across the board and then box those two in the exacta. I will also key the 5-7 over/under the 9-1-8 in two smaller units.

3rd: (14)-6-5-3/2-8/4-1-10…Miss Paco Lemon (14) will need some considerable luck just to make the starting gate from the AE List. But if she does? I give her a big shot. Broke the maiden last time out here on Dec. 11 and did it for fun. Ran off by 4. Finds a rather soft spot here, too, and the barn knows where and how to spot them. If she goes, I do, too. If not, I revert to Thomasville (6), who could be a solid price by post time. This 4YO daughter of Street Sense drops fro the $15,000 level all the way to the bargain bin tonight. Top notch trainer picks up the mount and this one won just two starts ago. If she is anywhere close to that form? Gone. Ballybrack Lass (5) has a 1-1-2 mark in 6 starts over the AW and ran a very nice, closing 4th here on Dec. 3. Just had too much to do in the final stages of that one. Needs to get a little more motivate on the turn to have a shot. But if she does? I bet the 14 if she gets in. If not, I will be the 6-5 across the board and then box the top 3 numbers in the exacta. I will key the top 3 over/under the 2-8 in two smaller units.

4th: 1/5-9/7-3-10/2-8…The first “Key Play of the Night” comes in this event, and I will lock up with trainer Larry Rivelli’s Wild Weekend (1). The rail is not the place to be, if the recent history continues. But this one should be able to negotiate a good trip with the meet’s top rider in the irons. Ran a rally nice 2nd here last time out and probably needed that race, since he had been off since September. Will make the 2nd career start for this barn, and the trainer wins with .29% of those. Up that percentage to .32% when making the 2nd start off a layup. Looks solid to me. I bet the 1 to win/place/show and then key the 1 over/under the numbers listed above. More with the 5-9 than the rest.

5th: 4-5-8/3-10-11/7-6-9-12-2…Sky Temple (4) is a 3YO son of Temple City, a sire who has yet to throw a winner over this Tapeta track since the meet(s) started here in December. Hmmmm. But this guy comes in off a 4th and before that ran two very nice 2nds at Churchill Downs and Keeneland against much, much tougher competition. Can this one handle the surface? Good question. We shall see. Vunerable, to be sure. But talented, too. No Obligation (5) gets the Lasix for the first time since moving into the 3YO year and will make the first start for the new barn. Trainer wins with .19% with those making the barn debut. Has been solid in the first 3 career starts — all over the turf.  But will make the 2nd start off a layup here and this barn wins with .16% of those. Should and could make a late run and make things interesting. Bakwena (8) is my betting choice. This 3YO son of Graydar ran a huge 3rd here on debut on Dec. 4. Came from the clouds that night. Nearly caught them all at the wire. Worked very nicely here on Dec. 29. Solid odds are expected. So? I go with the 4-8 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exacta.  I key the 4-8 over/under the 5-3-10-11-7-6-9 in two smaller units.

6th: 5/2-10-9-4/3-6-7-12/1-(13)-(14)…The second “Key Play of the Night” comes in this affair with Upstart Gentleman (5). This 3YO son of Upstart ran a very nice 2nd as the beaten favorite here on Dec. 5. Just never could get by the winner that night. In 3 tries over the AW now, has a second and a third. And, the work here on Dec. 26? Wow time. Gets a top rider up and should be a tough out in this spot. Barn wins with .16% of those getting the blinkers for the first time and with .24% of those that return as a beaten favorite. My solid choice here. I bet the 5 to win/place/show and then key the 5 over/under the 2-10-9-4 solid. I key the 5 over/under the 3-6-7-12-1 OK.

7th: 7-5-2/9-8/11-1A-10-4/6-3/1…I really think that rider Chris Landeros, who is making up for a tough 2020 with some good mounts and better rides at Turfway Park this winter, could go back-to-back here. Isla Road (7) gets the veteran rider, who is winning at a .22% clip in the first 54 mounts and that is a nice leg up for this barn — who is starting to heat up, too. This one has not raced since July. but the works here are solid and the barn does win with .17% with those away from the races this long. First start for a top barn and the trainer wins with .15% on debut. My pick. Crystal Glacier (5) is another from the barn of Mark Casse, who has kept a regular string here this winter. Barn has a 3-3-1 mark in the first 25 starts, but starting to heat up a bit. This one has been tracking over the poly at Woodbine in Canada. Has a 2nd in only previous run over the AW. Top work here on Dec. 31. One to beat, I think. Perfection Cat (2) is another shipper from Woodbine. In 6 starts over the AW, has two seconds and three thirds. Has been running against some good ones too. Will be coming late, and has trained well here, too. This is a top event. Good horses. But? I bet the 7-5 across the board and then box the top 3 in one exacta. I key the top 3 numbers over/under the 9-8 in two smaller units.

8th: 3/2-1/7-10-9-11/(14)-(13)…We close out the night with my third and last “Key Play of the Night.” Always dangerous to lock and load on a $5,000 claimer, but this one just sticks out for me. Bow Down Tewmey (3) goes for an underrated trainer. Had a tough 2020, but who didn’t. Drops from the $15,000 level to the bargain bin tonight and that’s the cheapest level this one has ever seen before. By several rungs. Return to the sprint distance should help and this one does have speed to use. If she has anything in the tank — like she did in late August when she won against much, much better at Arlington Park — then look out. Nice price to end the night. I bet the 3 to win/place/show and then key the 3 over/under the rest of the numbers listed above. I go stronger with the 2-1.

Good Luck & All the Best / Gene