Total Day Results 12 / 6-2-7
2021 Overall 1,788 1788 / 671-643-841
Win % of Top Pick 37.53%
Payoff% of Top 3 Picks Overall 40.18%
2021 Top Pick in the Money Overall — 1,212-1,788 67.79%
2021 Top Selection ITM / CD 144-214 67.29%
2021 Top Selections Win / CD 70-214 32.71%
“Key Horses” @ CD 31/14-7-0 45.16% Win / 67.74% ITM
“Key Horses” in 2021 273/ 124-61-24 45.42% Win / 76.56% ITM
“Longshots of Day” @ CD 17/0-2-1 00.00% Win / 17.65% ITM
“Longshots of Day” @IGR (11-11-21) 21/4-1-0 19.05% Win / 23.81% ITM
“Longshots of the Day” @ SAR (8-28-21) 4/0-2-0 00.00% Win / 50.00% ITM
“Longshots of the Day” @ KY Downs 19/2-1-2 10.53% Win / 26.20% ITM
“Key Horses” @ Breeders’ Cup 2/1-0-0 50.00% Win / 50.00% ITM
“Longshots of the Day” @ Breeders’ Cup : 2 / 1-0-1 50.00% Win / 100.00% ITM

The calendar has turned to December, and we are gearing up for the biggest Holiday season of the year. We are also gearing up for the return to the Tapeta at Turfway Park.

It took us awhile — and a few adjustments to our handicapping system — last year to get the feel of things over the AW surface in Florence, ya’ll. But when we got the numbers right, well…we got the numbers right.

Here’s hoping that we get off to a better start this time around the oval.

And…

Here’s our picks for the opening night card on Thursday:

1st: 5-8-7/6-1/9-2/3-4…The first race of the new meet is a sign of things to come at the new and improved Turfway Park. It is a MSW event with a hefty purse of $62,000 attached thereto. Seems as if it was not so long ago, that the Stakes events at the Northern Kentucky oval were worth only $50,000. But times are changing. And, this venue is on the tick up. Within a year, when the new HHR facility is fully constructed and open, this place will be hopping and will feature some of the best “winter time” purses of any racing venue in all of North America. Now, time for the ole’ lid-lifter to the 2021 Holiday Meet. I go with Brown Delivers (5), which I am sure my great friend Nick d’Andre (governmental relations expert extraordinaire with UPS) is happy about. This 3YO colt comes in off a 4th place finish at KEE in his NA debut. Ran huge that day considering the considerable traffic issues he encountered — having to wait fort an opening at the 1/4-pole. Has run over the AW over in Great Britain. Working very well for this one and the trainer/jockey team have teamed up very well over the past year, too. In the last 18 starts together? They have won at a .33% clip. My pick. Bella Conchita (8) goes for a trainer on the rise here in the Commonwealth. She has won with .19% of the 156 runners this year, and this one is still looking for that first invite to the winner’s circle. Has been in the money n the last 3 outings, and should fit this crowd perfectly. Look for this one to be coming late. Scarabea (7) checks into this one off a much-better-than-looks 4th at KEE last time out on Oct. 28. Gets a more aggressive rider int the irons here. Look for some urging in the stretch. Last work on Nov. 27 was spot on. I bet the 5 to win/place/show and then box the top 3 in the exactas. I will key the top 3 numbers over/under the 6-1 in two smaller units.

2nd: 6-3/1-4-7-8-9/2-5…High Noon Rider (6) gets the nod here. This 9YO gelded son of Distorted Humor has won over $654,000 in the career, to date, and the deep closer now moves to the barn of Susan Anderson, who does a wonderful job. Barn has won with .18% of the last 164 this year and this one drops to a career low price tag here. Will be coming late and will need racing room and luck. If he gets it? Watch out. Bobby Baby (3) will get the saddle for a barn operator who didd outstanding here last meet. Comes in with a .21% win clip after 155 mounts this year and this one was claimed for $20,000 in the last race. Will be offered up for $8,000 here, and this barn wins with .41% when dropping off the claim and .38% when dropping this much at one time, too. Watch out. Watch. Out. I bet the 6-3 across the board and then box these two sternly in the exactas. I will key the 6-3 over/under the 1-4-7-8-9 in two smaller units. I may take another little dose of Win-Place on the 3. Take note. 

3rd: (13)-5-11/8-1-3/6-2-10/9-12-(14)…My top pick here will need a little luck just to make it into the race. Charleston Strong (13) is currently parked on the AE List and will need a scratch or two to make the field. If this 3YO son of Flatter gets in? May be worth a bet or a consideration for claiming, too. Was plucked up for $50,000 just two starts ago at Saratoga. Ran once at Belmont Park over the sod on Sept. 19 for the new connections. Now, he is being offered up for the lowest price point ever. In 7 career starts to date, has two thirds — but been facing much, much tougher. Look out. If the #13 does not draw in? I go with Derby House (5). This 3YO son of Candy Ride drops from the MSW ranks all the way to the $30,000 price tag here. This one cost $190,000 as a weaning at the 2018 KEE November Sale. Has run only 4 times so far. Never close. But the barn wins with .12% when going into the MCL ranks for the first time and gets a top rider for this circuit. Threat. Eagle Cap (11) was claimed last time out when he nearly won at Indy Grand. Now, this one moves up the ladder to face tougher and go to the AW surface. Has only one experience over the synthetic and it was not a good one. But the new trainer wins with .23% when laid up this long and the rider has won at a .11% rate with this barn over the last 38 mounts. Chance. I bet the 13 across the board if he gets into the race. If not, I bet the 5 across the board. I will box the top 3 numbers in the exactas. I will key the 13-5-11 over/under 8-1-3 in two smaller units.

4th: 9-6-7/4-8-11/3-10/2-5…Double David (9) could help get jockey Chris Landeros off to a quick and good start on his return to Turfway Park. This 3YO son of Tapiture will drop to the bargain bin here after two very nice runs in a row. Won two starts ago at Parx and was 2nd at The Meadowlands last time out. Done most of his racing over the sod, to date, but the barn will now try the AW. Let’s see. Snake Bite (6) has not run since March, but has been training very well of late. The move here on Nov. 5 was spot on. Has 5 previous tries over this track and has a 0-1-2 mark to show for the efforts. Could be salty at this level. Barn wins with .36% when returning to the gate as a beaten favorite. Bryton’s D J (7) ran a good one over the AW at Presque Isle last time out. Don’t know anything about the connections, but the barn does win with .22% on an AW surface. That’s nice. I bet the 9-6 across the board and then box the top 3 numbers in the exactas. I will key the top 3 numbers over/under the 4-8-11 in two smaller units.

5th: 1-10-2/9-3-4/8-(14)-6/11-(13)…Hardspun Woman (1) is my top pick here. This 2YO filly by We Miss Artie is trained by a top KY-circuit conditioner, who wins with .17% of the last 112 to convert from the grass to the AW surface. Gets a veteran rider for the assignment and the last two efforts have been spot on. If she takes to the Tapeta? Watch out. Dancin Dee (10) ran a huge one last time out before tiring late in the proceedings. Should be better for that exercise and gets a top rider for this one. Trainer has won with .23% of 131 tries this year. Look out. Bella Runner (2) is a daughter of Gun Runner, and cost $750,000 as a weanling at the 2019 KEE November Sale. This will be the first start for a barn that wins with .17% on first ask. Work on Nov. 24 was spot on and gets a top veteran rider, who has been riding very well of late. Have to consider. Burrow Down (9) has to be considered here, as well. Ran huge at KEE last time out and fits with these. Believe me. Or not. I’m in here. I bet the 1-9 across the board — take note — and then box the 1-9 in the exactas. I will key the 1-9 over/under the 10-2-3-4-8 in two smaller units.

6th: (13)-1-4-5/2-9/3-8-10/6-7…For the 2nd time tonight, I will saddle up with a horse on the AE List as our top pick. This time I go with Beirut Beauty (13), who comes from the West Coast to make her first start East of the Mississippi. Broke the maiden at Los Alamitos in September. Fits at this price point. Has some speed and looks to be working well of late at Churchill Downs. Fine Prospector (1) will get our tout if the top numbers does not draw into the body of this race. This 3YO Tapiture filly ran OK against tougher in the last two outs and broke the maiden at KEE in April against much better than this crop tonight. Barns wins with .30% when dropping this much at once, and with .17% when switching from the dirt main track to the AW surfaces. Consider. Show Me the Best (4) ships in and drops into the claiming ranks here. Won at Indy Grand back in June, and has hit the board only once since then. Drop should help this one’s chances. Barn wins with .24% at sprint races. Ms Temptation (5) merits consideration, as well. Daughter of Munnings broke the maiden three times ago and in six career starts to date, this one has a win and a second. I bet the 13 if she gets in. If not? I go with the 1-4 across the board. I box the top 3 numbers listed in the exactas. I will key the top 3 over/under the next two in smaller units.

7th: 8-7-2/1-5/4-6/3…Mused (8) has been running very well since shipping over from Great Britain this year. In 5 starts, has only a second and a third to show for the efforts. But just look who this 3YO filly has been running up against. Tough ones. Ran 3rd last time out at KEE and was 2nd at Kentucky Downs the time before. Should relish a return to the AW surface, where she began the career overseas. Look out here. I’m in. Hey Kitten (7) goes for top connections and has hit the board in each of the last 3 tries. Barn loved this venue a year ago, and is reunited with his favorite, go-to rider here. The work here on Nov. 28? Wow time. Wow. Two Sixtyone (2) has run in two Stakes events out of the last 3. Drops her, and has a perfect 3-for-3 mark over an AW surface. Hard to argue with perfection. I bet the 8-7 across the board and the box the top 3 in the exactas. I will key the top 3 numbers over (only) the 1-5 in a smaller unit.

8th: (14)/3-6-9/10-12-(13)-4/1-7-8/5-2…The final race of the night, and I have to go with another from the AE List, if possible. In fact? If A Lot of Spunk (14) gets into this race, this 3YO daughter of Justin Phillip will be my first “Key Play of the Night / Meet.” Trainer is one of the best in the business. Anywhere. Any time. This one won last time out by an easy 31/4 lengths and has experience here, as well. Works are good. Rider has been hot all Fall and early Winter. Adds up to trouble. Trouble is? Does she get in? Trickier (3) gets the nod if the 14 is parked out of the gate. This one has run 3 2nds in a row and has a nice 3-1-0 record in 5 starts here in the career, too. Working well. Returns as a beaten favorite, and the barn wins with 19% of those. Threat. Shape of You (6) is my first “Longshot Special of the Night.” This one’s chances get a lot better if the #14 does not draw in…but…I like this one, too. Has hit the board in the last 5, with 3 wins in the mix. Has speed. Can and will use it early and often. May be tough to catch. I bet the 14 if possible. All in. If not, I bet the3 3-6 across the board. I box the top 3 numbers in the exactas. And, I will key the 14 over/under all the numbers if in. 

Good Luck & All the Best / Gene