Day Results 8 / 3-1-1
2020 Overall 1700 1700 / 603-582-746
Win % of Top Pick 35.47%
Payoff % of Top 3 Picks Overall 37.86%
2020 Top Pick in the Money –1,099-1,700 64.65%
Top Selection ITM / TP 19-34 55.88%
Top Selections Win / TP 12-34 35.29%
“Key Horses” @ TP 6-3-0-1 50.00% Win / 66.67% ITM
“Key Horses” in 2020 237-87-48-33 36.71% Win / 70.89% ITM

(Mac and Pops on the lake this past summer. As we head into the Christmas season, I will relive some of my favorite moments over the past year. The kids coming to the lake was special for one “old man.” I know that.)

An interesting start to the Turfway Park Holiday meet, which is being conducted over the newly implemented Tapeta racing surface.

Our win percentage is holding steady, but our “Top Selection” that finishes “In The Money” is off.

Our “Key Plays” are doing well, but only in the win column.

Our exactas and “Longshot Specials” are hitting especially well. On Saturday, for example, we hit four exactas out of the eight races — but they sold for $37.60, $30.00, $62.40 and $40.80 for each $1 played; and our two “Longshot Specials” ran 1-2 when both paying over 9-1 odds.

Hmmmm.

Well, we are back this week and hoping for some more good luck. Here’s our looks at the Wednesday card:

1st: 5-2-8/7-1-12/3-(13)-11/6-9…Threatlevelmidnite (5) has been away from the races since October, but this barn wins with a whopping .26% when they are off for this long a period. And, that is with a sample size of 132 races. Returns as a beaten favorite, too, and the trainer wins with .16% of those. OK. But in the MCL ranks? Barn wins at a .34% clip over the last 102 tries. Impressive. Rider has been ice cold since returning from an injury a couple of months ago. This is his normal stomping ground. Time to tune it back up. My Dear Lolita (2) is a first time starter for Wesley Ward, who wins with .30% of the last 342 to fall into this category. When they debut in the MCL ranks? Wins with .30%. Dam has 4 winners from 4 starters and over the AW surface? Barn wins at a .33% clip. Should fit nicely here. Tale of Kitten (8) goes for a barn that could not do anything wrong at Churchill Downs in November. Now, starts this meet with an 0-0-0 mark in 6 starts. Hmmm. Dam of this one has a winner from 2 starters and the rider is 5-6-1 in the last 16 mounts. Chance here. I bet the 5-2 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the 5-2 over/under the 8-7-1-12-3-11 in two smaller units.

2nd: 6-5/(14)-3-2/11-4-10…Wild Weekend (6) goes for a barn that has won with .27% of 291 staters this year. This rider has gone 1-for-3 in the last 60 days for this barn. Didn’t run a step last tim out. Now, this one shows up in the bargain bin. Interesting to see this, but the barn wins with .32% when dropping this much in one swoop. The Humongous One (5) ran just seven days ago. Ran 2nd that night at the 1-mile distance at this same price level. In 7 tries over an AW surface, this one has a win. But adds 3 seconds and 2 thirds. Look out here. I bet the 6-5 across the board and then box those two sternly in one exacta. I will key the 6-5 over/under the rest of the numbers listed in two smaller units.

3rd: 2-9-1A/1-7-11/3-5-6/4-8-10…Corot (2) drops significantly for the first try in this Commonwealth. Comes in off a layup, but with three wins in a row. Barn can win off the bench and gets a hot, hot, hot rider — who has gone 5-1-2 in the first 12 mounts here this meet. That adds up to a win percentage of .42%. Wow. Can’t Say No (9) has raced over an AW surface on 17 previous occasions. Has a record of 7-1-2 in that span. Barn wins with .32% when converting from the dirt to the AW surface. Works are good enough and the rider used to dominate this circuit. Big shot here. Stevis Man (1A) and the entry mate, Save the Drama (1), are both legit shots in this spot. The former was claimed last time out when winning at Presque Isle. In 38 tries over the AW surface. Has a 18-3-5 mark. The latter has hit the board in each of the last 6 starts and has a 8-9-8 record in 46 starts over the AW surfaces. Either one can win. Both could, if they both stay in. I bet the 2-9 across the board and then box the top 3 in one exacta. I will key the 2-9 over/under the entry-7-11-3-5-6 in two smaller units.

4th: 9-2-3/(13)-(14)/1-5-4-12/8…Bless the Kitten (9) is the first Longshot Special of the Night. This one is slotted at odds of 8-1 in the ML, and they could drift up from there. Has not been close in the 5 starts this year. Not. Even. Remotely. Close. But the one will drop from the $18,000 tag to the $7,500 level tonight. Gets the first start under a new trainer, too. Work here on Nov. 25 was spot on. Spot. On. I like his chances at a square price. Kinzea Stone (2) has run two really good ones in a row and has hit the board in 4 of the last 5 tries for a top horseman and a great friend of mine. Nearly won last time out when going a mile. Cuts back to a sprint distance here, and the barn wins with .12% of these. Gets a top veteran rider back in the saddle, too. Should help. Final Delivery (3) picks up a top rider for this effort after nearly winning last time out at Indy Grand. In 6 lifetime races to date, has a win and 3 seconds. Consistent sort. Barn wins with .15% on all purchases that hit the gates for the first time. Chance. I bet the 9-2 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the top two numbers (9-2) over/under the 3-13-14-1-5-4-12 in two smaller units.

5th: 12-(14)/8-11-1/7-(13)/5-10-4/6-9-3…Cuzzywuzzy (12) is my first Key Play of the Night. This 2YO daughter of Vancouver is coming off a distant third last time out, but that was going 5.5 furlongs in the slop. Had to weave in and out of traffic and jams throughout that affair. With a little better break out of the gate, this one could be handy at the top of the lane here tonight. Love the work here on Dec. 5. Spot on. I bet the 12 to win/place/show and then key the 12 over/under the 14-8-11-1-7-13-5-10-4 in two smaller units. 

6th: 2-9-3/4-8/1-5-7/6…Escapade (2) is another from the barn of trainer Jonathan Thomas (Catholic Boy fame). This year, the trainer has won with .26% of them away from the races this long and with .20% in the allowance category. Just ran in a Stakes race two starts back. Ran 6th in that one, but was beaten less than 4 lengths. Has faced some real good ones in the past — like Jean Elizabeth. Look out for this one tonight. Jeannie’s Beepbeep (9) won last time out to snap a four race streak of all 2nd-place finishes. The only bad trip to date came on March 20 of this year. Happened right here, at Turfway Park and over a different AW surface. Since then? Four straight 2nds until the win last time out. Work on Dec. 5 was spot on. Barn wins with .33% when dropping off a win. In three previous runs over this type of a surface? Two wins. Dixiecandyland (3) nearly won last time out when racing at KEE in October. Lost by 1/2-length in that event and now has a 3-3-2 record in just 12 starts. Will be coming from off the pace and could set up perfectly for this style. I bet the 2-3 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the top 3 numbers over/under the 4-8 in two smaller units. I will also key the 2-3 over/under the 9-4-8-1-5-7-6 in two smaller units, as well.

7th: 11-4/1-9-12-(13)/5-8/2-7-10/3-6…Crystal Glacier (11) shows up here tonight after two nice runs at Woodbine in Canada. This 3YO daughter of Curlin cost $500,000 to purchase at the 2018 Fast-Tipton August Sale at Saratoga. In 5 runs so far, has a win and a second. But? Ran a huge 2nd just two starts back at Woodbine to a horse that came right back and won the next time out, too. Rider for this one is red hot. Take note. First Course (4) has only 1 win in 12 lifetime starts, but has added a couple of thirds, too. Goes to the AW for the first time and the barn wins with .08% of those kind. Trainer/Jockey have gone to 3 wins in the last 10 races together. Chance. I bet the 11-4 across the board and then box those two in the exacta. I will key the 11-4 over/under the 1-9-12-13-5-8 in two smaller units.

8th: 1-8-11/9-6-10/(13)-(14)-7-12/5-3…A very nice MSW event to close out the night’s activities. This one will be contested at 6.5-furlongs and draws a very competitive and evenly-matched entrants, too. I will give a slight edge to Advocating (1) in this spot. This daughter of Uncle Mo goes for a trainer that wins with .21% in the 2nd career start, and with .20% overall in 2020. And? That’s win 504 starters. Rider is red hot, winning at a .42% clip so far this meet. Watch out here. Rearrange (8) has 3 thirds and a “Place” showing in just 8 career starts. But? Still looking for the first taste of red berry wine. Gets a top veteran back in the saddle. Works at KEE looked promising. Chance. M Is for Magic (11) is another who comes from the barn of Mike Maker. I can toss the last one. Spit the bit after a challenging first quarter that went .22 flat. If this one can temper the resolve in the early going, then this one may truly enjoy the shorter distance  here. Love the 6-1 ML odds and the work on Dec. 5 was spot on. Chance. I bet the 1-11 across the board. Take note. I box the top 3 numbers in the exacta. I then key the 1-11 over / under the 8-9-6-10-13-14-7-12 in two shorter versions.

Good Luck & All the Best / Gene