McLean Bankroll Takes a Hit on Breeders’ Cup Weekend / But It Was Fun?

(The GOAT…”Greatest of All Time” — Experience of 2018 Breeders’ Cup with Friends / Photo by Holly M. Smith)

Day Results9-3-4-2
2018 Overall 1656615-596-733
Win % of Top Pick37.14%
Payoff % of Top 3 Picks Overall39.13%
Top Selection ITM / CD Nov 24-4455.55%
Top Selection Win / CD Nov 16-4436.36%
“Key Horses” @ CD Nov: 11-5-2-045.45%

It was not a good betting weekend for the 2018 Breeders’ Cup. We had only one winner in 5 races on Friday, and Saturday? We managed to carve out three wins in the 9 Breeders’ Cup races, but the betting strategy was woeful — to say the least.

But, I have to say, it was a blast.

We had friends from Indiana, North Carolina, Florida, Alabama, and West Kentucky join us for a special two days in the brand, spanking new “Starting Gate Suites” at Churchill Downs. And, I want to be the first to tell you:


Those things are not only special inside, but they offer the best array of views that I have ever seen at Churchill Downs, and I have watched races from nearly every point of view in the historic — yet modern — facility. I will be calling my great friends Bill C. and Bill M. to see what we can do on a permanent sitting arrangement.


So, let’s not dwell on the negative. Although, we have to go see the banker on Monday to arrange a little short-term loan situation. But let’s certainly focus those binocular lens on the positive and the future.

Over 45,000 turned out on Friday. Over 70,000 came to the races on Saturday. The weather on Saturday was spectacular. The racetrack was remarkable. The races were amazing. The horses — magnificent. The friends? Well, with the exception of one or two, they were stunning, as always. (Just kidding Marc. You looked marvelous.) And, the fun? Abundant.

I love the game of Thoroughbred racing. And, by the looks of things, the game ain’t going nowhere. Thanks to another round of Breeders’ Cup moments to add to a memory bank of many.

See you later this week.

Now, I have some sleep to catch up on.


The horse broke well today,” Gaffalione said. “I had the horse inside, Dunph, going to the lead and then (Gun It) showed a little bit of speed. When I saw they were intent on going I just tried to get him back and got him to relax. He came back to me nicely and settled well down the backside. Got a little keen going into the far turn and wanted to move a little early. But I didn’t want to take too much away from him so I tried to sit as long as I could. He was waiting on horses down the lane but I kept him at task and there was plenty of horse there.”

“Mark (Casse, the trainer) and his team have done a great job,” Gaffalione said. “They’ve had a ton of confidence in this horse the whole way. It’s just an honor to be able to ride the horse. He’s just so professional, trains great and he’s a pleasure to be around.”

Tyler Gaffalione, Rode of War of Will to victory in the G2 Risen Star Stakes at the Fair Grounds
  • Gene McLean

    Gene McLean

    Gene McLean began his professional career in 1977 as a sportswriter and columnist for the Lexington Herald-Leader in Lexington, Ky., and was recognized as one of the state’s best writers, winning the prestigious “Sportswriter of the Year” honor in 1985. Now the President and Publisher of The Pressbox, McLean sets ...

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