McLean Ends Churchill Downs’ September Meet On a “Slip & Slide;” But We’re Positive Changes Are Coming

Day Results10-1-2-1
2018 Overall 1487546-539-646
Win % of Top Pick36.72%
Payoff % of Top 3 Picks Overall38.80%
Top Selection ITM / CD: 71-10666.98%
Top Selection Win / CD: 33-10631.13%

It was a wet month of September, by Kentucky standards. Rains were prevalent through many of the days and nights to such a degree that I thought Noah might show up named on a mount or two — and not the one that the ship finally docked at in the end of the 40-days and 40-nights.

If we learned anything from the soggy conditions that turned most of Churchill Downs into “Churchill Drowns,” is that we should avoid soggy conditions.

Before the rains set in, mind you, we were on a roll. Going into Sept. 23 — my wife’s birthday — I had a winning percentage of 41.67% and my top choice had hit the board in either the first, second, or third slots on 75% of the races.

At one time, we had 9 winners in 10 straight races.

Not, that’s some pretty good handicapping by any standards.

Then, the mudslide hit. And, we went slip sliding way. Over the last five days, we managed only 8 winners in 46 races. That’s a pitiful win percentage of 17.39%.

And, as a result, we ended the meet with a win percentage of only .31.13%. By my standards, embarrassing.

But there were some positives.

Our top selection did end the meet hitting the board 71 times out of the 106 races that we ended up handicapping. That is nearly 67% of the time.  Positive.

For the year, our top pick is still winning at a near .37% rate. Positive.

And, if you are a faithful follower of the site, you know that on Saturday, I highly recommended and touted that you consider betting Discreet Lover in the G1 Jockey Club Gold Cup. In fact, I made him my #1 selection. At the end, Discreet Lover was on top. At odds of 45-1. Postive.

Now, there is one more positive:

I am positive I will right this ship in short order, and get back on a winning streak. Starting this week, when the Kentucky racing circuit shifts to Lexington at the annual Keeneland Fall meet. And, what a meet it is — per usual.

And, I am positive I can find some nice winners in Lexington. Positive.

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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