Day Results 11 / 4-5-4
2020 Overall 1775 1775 / 632-612-774
Win % of Top Pick 35.61%
Payoff % of Top 3 Picks Overall 37.90%
2020 Top Pick in the Money –1,145-1,775 64.51%
Top Selection ITM / TP 57-98 58.16%
Top Selections Win / TP 37-98 37.75%
“Key Horses” @ TP 19-7-0-2 36.84% Win/ 47.37% ITM
“Key Horses” in 2020 252-92-48-34 36.51% Win / 69.05% ITM

(“Pops” is in Columbus, OH celebrating the holidays with grandsons Ford and Jack. Be back to Louisville for the NYE Celebration at LTS. Join us!)

Turfway Park will kick off a special New Year’s Eve program on Thursday with a “special” first post time to end the current Holiday Meet. First post will be 3:15 p.m. ET and the 8-race card will conclude before 7 p.m. That gives the party-goers time to get geared up for the “Big Celebration” with a few extra bucks in the pocketbook.

Here’s our early looks at the Thursday card. I don’t have saddle cloth numbers yet, but I will give the Post Position Number and will edit with the “real numbers” when they become available on Brisket.com:

1st: 6-1-5/2-8/7-10/9-11/3-4…Juju’s Specialgirl (6) comes from the barn of trainer Larry Rivelli, who is winning at a .28% clip this year in 309 races. At this Turfway Park Holiday Meet, the barn has a 2-2-0 mark in just 6 starts. This one had no chance last time out. Was in against too tough, and now returns to the Rivelli barn — where this 5YO mare has done her best running. Also likes the AW surface, too. In one previous start, has a 2nd against tougher at Arlington Park. Gets the meet’s top rider up. Looks like should be in a nice stalking position headed for home. One to beat. Milan’s Dream (1) comes from the red-hot barn of William Morey. In 18 starts this meet, the barn has a 6-3-1 record. This one lost all chance in the last out, when running over the slop. Slipped in the gate and lost all shots. Before that, held her own against much better. In two previous starts over the AW, has a win. No Interest (5) drops in class for this one today. Gets to the “bin” and should be a consideration at this level. At Turfway Park, this one has a 1-1-0 record in 4 starts. Been training here, too. I bet the 6-1 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the top two numbers over/under the 5-2-8-7-10-9-11 in two smaller units, as well. 

2nd: 3-4/6-10-11/7-2/1-9/5-8…We will go back-to-back with the Team Rivelli Barn tonight. Can’t Hide From Me (3) has won two in a row since dropping into more comfortable surroundings and there is no reason why this 4YO gelded son of Awesome Patriot can make it a trifecta of wins. In 12 races over the AW, this one has a 5-1-1 mark, and has a win over this new Tapeta track last time out, too. Won then by nearly 9. Gets the meet’s top rider back up. Looks solid here. Vid Verse (4) was claimed last time out for this same $8,000 tag and was beaten only a neck as the post time favorite. This new barn wins with .22% when returning as a beaten favorite, and with .12% on the first try after a claim purchase. Has had a bit of a layup, but this barn wins with .23% of those coming back. Rider is 0-for-11 to start the meet. Hmmm. I bet the 3 to win/place/show and then box the 3-4 in one exacta. I go stern. I also key the 3-4 over/under the 6-10-11-7-2-1-9 in two smaller units.

3rd: 7-4-9/6-5/3-8/2-1…Artemus Citylimits (7) threw a bit of a clunker when racing last at KEE on Oct. 16. Faced some real tough customers that day, and just couldn’t finish the start. But when you move to the AW? This one has a win and a third in two previous tries over the artificial surface and the barn wins with .33% when converting from turf to plastic. That’s with 104 runners, too. This meet, the barn is 4-3-1 in 18 races, for a .22% win rate. Interesting rider choice on this one. Interesting, indeed. Joker on Jack (4) is another from the barn of Wesley Ward, and this one gets the trainer’s top rider. Has not been out since 2019, but the works coming back are solid and this one can win off the bench. Won the career debut in 2019 at KEE. In one previous run here, has a win. Ward looks well-stocked in this spot. I bet the 7-4 across the board and then box the top three numbers solidly in the exacta. I will key the 7-4 over/under the 9-6-5-3-8 in two smaller units and then hit the 7-4 exacta one more time. 

4th: 12-5-1/4-9-10/7-3-2/11-6-8-13…What a nice field of 2YOs that have been assembled by Turfway Park’s racing secretary Dan Bork. Pedigrees. Swift training sessions. Some nice races on the resume. All the ingredients for a good one. I will give the edge to a first-time starter in Pa Ma’s Amos (12). This son of Upstart cost $75,000 at a 2YO Sale earlier this year and has been working lights out for the first race. HOF trainer Steve Asmussen will have the team tighten the girth on this one, who worked a bullet here on Dec. 19. Rider is winning at a super nice rate of .23% in just 40 mounts. Looks ready to rock. Knicks Front (5) comes from the barn of Brad Cox, and one must respect any and all that set up shop in this operation. Spit the bit in the career debut at CD back in May, but ran up against a monster in that one. Pushed the pace until the end, when he faltered. Comes form a SW mare, and returns as a beaten favorite here. Barn wins with .30% of the last 490 to qualify for that title. Sharp now. Paka (1) could offer some real value and price points here. Son of KY Derby winner Nyquist — who is off to a dandy start as a stallion. Look for more in this spot. Rail is no bargain, though. Tough spot. I bet the 12-5 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the 12-5 over/under the 1-4-9-10-7-3-2 in two smaller units.

5th: 7-1-11/5-(14)-(13)-9-3/2-12-4-6/8-10…Prairie Bayou Stakes…The last Stakes race of the 2020 Kentucky Calendar is this 11/16-mile event over the new Tapeta surface. And, what a field. What. A. Field. I will give the slight edge to Skywire (7), a 4YO son of Afleet Alex who is coming off a nice win in the G2 Autumn Stakes at Woodbine in the last outing on Nov. 7. Before that one, he was a near-miss 2nd in the G3 Durham Cup at Woodbine, too. In 9 races over the AW, he has a record of 4 wins and 3 seconds. Looks poised. Marzo (1) comes into this one off a run in the G1 Sword Dancer at Belmont Park in August. Spit the bit in that one over a soft turf course. Has never been on the AW. But? Has run in 7 straight Graded Stakes events over the turf. Has a win in the G3 Sycamore at KEE on the resume, too. Maybe. Set Piece (11) comes from the barn of Brad Cox and has a win over this track in the last outing. Ran up against Big Agenda (14) in the race before that one, and both figure here to make some noise if they get in and get a clean trip from the far outside posts. Set Piece won from the 10 hole last time. But this is tougher group. I bet the 7-1 across the board and then box the top 3 in one exacta. I will key the 7-1 over/under the 11-5-14-13-9-3-2-12-4-6 in two smaller units.

6th: 11-9-12/5-8-2-(13)/7-1/4-10/3…Four K’s (11) returns to the oval tonight off two straight 3rd-place finishes against much, much tougher competition at KEE and KY Downs. Came with a run in both of those efforts and lost those two by a combined 21/4 lengths. In 21 lifetime tries, this one has a record of 4 wins and 5 thirds. Over the AW, has a win in three attempts. Works are good enough. One to beat. Crazy Sexy Munny (9) drops out of a G3 race at CD to the $12,500 claiming level here. Now, that is a drop. Trainer is having a super meet and wins with .26% of those moving from dirt to the AW surface. Will be stalking and firing in the lane. My Wynter Rose (12) nearly won here at this same price tag on Dec. 5. Let the entire way until it mattered most. Gave up and in at the wire. Rider for tonight? Is 0-0-0 in 21 starts here this meet. Trainer is 0-0-1 in 5 starts. Not good.I bet the 11-9 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the 11-9 over/under the 12-5-8-2-13-7-1 in two smaller units.

7th: 5-9-6/1-2-8-11/10-12-(14)-4-7/(13)…Liraz (5) comes into this one off a near-miss second at Indy Grand last time out on Nov. 17. Is woking very well for this effort and gets “smoking Joe Talamo in the saddle. Works in December are spot on and the barn is winning at a .24% clip this year and .38% here this meet. Wow numbers. Screenwriter (9) has run 3 seconds in a row and four in the last 5 races. Starting to feel like she may like it. Daughter of Ghostzapper has the breeding and the blinkers come off for tonights performance. Barn wins with .17% the blinkers come off. Bear’s Boo (6) makes the first start for a new barn tonight. Comes in with 4 thirds and a second — all at Indy Grand. Consistent sort and another daughter of the great dam-side sire Ghostzapper. I bet the 5-9 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the 5-9 over/under the 6-1-2-8-11-10-12 in two smaller units.

8th: (13)-4-5/6/8-12-9/1-11/3-2-7…Alemia (13) may not make the starting gate, since the 3YO Congrats filly is still on the AE List. But if she does? Could be watch out time. This one has a super sharp work over this track on Dec. 6. Gets a new trainer for the first time, and the barn wins with .20% when making the debut. Ran well two starts back at Aqueduct against much tougher. Chance here at a square price. Jazzy Lady (4) nearly won over this track last time out. Ran 2nd here on Dec. 3. In 6 career starts, has 2 seconds and a third. Gets a tough post, but has the right “look.” Keepme in Thegame (5) gets the saddle from a new trainer, who wins with .07% on first try. This one ran a huge second at a nice, solid price last time out. Gets a solid rider change, too. I bet the 13, if he draws in from the AE List. If not? If he does not get in, I will  go with both the 4-5 across the board. I box the top 3 numbers in the exacta, either way. Or, I will key the top three — with the 13 — over/under the 6. I will also key the 4-5 over/under the 6-8-12-9-1-11 in two smaller units.

Good Luck & All the Best / Gene