Day Results 8 / 3-3-2
2021 Overall 128 128 / 42-45-50
Win % of Top Pick 32.81%
Payoff % of Top 3 Picks Overall 35.68%
2021 Top Pick in the Money Overall — 74-128 57.81%
2021 Top Selection ITM / TP 60-104 57.69%
2021 Top Selections Win / TP 33-104 31.73%
“Key Horses” @ TP 13 / 7-2-0 53.85% Win / 69.23% ITM
“Key Horses” in 2021 19 / 11-2-0 57.89% Win / 68.42% ITM

Here’s some “bonus coverage” and handicapping selections from around the country on this great Saturday of racing. Hope you enjoy.

Gulfstream Park: 

6th: 1-5-6…G3 Swale Stakes…I will give the edge to the rail horse and the talented son of Frosted — Likeable (1). This one cost $350,000 at the 2019 KEE September Yearling Sale, and looked like a bargain at that price in the first two career starts. After running 2nd on debut at Saratoga last August, this one dominated a field at Belmont Park in September — breaking the maiden by nearly 9 lengths. Came right back to face G1 company in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at KEE. Pressed the pace early in that one, but spit the bit after a half after blazing along early and often. Has been training lights out this winter at Palm Beach Downs for the barn of Todd Pletcher. Look for this one to be a very tough out here. I bet the 1 to win/place and then box the 1-5-6 in the exacta. I will key the 1 over/under the “all button” in two smaller units.

7th: 9-10-12-(13)…This is a MSW event for the 3YO colts over the grass course, going 11/16-miles. I will go with another from the Pletcher barn here — Avenue (9). This son of Quality Road — who cost $450,000 to purchase at the 2019 KEE September Yearling Sale — will be making the debut. Hard to stretch out over the grass for the initial endeavor, but this one comes highly acclaimed. Barn wins with .22% on first try. On grass debut runners? It drops to .14%. That is a concern. But have to look strong here. Out of a Stakes-placed dam who has a winner from the first two starters. Ariston (10) is a first timer from the barn of Chad Brown. This man knows how to get them ready and knows how to win turf races, too. Duh. Rider is red hot and had won with .18% of the last 17 mounts for this barn. This son of Flatter cost a hefty $500,000 to nab. Advanced Placement (12) could come along late and pick up some pieces with the ubber-aggresive Paco Lopez in the irons. Has a race under his girth already and it was better than looks on paper. Bumped hard in-between horses in that one. Look for more out of this one today. Surprise? I bet the 9-12 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exacta. 

8th: 10…Austrian (10) is a NY-bred facing open company in this one, but this one looks to have the late speed to nab the front-runners late. Rider switch here is notable. Could be some solid odds. I bet the 10 across the board and then key the 10 over/under the “all button.”

9th: 7-6-2…G3 Forward Gal Stakes…Zaajel (7) is a 3YO daughter of Street Sense and another from the Pletcher barn. This one did not break well at all in the debut run. But came with a powerful surge to win by over 7 lengths in a 7-furlong MSW win. Impressive. Very. Impressive. I go here. I go hard. And, I go often. I bet the 7 to win/place/show and then box the top three numbers in the exacta. I will key the 7 over the 6-2 in two more and then key the 7 over/under the “all button” in two smaller units.

10th: 4-2-6-8/3-5…G3 Sweet Chant Stakes…Con Lima (4) is yet another from the Pletcher barn and will be a tough out in this 1-mile grass Stakes event. In two races over the sod — and both at this same distance — this one has two wins. Both of those over this course, too. Has speed will travel and this one has speed. Honey Pants (2) ran 2nd behind our top pick last time out in the Ginger Brew. In three grass runs to date, this one has a win and two seconds. Will need a cleaner trip and someone else to try the top pick on the front end to soften up the class here. Domain Expertise (6) could be the “other” speed to take a shot at the top pick. This one comes from the Chad Brown barn and broke the maiden last time out. Straight to the Graded Stakes ranks. Must impress the barn operator. Director’s Cut (8) has a chance to hit the board in here, too. Gets a huge rider switch and will be stalking the leaders looking for the jump late. In two trips at this distance, this one has a win and a second. Could be a nice price. I bet the 4-8 across the board and then box those two strong in the exacta. I will key the 4-8 over/under the 2-6 in two other exactas. And then key the top 4 numbers over/under the 3-5 in two smaller.

11th: 6/7-5/8-9-4-3…G3 Holy Bull Stakes…Really, the only question for me is whether or not Prime Factor (6) will like the added distance today. But this is a son of Quality Road and out of a Bernardini mare. Distance should be not problem with this pedigree. This one cost $900,000 at the 2019 KEE September Yearling Sale and did not disappoint on debut — winning by nearly 9 lengths. Impressive. Very. Impressive. I go here. Single. I bet the 6 to win/place/show and then key the 6 over/under the 7-5 in two exactas. I will key the 6 over (only) the rest of the numbers listed.

Oaklawn Park: 

5th: 3/5-6-1…Martha Washington Stakes…Coach (3) is a filly that I have seen a lot of, and I can tell you that she is very impressive — both in the a.m. and the afternoon. She has made 4 race appearances to date. Has 3 wins and a third on the resume. Ran 3rd in the G2 Golden Rod to finish up the 2020 season. Has trained like a bear here. I bet the 3 to win/place/show and then key the 3 over/under the 5-6-1 in the exactas. Love the 3.

8th: 7/6-3/5-9…American Beauty Stakes…Lots of speed has signed on for this 6-furlong sprint and it will not be an easy task for anyone to take this field gate-to-wire. I will go with Frank’s Rockette (7) in this spot. Has raced the distance on five previous occasions. Has won 3 and has a second to boost the resume. Last time out, she took on the boys in the G1 Breeders’ Cup Sprint. Mistake. Not a good move. Before that, though, she had four straight wins. Gets a red hot jockey to take the assignment. He’s winning at a .41% clip so far this meet. And, this one is working great. I bet the 7 to win/place/show and then key the 7 over/under the rest. More with the 6-3.

9th: 6-7…I will go with an upset here — landing on Impossible Task (6). This one comes from the barn of John Sadler, who has found a nice winter home for some of his top runners in Hot Springs. This one has not been out since November. Of 2019. But he has some real talent and he has been training very nicely for the return. I love the 8-1 ML odds, and the rider selection. Look out here. At a nice price. American Mandate (7) gets the edge for underneath in this nice allowance event. He has ability, but loves to hang late. Look at the fact that this one has a 0-2-2 mark in 7 races at the distance. Under. I bet the 6 to win/place/show and then box the 6-7 in the exacta. I will key the 6 over/under the “all button” in two smaller units.

Santa Anita:

5th: 2-1/4/3…G2 San Pasqual Stakes…Idol (2) comes into this one has he highly-touted favorite, and why not. In 4 lifetime tries, this one has 2 wins and 2 seconds. Ran 2nd in the California debut in the G2 San Antonio Stakes in December. Lost by less than 1/2-length, too. Talented son of Curlin. But this one only faced 3YOs a year ago. Will face tougher customers here. So, I give the edge to the speed — Tizamagician (1). This 4YO son of Tiznow comes from the barn of HOFer Richard Mandella, and has run over this dirt track 7 times. Has 2 wins and 3 seconds. Won an allowance event here on Jan. 2 to set him up perfectly for this try. the outside horse will try to push the pace, but if rider Drayden Van Dyke can save a little horse for the stretch? Look out. I bet the 2-1 to win/place and box those two in the exacta. Another win ticket on the 1 for me, too. I will key the 1 over/under the 2-4-3 in two smaller units.

7th: 1/2-8-4/3…G3 Robert B. Lewis Stakes…I will go with a “Key Play of the Day” here with Medina Spirit (1). This is one of the two from the barn of HOFer Bob Baffert and yet another high-contender for the upcoming “Road to the Kentucky Derby.” This one ran 2nd to Life Is Good, and was beaten just 3/4-length in the G3 Sham last time out. Made a nice late move in that one. If he can duplicate that effort with the stretch out? Look out. Looks to have a nice late kick, despite the suspect breeding on this one. I bet the 1 to win/place/show and then key the 1 over/under the rest of the numbers listed.