A butt kicking at Saratoga on Saturday. But no use crying.  It’s back to Ellis Park today, and time to heal wounds and replenish the account.  Here is a closer look at today’s card at the ole’ Pea Patch.

1st: 8-1-2-6-3…Start a War (8) gets another drop down the claiming ranks in this spot and should like getting back on the dirt, too. Burned up the motor with fast fractions in the last try, but a more moderate pace today and he should find the circle. Gray Ransom (1) goes for the red-hot barn of Jack Van Berg and will likely go off as the PT favorite in this tilt. Gets a solid journeyman in Jon Court back in the saddle and will be running on the front end, too.  He was part of that pace meltdown with the preferred choice in the last. Confederate Rags (2) gets the blinkers on and should give the top two a tussle if the track is dry.  I bet the 8 to win/place and then box the top three choices in one exacta.Comes in 1-3-4, and we miss. Loser/Loser.

2nd: 1-2-6…Aint There No More (1) is a first time starter for a clever trainer and he will have the Louisiana-bred ready.  The only question is whether the 2YO colt is good enough. Red Alert (2) goes for the barn of Steve Asmussen and was well supported in his last out.  Ran second, but well beaten in that one. Mr. Gibbs (6) ran hard with Red Alert in the last one and both found the air sparse at the end. Should benefit from that one, too.  I bet the 1 to win/place and box the top 3 choices in the exacta. Comes in 6-1-2, so we hit the place bet at $5.60 and the exacta box which returns a very nice $14.30 for $1.  Winner/Winner.

3rd: 6-5-3-4-1…Lucy Goosey (6) broke her maiden in her career debut at Churchill Downs last November by a whopping 91/4 lengths.  Has come back to work great this summer for trainer Eddie Kenneally.  This daughter of Into Mischief could be any kind, if she can stay healthy and on the track. Look out for a blister run from this one today. Cara Blythe (5) has already won three races in 7 lifetime starts and the experience gain on the preferred choice. Ran a solid second here in allowance company on July 29 as the beaten favorite that day. A solid stalker. Mythical Tale (3) was off from January to July, but came back to run a well-beaten second here on July 14.  Should benefit from that one.  Connections thought enough of her to try Stakes company two back.  I bet the 6 to win/place and then key the 6 over/under all the rest of the numbers listed. Comes in 5-3-6. Top 3 hit, but we bet wrong. Loser/Loser/Loser.

4th: 3-5-6-8-2…American Ride (3) is a first time gelding for a super sharp trainer in Scooter Dickey.  He has saddled 3 winners and 1 second in just 6 starts this meet. This one hooked a monster in his last and went way wide at the top of the stretch, to lose any chance. Gets a new rider today and that should help, as well. Trenton Bridge (5) goes for the Van Berg stable, and gets a significant class drop.  That should boost this one’s chances today. Correctamundo (6) has hit the board in the last two, but not a serious threat. I bet the 3 to win/place and then box the 3-5 in one exacta; then key the 3-5 over/under the rest of the numbers in another exacta. Comes in 8-6-4…Our third and fourth picks land on top. Loser/Loser/Loser.

5th: 3-2-6-9-10-12-8…Chargers Miss (3) gets a major class dump today for the barn of Benjie Larue.  Ran a horrendous race at MC16 in the last, but if you go back, she has class enough to compete with these. Nice ML price of 4-1 here. Whiskey Chick (2) stalked the lead before tiring in her first trip for trainer JR Caldwell.  She should benefit from that run, as well. Big Sigh (6) is a dead closer who will need racing room.  I bet the 3 to win/place and then key the 3 over/under all the numbers listed in the exactas. It comes in 7-4-1. We don’t have any of those numbers. Loser/Loser/Loser.

6th: 9-4-10-7-5 (12-13)…If the 12 and/or 13 draw in, then I reshuffle the cards. But, if not, I land on Vedelago (9).  This Irish-bred is dropping in class and should be really game at this level.  Knows how to win. And, gets the “dot” (must use) in this spot. Claymaker (4) goes for the trainer Greg Foley and gets class relief, as well. Gets a new rider and that should help. Ferocious Tiger (10) is a third class dropper for Wesley Ward and should be tough in this spot.  I bet the 9 to win/place and then box the 9-4-10 in one exacta.  I then key the 9-4-10 over (only) the 7-5 in one more. #9 is impressive winner and pays $5.80 and $3.40. Nail the exacta cold and it pays $12.30 for $1, and we have that twice. Winner/Winner/Winner.

7th: 2-3-8-6-1-5-9-7 (12)…The Best Bet of the Day comes right here in Mrs. Rocco (who does not get rider Joe Rocco to ride). Hmm…This one was beaten a length after making all the pace in his career debut here on July 2.  Comes back for the barn of Brad Cox, with leading rider Corey Lanerie back up.  Should benefit from that race and be tough to handle in this spot.  I bet the 2 to win/place and then key over/under all the rest.  If the 12 does draw in, then she immediately moves into the second spot. #2 holds on for the win and we nail the exacta cold. Pays $3.40, $2.40 and $2.10. Exacta pays $6.00 for $1. Winner/Winner.

8th: 7-5-2-4…The Player (7) is my second Best Bet of the Day. I talked with his trainer and good friend, Buff Bradley, after his run in the West Virginia Governor’s Stakes on Aug. 5, and this highly talented colt simply hated that track surface at Mountaineer Park.  He worked a hole in the air on Aug. 19 at Churchill Downs and should be geared up and ready to go in his third start of 2017.  Watch out for him, even if low odds. Shareholder Value (5) takes on older colts for the first time today after a couple of tough goes in the G2 Risen Star and the G3 Sunland Derby.  Back in a better spot today, but The Player may be the toughest horse he has faced — including Girvin. Shut the Box (2) gets Lanerie for trainer Chris Richard, who hasn’t won a race here all meet yet. I bet the 7 to win/place and key over/under all the others. I will team the 2 in the previous race with the 7 here to key in the Pick 3s, Pick 4s and Doubles. #7 is a nice winner for Team Bradley. Pays $3.00 and $2.20 for win/place. Exacta pays $5.10 for $1. Winner/Winner.

9th: 3-6-8-1-10-4…In Focus (3) goes for trainer Stephen Lyster, one of the most talented young trainers in the country today.  He just needs the one super horse to put him on the map and get him rolling. This one had a nice run here in the drop to this level.  Will be tough with a similar run today. Stormfield (6) went 7 wide in that same race and will be much tougher with a better trip.  Gets a new rider for this one. Hidden Garden (8) ran out of gas halfway through her last trip, but gets a significant class drop for this one.  Don’t leave Seance (4) completely out of the equation here, either.  Well bred and gets to the grass today.  Bred to love it here. I bet the 3-6 to win/place and then key that duo over & under all the other numbers listed in the exactas. #3 is easy winner for Team Lyster.  Pays $3.80 & $2.40. Miss the Exacta. Winner.

We hit for 4 wins, 1 place and 5 exactas out of 9 races. Hope you won money. 

Good luck &

All the Best/Gene