While it is cool, rainy, dreary, flooding, and, by the way, did I mention dreary (?) in Kentucky, the sun has been shining very bright down in the Big Easy, and we have been clicking at a pretty good rate as of late.

Over the last 6 race cards, which have totaled 56 races, we have tabulated 22 winners. We have an additional 15 seconds and 27 thirds if you examine our top 3 picks. Our #1 selection has won at a near .40% clip and has been ITM nearly 70% of the time.

Since Jan. 1, 2018, now, we have handicapped 266 races at the Fair Grounds and we have amassed a record of 83-101-129. Our win percentage has climbed to a respectable .31.20% now. And, we are going North.

Here is a closer look at today’s numbers:

1st: 2-1-6-5-10-9-8…We start the day with a nice turf event for MSW, going 11/16-miles. I land on Feelin Foxie (2), who hails from the expert barn and care of trainer Tom Proctor. This daughter of City Zip put in a very nice run here on Jan. 25, before tiring late in that one to run second. That was the first time she ran past 51/2 furlongs in her life. The second try at the route should be better for a trainer that has scored with .14% of those types. Top end rider has had success this meet with the barn (.20% in 5 starts) and this one put a nice training session in on Feb. 18. Adds up for me. Runninwiththewind (1) will be getting her second start since November. Ran well here on Jan. 25, as well, but faded to fourth in that one after pushing the pace. The exercise should have pumped some air into her, and she should be better today. Florent Geroux is really riding very well right now. Can’t dismiss. Sunoff (6) goes for the barn of Neil Howard, who will put the blinkers on for the first time today. That normally doesn’t help much for this outfit, but this filly showed a lot of promise in the first two tries. I give a shot in here today at some odds (6-1 ML). I bet the 2 to win/place/show and then box the top 3 numbers in one exacta. I key the 2 over/under all the numbers listed in two smaller versions.

2nd: 5-3-8-2-11-10-7…Another turf event, this time going the sprint distance of 5.5 furlongs. This one is reserved for LA-breds only, and I go to Off Cycle (5), who has shown some promise in the last two — which were both encountered over the grass course here. The last one was against open company and she held her own, too. The 7YO mare will be closing late, and will need a clear path home to get there in time, but the rider won on her back in November. Like the 6-1 ML odds. Lady Loretta (3) is another listed at 6-1 in the ML, but I doubt those odds hold considering the connections. She was claimed out of the last race by one of the game’s top trainers, and now she bumps up two rungs in the claiming game and moves to the grass. Trainer does well with those conditions, and this one did win by over 11 lengths the last time out. Caution? Jock has not won in 9 tries for this barn this meet. Lilbitofjam (8) has only missed the board in one try out of the last 7 — and that came in the last race when she ran 4th and beaten less than 3 lengths. Moves to the grass for a trainer who hits with .13% of those trying the lawn for the first time. Gets a class drop today and I have to consider. I bet the 5-8 across the board and then box the top 3 numbers in the exacta.

3rd: 3-1-8-2-7…Harbor Jedi (3) was plucked out of the claiming ranks two starts back and was immediately moved to the dirt and dropped considerably by the new connections. Something must have worked, as this 5YO mare woke up and ran a solid third for the new connections. Gets the blinkers on today and the barn scores with a whopping .42% of those getting glasses for the first time. Take note. Spanish Arch (1) has a third and a second in each of the last two tries, and figures to be closing with a late push in this one. The rail is hitting at an .18% rate this meet, and that is a solid number. Timebobanna (8) nearly won at this level the last time out — except that was against LA-breds only. Now, she slips into open company. Can she hold form? Rider is ice cold. Tepid. I bet the 3 to win/place/show and then I key the 3 over/under all the numbers in the exactas.

4th: 7-5-8-1-2-3…Tribal Tansit (7) won her last time out by a whopping 8 lengths, but loses that condition and moves up to face horses that have previously run against tougher. Still, the trainer is OK with repeated in the claiming ranks (.11%) and he is having a really nice meet with limited amount of runners. Retains the same rider who was aboard in the last and a solid maintenance move here on Feb. 18. Maybe she can come right back? Love the breeding here. Claim? Funny Holiday (5) is 6-1 ML, and may slide a bit up from there. But I think this Harlan’s Holiday has a big shot for my good friend Buff Bradley, who is starting to warm up in the sunny confines of Cajun Country. This filly gets a nice class drop and she was super good on Nov. 12 at Churchill Downs. Race here on Jan. 7 wasn’t all that bad, considering she was a step slow to leave the gate. Now gets an aggressive rider who knows how to finish a race. Watch out. Mia Bella Roassa (8) has not been close as of late. But she was the favorite on the drop down last time out, and this trainer hits with .25% of those returning for the first time after being bet down to such low odds. Meet’s leading rider stays aboard. Good sign. I bet the 7-5 to win/place/show and then box the top 3 numbers in one exacta, and then key the top 3 over the rest in a smaller version.

5th: 4-9-1-7-5…I really can’t separate the top two numbers in this race, so I will go with both of them as my co-picks. Baydar (4) ran a solid second, although beaten over 6 lengths in the last try. That came over a “good” track, and I still think that this 3YO daughter of Graydar would prefer a fast surface. If she can grab that today, I think she moves up into a solid contending spot. Tiz de Lovely (9) goes for the red-hot team of Joe Sharp and rider Adam Beschizza. They have teamed up to win with .31% of their 62 mounts together this meet. This filly ran second last time out, as well and was beaten over 6 lengths. She has failed as the favorite in the last two tries and is likely to be made the public’s choice again today. Still, she is consistent enough to warrant another shot in here. Malibu Song (1) really ran a solid second on debut on Feb. 18. Likely to be bet down off of that performance, but she lost to a horse named Medlin in that first time out. If you look, the top choice beat that same horse in her last try. I bet the 4-9 across the board and then box those two horses solidly in the exacta. I key the 4-9 over the rest of the numbers in a smaller version.

6th: 4-2-5-6-1…Decorated Solider (4) has some very nice “back class” races on his resume and despite the fact that he has not raced since last September, he has shown the ability to bounce back fresh off the bench before (look at race on March 12, 2016). Has been working super sharp over at Oaklawn Park (Feb. 13), and may be ready to pop at a level that he should excel. The Gipper (2) is another coming off a long layoff — not having run since last July. He won that day on the turf, going short, but he has shown the ability to run well fresh and run well over the dirt, too. Red hot trainer picks a rider who has hit with .31% of the last 13 tries together. Super work on Feb. 17. Get ready to fire late in this one. Rail trip? Hold Me Black (5) may be the one to beat, though. This 4YO gelding has been running of late, with three tries over this track. Each appear to be getting better and he nearly won the last try over the slop. Solid connections. Can’t dismiss. I bet the 4-2 across the board and then box the top 3 numbers in the exacta.

7th: 4-5-1-6-8…Half a Sugar (4) goes for a solid barn operation, and despite being off since last August, this one has shown a steady work tab in the mornings. Gets the drop all the way to the $10,000 level today and the trainer hits with .37% of those making their debut with this crew. The trainer/jockey duo have scored 3 wins in the last 5 races together — thanks to my friends over at Brisnet.com.  Those guys provide the best race day data of anyone in the biz. Try them out. Abboccato (5) got reintroduced to racing on Feb. 3 after being on the shelf since August. Ran a very nice second against LA-breds, before tiring late. That race should benefit this daughter of Maclean’s Music today. Rider is a bit suspect, but has been up on this one in four of the last five races and has performed well. Princess Delores (1) drops in half for this one today and the trainer hits with .16% of those making a two-class drop. The rail post is winning at a .26% rate at this distance this meet. That is sure to help. I bet the 4-1 to win/place/show and then box the top 3 numbers in the exacta.

8th: 4-3-1-5…Gone Lucky (4) will get the saddle today from a trainer who is 0-for-24 this meet. So, he is due, right? This 4YO gelding nearly won at this level last time out, losing a neck on the wire. If he can duplicate that performance today, he will be tough to handle. Should push the pace again today, since that tactic has seemed to work better before. Thunder Alley (3) has two thirds in the last three races. Should push the pace right along, as well. Trainer does well in the claiming ranks with .22% wins. Heavenly Gem (1) may be the one to benefit if a speed duel breaks out and lasts. This guy should have a nice stalking spot on the rail, which has been good all meet. Had two seconds in a row before the last race debacle. Picks up the meet’s top rider today. Watch out here. I bet the 4-1 across the board and then box the top 3 numbers in the exacta.

9th: 5-1A-2-1-4…Diamond Delight (5) gets the nod over the entry in the night’s finale. This colt has won two in a row, and was plucked out of the last one by new connections. Moves up in class for this one for a trainer as cold as the Northern weather (2-for-46). For some reasons, the new connections switch jockeys — after all the rider had won the last two and that’s as many wins as the trainer has all meet. Makes perfect sense. But…This guy looks super sharp right now. The entry of Tito Tonight (1) and Expedition (1A) go for the strong connections of owner Maggie Moss and trainer Tom Amoss. Can’t dismiss them any time, or anywhere. Both have a legit shot in this spot. And, after reading more of my writing, I am going to put them on top. Take note. I bet the 1-1A entry to win/place/show and then key the entry over/under all the numbers listed in the exactas.

Good Luck & All the Best/Gene