Another fantastic card has been put together at the Fair Grounds today in New Orleans, as the city gears up for another group of Mardi Gras parades, parties, celebrations and festivities. Today’s Post Parade(s) may be added to that list of celebrations.

Here is a closer look at today’s card:

1st: 3-1-6-2-4…Cookies Are Good (3) goes for a trainer who has but one win in 18 starts this meet, but don’t be misled. The conditioner has had 4 seconds and 3 thirds and has hit the board in 8 of those 18 starts. This one could put him back in the winner’s circle, if he can get a clean trip. He was “taken up” in the last try here on Jan. 20, and should be a tad sharper in the third start off a layoff today. Figures with this group. Tale of Beaucette (1) comes into this one with four straight results in the money. He has done well over this track, as well, with 2 seconds and 3 thirds in 6 starts. Two back, he ran a good third behind a runner-up that came back to run well. Trainer is having a solid meet. Timingiseverything (6) may have flashed too much speed in the last try and gets a new rider today, who may try a more patient pace. Could be tough if allowed to rate. I bet the 3 to win/place/show and then box the top 3 numbers in the exacta.

2nd: 2-1-7-3-10…Great Kat (2) will start for the red-hot barn of Joe Sharp and his go-to rider, Adam Beschizza, coming off two straight second place finishes. He will make his first start today as a gelding, and should be running at the end of this one. Tapizone (1) is a dead closer who will get the blinkers on for the first time, in a little less invasive “equipment change” that the preferred choice. With a clean trip, he could be a late threat. Garey Park (7) picks up a huge rider switch to one of the hottest riders around these days in Corey Lanerie. This one is a NY-bred out of water, but could be a presence late, as well. I bet the 2 to win/place/show and then box the top 3 numbers in the exacta.

3rd: 4-6-2-3-1-5…Volgorad (4) gets a class drop to level that he has excelled at before. This gelded son of Curlin, who goes for a trainer that had a superb 2017 year with a .28% win rate. Should be closing with a strong run, and could be tough at the end. Big E (6) graduates from a MCL victory, which he got on the turf by a head. Returns to the dirt for this one. Teams up with a new rider, who the trainer has done well with in the past (look at the .67 win rate in 3 previous starts). Expedition (2) goes for one of the top trainers on the grounds and picks up the rider who booted home Big E in the last. Drops considerably in class for this one and the plunge should help. I bet the 4 to win/place/show and then key the 4 over/under all the other numbers listed.

4th: 7-8-9-12-2-10-1…Aspening (7) was a favorite the last time out on debut, but drew a tough post position and was wide throughout. Still nearly got up to win that one before tiring late and dropping to third. Has come back to work well, and should benefit from that first going. The pick. Stave (8) will make her first start today for trainer Larry Jones, and will get the expert services of rider Joe Bravo — who is super good at this distance, on this surface. Work on Jan. 22 is super good. Miss Accuse (9) ran second in the last try, and beat a horse who has already come back to win. Has been off the race trail since last August, but had a great work on Feb. 2. Could be a surprise at 8-1 odds. I bet the 7 to win/place/show and then box the top 3 numbers in one exacta and then key the 7 over/under all the numbers in two more.

5th: 8-9-5-6-7-1…Nola Win (8) has two straight seconds against two really good ones. Faces another tough group in this one, but this guy nearly beat a top runner in the last and should be very tough in this spot. Should stalk the lead and make a solid appearance late at this sprint distance. Telekinesis (9) is a highly touted son of Ghostzapper, who would have been highly bet in his first start before he reared and tumbled in the paddock, resulting in a scratch. Now he comes back after a solid work on Feb. 2. This one may get a chance to show it today. National Pride (5) is a first time starter that hails from the barn of Steve Asmussen. This well-bred son of Distorted Humor has been working lights out, too. We know enough about Asmussen, and his able assistant Scott Blasi to not discount his runners. I bet the 8 to win/place/show and then box the top 3 in one exacta and then key the 8 over/under all the numbers in two more.

6th: 10-4-9-11-2-3-7…Keep an eye out to see if the race is taken off the grass, which would permit the #16 to race. If the #s 13 and 15 draw in, they could be a factor, as well. If none of those run today, I land on Time Flies By (10), who has two straight seconds for the barn of Michael Stidham. Picks up a huge rider switch for this one today. Nice work here on Feb. 2, and should be ready to rock. Dragon Drew (4) goes for a top trainer (and great friend of mine) in Buff Bradley. Ran huge on debut and nearly got the win that day, before tiring late against a salty bunch. His next out was moved from the grass to the dirt, and he tired late while stretching out. Gets back on the grass today and I think this guy could be a nice price at 8-1. Go Buff. Good Offense (9) is a deep closer, who looks to be getting better. I bet the 10-4 to win/place/show and then box the top 3 numbers in one exacta. I key the top 2 over/under all the other numbers in two more.

7th: 4-2-3-6…Delusional K K (4) has hit the board in 4 of the last 5 tries, and looks like she is on top of her game right now. Was claimed out of the last try, when she won. Loses the meet’s winningest rider and now goes for a trainer who won just 8 of 101 races a year ago. She figures with this bunch, but I would suggest that she is a bit more vulnerable today. Play Unified (2) tried the turf last time out and that was a failed experiment. Gets back to the dirt today and should fit here at this distance. Has good numbers if she can return to past form. Dixie Brees (3) won two back and will be closing with a purpose, if she gets a clean run. Can’t dismiss. I bet the 4-2 across the board and then box the top 3 numbers in the exactas.

8th: 7-5-11-8-9-1-4-10…Belgian (7) is my first Best Bet of the Day. This 4YO gelding nearly won the last time out, losing a head bob at the wire. Comes right back for a top barn/jock combo, who have won at a rate of .38% this meet. Working great right now, too. Lawton (5) will move to the grass for the first time after breaking the maiden at odds-on favorite in the last. Ran off with that one when under the steady hand of Lanerie for the first time. Might now be ready to rock again. Hollow Point (11) is 8-1 ML odds, but might just sneak a peak late in this one with the blinkers on for the first time. Moves to the far outside post for this try, which isn’t the best, but he has faced some real good ones before. Faction Cat (9) has raced 17 times to date and has posted 10 seconds. Wow. Owned in part by my good friend Mark Drury, as well. I hope rooting like crazy for Mark and his Faction Cat to get that second win today. I bet the 7-9 to win/place/show and then key the 7-9 over/under all the numbers listed.

9th: 5-1-2-7…Tom and Ed’s Girl (5) is my last Best Bet of the Day. This one gets the blinkers on and goes for the barn of Tom Amoss and new owner Maggi Moss for the first time. They are super good together and the conditioner wins with .26% of those making the debut after the purchase. Does well with blinkers on for the first time, too (.19%). Should stalk and punch at running time today. I bet the 5 to win/place/show and then key the 5 over/under all the numbers listed.

Good Luck & All the Best/Gene