Today is another wonderful day to go racing. So, here we come…and go…Here’s a closer look at today’s card at the Fair Grounds:

1st: 3-6-4-7-1…Blazer (3) is a first timer for the barn of leading trainer Brad Cox, who is trying to hold off the furious charge of fellow trainer Joe Sharp in the race for the Trainer’s Title at this year’s meet. This 4YO son of Into Mischief comes into this one off some very nice works down at Evangline Downs. Well bred, and cost $95,000 at sale. Gets a top rider who has clicked at .39% with this barn in 31 previous rides. The one to beat. Aggravator (6) ran fourth last time out, but was beaten less than 2 lengths. Tries this level again and gets the services of a hot rider, who tripped the wire first three times on Thursday. American Greatness (4) ran fourth the last time out and closed to grab that spot. But that was a year ago. Has been working steadily for the return, and trainer does OK (.14%) with these types of layups. Drops in class. I bet the 3 to win/place/show and key the 3 over/under all in the exactas.

2nd: 5-3-8-6-1-4…Saintly Cry (5) nearly won at this level last time out, and now moves back to the dirt. Trainer is having a super meet (.23%) and does well with the surface switchers (.16%). Gets the services of a top rider. Strikingly Smart (3) is a first timer for a barn who has been red hot of late (5 wins in the last 10 starters). Gets a top rider to saddle and has been training well for the outing (look at Feb. 28 move). Could contend right off the bat at this level. Star Performer (8) did run third on debut back in December. Now gets the blinkers for the first time and moves back to the dirt. Goes for a top trainer, and the rider has hit with .28% for this barn over the last 18 starts together. I bet the 5 to win/place/show and then box the top 3 numbers in the exacta.

3rd: 6-5-3-4-8…Sandstorm (6) will make his first start for a new barn today, and they do OK with newcomers (.14%). Had a super work here on March 11, and will shorten back up to a sprint after a debacle going 1 mile last time out. This one is all speed and will try to gas from the get-go with a new rider. They will have to catch her. Proud Talike (5) gets the services of one of the meet’s top riders, and will shorten cup to a sprint, too. The place horse in the last race has already come back to win, and this one should try to come late. Mystic Magnolia (3) and Dance (4) both have a shot in this spot, too. I bet the 6 to win/place/show and then I box the 6-5-3 in one exacta and the 6-5-4 in another. 

4th: 10-5-7-1-8-2…So Sorry Ruston (10) drops in class today for a trainer that does very well with second off the claim (.31%) and with the second out for the barn (.27%). Should fit nicely with this group. D’Kingfish (5) goes for a trainer who is 0-for-29 this meet. The barn has 5 seconds and 6 thirds, though, and does hit with .33% of those repeaters in the claiming ranks. Valid Pursuit (7) didn’t fire last time out, but gets a class drop today and the trainer scores with .36% of those making their second start with the barn. Gets a huge rider switch for this one. I bet the 10 to win/place/show and then key the 10 over/under all the numbers listed.

5th: 2-5-4-1-6-7-8…I focus on the top three numbers in this group, led by Bourbon Country (2). This one nearly won last time out in his first start in nearly 9 months. This son of Harlan’s Holiday was bet down in that one after training so well for the reappearance. If he can inch a few feet ahead today, he will be tough to beat. My Eminence (5) may be a lifetime maiden, but has faced some tough customers in the past. Has 5 seconds and 3 thirds in 15 starts. Ran well here in the last, a 1/2-length behind the preferred choice. Can he get to the top? Mo Zone (4) was nominated to the Triple Crow for the connections and will be making his career debut today. Has been training very well for a barn that can get them ready off the bench. I bet the 2 to win/place/show and then key the 2 over/under all the numbers listed.

6th: (12)-7-11-2-8-4-9…I have to consider the #12 if she draws into the race, but if not, I go with Honey Bunny (7). This one is trained by the meet’s top conditioner, and won two starts back. Moved up in class for the last out, but that didn’t work out too well. Back at a level where she should be a real contender. Maryblueeyes (11) will get the saddle from the second-leading trainer, who has designs on catching the top spot. Ran very well at this same level last time out, while wide. Came running late in that one, but normally prefers to be closer to the lead. Look out for a better break today. D J Soul Sista (2) has won two in a row, and looks like she has really taken to the turf. Should be a force just off the pace setters. I bet the 7 to win/place/show and then box the top 3 numbers in the exacta.

7th: 4-1-2-5-6…Upset Brewing (4) is a filly that I have been following for awhile now. She is trained by friend, Buff Bradley, who can really get one ready to run. This filly has hit the board in 7 of 8 lifetime starts, despite the one win. She will be closing late and gets a red hot trainer in the saddle today. I love the 9-2 odds, and this one had a heck of a training session on March 10. My Best Bet of the Day. Luna (1) and Haynesfest (2) both are quality runners for top barns. Both have a big shot in this one, as well. I bet the 4 to win/place and then key the 4 over/under the numbers listed.

8th: 6-7-3-2-1-8-9…I concentrate on the top three numbers listed, led by Elusive Mischief (6). This 3YO colt by Into Mischief has been training very well for this return to the races after his tough-beat second on debut last August at Saratoga. Goes for a top barn and draws the attention of a class rider. The one to beat. Point of America and Katie’s Cowboy (3) have been training well and look to be the best of the rest. I bet the 6 to win/place and then key the 6 over/under all the numbers in the exactas.

9th: 3-10-12-1…My last Best Bet comes right here with Lion Heart Legend (3). Drops to the basement for this try today for a barn that hits with .40% on these types of class droppers. I bet the 3 to win/place and then key the 3 over/under the “all button” in this spot.

Good Luck & All the Best/Gene