After 6 winners on Saturday and 5 on Friday, we have upped her win percentage to .29.2 — which is creeping closer to respectability. After 202 races since Jan. 1, I have the following totals:

202 races = 59 wins, 80 seconds and 101 thirds

Win %: 29.2

ITM %: 40

Now…

It’s the old birthday today, and I am hoping for a great surprise and prize when our filly, First Kiss, runs over at Tampa Bay today for trainer Stephen Lyster. She is stretching out to 11/8 miles on the grass after a nice 2nd on the dirt. But this one has a couple of tough ones entered. We are hoping for the best, and it would be no better Birthday present that to see the pretty girl in the winner’s circle. Good luck, sweet girl.

Now, back at the Fair Grounds. Here is a closer look at today’s card:

1st: 4-3-2-5…No Richie (4) was claimed out of the last one, when he won going away at the end. The new trainer doesn’t have much luck after the purchase, winning with just .08% on the first try afterwards. Had a good work on Jan. 22, and keeps a top rider. Good run right back on top. Dorfman (3) has never missed the board in three career starts to date. Trainer hits with .25% on the drop down of two classes or more, and this is an example of such. Good work here on Jan. 30. Conquest Mystique (2) is getting a huge class drop, as well, and that is off the claim. Hot barn/jock combo and could be competitive at this level. I bet the 4 to win/place/show and then box the top 3 numbers in the exacta.

2nd: 9-7-5-2-1A-1-3…Whiskey Tree (9) is entered for MTO, but with the rains on Saturday it will take a real drying morning to keep this one on the grass. This one has won 8 of the last 9 races. Wow. That’s a winning machine, and he does well on “off track” surfaces, as well. Had a super work over at Oaklawn Park prior to the last race down at Delta. A big favorite if he draws in. If it stays on the turf, I go to Alvear (7), who had a couple of nice runs before the last race debacle. Led that one late before spitting the bit. Now stretches out? Interesting. Plug Catcher (5) has been first or second in 4 of the last 5 tries. Comes into this one off a nice win. Has two wins in 4 tries on the off-going, as well. I bet the 9 to win/place/show — if he gets in. In fact, he becomes a Best Bet of the Day, if he does. I use the 9 over/under all the rest in the exactas. If it stays on the grass, I go to the 7 and box the top 3.

3rd: 3-7-8-6…El Tristan (3) has not been close in the first two career starts, but drops way down in class and gets the blinkers for the first time. Trainer scores with a whopping .47% with this kind of drop. Nice work here on Feb. 4. Lucky Inferno (7) is 2-1 ML favorite, and should be the one to beat. Comes from the Steve Asmussen barn and should be tough at this level. Conner Clark (8) has put up 3 thirds in the first 4 starts. Trainer does well with this kind of drop (.24%), too. I bet the 3 to win/place/show and then box the top 3 choices in the exactas.

4th: 7-4-9-10-1-1A-8-5…It’s Mike’s Turn (7) picks up Jersey Joe Bravo in the saddle today and he has hit with .47% of the last 15 mounts for this barn. Nice work here on Jan. 30 and should be sharp coming off two wins in the last 3 starts. Bam Bam Bryan (4) won easily on debut last March and then took his game on the road to Kentucky. Found the going a bit tougher in the real world of open company. Been off since last May, but looks sharp (note the work on Feb. 5). The one to beat. Roger Brown (10) has won two in a row in easy fashion. Now, will try to go wire-to-wire in this spot. Will have to catch. I bet the 7-4 across the board and then box the top 3 numbers in the exacta.

5th: 4-2-1A-1-3…Miss Fabulous (4) didn’t run a lick in the last try, but gets a huge class drop today and should be better at this level. Work on Jan. 20 was a good one. Special Relativity (2) worked out a third in his only race over the slop, which came two races back. Deep closer should love the class drop, as well, and Buff Bradley’s horses are starting to run better here. Watch out. Both parts of the entry could run well enough to hit the board, as well. I bet the 4 to win/place/show and then box the top 3 numbers in the exacta.

6th: 2-9-5-1-3 (12-13)…If the extras draw in, then I have to take a look at using the #s 12 & 13. If not, I go to Dot Notation (2) — who clipped heels and dropped the rider in the last try. The race before, she ran OK up at Delaware Park. Now goes for a red hot trainer and barn operation, who hit with these kind all the time. Starting to move in the right direction, it seems and I like the 7-2 ML odds. Stumberg (9) was right there in the last one before tiring late. Should benefit from that race and be fully ready for this try, with a huge rider switch to the meet’s winningest jock. Windy City Girl (5) is a first time starter for a guy who knows how to win. The dam has one turf winner to date. Looks to be training well, as the work on Jan. 21 indicates. I bet the 2 to win/place/show and then box the top three numbers in the exacta.

7th: 4-9-7-2…Boomer’s Boy (4) won his last time out by over 2 lengths and should fit nicely in this group today. The trainer hits with .27% on winning right back and has solid numbers with “dropping off a win,” as well (.30%). I bet this one right back. Samargo (9) won last time out, as well, and the trainer is having a super good meet here in limited numbers. This won has two wins in the last 3 outs and a nice stalking style that could benefit in this one. Full Heart (7) has just 2 wins in 30 starts, but has 3 seconds and 8 thirds. May be interesting to just key this one underneath? I bet the 4 to win/place/show and the key the “all button” over the 7 in one exacta and box the top 3 numbers in another.

8th: 7-1-3-2-6-8…Ninety One Assault (7) is a horse that I have touted and used a lot of late. Comes into this one with a win, a second and a third in the last three races. Top grass rider Joe Bravo sticks aboard and this one should be tough in this spot. Quiet Concert (1) has hit the board in 9 of the last 10 tries and has 2 wins in that mix. Should be right there at the end of this one, with his normal late kick. Love the 6-1 ML odds on Well’s Gold (3), who has three top three finishes in the last 4 tries. Drops way down for this one, after winning a LA-bred Stakes just two back. Has 71 races under his belt to date, so he is well experienced and should be solid. I bet the 7 to win/place/show and then key the 7 over/under all the other numbers listed in this one.

9th: 7-9-1-4-10…From Now On (7) is a LA-bred son of D’wildcat, who was last in the last try on Dec. 26. Throw that one out, and you get a nice second at much tougher level. I go with the connections of trainer Tom Amoss and rider Florent Geroux in this one for top claiming owner Maggi Moss. Hermano (9) has run two good ones in a row at this level, and if he can duplicate those efforts, he should be salty in this one, again. Social Cat (1) is a first time starter for a barn that has not won a race in 22 starts here this meet. Due? Over-due. I bet the 7 to win/place/show and then key the 7 over/under all the other numbers listed in this one.

Good Luck & All the Best/Gene