We had four winners on Saturday, but we were one short of where we needed to be. We were alive going into the last and final race of the day and the Black Gold Jackpot 5. We had a single in the final leg, though, and we missed. But, still, overall, a good day at the oval. We will be back today to give it another shot.

Here is a look at today’s card:

1st: 5-2-8-4…Angie’s Prim Lady (5) gets my top selection in this spot, coming back after a win here on the turf sprinting Dec. 26. Came running in the stretch with a purpose for that one and guns right back for a trainer that hits with .26% of those returning off a win. That was this 7YO mares first win in 9 starts here, though, and she was 7-1 odds that day. She now has three nice finishes out of the last 4 tries, with the only misfire coming here on Dec. 7 after a 7-month layoff. Meetmeforasmoke (2) was run down late by the preferred choice in the last try. She was the beaten favorite that day and this trainer hits with .20% of those that were bet down to the favorite status on the return. She will be gunning it from the get go and gets a hot jock in the saddle for this one. Can she last today? Flashy Shoes (8) gets a drop in company after picking up the win in the last try here on Jan. 7. Trainer is having a solid meet with limited runners, and this one has never lost at this distance on the grass. Could be tough again today. I bet the 5 to win/place/show and then box the top three numbers in the exacta.

2nd: 5-6-7-3-2…Rock Shandy (5) could provide back-to-back wins for the #5 saddle cloth. This one really woke up for an up-and-coming trainer, who could use a winner after going 0-0-0 for 7 to start this meet. This 6YO son of Lemon Drop Kid used to have some kick to him, and if he can duplicate his last run, he will be mighty tough in this spot. Nice works of late. Rider starting to shake off the winter rust. Flatter the Queen (6) won his last out here on Dec. 28 for a trainer who has hit with 4 of his first 13 tries this meet. Claimed two starts back and this trainer does hit with .22% of those returning off a win and with .15% of repeat winners in the claiming ranks. Looks good right now for this level. Mistake Present (7) moves from the turf back to the dirt, which I think is his best surface. Goes for a hot trainer/jock combo, who have combined to win .33% of their last 55 mounts together. I bet the 5 to win/place/show and then box the top 3 numbers in the exacta.

3rd: 3-5-7-2-4-1-9…I like the top 4 numbers here much the best, led by the LA-bred filly Cool Spring (3). This one has raced in LA-bred only Stakes in her first two starts and finished third in the last one here on Dec. 31. Now, she lowers back into the MSW ranks for the first time, and she should be tough at this level. Trainer is having a cold meet so far, but does hit with .24% of those in the MSW ranks over the last 13 months. Nice work after the last race. Should appreciate this kind of company. Starlet Guitar (5) has every right in the world to improve off her debut run here on Dec. 9, when she was a solid second throughout the run. Was bet well on debut and hails from a top barn. Keep an eye on the tote board early here. Evelyn (7) is a first time starter for a barn that hits with .16% of those making their debut in the MSW ranks. Had a brilliant work here in the slop on Jan. 11 and looks to be ready for the first try. Very well bred. I bet the 3-7 to win/place/show and then box the top 3 choices in the exacta. I try the top 3 numbers over the rest in a smaller version.

4th: 4-5-6-8-7…My first Best Bet of the Day comes right here with Restless Rambler (4). This 5YO son of Ghostzapper has won 4 in a row and 6 of the last 7. He has 12 wins in 21 starts, with 3 seconds and 3 thirds to boot. Will try to boot home from the front end, and nearly got caught in the last try here on Dec. 31. But this one is as game as they come, and looks very tough for this effort. The Imposter (5) is a deep closer, who will try to get up late for Chantal Sutherland. She has run second in each of the last two tries here, but the trainer hits with .18% of those making the third start off the layoff. Never won at this distance in 9 starts, though. Suspect. Day Six (6) is another front runner, who will pick up the barn’s top rider for this try today. Ran 4th going 1 mile, but beaten only 11/4 lengths in that try, when tiring late. Has not won at the sprinting distance either. I bet the 4 to win/place and then key the 4 over/under the “all button” in this spot.

5th: 5-2-3-4-1…Lookin For Eight (5) is my second Best Bet of the Day. This one ran 6th in his last try against much tougher at Churchill Downs on Nov. 23. The race before that, though, he won a tough conditioned allowance event at Churchill and ran 2nd in a tough one on the grass at Keeneland. Comes into this one off some works at the Casse Training Center over in Florida. Does he need one? Maybe. Ran second on debut, but was facing Battalion Runner in that one. If ready, he will be tough. Casses Story (2) is the stablemate of the one above, and he has no excuses for today. This will be his fourth race since a layoff from August to November. He won two back here and then ran a solid second in the next out here on Dec. 26. The roommates should dominate in here. Han Sense (3) won easily here on Dec. 30, running off to a 43/4-length victory against easier. Has shown ability in the past, but will need to improve to beat the top two today. I bet the 5-2 to win/place/show and then box those two solidly in one exacta and then key them over/under the rest of the numbers in another two.

6th: 7-5-4-2-3…Proud Reunion (7) comes into this one off a short vacation for trainer Tom Proctor, who has put up a record of 2-6-2 in the first 17 saddle jobs this meet. This Proud Citizen filly was last seen in the G2 Mrs. Revere Stakes at Churchill Downs on Nov. 24. She caught a yielding track that day and didn’t have a very clean run. The two previous runs on “good” ground, she won. So, I am tossing that race and looking for a solid effort coming from off the pace today. Jockey has been a little cold to start this meet, but he can ride when engaged. Hoping he is zeroed in for this one. Five Hearts (5) is a speedster who will try to take the group from gate to wire. Got caught late here on Dec. 23, but the barn goes to the top rider today and that are hitting at .33% together over 55 races. Cuts back a bit in distance today and that should surely help, as well. Frozen Hannah (4) is a good one, too, in a very nice field of turfers. She comes in off a second place finish to a horse who has already come back to win. This 5YO mare led late in that one and has now posted two seconds and a third in 3 tries over this grass course. I have to use, as well. I bet the 7 to win/place/show and then box the top 3 numbers in one exacta.

7th: 3-9-8-10-12-5…Efforting (3) is a 4YO Into Mischief filly that goes for a top barn operation. This one has run three seconds in a row after winning two of the previous three. In 8 lifetime starts, this one has 2 wins and 5 seconds. I think she can get back to the circle today, especially in this field. Has been working well, too boot. Delusional K K (9) was claimed two starts back by Mike Maker, who immediately tried her in the Claiming Crown over at Gulfstream. That experiment didn’t work, so she is back here at the level she excels at and picks up the meet’s top rider. Can’t dismiss. Juno’s Starlet (8) is another consistent sort, who has 2 wins and a third in 5 lifetime starts. Ran third  last time out and wheels right back against similar company. I bet the 3 to win/place/show and then box the 3-9-8 in one exacta, and then key those 3 over the rest in a smaller version.

8th: 3-2B-1A-1-7-6-8…Svindahl (3) comes into this one off a win the last time out here on Dec. 30. Trainer hits with .21% of those coming in off a win. This one has been a different horse since picking up the blinkers three races back and going to the barn’s top rider. The 7YO gelding looks good right now and I stay on board against a suspect bunch. I bet the 3 to win/place/show and then key the 3 over/under the all button in the exactas.

9th: 1-5-4-8…Byanymeans (1) hails from the barn of Tom Amoss for the high successful claiming owner Maggi Moss. She ran second in her last try here on Dec. 31, but was beaten 13 lengths that day. I think she will improve off that exercise and be ready to move up the ladder in this spot today. Classy Paddy (5) drops all the way from the LA-bred MSW ranks to the MC12,500 level today. Trainer scores with .24% of those making this drop and picks up a nice rider, to boot. Look for solid improvement from this one today. Starfish Point (4) gets a nice class drop from a solid barn operation, as well. Was way wide throughout the last try, and should be closer with a better trip. Gets a top rider to take the saddle today, and had a solid work to prepare for this one. I bet the 1 to win/place/show and then box the top 3 numbers in the exacta.

Good Luck & All the Best/Gene