On Wednesday, we rocked 3 winners out of the 8 races, but our true value was found in the exactas, as 3 of our top choices ran second with some good prices over top. We hit on $1 exactas that paid $26.10 (2nd), $26.50 (6th) and $30.60 (7th).  For the day, we went 3-5-3 in the 8 race card.

Going into today, we have played 83 races at Keeneland with a record of 29-32-38.

Keeneland Top Pick Win %: 34.90

Keeneland Top Pick ITM %: 65.10%

Keeneland Top 3 Picks ITM %: 39.80

2018 Overall: 568 races = 196-209-216

2018 Top Pick Win %: 34.50%

2018 Top 3 Picks ITM %: 37.60

Here is a closer look at today’s card at Keeneland, which I will be in attendance for today. It is my beautiful mother’s “Pre Mother’s Day Gift” from her wayward son. She is a beautiful 88 years young and is stubborn, tough, hard-working and correct as she was from the first day I can remember.

1st: 11-6-1-7-9-2-5…It is very difficult to bet against Wesley Ward in any 2YO race held at Keeneland. And, some would argue, a stupid thing to do, as well. But I am going with Seeking a Star (11) — an $800,000 purchase by owner John Oxley at the 2017 Keeneland September Yearling Sale. This filly by Pioneerof the Nile has been working lights out for trainer Mark Casse at his training center in Florida and has come North with the same intense work schedule. Her move here on both March 31 and April 6 are standouts. Gets a top rider for the debut. Will need to break sharply to overcome the outside post, but she sure looks like she has the talent. My first Best Bet of the Day. Montana Sunset (6) is a West Virginia-bred filly whose dam has 10 winners from 10 starters — including 4 Stakes Winners to date. Ward trains this one and teams up with Joel Rosario, and they have won with 40% of their collaborations over the last 5 starts. This one is working OK, too. Ward’s other horse in this spot is Chelsea Cloisters (1), who was purchased at the 2017 Fast-Tipton July Sale for $125,000. She has been training well for this debut effort and her dam has 4 winners from 6 starters, with 1 SW in that group already. I bet the 11 to win/place/show and then box the top 3 numbers in one exacta. I then key the 11 over/under all the numbers listed in two more.

2nd: 3-2-4-1-5-6…United Patriot (3) is coming off a win at the Fair Grounds, when he ran over a sloppy racetrack. Drops into the claiming ranks today with a crisp 3-0-0 record in 7 lifetime starts. Should be fine at the distance, and gets the same rider back aboard. Trainer hits with .29% with those that won last time out. Nice training session on April 11 at Churchill Downs. Beautiful Game (2) has posted 3 wins and has hit the board in 6 of 9 lifetime tries to date. Comes into this off off three rough finishes, but they were against much tougher company — including two stakes events. The last race was won by a monster sprinter, who came back to run off to an easy victory in a Stakes event at Oaklawn Park. The winner two back was Reride, who ran third to Mendelssohn in the Dubai Derby. The winner three back won the Sunland Derby. So…he should appreciate this drop in class today, and is a likely candidate to be claimed. Can’t dismiss this one’s chances. Kate’s Golden Dude (4) won two in a row at Delta Downs before being shipped over to Oaklawn Park, where he faced the same monster sprinter in Mitole. Should like the easier spot today, as well. I bet the 3-2 to win/place/show and then box the top 3 numbers in the exacta.

3rd: 5-1-6-7-4-3…Portfolio Manager (5) is getting a huge drop in class for a top barn operation. He has never raced for this low a purchase price in his life, and is coming off a nice third last time out on the grass. Won two races back — which was at Aqueduct in November. Another claim prospect right here. And, seems to be working OK for this effort. Maniacal (1) comes from the barn of Wesley Ward, who is winning at a 38% clip this meet, and does not appear to be slowing down a bit. This one won two races back and probably should have won the last time out, as well, if not for a late rally after a less than stellar start. This one has a solid 3-2-3 record in just 10 starts and gets in today at a career low level, as well. Next Speaker (6) will be making his first start for a new barn and will be starting for the first time East of the Mississippi. Raced last on March 9 at Golden Gate, where he was second. Trainer hits with 29% with those making the barn debut. And, this one trained very well here for the new connections on April 12. Beware. I bet the 5-1 across the board and then box those two solidly in the exacta. I key the 5-1 over/under the rest of the numbers in two smaller versions.

4th: 9-1-8-5-2-11-12-3…I will concentrate my efforts in this spot on the top 3 numbers. Sexyama (9) will be making her career debut for trainer Joe Sharp and his go-to rider Adam Beschizza. This one is listed at 8-1 in the ML, but likely to be bet down from there. The dam of this filly has 3 winners from 4 starters and already has a SW. She breezed super well here on April 12, and the trainer does score with .12% on first time starters. One of the newbies by Cairo Prince — whose progeny sold super well a year ago. Time to put up now. Abyssinian (1) is another from the barn of Wesley Ward. He can’t win all the 2YO races, can he? Or can he? This one is by Cairo Prince, too, and cost $70,000 at the 2017 Keeneland September Yearling Sale. Has been training right along for this debut and gets a top rider aboard. Will need to pop out of the gate quickly with the rail draw. Power Gal (8) comes from the barn of Mark Casse, and has been training super nice — especially the move here on March 31. The rider selection is a bit suspect, and that makes me a little timid. I bet the 9-1 across the board and then box those two solidly in one exacta. I key the top 2 numbers over/under the rest in two smaller versions.

5th: 8-7-5-3-4-6-1…Ventry Bay (8) is another from the Wesley Ward barn, and another with a big shot today. This 4YO Scat Daddy gelding will be making his first start since last October at Belmont. But he finished the 2017 campaign on a roll, with a win and two seconds against solid company. Has been working well for the return to the races, and the trainer scores with .23% of those coming off this type of layup. Hollow Point (7) will have a real shot and spoiling the WW party, though. This one has two races under his belt this year, with a second and a third to show. The trainer scores with .25% of those returning to the races as a beaten favorite, and has been training very well here, too. This sone of Into Mischief has all the credentials to be tough in this spot, having run against some good ones in the past — like Big Bend, who is scheduled to run in a Stakes event here this weekend. Turbo (5) won on debut on Jan. 26, but had some issues on March 22, when he reared badly at the start and lost the rider at 4-1 odds that day. He will try the grass again today and has the breeding do do well over this surface. The dam has 5 turf winners, who have 11 starts and 9 wins — including 2 Stakes wins. Bred for this stuff. I bet the 8 to win/place/show and then box the top 3 in the exacta.

6th: (13-14-16)-1-2-12-7-11-3-6…If the outside numbers draw in from the AE List, I have to take a serious look to include — in particular the #s 13 & 16. If not, then I go inside to Queen Jeanne (1), who is another Upset Special Play. This one is listed at 12-1 ML, and will be making her racing debut today for a barn that only hits with 6% of first time starters. His numbers, though, skyrocket when entered into the MC ranks, upwards to .20%. That’s the case in the spot today, and this one had a super work here on April 14. Gets a very solid, aggressive rider in the irons. Don’t really like the rail with a first timer, but if she can break well and hold her spot, she may be able to run on from there. The break is the absolute key. Pure Sugar (2) will get the services of one of the best, and, yet, most under-rated riders in this business — Chris Landeros. This filly will be making her debut for a new barn and will get to shed the blinkers for the first time. Barn hits with .25% when removing the shades. Nice work here on April 12. Take note. Sun Dress (12) ran a good one here last April on debut at odds of 34-1. Ran a solid second that day, and looked to be on her way. After a poor effort in May and then again in August, she was put away for the year. Training well for the return and will add blinkers for the first time today. Barn has only had one other race with this addition. I bet the 1 to win/place/show and then box the top 3 numbers in one exacta — if the top 3 numbers do not draw into the race. If they do, I use them — especially the 13 and 16.

7th: 7-11-2-6-4-8-12-1…Irish Territory (7) was nominated to the Triple Crown series early on by his connections. that has not panned out to date, but this one has surely shown a lot of ability on the grass so far. Nearly won the With Anticipation Stakes at Saratoga last August as a maiden. Beat a real nice one in that affair, Untamed Domain. And, ran second to an even better one in Catholic Boy. Both of those were on the KY Derby Trail earlier this year before being sidelined. Will make the 2018 debut today, but has been working well for the return to duty. If he can run anything close to the one he put up in the last out, he will be mighty tough in this spot. First Spring (11) has run two very games seconds in only two outings so far. Both of them came this year, and he was the beaten favorite in the last one. Trainer hits with .25% of those returning after being bet down to favoritism. Should improve with the stretch out today, and had a super work over this track on April 13. Take note of that move. Divide (2) was beaten just a nose in the last try, and picks up one of the best riders in the world today. Has been working very nicely down at Palm Beach Downs for Todd Pletcher. Both of the top two will have to beat their one to get to the circle. I bet the 7-11 to win/place/show and then box the top 3 in the exacta.

8th: 3-4-7-5-2-1…Uncle Mojo (3) has put up 3 seconds and a win in the first 5 starts to his career. The only time he was off the board was in the debut race. Was a beaten favorite last time out, and Pletcher scores with .25% on the next out with these kind. Nice works since running here in October. Should be ready to pounce on these today. Big Dollar Bill (4) ran fourth in a Stakes event at Tampa Bay last time out. Was beaten 7 lengths by War Story in that one, and he had been running up against the likes of Gun Runner before that. Two back, this one nearly beat Hedge Fund, another real good one. Has a sharp work on April 12 on the resume, too. Silver Dust (7) won last time out, but was dropped to 2nd for a disqualification. Last year ran against some top notch 3YOs in the West Virginia Derby and the Iowa Derby, as well. Nice work here on April 6. I bet the 3-4 across the board and then box the top 3 numbers in the exacta.

9th: 10-3-4-1-7-11-9-2…Midnight Tea Time (10) ran a nice closing third on debut at Saratoga last July, but has not been seen in the afternoon since then. Has been working very well for the return today up at Fair Hill in Maryland. The work on April 13 was super nice over that turf course and that should have tightened him up nicely for the 2018 debut. Gets one of the world’s top riders up today. Pali High (3) and Special Forces (4) both have credentials in this one, as well. The former has been racing at Santa Anita and ran against Choo Choo two races back. That one ran up North in the El Camino Real Derby for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer. The latter is a Mark Casse-trainee who really ran a good one last time out. The “show” horse in that one came right back to win, and this one trained lights out here on April 13. Looks real sharp right now. I bet the 10-4 across the board and then box the top 3 numbers in the exacta.

Good Luck & All the Best/Gene