After a rough day at the old ball yard on Sunday — when we collected only one win out of the nine races — we are back today, staring another tough card right in the eyes. But our numbers continue to hold strong for the long haul.

Going into today, we have a record of 8-12-12 in 29 starts to date at the current Keeneland meet. Our top pick is winning a 27.60% clip, while our top pick has hit the board on 55.20% of the time. Our top three picks have returned “winning tickets” 36.80%.

For the year, over 513 races, our win percentage is 33.90, and our top pick has hit the board at a near 60% clip.

So, here is a closer look at today’s card at Keeneland:

1st: 6-5-4-7-3…Shadow Sphinx (6) comes into this one off a 6th place finish against much tougher, but he was beaten less than 5 lengths in that one. This will be the lowest level this one has faced since breaking the maiden on Dec. 22 at the Fair Grounds. The last three tries have been over the sod, and this one should prefer the switch back to the dirt today. Maximus Dan (5) moves up a notch in class today after a near miss third in the last try on Feb. 9 at the Fair Grounds. Race two back was on the turf, and you can toss that debacle. In the last three on the dirt, he has recorded a win and two thirds. Gets a top rider aboard today. Contender. Trading Cash (4) broke his maiden last time out for the $30,000 price tag. Moves up to face winners for the first time today. Has a record of 1-2-1 in 11 previous starts. I bet the 6 to win/place/show and then box the top 3 numbers in one exacta. I key the 6 over/under all the numbers listed in two smaller versions.

2nd: 10-11-9-3C-3-6…Hargus (10) gets a slight nod in the first “baby race” of the day & week. This one is trained by Wesley Ward — an expert in this field of study. And, this one has been training forwardly for the barn up at Turfway Park. Trainer is off to a very good meet here with a record of 4-2-1 in the first 8 starts. The top choice’s stablemate, Odie (11), could be the toughest competition. This one is sired by the late, great Scat Daddy — who may have two of the top contenders for this year’s Kentucky Derby. He is also owned by the trainer, too. Out-worked the top pick on March 27. Tough to separate the top two here. Inda Zone (9) had a super work over this track on March 31 for one of the most affable trainers on the grounds. Picks up the world’s top rider for this one, and he has been red hot over the past 7 days. In the last 23 rides, he has a record of 6-3-4. I bet the 10 to win/place/show and then box the top 3 in one exacta. I key the top 3 over the rest in a smaller version.

3rd: 2-5-1-3-8-6…Woodman’s Luck (2) goes in a Claiming event for the price tag of $20,000. That ‘s a drop in price after picking up a nice win at the Fair Grounds on Jan. 28. Same jock tags along for the ride again, and he worked a bullet on April 4. No reason to think he can run a good one right back. All Out of Aces (5) drops in class for the barn of J. Larry Jones. He has been a bit dull over the last three outs, but before that, this 5YO gelded son of Proud Citizen won three in a row at Delaware Park. Had a super work here on April 3. The one to beat. Orpheus (1) comes into this one off two straight Stakes races. Ran good in the first, to be third. But the last out was a poor one, finishing last by many. Now drops down to the “Sales Bin.” Trainer can surprise with a big price, from time to time, and this one will get the blinkers off today. Trainer hits with .25% of those losing the glasses. I bet the 2 to win/place/show and then box the top 3 in one exacta.

4th: (13-14)-1-3-6-12-8-4-7-2-9…Keep an eye out to see if either the #s 13 or 14 draw in from the AE List. If they do, they figure in the mix. If not…Punked (1) will be making her NA debut today for a trainer that excels with these types (winning with .22% of shippers to the U.S. and .29% of those making the debut with the barn). Training sessions are just so-so, but there are plenty of them to get her ready for this one. obtains the world’s best rider. Cool Beans (3) was moved up to first after running second to Significant Form — a real good one — at Saratoga last August. Has been absent from the afternoon since then, but has been lighting up the a.m. tote board in preparation for this 2018 debut. Goes for hot barn, which just won the Trainer’s Title at the Fair Grounds. Should be ready. Subtle Step (6) will be making her 2018 debut for a top barn and owner outfit. Won here on debut last October — running off to an impressive victory by nearly 5 lengths. She came right back in a Stakes event the next time out and something apparently went woefully wrong in that effort, when she finished next-to-last by many. Works are OK on the comeback trail. I bet the 1-6 to win/place/show and then box the top 3 numbers in one exacta. I key the top 3 over the rest in a smaller version.

5th: 2-8-1-9-11-7-3-6…Start With Yes (2) drops to the Maiden-Claiming ranks for the first time after failing to win after 5 tries against tougher. Had a good run on the grass two back, and does have three nice runs out of the 5 previous tries. The trainer scores with .11% of those making this kind of drop. Out of Hydeing (8) is another dropping into the claiming ranks for the first time. Trainer hits with .16% of those running in the MC company. Races two and five back were both solid. If he can duplicate those efforts, he will have a shot here. Like the jockey and the 8-1 ML odds. Spanned (1) will be making his first time start for the Wesley Ward barn. Trained well at Turfway Park on March 26, and trainer hits with .22% of those making the debut in the MC ranks. I bet the 2 across the board, and then box the top 3 numbers in the exacta.

6th: (13)-6-9-5-8-10-11-2-7-3…Keep an eye out on the #13 to see if she draws into the body of this race. If she does, I have to use. If not, I go to Last Promise Kept (6). I saw this one run at both Kentucky Downs and Keeneland last Fall, and she was super impressive. In fact, I really thought then that this one would be a Stakes winner by now. She is a deep closer, and really comes running with a purpose when she can see the wire. Gets a new rider today, but has been training well for one of the best trainers in the business down at Tampa Bay. I love the 4-1 odds on this one. My first Best Bet of the Day comes right here. The second slot goes to Dolce Lili (9), who will be making her first start since running a dismal 11th in the Valley View Stakes here last fall. Will be making her debut for trainer Bill Mott, after a barn switch. Prior to that effort, this one had three wins and a third in four starts. She likes to lay a lot closer to the pace, and make a run from a stalking position. Won over a “good” sod, too. Beware at odds of 8-1 ML. Dawn the Destroyer (5) has not been close in each of the last four outs, but they have been against tougher company. Did run third in a G2 Stakes, and before that won an allowance at Saratoga. Has enough back class to run well again, if ready for a top barn. Look at the work on March 31. I bet the 6 to win/place/show and then box the top 3 numbers in one exacta. I key the 6 over/under all the numbers listed in two more, as well.

7th: 2-4-6-8-1…Mrs Rocco (2) comes into this one off a third and a second in the last two, and has a record of 1-2-2 in 6 previous starts. Nice work on March 31 to tune this one up, and the trainer hits with .31% of those returning for the first time after beaten as the favorite. Gets the top rider aboard, and looks to be tough in this spot. Pure Praise (4) was very nice when breaking the maiden at Churchill Downs last June in the slop. Has raced only twice since then, though, and both were a little less than spectacular, when fading late in each. This will be the second off a layoff, which the trainer hits with .13%. Drops to the claiming ranks for the first time. Have to consider at 8-1 ML odds. Arabella Bella (6) is a horse that we have touted at the Fair Grounds this Winter/Spring. Will be shifting from long on the grass to a sprint on the dirt. Trainer numbers are not good, but this one gets a career drop, too, and may surprise. I bet the 2-4 across the board and then box the top 3 in one exacta, and then key the top 3 over the rest in a smaller version.

8th: 2-9-11-7-6-3-4-1…Today’s finale is a wide open affair, but I land on Mythical Mission (2). This one will be making her first start since last November, when she was second in a Canadian-bred Stakes event. She will be starting for a new trainer for the first time, and he hits with .13% with these kind. Well-bred filly for an owner that has bred many good ones over the history of this operation. Some of the best female families in the game today. Has hit the board in 9 of 10 lifetime starts and should be ready for this one today. My second Best Bet of the Day comes right here. La Sola Ranger (9) has run four good ones in a row for trainer Mark Casse, with a win, two seconds and a third in that grouping. Has a nice work over this track on April 5. Was super good at the Fair Grounds on March 10, but moves up a bunch in class today. Good enough? A question. La Sardane (11) will be making her NA debut for a new trainer today, as well. This one won a Group 2 Stakes in France last June, but has been away from the races since. Training steadily for the return at Santa Anita. Gets Lasix for the first time. I bet the 2 to win/place/show and then key the 2 over/under all the other numbers in this spot.

Good Luck & All the Best/Gene