Tune it up Maureen McGovern…”There Has To Be a Morning After…”

Not a great day at the oval on Saturday, although we did nail the winner of the Louisiana Derby. Other than that, though, a tough go of it. Here’s hoping that The Player can get to surgery on Monday and can fully recover from his injuries sustained.

On a brighter note, though (hopefully), here is a closer look at today’s picks:

1st: 3-6-7-1-8-2…Very Elegant (3) is the 9-5 ML favorite, and is likely to go off at odds even lower than that in this one. She comes into this affair having hit the board in 6 in a row and 7 of the last 9. Has two wins in that mix, but she does have a tendency to settle for the minor rewards. Could be vulnerable at a very low price. Can She Scoot (6) comes from the barn of good friend Louie Roussel, and she nearly got the job done when dropped to this basement level for the first time ever on March 3. Trainer hits with .21% in the claiming ranks and this one did have a sharp work on March 17. Like the odds much better. Harambe (7) is dropping considerably in class after being away from the races since last September. The trainer is woeful off this kind of layoff (.04%), but does well when dropping this low. Has not shown much in the a.m., though. I bet the 6 (take note) across the board and then box the top 3 in the exactas.

2nd: 8-6-7-1-4-2…Zarb’s Gift (8) goes for a solid claiming operation, and this one gets a huge class drop from the State-bred Stakes race into the LA-bred only claiming ranks. Ran well against Trust Factor, who had a tough trip, and still finished third in a Stakes event here on Saturday. This one loves to be on or near the lead, and that seems to be the favorable position on the grass here these days. A solid pick for me, and the first Best Bet of the Day. Ninety One Assault (6) is a horse that I have picked on a couple of occasions this meet, and he won easily over this grass course last time out. Loses that condition, though, and will face tougher in this spot. Will likely be running from off the pace, and that doesn’t appear to be the best slot these days. Well’s Gold (7) is one that could stalk the pace and have a run at the leader nearing the wire. Was claimed out of the last one and moves up in class for a trainer that hits with .29% on the first timers in his barn after the purchase. Worth watching at 6-1 odds. I bet the 8 to win/place/show and then key the 9 over/under all the numbers listed above.

3rd: 6-10-9-1-2-3-8…This is a wide open affair and one where I will tread lightly. That being written, the preferred choice for me is the 8-1 ML outsider Victory Bind (8). The trainer has won 2 of 3 races here this meet, and this one will drop from MSW ranks — against open company — to a MC25 event for LA-breds only. Big class drop, and a huge rider swing over to Adam Beschizza — who is still in the running for the leading rider of the meet title. This guy has opened a lot of eyes with his riding here this meet, and should get a lot of attention when he gets to Kentucky. My Upset Special. Cajun Carmelized (10) ran a solid second on debut at a lower level here on March 9. Wheels back for a trainer who has done OK here this meet (.12%). Was well bet on debut, when he was made the favorite. Worth noting. Trainer/jockey combo have solid 2-1-1 record in the last 7 tries together. My www.brisnet.com “Stat of the Day.” Go to this resources for all your handicapping needs. Best in the biz. My third selection here is Flashyboy Bobb (9) — who is a first time starter for the barn of Harvey Lourd III. He has not won a race this meet, but does have 2 seconds and a third in 6 previous tries. This one had a heck of a work on March 17 at Evangeline Downs. Take heed. I bet the 6 to win/place/show and then box the top 3 numbers in the exacta. I key the top 3 numbers over the rest in another smaller version.

4th: 1A-1/5-9-2-7-3-4…I really like the entry in this spot, and I think they both have a shot to hit the board — which could give us a nice “double payoff.” Mrs. Rocco (1A) gets a slight edge over the barn mate, what with a third last time out as the beaten favorite. That was on the dirt and now gets back on the grass, where she is a perfect 1-for-1. She ran in front the entire way that day, and I think she may try that tactic again. Court of Love (1) returns on the grass, and shortens up in distance — where she has a win in two tries to date. She is the closer in the group, though, and that style may hinder her if the bias continues. Makes her second start for the meet’s leading trainer, and he scores with .27% of these types. Both of these have top riders aboard. I bet the 1A & 1 to win/place and then key them over/under all the other numbers listed. If they run their best races, I think this one could come down between the Brad Cox horses.

5th: 3-7-1-6-10…Vernacular (3) ran last and was beaten nearly 60 lengths last time out. And, she is a gaudy 10-1 in the ML, and my drift up from there. After all, she was 37-1 odds in the debut race. But…I like her in this spot. First of all, she ran well on the lead in that grass debut going long at 11/16-miles. She spit the bit hard, as if to indicate something terribly went wrong. Today, she gets Lasix for the first time and she drops all the way from the MC30 ranks to MC15. Trainer hits with .36% of those making this kind of plunge. Gets over to the dirt and sprints today. My second Upset Special right here. Another one getting class relief in this spot is Dance (7). This filly ran a solid third while sprinting over the grass last time out. She moves back to the dirt today, and the trainer hits with .22% with those making this type of surface switch. Fits. O’Hara (1) is a first time starter for a solid trainer, who hits with .20% of those making the debut, and with .32% with those making the debut in the MC ranks. Working well for the first out. I have to use. I bet the 3 to win/place/show and then box the top 3 numbers in the exacta.

6th: (12)-2-11-6-1-7…If it comes off the grass, I have to use the #12. If not, I go to Prados Way (2), who is 6-1 ML odds. I like some long shots today. This one ran last and was beaten 29 lengths last time out. But that was way back in March 2017 — over a year ago. Obviously, something bad wrong happened in that event to cause the outcome and the long vacation. Has been training OK for the long return, and comes from a top barn. Drops from a Stakes race (which was his 6th in a row) all the way to the $15,000 claiming ranks for this one. Should either fit strong or fit wrong. I say strong. Carson Key (11) is dropping in class, as well. Trainer has been hot of late, and this one will be making his second start in this barn. Trainer hits with .21% with these kind. Contender. Gridiron Cat (6) has been off this last November, when he ran against much, much tougher. Trainer does Ok (.14%) with these layup kind, and gets a solid rider for the return. I bet the 2 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.

7th: 6-7-5-1A-3-1-9…Gone Blues (6) is a firs timer for the barn of Mark Casse, who has had a solid meet here with .20% winners. This one has been training well, and the rider has been super hot over the last week with a record of 5-4-2 in the last 20 starts. Dam of this well-bred filly by Curlin has produced 4 winners from the first 7 starters and has a Stakes winner. This one may join the group soon. My Best Bet of the Day pick. Just to her outside is Abounding Joy (7), who is another first time starter. This young trainer doesn’t do as well with the debut runners yet (.06%), but this one is well bred, too, and did have a nice breeze here on March 9. Take note. Take Veuve to Me (5) has run before, but it has been awhile. She made the debut last August at Ellis Park, running a game second. But she has not been seen since. Training out of the same barn as our second selection. Has the meet’s leading rider aboard. I bet the 6 to win/place/show and then key the 6 over/under all the rest of the numbers listed.

8th: 6-11-4-1-7-3-2…I love back-to-back 6s. Ezmosh (6) ran poorly in the G3 Southwest Stakes against some Derby contenders and pretenders in the last out, but now will get the switch to the sod for the first time. Trainer hits with .32% of those making the grass debut, and this one has trained very well since the last race debacle. Had a nice second to Risen Star winner Bravazo two starts back. Has class. Another Best Bet of the Day candidate right here. Dallas Stewart may be preoccupied with an older filly over in Dubai today, but this 3YO colt Soul Beam (11) could provide some excitement at odds of 8-1 in this spot. He will be returning to the grass, which he is bred for, for the first time since running third to some good ones at Churchill Downs last November. fPicks up a solid rider for this one. Watch out. G’s Turn (4) ran a game second to Dragon Drew in the Black Gold Stakes here on March 3 at odds of 31-1. Has hit the board in 6 of 10 lifetime starts and is 12-1 ML. I have to use. I bet the 6 to win/place/show and then box the top 3 choices in one exacta. I key the top 3 over the rest in another, hoping for some long shot activity.

9th: 10-9-11-1-7-5-6…I concentrate on the top 3 numbers in this sequence, led by Rockin Rusty Rue (10). This one goes for a hot trainer and rider, who have combined to win with 20% of their mounts together over the last 60 days. This one broke his maiden last time out and will face winners for the first time, which is a tough test to ask. But he looks like he may be able to handle that assignment in this bunch. Thunder Alley (9), on the other hand, has faced this condition five times since breaking his maiden last September. Has run a second and two thirds in those efforts. May be ready to move up today. My Pal Kay (11) faced open company last time out, and figured out quickly that was a different ball game. Now back in against LA-breds only and gets class relief, to boot. Trainer hits with .40% on this type of drop. I bet the 10-11 to win/place/show and then box the top 3 in the exacta.

Good Luck & All the Best/Gene