It is another beautiful day in the Bluegrass, and it could be a rewarding one, as well.  Today marks the end of the Churchill Downs’ September race meet, and, as such, it will have a mandatory payoff for the Pick 6 Jackpot.  The pool going into today’s action has a carryover of $78,527 and is certain to attract the interest of players all over the nation.  So, the final pool could be close to $200,000 or more by final tally.

Here is a closer look at today’s Churchill action:

1st: 2-3-5-6-1…Noshackleshere (2) is a gelding that comes into this one off a lazy 7th place finish on the grass at Ellis Park back in August.  He pressed the pace in that one before getting blitzed by a real good one in Major Munnings.  Drops down to $30,000 Claiming today out of that allowance event and gets back on the dirt, where he is better suited. This one is a bit inconsistent, which is not to my liking, but fits with this group today and is 5-1 ML. Arlen’s Propsect (3) was purchased in his last race by Karl Broberg, after he won that one.  Loses that condition, though, and will face better today.  Still, looks to want the lead and may try to carry it all the way with a good pilot. Outrun the Posse (5) is another that was claimed the last time out.  Goes for a new trainer in these parts, and I don’t know much about him yet. Looks to fit here, though, and attracts the leading rider, in Corey Lanerie. A must use for me.  I bet the 2 to win/place/show and then box the top three choices. 5-1-4-2…We miss.

2nd: 3-2-1-7…Kitten’s Cat (3) gets the drop from 11 straight Stakes races into a high-end claiming event today. First time at this level for this multiple Graded Stakes-placed colt by Kitten’s Joy.  Appears headed to a new barn and owner today, if he stays in this event. Does stretch out to his longest distance yet on the grass, and this stalker will need to moderate his speed for that. But he is training well going in and has been facing some of the best. All Right (2) beat the preferred one in their last meeting at KY Downs on Sept. 14.  Both of them caught a yielding track that day and I don’t think either preferred the footing.  This one picks up a huge jock change and could be sitting on a good one, too. One of a Kind (1) is a son of Lemon Drop Kid, and although he has not won on the grass, yet, he should love this firm, dry course today.  Gets Lanerie back today.  I bet the 3 to win/place and then key the 3 over/under the rest. 7-2-5-8…With the scratch of the 3, we hit the place/show tickets for $2.80/$2.40 and the Exacta for $21.60 for $2.

3rd: 7-1-2-5-8…This tilt figures to be a speed bath, with the inside two ripping from the get-go. If that happens, look for Julia’s Kitty (7) to take full advantage.  She won her first out by pulling away and will wait for a stretch run with the Frenchman in the saddle.  Red Dread (1) gets my second pick in this one, despite being eased as the favorite in the Arlington Washington Lassie in her last out.  She pressed the pace hard that day and just had nothing left.  She shortens back up today and gets a huge rider switch. She ran OK here in the Debutante Stakes in June, despite being bumped at the start of that one.  Watch her from the rail. Richie’slilwildcat (2) may outrun her name (which is awful and reminds me of Richie Farmer; like I said, “awful”). Another speedball who gets the saddle from a top trainer who has made it to the winner’s circle here this meet in two out of three races. Beat the second choice in the Arlington Washington Lassie in their last matchup, but both will need to avoid a speed meltdown in here today. I bet the 7 to win/place/show and then box the top 3 and then key the 7 over the 5/8, as well. 2-1-7-5…Show bet clicks at $2.80. Exacta pays $25.60 for $2.

4th: 8-4-1-3-9-6…Gingermore (8) gets my first “dot” of the day, and becomes the first Bet of the Day selection. This one drops all the way to the basement today for one of the best claiming outfits in the country. Blinkers come off and that’s a huge angle for this trainer (who wins with .24% with that equipment change). Has not made the winner’s circle in 7 tries this year, but may change that today.  Ultra Arumba (4) loses Lanerie today, but should make a run at the end for Geroux.  Hold Me Tight (1) bombed in her last out at Arlington, and, as a result, plummets to the bottom. Figures better here. I bet the 8 to win/place/show and then key the 8 over/under all the numbers listed. 3-9-8-5…Hit the show ticket with an even-money favorite. Wow. Returns $

5th: 1-3-6-7-2-5…The Pick 6 starts here and it will be no easy feat to accomplish.  In short, a tough sequence of races.  But I really like Blue Ridge Girl (1) in the first leg. She gets back to her preferred surface after an ill-fated attempt on the grass at Ellis Park on Aug. 19.  Never seemed comfortable in that spot, but I think she will fit perfectly in this one on the dirt.  Trainer does well with the switch in surfaces (.23 win %). Gets a huge, huge rider switch and shortens up to a good distance here. I don’t know if you can single, or not, but I really like this one. Right On By (3) makes her tired start at this level and will stretch out a furlong for this try. Has 4 ITM finishes in 6 outs, so will try. Unfading Beauty (6) gets the services of Lanerie. Will close from the back in just her third try on dirt.  But she did run a good third here at the same distance in May. Possible. I bet the 1 to win/place/show and then key over/under all the rest in the exactas.  My Pick 6 ticket is 1/1-10-3-4/8-7-3-2/7-10-1-3-8/10-5-7-6/11. That .20-cent ticket will cost me $64. 5-3-6-9…No luck. 

6th: 1-10-3-4-8-7…Netas (1) did not like Kentucky Downs, the European-styled course, and/or the soft going in her last try on Sept. 7, but she gets back to a dry, flat course today and should appreciate the switch to this meet’s leading rider, too. Has returned to work lights out for the Casse barn here. Sitting on go. Paynter’s Boy (10) gets a tough post, but should improve off his first try for a red-hot barn, led here by assistant trainer Jeff Hiles. Strategic Ekati (3) caught a quality field in his first out, but didn’t show much. Another shot here. Tweeter in Chief (4) should improve a lot today and may surprise.  My first Upset Special. I have to use. I bet the 1-4 to win/place/show and then box the 1-10-4 in one exacta and then key the 1-4 over the rest of the numbers. 1-7-6-10…#1 pays $6.20/$4.60/$3.60 and the Exacta returns $121.60 for $2 bet.  Bam.

7th: 8-7-3-2-1-4-12…Tempestuous Angel (8) moves up a notch in class for this one, but if he had this distance in the last, he may have won.  This one closes with a purpose and Calvin Borel — the new daddy — is looking for a baby gift.  Awesome Fu (7) nipped the preferred choice in their last matchup, but loves the lead and the extra distance may compromise in here. Speaker John (3) is another who will prefer the front end,  and will get a boost with the addition of Lanerie. I can’t leave out Silent Decree, a deep closer who could like this added distance, as well. I bet the 8 to win/place show and then key the 8 over/under all the numbers listed.

8th: 7-10-1-3-8-2-6-9…Adventist (7) has never hit the board at this distance, but he is dropping to his lowest level ever and should appreciate this class level.  Picks up one of the hottest jocks around in Julien Leparoux, who had a terrific meet at Kentucky Downs and has hit the board in 14 of 30 mounts here in September.  Look out at 4-1 ML odds. Rich Daddy (10) has to show on the ticket if it moves to the dirt (which is highly doubtful). Derby Champagne (1) has caught some really good ones in his career and lost to Profiteer (one of my HTW) at Saratoga in the last.  This one has a win and a third in 3 tries at the distance and has never missed the board at CD grass. Gets his favorite rider back up today. Zapperini (3) had a tough trip in his last out at Kentucky Downs. Should be ready for this spot today, with a cleaner trip. I bet the 7 to win/place/show and then key the 7 over/under all the rest.

9th: 10-5-7-6-3…I really like Dreamcall (10) in this spot today. Returns to the dirt after a solid effort on the grass at Kentucky Downs, but this one much prefers the surface today.  Gets her third different rider in the last three starts, but this closer has hit the board in 3 of 4 tries at this distance and this jock knows how to finish a race. If she gets a clean run in the stretch, she could be tough. Holiday Music (5) picks up Lanerie and gets back to the dirt for a trainer that does well with the surface switch (.20%). Has faced some good ones, of late, and has never missed the board. Song of Spring (7) goes for trainer Neil Howard and hasn’t been out since May.  But this closer should love the extra distance in this one and is capable. I bet the 10 to win/place/show and box the top two picks solidly.  I then key the 10-5 over/under the rest of the numbers.

10th: 11-1-6-9-2-8-5…Don’t be mislead by all the numbers listed. I’m all in with Souper Smart (11) in this one today.  He was beaten at Kentucky Downs in his career debut, but gets to the dirt and gets Lanerie in this one today.  Should love the correction on both accounts. If this one breaks well and can clear over to save ground, I think he could be very tough today.  My Best Bet of the Day. Bar none. I bet the 11 to win/place solidly and then key over/under all the rest in the exactas.

Good luck &

All the Best/Gene