McLean’s Selections for Churchill Downs on Friday, Nov. 1

Day Results10-5-4-3
2019 Overall 1,2101,210/422-433-547
Win % of Top Pick34.88%
Payoff % of Top 3 Picks Overall38.62%
2019 Top Pick in the Money –795 of 1,21065.70%
Top Selection ITM / CD Nov 19-3161.29%
Top Selection Win / CD Nov 12-3138.71%
“Key Horses” @ CD Nov 7/4-1-057.14%
“Key Horses” in 2019 196-76-38-2238.78%

What a wonderful, wonderful day at the ole’ ball yard on Thursday. Wonderful friends came to the races. Wonderful times were had at the races. Wonderful memories were made at the races.

We won 5 of the 10 races. Had 4 winners in a row, at one time.

But the biggest thrill came in Race #5, when our homebred filly — Miss Jacqueline — gave us all a thrill of a lifetime. She won. By 51/4 lengths. And, we ran right along side her and jockey Julien Leparoux the final 1/16th of a mile.

Smiles galore. Wonderful day.

Here’s hoping that we can keep it rolling on Friday. Churchill Downs has a full card. Please see our picks below — with abbreviated comments. I hope you understand. Also, on the site, are our picks for today’s version of the Breeders’ Cup — the 2YO Stakes. With full comments.

We hope you enjoy it all.

We are still riding a high.

Here’s a closer look at today’s races at Churchill Downs, with abbreviated comments:

Race 1: 6-4-5/3-2-7…C Islandsurprise (6) goes for a barn operator that hits with .30% of those returning as a beaten favorite. Has a 1-1-2 mark in 9 starts this year, but does have a 5-2-4 record here. Does NOT prefer the “off track,” though, and that makes this 7YO mare suspect. Spearette (4) won the last time out at KEE over a “good” track. In 6 starts over an off track, she is 3-1-0. My pick. I bet the 4 to win/place/show and then box the top 3 numbers in the exacta. I will key the 4 over/under all the others listed in two smaller versions.

Race 2: 2/3-4-6/7…My first Key Play of the Day comes right here with Lady Jenneviere (2). Ran very well over the grass in the last two, and now moves back to the dirt. Barn hits with .31% of those returning as a beaten favorite, and with .25% of those moving from grass to the main track. Has a super mud mark on the sire side, and gets a top rider who is due. Adds up for me. I bet the 2 to win/place and then key the 2 over/under the numbers listed in the exacta.

Race 3: 11-(14)/7-1-(15)/2-5-12…If the AE List #14 does not draw into the race, I go with another single here with Street Dazzle (11). Drops from the $30,000 tag to half that today. Has solid mud marks in the pedigree. Barn hits with .28% of those getting this kind of class drop, and she figures to be pinned today by another barn operation. If Girls Got Track (14) gets in, I have to use. Claimed last time out at Del Mar, and has trained OK for the new barn operator, who knows where the winner’s circle is located. I bet the 11 to win/place/show and then key the 11 over/under the numbers listed in the exacta.

Race 4: 8-1-7/9/5-6…Socata (8) nearly won at this same level last time out, for a low-percentage trainer. But a top rider — who has never been better than he is right now — resides in the saddle. Like the work since the race and figures to be a handful in this one. Will be coming late. Dreaming Diamonds (1) edged our top choice last time out, but got the jump on him in that one. Now, must stretch out a 1/2-furlong more. Look for a role reversal in here. I bet the 8 to win/place/show and then key the 8 over/under the numbers listed in the exacta.

Race 5: 6-9-5/10-8-12/11-4-7-1…Celtic Mischief (6) drops into the claiming ranks for the first time today, and the barn hits with .25% of those doing that. Has flashed speed before, but had the misfortune of facing Breeders’ Futurity winner Maxfield in the opener. Gets a to of class relief here for a horse that cost $450,000 to purchase. Look for this son of Into Mischief to get nabbed. Five Card Draw (9) is another class dropper and gets a huge, huge rider switch for this one. Barn hits with .27% when dropped into the MCL ranks for the first time. Look for improvement here. I bet the 6-9 across the board and then box the top 3 numbers in the exacta.

Race 6: 8-4-(15)/1-10-2-9-5/(13)(12)(11)/6-7-3…Don’t know if this one will stay on the grass or not. Doubt it. But either way, I will go with Believeinholidays (8), who is another from the barn of Brad Cox. This one has run two good ones in a row over the sod. Solid if it stays green today. Before that, ran well here over the dirt. Solid if it moves to main track. And, this one has a win and 2 seconds in 3 tries over the “off track.” Solid there. I bet the 8 to win/place/show and then key the 8 over/under the rest of the numbers.

Race 7: 9-4-(15)/3-1-2/5-7…Wicked Smart (9) comes form the barn of my good friend Tom Amoss. Showed speed before tiring in the debut. Gets a rider switch and the barn hits with .21% making the second career start. This one cost $425,000 to buy at a 2YO Sale earlier this year. Expect more today. I bet the 9 to win/place/show and then box the top 3 numbers in the exacta. I will key the 9-4 over/under the rest in two smaller versions.

Race 8: 4-8/9/5-2-1/7-6…Crosswalk (4) was once considered to be entered in a Graded Stakes event, and now falls into the claiming ranks for the first time. Great connections here, and this one should relish the class relief. Relish it. I look for a huge performance here, and a claim, too. Son of City Zip may have some zip left. I bet the 4 to win/place/show and then box the 4-8-9 in the exacta. I key the 4 over/under the numbers in two smaller versions.

Race 9: 2-5-7/1/3-8…Dream Supreme Stakes…What a race this has turned out to be. Nearly a BC Filly & Mare Sprint, JR. I go with Divine Queen (2) if the tracks stays muddy. She is a monster on an off track. Monster. Meadow Dance is rapidly improving and has the speed it takes to dominate one like this. Mia Mischief (7) is a G1 winner over this track. The 61/2 furlongs is a stretch for her, and she may not be as good as she was earlier this year. But dangerous here. Very, very dangerous. I bet the 2-7 across the board and then box the top 3 in one exacta. I will key the 2-7 over/under the 5-1-3-8 in two smaller versions.

Race 10: 8-9/1-5-(15)/3-2-6-4/10…Don’t know if this one stays on the sod, either, but I will go with I Can Do Anything (8). Throw out the last one, when she was fractious at the gate and banged through it before the start. That is a disaster and few horses ever overcome that scenario. Races before are very good. I see a return today. I bet the 8 to win/place/show and then box the 8-9 in on exacta. I will key the 8-9 over/under the rest of the numbers in two smaller versions.

Good Luck & All the Best/Gene

The horse broke well today,” Gaffalione said. “I had the horse inside, Dunph, going to the lead and then (Gun It) showed a little bit of speed. When I saw they were intent on going I just tried to get him back and got him to relax. He came back to me nicely and settled well down the backside. Got a little keen going into the far turn and wanted to move a little early. But I didn’t want to take too much away from him so I tried to sit as long as I could. He was waiting on horses down the lane but I kept him at task and there was plenty of horse there.”

“Mark (Casse, the trainer) and his team have done a great job,” Gaffalione said. “They’ve had a ton of confidence in this horse the whole way. It’s just an honor to be able to ride the horse. He’s just so professional, trains great and he’s a pleasure to be around.”

Tyler Gaffalione, Rode of War of Will to victory in the G2 Risen Star Stakes at the Fair Grounds
  • Gene McLean

    Gene McLean

    Gene McLean began his professional career in 1977 as a sportswriter and columnist for the Lexington Herald-Leader in Lexington, Ky., and was recognized as one of the state’s best writers, winning the prestigious “Sportswriter of the Year” honor in 1985. Now the President and Publisher of The Pressbox, McLean sets ...

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