Day Results 10/3-5-3
2019 Overall 1,364 1,364/476-495-612
Win % of Top Pick 34.90%
Payoff % of Top 3 Picks Overall 38.69%
2019 Top Pick in the Money –897 of 1,364 65.76%
Top Selection ITM / CD Nov 114-173 65.90%
Top Selection Win / CD Nov 61-173 35.26%
“Key Horses” @ CD Nov 21/9-5-0 42.86%
“Key Horses” in 2019 210-81-42-22 38.57%

It was certainly an interesting Thursday at Churchill Downs. We had some really good winners, but we rushed the Pick 5 and missed out on the first leg. Ugh. So, we were playing ahead, and, then? All of a sudden? Ugh.

We finished up the day, OK, though, with a couple of winners coming home. Could have been a joyous day. But, at the least, it was a joy one. Did manage exactas that returned $7.40, $20.70, $8.40, $21.00, $30.00, $23.10, $18.20 and $80.30 for each $1 played. That’s 8 winners out of the 10 races. Should have made some money there, don’t you think?

Here’s a look at the Friday card. We are handicapping as if all the grass races will be moved to the main track, what with the steady mist we Louisvillians encountered on Thursday and throughout the night:

1st: 3-4-5/1/2…Fancy Fox (3) is the ML favorite for trainer W. Bret Calhoun, one of the most talented and likable guys on the backside. The man knows how to train a racehorse. Just saying. This one drops another level today on the ship in from Remington Park, and converts back to the main track, too. Barn hits with .22% of those that return as a beaten favorite, and with .19% of those getting this surface switch. This one will be running late, and will need a little luck in the last 1/8th. Kojo’s Queen (4) goes for a Lexington-based trainer who is having one heckuva race meet here. Has 4 starters so far. Three wins and a second. They nabbed nice trip to the circle on Wednesday. This one ran off to win by nearly 9 last time out at Belterra. Julie Burke has won with .38% of the last 8 rides for this barn, too. I can’t leave out. Blue Sky in Dixie (5) gets a serious class drop for a young trainer, who is just getting his tack wet. Has a win in two previous runs here, and has 2 wins in 5 tries at this distance. Gets a new rider and that could pay immediate dividends. I bet the 3-5 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the 3-5 over/under the others listed in two smaller versions.

2nd: 3-4/1-5-2/6…Sevier (3) gets the slight nod in a very well-balanced race. This 5YO gelded son of Union Rags comes in off a huge win last time out. Moves up in class today, but deserves this shot against better, for sure. The barn has won with .22% of the 345 starters this year, and has a win at this meet in just 4 starts. In 9 career starts here, Sevier has a mark of 3-1-0 and has 3 wins and 2 seconds in 12 starts at this distance. Can hold his own on an off-track, too, with 3 wins in 9 starts. Adds up for me. Barn hits with .25% of those that won the last race. Crosswalk (4) was just sold at the KEE November Breeding Stock Sale a few days ago. Brought $50,000 at the hammer time. Now, this one is entered for the same price tag. Has never run in a claiming event before, and should relish the drop in class. This barn knows how to find the winer’s circle. Wins with .24% of those making the first start in the new barn. Wins with .30% of those dropping into the claiming ranks for the first time. Wins with .27% of those going from a route to a sprint. I bet the 3-4 across the board and then box those 2 in the exacta. I will key the 3-4 over/under the 1-5-2-6…

3rd: 4-6/7-3-5/1-2…Blunt Force (4) will make his first start for a new barn, who claimed this one last time out. New connections win with .27% of those making the barn debut. Barn has been hot of late, too, with 4 wins and a second in the last 10 starts. Rider choice is interesting. New jockey has a win in two starts for this operation. Ready Orb Not (6) returns as a beaten favorite from the last time out here on Oct. 31. Ran a fast-closing second at odds-on over the slop. Barn hits with .32% of those returning as a beaten fav, and with .25% of those making the third start off a layup. Gets the meet’s top rider back in the irons, again. I bet the 4-6 across the board and then box those 2 in the exacta. I will key the 4-6 over/under the rest of the numbers in two smaller versions.

4th: 6-8/5/2-1-7/4-3…Nicely Nicely (6) will get a huge drop in class for this one, and the barn will also add the blinkers for the first time. This 2YO son of Lemon Drop Kid has not run since finishing 7th over the grass here on Sept. 29. Before that, broke the maiden over the all-weather at Arlington Park. Will make the debut over a main track surface. Gets a good rider switch, and has speed to run them off their feet early on. Carpe Noctem (8) goes for a barn operation that has a 1-2-2 mark in 6 starts here this meet. Has been right there in each of the last 3 races and nearly won on the ship East last time out on Nov. 6. Wheels right back in two weeks time, and gets a new rider up. Could be a tough out with the speed he has, too. I bet the 6-8 across the board and then box those 2 in the exacta. I will key the 6-8 over/under the rest of the numbers in two smaller versions.

5th: 3/7-2/8-4-5…The first Key Play of the Day comes right here with Karate Hottie (3). This 3YO Bold Warrior filly has hit the board in each of the last 6 tries after being fitted with blinkers for the first time. Different equipment. Different horse. Claimed last time out for the $20,000 and the new barn hits with .27% of those racing for the new connections for the first time. New rider gets the assignment, too. Get this, though. The barn hits with .41% of those that drop in class off the claim. Wow number. I bet the 3 to win/place and then key the 3 over/under the numbers listed in the exactas.

6th: 1-9/6-2/10-7…This is scheduled for the grass, and intended to be contested at the distance of 11/16-miles. However, with all the rain we received on Thursday and is in the forecast for Friday, I am handicapping this race as if it will be shifted to the main track. If so, I will give the edge to Kurilov (1). This 6YO son of Lookin At Lucky has run over an off-track twice before, with a win and a third. Was second here over a fast main track last time out on Nov. 2. Gets a top rider to take the reins today, and should flash plenty of early speed from the rail spot. Have to catch if he gets a clean break. Altito (9) is another experienced over an off-track. This 5YO gelded son of Bernardini has 2 wins and 2 thirds in 6 previous runs over the wet going. Was an easy winner here on Nov. 3. Gets a top rider back in the irons. Move up in class should not present an issue. Love this one coming from behind. I bet the 1-9 across the board and then box those two in the exacta. I will key the 1-9 over/under the rest of the numbers listed in two smaller versions.

7th: 4/8-3-1-10-6/9-2…The second Key Play of the Day comes here with New Frontier (4). This 3YO son of Speightstown gets a huge mud mark in the pedigree and he has 3 thirds in 5 tries over the off going, to date. Does not have a win on the board, as of yet, but does have 6 thirds. Needs to pick it up today, but gets the addition of blinkers for the first time. Barn hits with .20% of those adding the shades. In addition, the barn hits with .27% of those dropping into the claiming ranks for the first time. Interesting rider choice for this barn. But I love the way he is acting in the a.m. coming in. May be his time. I bet the 4 to win/place/show and then key the 4 over/under the rest of the numbers in the exactas.

8th: 2-(14)-5/4-1-11/10-7-9-3…Tempers Rising (2) is a concept that I am familiar with, especially when I spent most of my days in the state’s Capitol city and building. But this 2YO daughter of Bayern could raise the roof and the spirits of her owners today. To date, she has raced 4 times. Has 3 seconds and a third on the resume. Lost all chance in the last start, when she was favored. Steadied into the first turn and then checked rather rudely and harshly at the 7/16th pole, to boot. Still, she managed to run 2nd. With a little better luck today, Tempers Rising may be on the move and the loose. I saddle up. New Day Dawning (5) is another coming in off a good performance. Ran a nice second, while tiring at the end, in her last last at KEE on Oct. 18. That was over the sod, and she moves back to the dirt today. Dam of this one was a Stakes winner and has produced .50% winners at the 2YO age group. The morning works have been off the charts, too. Look for this one to run a huge one in this spot, with a new rider in the irons. I bet the 2-5 across the board and then box those two sternly in the exactas. I key the 2-5 over (only) the rest of the numbers — with more over the 4-1-11.

9th: 7-6-1/9-8-5-2/(14)-4-(11)-3…This one is originally schedule for the sod, too, but I am handicapping it as if it will be shifted over to the main track. If so, this is how I go: Miss Bigly (7) comes in with a win and a third in two previous runs over an off-track. Last time out she was a stalking third here on Oct. 30, and that was over the slop. Time before, she won by 10 over a muddy track at Indy Grand. Gets a new rider up today, and the barn hits with .22% of those returning as a beaten favorite. Look for more out of this one today. High Road (6) will get the saddle from Rusty Arnold. He has only 1 win in 18 tries this meet, but is due. This one broke the maiden over the mud at Indy Grand last time out, and now must face winners for the first time. But the mud marks are strong in the pedigree and the results on the track are promising. Gets a new rider up today, too. He has hit with .25% for this barn in the last 60 days. Equal Measure (1) has a second in her only previous try over an off track. Has been running of late over the grass. Gets a hot jockey in the saddle, and the barn should could use a good report. I bet the 7 to win/place/show and then key the 7 over/under the 6-1-9-8-5-2 in the exactas.

10th: 11-9-5/12/10-7-3/8…The last race of the day is a $50,000 MCL event for the 2YOs, and I will go to the far outside for my top two selections — led by Tap Attack (11). This one has the speed to build a lead early on, with a clean break, and, in all likelihood, will be claimed out of this one no matter what he does or where he finishes. The 2YO colt is by Candy Ride (who loved an off-track) and out of a Stakes-placed mare. Has never been off the board in the first three career starts — all at Remington Park. Ships in for a HOF trainer and top shelf ownership team. Be interesting to see how this one does with the move up to the big leagues. Sky Ride (9) is another son of Candy Ride and is coming off a huge 2nd place finish at KEE on Oct. 16. Moves up in class for this one off that strong performance, where he was claimed by the new connections. New trainer is top notch and hits with .11% of those making the first start for the new barn operation. Dam of this one was a SW, too. I bet the 11-9 across the board and then box the top 3 numbers in the exacta. I will key the 11-9 over/under the 5-12-10-7-3 in two smaller versions.

Good Luck & All the Best /Gene