Day Results 19/ 4-5-5
2020 Overall 1220 1220 / 434-406-505
Win % of Top Pick 35.58%
Payoff % of Top 3 Picks Overall 36.75%
2020 Top Pick in the Money –792-1,220 64.92%
Top Selection ITM / CD 73-104 70.19%
Top Selections Win / CD 38-104 36.54%
“Key Horses” @ CD 15-3-5-3 20.00% Win / 66.67% ITM
“Key Horses” in 2020 166-54-39-24 32.53% Win / 70.48% ITM

(Leigh Ann, the true rose, in-between Marc Wilson and David Smyth)

First of all, let me start off by writing a very special “Happy Birthday” greeting to my lovely wife — Leigh Ann.

She is our rock.

She is our roll.

She is the tie that binds.

And, she is the bind that holds us together.

She makes sure of everything.

Literally.

Every. Little. Thing.

She makes us sure that everything is going to be OK, too.

Seriously.

Every. Daggum. Thing.

She is the first in the car when it is time to go to the racetrack.

She is the last in the car when it may be time to leave.

She is our rock.

She is our roll.

And, although we don’t tell her enough how much we love and appreciate her?

We do.

More than she will ever know from two knuckleheads that call her mom and “babe.”

Happy birthday, my lovely bride. Hope you have a great day.

Speaking of great days…

We are back for the final week of the Churchill Downs’ eventual and historic September race meeting.

For the first time in history, we saw the Kentucky Derby held on the “First Saturday in September.” And, what a great race it turned out to be. Again. Authentic, in every way. And? Fitting of any and all previous runnings of the world’s most prestigious Thoroughbred race.

For the first time, we saw Churchill Downs race over the Labor Day weekend — thanks be to the Kentucky Racing Commission and the fine folks at Ellis Park — and that enabled the 146th running of the Kentucky Derby. Fitting for any festive occasion, despite the rumbles and the tiny mouse roars of the few over the objections of the vast and the many.

For the second time — unfortunately — Churchill Downs held a race meeting without any fans in the stands. To be honest, thanks be to the fine folks at Churchill for putting the meet on. But, truthfully?

It is not racing as it was meant to be.

In fact, it is sickening and depressing.

And, here’s hoping that the Governor of this fine Commonwealth grows up and grows a set by allowing our fans to do exactly the same thing that football / soccer / very amateur baseball fans are currently doing. Go to the event. In person.

If the University of Louisville can put 18,000 people in the stadium for a football game less than a block away on the very same day? If the Louisville Football Club can put fans in that pretty, little stadium downtown? If you can go to a Little League baseball game and pretend to “coach” first base? Then it is time that we can put our fans back in our stands at Churchill Downs, Keeneland, Turfway Park, Ellis Park, Kentucky Downs to help promote the only professional sport that this state has to offer.

It is time our sport takes our sport back over. Now.

It is time our fans go back to the racetrack. Now.

It is time for our horses and our people return to our game. Now.

No matter what say you, Andy. We can take care of ourselves, just fine, thank you. We don’t need you to tell us how to live our lives any more. Thanks, any way. But we have this. We will take this back.

Pause.

(Editor’s Note: Those last few sentences may have bled into editorial license and opinion. Sorry. But, then again, my picks are my opinions, too. Right?)

Back to our regular programming.

So, we begin the final week before we kick the can down the road to Keeneland, which is scheduled to host its’ regular October race meeting without fans in the stands, as well. Then, again, you know how I feel about that subject.

And, here’s our picks for the Wednesday card. Take a look:

1st: 7-4-6/2-1-5/3…Tootsie (7) drops all the way from the $30,000 tag to the $10,000 level today. Barn hits with a whopping .27% when falling this far in the rungs all at once. Moves from the turf to the dirt, too, and the barn wins with .20% of those kind. This is one of those kind. And, a rider who pushed this one to a 2nd place finish at GP back in January gets the mount again today. Watch out here. Looks primed off the last work on Sept. 11. Touch Blue (4) drops down the class order here, as well. And, this one moves from the turf back to the dirt, too. Barn wins with .22% of those kind and .23% with those making the 3rd start off a layup. This is one of those kind. Gets a rider back who nearly won with this one last time out. Big chance. Delachaise (6) will make the 2nd start for a HOF trainer after being claimed here back in June. IN 5 starts here, has only 1 third, but the work at Ellis Park on Sept. 5 was very nice. Chance. I bet the 7-4 across the board and then box the top 3 numbers in the exacta. I will key the 7-4 over/under the 6-2-1-5-3 in two smaller units.

2nd: 6/5-3-4-2/1-7…The first Key Play of the Day comes here with Fast Cash (6). The 3YO son of Malibu Moon drops farther down the claiming ranks looking for the first career win. Has a second and two thirds in the first 5 trips. Has hit the board in each of the last 3 when inched into the MCL ranks. Has burned some money along the way as the PT favorite, but the barn wins with .27% of those returning as a beaten favorite. This is one of those kind. I bet the 6 to win/place and then key the 6 over/under all the numbers listed in the exactas.

3rd: 6-3/4-5-2-1-7…Street to Indy (6) is my second straight Key Play of the Day and the 2nd straight #6 to garner my support. This 7YO gelded son of Street Sense has raced here 3 times in the career. Has 2 seconds. Both of those came against tougher company. Barn is winning with .22% of 929 starters this year and the trainer’s go-to rider takes the reins again. Looks well-spotted for this one. I bet the 6 to win/place and then box the 6-3 solidly in one exacta. I will key the 6-3 over/under the rest of the numbers in two smaller units.

4th: 8-4/5-1-6-3/7…Southern Will (8) ran OK on debut, finishing 4th while tiring at the end of a 6.5-furlong trip. Now, the barn drops this one to half the price tag. If the 2YO son of Twirling Candy runs anything close to the same race as he did in the inaugural run? Should be salty here. Passageway (4) drops from a MSW at Belterra to the MCL level of $15,000 here. Sounds about right, in terms of similar competition. Ran well in that last effort. Goes for a barn that is winning at a solid .15% rate in 245 starts this year. Work on Sept. 17 was good enough. I bet the 8-4 across the board and then box those two solidly in one exacta. I will key the 8-4 over/under the rest of the numbers listed in two smaller units.

5th: 7-9/1-3-5/2-8/4-6…Pick Up the One (7) is a solid choice in this spot. the 3YO daughter of Overanalyze comes from a barn that has won a lot of races this year and comes into this one fresh off a claim. Barn wins with .25% on the first try after a purchase and with .28% of those returning to the ring as a beaten favorite. Has speed. Has tactical speed. Can either go or stalk. Can hit the board, too, as she has done in 8 of 12 starts in the career, to date. Duplicitous (9) ran a good one here back in June. In 3 starts over this track, the 3YO daughter of Twirling Candy has a win and a third. Gets a top rider back in the irons, and he won with her just three races ago. Trainer and rider have teamed up to go 3-2-2 in the last 8 starts. Wow. I bet the 7-9 across the board and then box those two solidly in one exacta. I will key the 7-9 over the rest of the numbers listed. Over. Only.

6th: 5-6/1-7-4/2-3…This is a MSW event for the 2YO fillies and I will saddle up with Wild Combo (5), a daughter of Into Mischief who cost $360,000 to purchase at the 2018 KEE November Sale. As a weanling. Wow price. Has worked very well for the debut and the sire wins with .16% of those making the career debut. Look out here. Could be any kind. Mariah’s Princess (6) is another first time starter from a top line sire and is working lights out, too. This daughter of Ghostzapper just breezed 5 furlongs in 1:00 flat to turn in the bullet move of the day on Sept. 17. Connections spent $350,000 on this one at the KEE September Yearling Sale just a year ago. This outfit likes to bet their own when they think they are sitting on something special. Watch the tote board for a hint here. My guess is they think they have something special. I bet the 5-6 across the board and then box those 2 in the exacta. I will key the 5-6 over/under the rest of the numbers listed in two smaller units.

7th: 5-2-1/9-4-7/3…Looking At Liberty (5) drops into the claiming ranks for just the second time. Last time he found this company? Nearly broke the maiden in the career debut here back in May. In two starts over this track? Has 2 seconds. Looks ready to pop a picture again. First Rate (2) has been racing at Saratoga, and doing OK at it, too. In the last three starts, this one has a second; a third; and a fourth at “The Spa.” Now, the 3YO gelded son of Honor Code will drop back into the claiming ranks. Should appreciate the class relief and gets a top rider to boot. Bingo. Street Class (1) gores for one of the best trainers around, and the barn has won with .20% of 147 starters this year. Drops into the claiming ranks for the first time today. Barn wins with .15% off those. Goes from a sprint to a route, too, and the trainer wins with .20% of those. First time rider is known to be a bit aggressive in the saddle. This one may need a bit of that. I bet the 5-2 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the 5-2 over/under the 1-9-4-7-3 in two smaller units.

8th: 6-4/3-2-1-7/8-5…Set Piece (6) is my top piece in today’s featured event of the day. The 4YO son of Dansili comes in off a better-than-looks 6th at Saratoga on July 18. Go back and watch the replay of this one. Wow. This one was checked sharply at the 7/8ths pole and nearly was tossed to the turf. Get a top rider who won on this one’s back here on June 12. Work on Sept. 16 was spot on. My third Key Play of the Day. I bet the 6 to win/place/show and then box the 6-4 solidly in one exacta. I will key the 6 over/under all the numbers listed in two smaller units.

9th: 2-7-9/8-3-6/4-5…Nomo Ron (2) will drop to the near bargain-bin level of $8,000 claiming today for a barn that has had a solid year — winning at a .13% clip. Comes off two turf tries at Arlington Park. Barn wins with .19% when changing surfaces, and with .19% in the claiming game. Has a win and a third in two previous runs over this track. And, in 17 lifetime tries over a fast dirt track? This one owns a 5-5-1 mark. Nice. Malpais (7) won at this same level here on Sept. 1. Galloped off to capture that one by 3 lengths. Not a challenge. Returns here at a distance where he has never won in two tries. Barn does win with .31% when trying to repeat trips to the winner’s circle in the claiming ranks. Interesting. Stay Home (9) could spice up the odds rack a bit here, too. This one has 2 wins and a second in 11 previous tries over this track but is 3-2-1 in 9 attempts at this distance. Love the rider choice. A must-use for me and my first Upset Special of the DayI bet the 2-9 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the top 3 over/under the 8-3 in two smaller units.

Good Luck & All the Best / Gene