Day Results 10 / 3-4-4
2020 Overall 534 534 / 191-175-211
Win % of Top Pick 35.77%
Payoff % of Top 3 Picks Overall 36.02%
2020 Top Pick in the Money –342-534 64.04%
Top Selection ITM / CD Spring-Summer: 29-42 69.05%
Top Selection Win / CD Spring-Summer: 15-42 35.71%
“Key Horses” @ CD Spring-Summer: 1-1-0-0 100.00% Win / 100.00% ITM
“Key Horses” in 2020 73-23-17-10 31.51% Win / 68.49% ITM

Another modest, ho-hum, rather unproductive day at the wagering counter for Churchill Downs’ 10 race-card on Friday.

Did managed to score 5 exactas on the day and that helped ease a few pains.

But looking for the end of the rainbow today. Take an umbrella with you to the handicapping picnic. Don’t want you to get your picks or your computer wet.

Here’s are looks:

1st: 9/(15)-3-10-12/(13)-2-4-6/11-1-7…The first Key Play of the Day comes in the very first race. I jump on and all over Golden Notion (9), who comes from the barn of Brad Cox. Drops from the MSW to the MCL ranks for the first time. Barn hits with .26% of those. Returns as a beaten favorite. Barn hits with .25% of those. And, this one makes the third start off a layup — which the barn wins with at a .30% clip. Adds up for me, and the rider? Has won with .67% of the 3 races for this barn. Wow. I bet the 9 to win/place and then key the 9 over/under the “all button.”

2nd: 4-6-2/1-7/10-9-3/5-8…Charlie’sarchangel (4) comes from a top barn operation and returns as a beaten favorite. Trainer hits with .29% of these kind. Gets a rider who has experience with this one before. Should stalk and pounce when the running turns serious. I like. Slick Silver (6) goes for a trainer who has won with .44% of the first 9 starters this year. Off to a great start. Has speed to burn. May burn up, too. Tez (2) is a former pupil of Tom Amoss and has now found his way to the barn of Brad Cox. New trainer hits with .30% on the first try after a claim. Was very impressive in winning last time out, but loses that condition. I bet the 4 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the 4 over/under the “all button” in here, too.

3rd: 10-(14)-(15)-2/9-8-7-5/12-4-3-1/11-(16)…Verb (10) has raced 6 times. Has a second and 5 thirds. Wow. Like the cutback in distance here and this one has faced some good ones in the past failures, too. Should make the lead and speed is always dangerous. If the 14-15 draw in, they rate a shot. If not, I will give a nod, too, to my first Upset Special of the Day — Wartime Hero (2). This is a first time starter and the dam has a winner from one starter to date. This one cost $300,000 as a yearling and has trained very well for the debut. I love this one’s chances, too. I bet the 10-2 across the board and then box the top 3 numbers in one exacta. I will key the 10-2 over/under all the numbers listed, too, in two smaller units.

4th: 9-1-6/(14)-12-11-(13)/7-(15)-10-4…Altaf (9) should convert over to the dirt nicely for this effort. Comes from the barn of Chad Brown, who wins with .29% of those making the 2nd career start. Has trained well since the first race back in April over the grass at GP. Came with a late run after a poor start from the rail in that one. Look for a huge effort here. I bet the 9 to win/place/show and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the 9 over/under the “all button” in two smaller units.

5th: 7-3-9/8/6-12-10-5/1-(15)-4…The first grass event of the day and I will go with A Thread of Blue (7). This 4YO son of Hard Spun will shorten up in distance and drops in class, too. The barn gets this one for the first time and wins with .27% of those. Look for this one to flash some speed and try to carry them from gate to wire. Caribou Club (3) is trained by my great friend, Tom Proctor. I will be rooting for him in this spot. And, he has a huge chance. The 6YO City Zip gelding has never run over this course before, but has a 9-3-4 record in 24 lifetime starts and should be coming late. Needs a path. If he gets it? Watch out. Mr. Misunderstood (9) is a master of this course. Has raced here 6 times. Has 5 wins and a third. Didn’t really care for the Jan. 18 race. I don’t think the trainer did either. Gave him some time after that. But has come back to train well. If he is 100% fit? Loves it here. I bet the 7-3 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the top 3 over/under the 8-6 in two smaller versions.

6th: 3-4-2/5-10-6-1/9-8-7…Picasso (3) just broke the maiden last time out for the Team Asmussen barn and looked like the kind that could be on her way to an outstanding year, too. Power performance down at the Fair Grounds. Training good here for the first time against winners effort and the barn hits with .21% of those. Look for this one to be a tough out if she can break well and get to near the front early on. Get the Prize (4) is a 4YO who has raced only 5 times in the career. Has a win and ran a solid second to a good one in Night Ops here last June. But has been off since June. May need a race, although this barn is known for getting them ready to fire. High Crime (2) moves from the turf back to the dirt. Could help. Ran 4th to Call Paul in the G3 Swale Stakes last year. Has talent. I bet the 3 to win/place/show and then box the top 3 in one exacta. I will key the 3-4 over/under the 2-5-10-6-1-9 in two smaller versions. A spread race for me in the horizontals.

7th: 4-8/1-5-6/2-3-7…Shawnee Stakes…Dunbar Road (4) is coming off a layup after disappointing in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff at Santa Anita last November. But I don’t think she liked that racetrack that day. At all. And, she should have won the race before in the G1 Spinster Stakes. Tough, tough trip down on the rail. Training well for 2020 debut. She is a good one. Maybe, even, a great one. I bet the 4 to win/place and then key the 4 over/under the “all button” in the exactas.

8th: 3-2-9/7-14/12-4-8/6-5-13/10-11…Tepin Stakes…I will go with my Upset Special of the Day right here and with Walk In Marrakesh (3). This one is 10-1 in the ML and I think will drift up the odds ladder by PT. I like her, too. She was compromised mightily in the last out when steadied in the second turn. Cost her all chance. All chance. Gets a rider switch here and that should help. If she can get a clear run at the leaders? Watch out late. She will come and she loves a yielding track, too. Love this one. Abscond (2) is another price horse that I love here, too. She is 8-1 in the ML. Could add up to a whopping exacta price payoff. This one has raced 6 times with a 2-2-1 record. Has a win over our top pick, too. Sharing (9) is the defending Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf champ. Has won 3 in a row. Easy and impressive in each. But one Breeders’ Cup Turf champ has already lost here this meet. Could be another. She faces a tough field here. I bet the 3-2 across the board and then box the top 3 numbers in the exacta. I will key the top 3 over/under the 7-14 in two smaller units. I will also key the 3-2 over/under the 9-7-14-12-4-8 in two smaller units, again.

9th: 13-8-3/14-7-1/10-5-9/4-6-11-2…Blame Stakes…What a super race this shapes up on paper. And, it could be a dandy on dirt, too. I go with one of my favorite horses, Mr. Money (13). This guy hated the dirt at Santa Anita in the Breeders’ Cup and really lost all chance on the wet-fast dirt at Oaklawn Park in the Oaklawn Mile last time out, too. Never handled it. Never looked comfortable. Has come home to work nice and he loves this track. Loves it. Has won 3 of 4 here. I think he gets back on track with a return to “his” track. I go big here. Owendale (8) is very classy and has a win at this distance, although I think he would prefer a little more ground under his feet. Run in the Clark Handicap last November may have been one of the best runs of his life. Caught a super horse in that one. Can’t dismiss here. Global Campaign (3) was impressive in the 2020 debut at GP. Has faced some good ones in the past. Will face some good ones today, too. Son of Curlin should be in a good stalking spot headed for home. Is he good enough? I bet the 13 to win/place/show. And, I go rather stern. I box the top 3 in the exacta. And, I key the 13-8 over/under the 3-14-7-1-10-5-9 in two smaller versions. May add another dose of 13-8, in another exacta box, just for good measure.

10th: 11-10-12/6-2/9-7-8-1…G3 Matt Winn Stakes…I’m going with the upset here in this spot and stick like glue to Attachment Rate (11). It’s not that I don’t like the heavy favorite and undefeated Maxfield (10). How can you not like that 3YO son of Street Sense. Perfect so far. But…The Dale Romans’ horse has been running very well and the race last time out was spot on against a real good winner from the Todd Pletcher barn. Keep an eye on that one, too. But I think the rider switch here is spot on. I love the way he covered ground over a wet track. And, I think he may have the conditioning edge. My solid pick at a square price. Maxfield has been working great for the 2020 debut. Much anticipated debut. Many thought this was the best 2YO in the land a year ago. Injury sidelined him after the Breeders’ Futurity. But looks fully recovered. Will come with a late run. And, has the class to be a super kind. Major Fed (12) has been touted this Spring, too. Did not have the best of trips in the G2 Louisiana Derby. Shuffled to last early on. Not where this one wants to be. At all. Look for a better stalking spot with a better start today and look out. Will be tested here. But could be up for it. I bet the 11 to win/place/show and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will box the 11-10 in another one, too. Strong. Stronger for me than I bet most.

11th: 6-13-12/9-5/1-8-3-10/11-2-7-4-14…War Chant Stakes…The last of the 5 Stakes races carded today, and what a job done by the Racing Secretary’s office. Wow. What a card. Again, I look for wins and experience on a soft or yielding track. No matter if there is rain today in Louisville, this ground has to have some give to it and has to be a bit loose. As such, I will go with Hieronymus (6) on top. This 3YO Godolphin — named after my great friend, G.D. — has experience at both winning and over a soft ground. Has won 3 in a row and 4 of 5 lifetime. Only loss came over a yielding track here. But he came right back to win over a yielding course at the Fair Grounds the next time out. Has speed and could control his own destiny, too. I like this spot. Billy Batts (13) does not have any experience over a wet track and that does give me pause. But, he has faced the toughest competition of the group. Love the 2nd to Structor in the Breeders’ Cup. Can run short. Can run longer. Versatile sort and love the work on May 11. Classy. Pixelate (12) is the “other” Godolphin horse in this spot. Love the 2nd to our top pick last time out. Has won over a yielding track, too. Gets a huge rider switch here. Could be a force in the late going. I bet the 6 to win/place/show and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the 6-12 over/under the 13-9-5-1-8-3-10 in two smaller versions.

Good Luck & All the Best / Gene