Day Results 9-1-4-4
Churchill 149-49-47-72
Top Pick Win % 32.80%
Top Pick ITM % 89-140 63.60%
Top 3 Picks ITM % 37.60%
2018 Overall 725 Races 267-275-309
Win % of Top Pick 36.80%

Well, our hot streak came to a screeching halt on Friday. We managed to get only one winner home in nine races, and that came in the very last race. So we will try to right the ship today, and return to our winning ways.

Here’s a look at Saturday’s card under the awesome sight of the Twin Spires:

1st: 1-6-3-2…Mineyerownmalone (1) has raced 5 times previously around the oval at Churchill Downs. He has finished in front on three of those occasions. Was beaten as the heavy favorite here on April 28, but had a horrendous trip into the first turn and bumped hard and nearly off his feet. Top rider stays aboard, and this one looks to be ready to right the wrong that happened last time out. Rail has been golden at this distance, too. Doesn’t take long for me to find a “dot” play and my first Best Bet of the Day. Awesome Gal (6) comes into this one off a win down at Oaklawn Park the early part of April. Has 6 trips over this track with a record of 1-3-1. Last time here, though, won to break the maiden. Gets a top rider on board today. Etruscan (3) was claimed last time out for $16,000 and moves up the ladder for this one today. Has been hot of late, though, with a win and two thirds in the last three. Trainer is 0-for-9 in first timers off the purchase. Beware. I bet the 1 to win/place/show and then key the 1 over/under the rest.

2nd: 3-2-5-4-6…A very nice race here, too, to help kick start today’s card. I go to Shanghai Tariff (3), another one to be ridden by jockey Corey Lanerie — who could have a huge, huge day today. This one won the last time out at Oaklawn Park on April 11, and got a breather after that. But she has two wins and two seconds in the last four starts — after losing the blinkers. This trainer hits with .23% winners after a previous race win. The work here on April 28 was lights out. Another top choice for me. Nineteenth Street (2) is a horse that has been on my “Horses to Watch” list for quite some time. Has built a nice resume in the first 15 starts, with a record of 4-2-2, but has only 1 win in 5 starts here. Like the work pattern, and she has faced some super good ones in the last four races. Annathela (5) could play a spoiler in this one. She has 7 races over this track, and has never been off the board. She has a record of 2-4-1 here, and really needed the last race against much tougher at Keeneland in April. Don’t hold that one against her, since it was her first race since November, and she was in the 7-path the entire way. Had no shot. I bet the 3-5 to win/place/show and then box those two solidly. I then key the 3-5 over the rest.

3rd: 2-6-4…Keertana Stakes…My second “dot” play of the day comes in the first of two Stakes events on today’s card. This is a 11/2-mile marathon over the Churchill grass course, and should be dominated by last year’s winner of this very same race — Daring Duchess (2). She comes into this one off a fifth place run in the G3 Bewitch Stakes at Keeneland, where she was wide and weakened late. But the previous three races — two of which were Graded Stakes — she put up two seconds and a third. Ran away with an easy 3-length victory in this spot last year, and she has the front-running speed to do the same today. La manta Gris (6) is a closer from the barn of Rusty Arnold, who has not been seen in the afternoons since her 9th place finish at Santa Anita in early January. Has been training well over this turf course, though, and she has a win and a second in three starts here previously. Gets the meet’s hottest rider aboard. Can’t dismiss completely. Creative Thinking (4) finally found a rider who wouldn’t and didn’t get her into traffic troubles, and she rewarded the connections last time out with a nice win over a soft course at Keeneland. She has some front-running ability, too, and it will be interesting to see if the decision-makers try to press the top choice early on. Sire of this one is having a very nice start to the stud career. I bet the 2 — despite the expected low odds — to win only. I key the 2 over the 6-4.

4th: 3-5-7-2-4-8-1-4…My focus here is on the top two numbers in the sequence. Tarpys Zapper (3) gets a rider change even though Jack Gilligan piloted this one to a very impressive and easy win last time out. He was claimed out of that one, though, and the new trainer hits with .10% with those making the barn debut. This speedster will try to pop and go early, and should like the same distance, where he has two wins and a second in just 5 starts at the sprint location. El Charro (5) was purchased for the $20,000 price tag last time out, as well, but was a well-beaten fifth at odds-on favoritism. The new trainer scores with .26% with newcomers to the barn, and this one will be shortening back up to the preferred distance after trying a mile last time out. That is a key, for me. At this distance, he is 2-2-3 in 9 starts. The Money Monster (7) is yet another who will be making an appearance for a new trainer today, after being claimed last time out. That was the third race in a row this 4YO gelding has been claimed. This trainer has had only one starter this meet, and that was a win. This gelding, though, has raced here three previous times with two wins and a second. Obviously, likes this track. Can’t dismiss. I bet the 3-5 across the board and then box the top 3 in one exacta.

5th: 6-2-4-3-7-1…Sky Promise (6) showed a lot of promise early in his career. Ran third on debut and then broke the main on the grass at Ellis Park last July. Came right back and ran a deep-closing fourth, beaten just two lengths, by Snapper Sinclair. Remember him? Nice horse who nearly made it to this year’s Derby. Since then, the trainer has put in some spots where the running has been tough — including the G3 Jeff Ruby Steaks, where he faced the tough Blended Citizen. Gets a huge class drop for this one today, and don’t be surprised if someone picks this one up from the sale’s bin. He is worth it. Potential Danger (2) is another who will be dropping in class. Don’t like the jockey swing. New rider is having one of the coldest years of his career, and has only 2 wins in 56 starts this meet. Still, he won the last time out and has a nice 2-0-1 record in only three grass runs to date. Figures here. Discovered (4) is a colt that cost $250,000 and now is dropped to $50,000. Won the last time out in April at Gulfstream Park, and has been training at the Casse Training Center in Florida since. Looks to fit with these. I bet the 6 to win/place/show and then key the 6 over/under all the other numbers listed above. I def use the #7 underneath, as well.

6th: 1-2-6-4-7-3-10…I key on the top two numbers in this spot, as well. Major Perfection (1) will be running as a gelding for the first time, and he gets dropped to a career low level in this spot. Ran a closing second at the Fair Grounds back in February. But that’s when the change happened, and he has trained well for this one. Take note of the move on May 15 here. Gets a red hot rider, who has hit with .29% for this barn in the last 17 rides. My pick and like the 9-2 ML odds. Omen of Change (2) goes for a trainer that you may not know much about, but the guy can win races. He has won .22% this year in 54 mounts, and hits with .24% of those making just the second start. This one has not run since last June, when third on debut. But the works here are spot on, and he looks ready for a trainer that can get them up off the bench. Ghost Story (6) ran much better at the lower level last time out. Gets the same rider back and could be closing well from off the pace again. This trainer hits with .28% of those returning for the first time after being beaten as the favorite. Beware. I bet the 1-2 across the board and then box the top 3 in one exacta. I key the top 3 numbers over the rest in a smaller version.

7th: 5-8-3-6-9-4-1…Honor With Pride (5) will be making her barn debut for a solid young trainer, who is starting to click with his brand new operation. He claimed this one last time out, when she ran second after a fast-closing rush. Bumps up a notch today, but will get the blinkers for the first time and was odds-on choice in the last try. Like the works here on May 19 and May 12 after the claim. Looks like improvement today. Promissory Note (8) gets a cold rider (3-for-29), but will make the barn debut for a fledgling operation. Comes over from a solid barn, and this one looks like a good purchase for the $20,000 spent. Bumps up in class, too, but looks like she can handle the jump. Sea Shack (3) goes for the trainer who lost the once mentioned right above. This filly has a win and two seconds in the last three outs. Moves up in class today, but I love the 12-1 ML odds, and her chances here, too. I bet the 5 to win/place/show and then box the top 3 in one exacta. I key the top 3 over all the rest looking for a score possibility. I make sure to include the 1.

8th: 5-6-7-1-3…I key on the top two numbers here. Makeamericagreat (5) goes for a trainer who has not earned a high percentage mark since the days of Wise Dan, but this gelding drops in class and has the front-end talent to perhaps carry the day in this spot. Was making a nice run here on May 5, when he was bumped late in the going and faded after that. Gets a rider switch to the meet’s top jock, and this one has two seconds and a third over this grass course previously. Jailhouse Kitten (6) ran second on the grass at Gulfstream Park back in March for a cheaper price, but maybe against better company. Gets a class drop today, and this deep, deep closer may be the one to hold off late. Gets a nice rider switch and Lanerie will be motoring. Finished (7) was up close and faded off the contention line late in the last start at GP in April. A break since then, but did have a nice second in Florida back in February. Faced tougher in that one. Has some talent, but is very inconsistent. I bet the 5-6 across the board and then box them solidly. I key the 5-6 over the rest in a smaller version.

9th: 3-1-8-7-6-5-2-4…The top two numbers are my focus in this one, as well, and I like them both. Tap Master (3) won on debut in March at Oaklawn for a top barn/owner team (Gun Runner). He came right back as a heavy favorite and was fanned four-wide in that one and lost to some good ones. The show horse that day has already come back to win, and looks to be a good one, too. I really likes the works here since that last April run. This one looks ready and gets the meet’s top rider up. My pick and next Best Bet of the Day selection. Super Smart (1) gets in this one at ML odds of 10-1. Love to lock those odds down. This one ran second on debut in a grass start at Kentucky Downs last September. Came right back to are the competition on the dirt at Churchill Downs. Connections thought so highly of him that they stuck him in the deep water — in the Smart Sense Stakes here last October. That was a deep and talented field — that included both Lone Sailor and Bravazo. He has been idle in the afternoons since, but comes back fresh and able today. Don’t dismiss. I bet the 3-1 to win/place/show and then box those two solidly. I key the 3-1 over the rest of the numbers listed. 

10th: 2-3-5-6-4…Grade 3 Winning Colors Stakes…A very competitive field lines up for this 6-furlong sprint Stakes event. I go with Golden Mischief (2) on top. She is coming off an 81/4-length victory at Oaklawn Park in her second start of the year, and has been training super here. Look at the move on May 12. Wow. She has a win and a second in three tries over this track, and gets a huge rider switch for this one. A key bet for me. Pinch Hit (3) is the top choice’s stablemate, and, perhaps, her biggest competition in this one today. She was in too deep in the G2 Raven Run last time out, but won the Dogwood Stakes here going 7 furlongs — beating some real nice ones, including Jordans Henny. Has not been out this year, yet, but loves the distance and this track. Miss Kentucky (5) will get her Stakes debut today, and looks ready for the upgrade. She has a win and two seconds n her last three outs, and has been beaten in the last two by horses that came fightback to win again. Has a win over this track, as well. I bet the 2-3 across the board and then box those two solidly. I key the 2-3 over the rest of the field in the exactas.

11th: 10-8-9-3-1-2-5-4-11-12…My last “dot” and “Best Bet” designation goes to Elusive hero (10) in today’s finale. I love this 3YO colt trained by Ian Wilkes — who is having a super meet here. This one ran against a monster on debut, running second. Came right back to lodge to thirds in a row. The winner two back has since come back to win, as well. This one likes to come from off the pace, and if he can avoid the slop that he encountered the last time out, he certainly has the look of a winner ready to happen. Love the works since the last race, as well. I bet the 10 to win/place/show and then key the 10 over/under the 8-9-3 solidly. I key the 10 over (only) the 1-2-5 in a reduced amount. I key the 10 over (only) the 4-11-12 in another reduced amount. 

Good Luck & All the Best/Gene