Day Results 10/4-3-3
2019 Overall 1,374 1,374/480-498-615
Win % of Top Pick 34.93%
Payoff % of Top 3 Picks Overall 38.65%
2019 Top Pick in the Money –905 of 1,374 65.87%
Top Selection ITM / CD Nov 122-183 66.67%
Top Selection Win / CD Nov 65-183 35.525
“Key Horses” @ CD Nov 23/10-6-0 43.48%
“Key Horses” in 2019 212-82-43-22 38.68%

It was a rainy day where mud pies flew about as fast and furious as the horses. We were not able to clean up, mind you. But we were able to splash-splash our way to 4 winners out of the 10 races carded on the Friday.

We were also able to cash in on exactas that returned $10.50, $17.80, $17.20, $10, and $19.80 for each $1 played.

Not bad.

But we will look for more on Saturday, which is supposed to be a bit rainy, as well. Here’s a closer look at the Saturday card:

1st: 1/3/7-5-6-8…Santa Ana Winds (1) is my first Key Play of the Day on this soggy Saturday in the ‘Ville. This 3YO Afleet Alex filly is coming into this one off a 3rd place finish on debut here on Oct. 30. That was over a sloppy racetrack, as well, and she had to close willingly and very wide to get that placement. If she can break just a tad better today? Could be awfully tough. Drops another rung in the claiming ladder, and keeps the meet’s top jock. Barn hits with .25% of those routing for the first time; .25% of those racing for the 2nd time; and with .31% of those returning as a beaten favorite. Solid mud marks in the pedigree. My solid pick. I bet the 1 to win/place/show and then key the 1 over/under the rest of the numbers listed. More with the 3, than the others — for me.

2nd: 5-3-4/1/2-6-7…Donnels Creek (5) could give Corey Lanerie the daily double with a good run here. This 3YO son of First Samurai has never been on an off track before, but does have 2 wins and a third in 6 career starts. Comes into this one off a 4th last time out at KEE on Oct. 9. The winner of that one just came back to win here at CD this week. Winner two races ago is a SPW Manny Wah. Been keeping good company. Really like the work at KEE on Nov. 17, too. Principe Guilherme (3) was really cut out to be a good one. Early on, it looked like he could be a really, really good one. This year, though, he has raced 8 times with just 1 second and 2 thirds. Fall from grace. Barn’s go-to rider takes the reins back today. Have to respect the back class here, somewhat. Elgar (4) has a single win in 10 starts this year. Does have a third over an off surface. Another closer who will need some racing luck late, and gets a hot rider in the irons today. Jock has won with .22% here this meet. I bet the 5 to win/place/show and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the 5 over/under the 3-4-1-2 in two smaller versions.

3rd: 4-5/6-7-1-2…Axiomo (4) shifts over to a new barn operation for the first race today. Trainer hits with .14% of those making the barn debut. I can forgive this one’s last two outings. In over his head in both of those. Now, the 2YO son of Tapiture finally gets to a level where he belongs and get a top rider on his back. This one likes to come late, too, and has a super mud mark on both sides of the pedigree. I look for huge improvement out of this one at a square price. My pick. Joker On Jack (5) has not raced since July, but that was in a Stakes race up at Woodbine. Has been training lights out for a barn that knows how to get them ready off the bench. Love the rider choice. He has hit the ground running here since his arrival from the West Coast. This one prefers the lead, and is training like he will go right to the front, too. Look out here. I bet the 4-5 across the board and then box those two in the exacta. I will key the 4-5 over (only) the rest of the numbers listed.

4th: 11-9-8/4-3/5-1-2…Street Dazzle (11) moves up a notch after a near-win performance here on Nov. 1. Made the lead late in that one before getting caught just before the wire. Barn hits with .24% of those moving up a notch in the claiming game and with .20% of those trying to win a MCL. Has solid mud marks in the pedigree and looks to have enough speed to carve out a good trip from the far outside. My Marko (9) is 8-1 in the ML and becomes my first Upset Special of the Day. This 3YO Magician filly will see the mud for the first time today, but she appears to like these grounds. Last November, she ran a very nice second here on debut. On Nov. 1 of this year, she looked like she was in position to win before getting bumped along on the inside in the deep stretch. Barn hits with .20% of those moving up a rung, too. Unsweet Tea (8) is what my great friend Rob Murphy drinks. In gallons. But that’s another story for another time. This 3YO Archarcharch filly is trained by the same man that coached her father. Comes in with a second and a third in 10 previous runs. But drops to the lowest level she has ever been offered up for and has that third over an off-track — against much better. I bet the 11-9 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the 11-9 over/under the 8-4-3 in two smaller versions.

5th: 6-12/4-5/2-9-3…Mom’s Pass (6) drops into the MCL ranks for the first time today for a barn that hits with .18% of those moving from the MSW ranks. This one finally got the dirt last time out. Ran well for a half, but spit the bit after that. There are some reasons for optimism here, though. In the first two career starts — both sprints over the grass here in May and June — she ran a super nice 2nd. Fallen off since then, but there is talent buried here. I’m giving a chance here. Simple Story (12) is a first time starter for a barn that hits with .20% right off the bat. This one has been working just OK in the a.m., but this is a top farm operation and the trainer has won with .24% of the 86 starters this year. They do things right. Chance here. I bet the 6 to win/place/show and then box the 6-12 in the exacta. I will key the 6-12 over/under the rest of the numbers listed in two smaller exactas, too.

6th: 3-6/1-4/7-5-2…Grit and Glory (3) is my second Key Play of the Day. This 3YO gelded son of Malibu Moon has not fared so well over wet tracks in two previous runs, but he has a lot of credentials that add up here for what could / should be a good run today. Barn hits with an amazing .46% of those returning as a beaten favorite. This one training a hole in the wind here on Nov. 16. This one gets the same rider who nearly won with him at Saratoga two starts back. And this meet? The barn has a 3-2-0 mark in just 6 starts. Enough to convince me. I bet the 3 to win/place/show and then box the 3-6 solid in one exacta. I will key the 3 over/under the rest of the numbers in two smaller versions.

7th: 11/7-6/4-5-9/3-1-2…This is my third Key Play of the Day — Gold Street (11). The odds won’t be great, but as I tell people all the time — “The odds never matter to me until they get to about 3-5. Then, I just won’t bet.” Above that? I am playing. And, the same holds with this horse today. The 2YO Street Boss colt is coming in off two very nice 2nds in a row. The loss two starts back was to a real good one — who came right back to win the next out, as well. Barn hits with .19% with their 2YOs; with .21% in the MSW category; and with .20% in sprints. Adds up. I bet the 11 to win/place and then key the 11 over/under the 7-6-4-5-9. I go 11 over (only) the 3-1-2.

8th: 12-5-8/2-7-10/9-3-16-(14)-1-4…Aquadini (12) is my most serious Upset Special of the Day. Love the fact that this one gets in at 15-1 ML odds. Since being claimed two starts back, this one has returned to run a good second to a come-back winner and then win the next time out. Moves up in class and loses a condition, sure. But…This one had real talent back in the early part of this year. After all, they ran this one in the G2 Blue Grass Stakes, for goodness sakes. He looks like he has picked his head back up the last two times out. Faces tougher today, for sure, but I am taking a chance here. Zypto (5) is a safer wager, to be sure. This one drops from $20,000 price tag to $10,000 today. Barn hits with .33% of those falling in class after a win; and with .28% of those trying to repeat as a claiming winner. Gets a hot rider back in the irons. One to beat. Cover here for me, too. Sazerac (8) is another that could spice up the odds rack today. This one is 8-1 in the ML. Was claimed two starts back. New connections hit with .20% of those making the second start after a purchase. In 6 career starts, has 2 wins and 2 thirds. Has a win here, too. I bet the 12-5 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the 12-5 over/under the 8-2-7-10-9-3 in two smaller versions.

9th: 4-7/12-2-5-3/11-8…Excession (4) is a 2YO son of Union Rags that cost $150,000 at the 2018 KEE September Yearling Sale. Seems to be finding his niche of late, too. Ran third and was beaten less than 2 lengths by Maxfield — the impressive winner of the Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity at KEE in October. If Excession can duplicate that run again today? Watch out. I bet the 4 to win/place/show and then box the 4-7 in one solid exacta. I will key the 4 over/under the rest of the numbers in two smaller versions.

10th: 6-4-2/(15)-9-5-8/1-10…This one has been scheduled for the grass, but what with the rain that we’ve had dumped in the Lou area over the last couple of days, I would be shocked that it stays on the soggy sod. I’ve handicapped as if it will move to the main track, and, as such, I will give the edge to Chewing Gum (6). That stuff sticks to anything right? But this one ran over a “good” Churchill Downs main track last time out. Was right there all the way before tiring at the end. Still a good 4th, despite the 3-wide trip. This colt is by Candy Ride, who is a super influence on the mud. Dam has a good mud mark, too. Love the recent work on Nov. 17. Gets a top rider back up. Love this one today. Tell Your Daddy (4) is 8-1 in the ML, but could be a solid price if he stays in the game today. Son of Scat Daddy ran well over a fast dirt surface three starts back. Winner and Show horse that day both came back to win the next out. Won the last time out and will face winners for the first time today, and the barn hits with only .07% of those. Chance, though. Pony Up (2) has raced 14 times in the career for the ownership team at Calumet Farm. Has only 1 win. Whew. But he does have 5 seconds and 3 thirds. Seemingly, always sticks around for part of the late action. Barn hits with .30% of those making the second start off a layup. Look for more today. I bet the 6-2 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the 6-2 over/under the rest of the numbers in two smaller versions.

11th: 8-12-4/2/7-1/2-3-10-11-(13)…Today’s finale is a MSW event for the 2YOs going two turns and 11/16-miles. I go to the outside for my top two selections — led by Blood Moon (8). This one comes into this one off 2 seconds and a fourth. Has been right there every time except for the race here on Oct. 27. Went to the lead early and faded then. Gets a new rider today. Look for more patience out of this jockey today. Rider is having a super meet, too, and has won 2 of 6 for this barn in the last 60 days. Big shot here at a square price. Elite Class (12) has run back-to-back 2nds in a row, too. Beaten a head in each of those efforts. Loses the meet’s top rider in this spot today, though, and the jockey that was on our top pick last time out lands here. Musical chairs. Has speed and will use it. Will have to catch this one today. If not for being steadied at the quarter pole in the last out, may have won that one, too. Gold Endeavor (2) picks up the meet’s top rider for this occasion. This one nearly won here on Oct. 27. Was a deep closing 2nd. Actually made the lead and then started to look around a bit and got caught on the wire. Has faced some good ones in the past. Look for more out of this one today. In fact? I definitely use. I bet the 8-2 (Take Note) across the board and then box the 8-2-12 in one mix and the 8-2-4 in another. I will key the 8-2 over (only) the 12-4-7-1 in two smaller versions.

Good Luck & All the Best / Gene