Day Results 11 / 1-4-7
2020 Overall 1656 1656 / 581-567-719
Win % of Top Pick 35.08%
Payoff % of Top 3 Picks Overall 37.58%
2020 Top Pick in the Money –1,069-1,656 64.55%
Top Selection ITM / CD 116–187 62.03%
Top Selections Win / CD 60-187 32.09%
“Key Horses” @ CD 30-13-3-4 43.33% Win / 66.67% ITM
“Key Horses” in 2020 227-82-47-31 36.12% Win / 70.48% ITM

One win. Out of 11 races. Ugh.

Now, let’s be honest. That is just plain awful. Right?

Well, that may be the only thing I was right about on Friday.

But the good thing is this:

Saturday is a new day.

Saturday I’m in sunny South Florida.

Saturday, we are on vacation and tending to the business of doing no business. We are headed to the old Hialeah Park on Saturday morning before heading off to Key West.

But here are our picks for Churchill Downs on Saturday:

1st: 10/3-9-12/1-(14)-(13)-5-11/6-8…The first Key Play of the Day comes in the very first race on the day, and it comes with Saranya (10). This 2YO daughter of The Factor ran a huge 2nd in the last time out when the race was moved off the turf and over to the main track. It was her 2nd runner-up in a row to begin the career. The barn wins with .30% when the runners return as a beaten favorite. And, the barn wins with .23% when sending out the juveniles. This one has a super sharp work on Nov. 20 to set her up perfectly for this one. I bet the 10 to win/place/show and then key the 10 over/under the 3-9-12-1-14-13-5-11 in the exactas. I will also key the 10 over/under the “all button” in two shorter units.


2nd: 10-11-8/7-9-6/5-1/3-4-2…Back to back #10s to start the day? I say so and let’s go. Peace Broker (10) has run two solid races to begin the year. Made a run in each before hanging late. Needs to get over that habit before it gets to be a serious issue, but the 2YO daughter of War Front should be the one making the run at the top of the lane. Barn is red hot over the last two weeks, winning 3 of the last 7. Big chance here to hit the circle. Illiogami (11) could be the Longshot Special of the Day if the daughter of Tapit converts to the main track in good order. Has run two nice efforts to start the career and the barn wins with .13% when switching surfaces. Returns as a beaten favorite, too, and the barn wins with .30% of those. Pedigree there. Talent there. Just has to get there. Willful Woman (8) will make her 2nd career start and first route run today for a HOF trainer than wins with .21% and .17% in those categories, respectively. Rider has won with .20% of the last 127 mounts for the barn and this one comes from one of the top young stallions in the game and out of a Stakes-winning mare. Pedigree galore. I bet the 10-8 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the 10-8 over/under the 11-7-9-6-5-1 in two smaller units.


3rd: 8-5-6/3-1-4/7-2…Camp Hope (8) drops back into the allowance ranks here after trying the G1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile in the last effort. Never a threat in that one, but was left in the wake at the gate. Gets a new rider today and that is a huge, huge, huge switch. Returns to the track where he broke the maiden in style, and for a barn that rarely wins in the career debut. Look out here. Meister (5) came with a late threat in the last race here on Oct. 25. Had some traffic issues and still managed to be 3rd. With a cleaner trip, this one could be a danger in this spot. Scarred (6) won on debut here on Nov. 5. Wheels right back in this spot and could be a good one. Barn wins with .21% when moving up to face winners for the first time and this is a son of Into Mischief. Know about that sire? I bet the 8-6 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the 8-6 over/under the 5-3-1-4-7-2 in two smaller units.


4th: 2-8-7/3/6-1-9-(13)/4-11…Dolder Grand (2) has run two good ones to begin the career, including a 3rd in a G1 event up at Woodbine in the last out. Will need to convert from the turf to the main track today, but the barn wins with .17% when making this conversion, and the last work here on Nov. 21 was spot on. Son of Candy Ride should be able to run over any surface, and the connections paid a handsome $800,000 for this one at a 2YO Sale earlier this year. Looks the part. Now, if he can act it. Holy Redeemer (8) has run two solid 2nds to begin the career and the son of Blame is made for the main track. Stretch out to the route should help this one’s chances, too, and the barn wins with .23% when going the distance for the first time. New rider is an accomplished veteran and should fit this stalker perfectly. Cheffy (7) comes from the barn of Brad Cox, who wins with .27% when making the 2nd career start. This one came with a late rush in that one, too and now will make the debut for the new barn operation. Look for a big one here. I bet the 2-8 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the top 3 over/under the 3 in two smaller units.


5th: 2-7-9/(15)-(13)-(14)/3-4-11-1/6-5-12-10…This is a wide, wide, wide open affair and one could make a case for many – if not all – in this one. I will saddle up with Sister Annie (2) in this one. The 2YO Carpe Diem filly ran just OK in the debut, but the barn ups the game here and the work here on Nov. 22 was spot on. Rider has won with .26% of the last 76 rides for the barn and this one should be a lot tougher with a cleaner path today. Take note. Had to “wait” at the quarter pole in the last one. Watch the video. If she gets through? Southern Grayce (7) is another from the barn of Cox. This one will make the career debut here and the barn wins with .17% of them. Dam has 2 winners from 3 starters and the work on Nov. 22 was spot on. Chance. Catalan (9) could be the Longshot Special of the Day. Set at 8-1 in the ML, and could drift up the odds ladder before PT. This one has been working super for a young trainer that wins with .16% of the first time starters. Like this one to hit the board. I bet the 2 to win/place/show and I box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the top 3 over the next two numbers – whomever they are. I will also key the 2 over/under the “all button” in this spot, as well.


6th: 1-12-11/6-8/4-7-3/2-(1A)-5…Royal Tryst (1) came with a huge late run in the career debut. Was 7-wide in that effort and lost all chance with the distance given away. Gets a new pilot here and this is a huge, huge, huge rider switch. If this one can get a cleaner, shorter passage? Look out. Trainer hits with .20% when going from a sprint to a route distance, too. Grand Design (12) comes from the Cox barn and has had wide, late runs in both of the first two efforts. Needs to be a bit closer and gets the blinkers for the first time to sharpen up the cause. Barn wins with .24% when adding the shades for the first time. Take note. Scarlet Fusion (11) gets the blinkers for the first time, as well. This barn operator wins with .16% when adding the eye candy. Top rider sticks for the ride and the works are starting to pick up. Look for more from this son of Curlin. This one cost $800,000 at the 2019 KEE September Yearling Sale. Had to look the part. I bet the 1-12 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the top 3 over/under the 6-8 in two smaller units. I also key the 1 over/under the 12-11-6-8-4-7-3-2 in two smaller units, as well.


7th: 2-7-1/6-4/3-9/5-8…Corey (2) is my next Longshot Special of the Day. This one is 8-1 in the ML and I would be happy to take those odds right now. The 2YO daughter of First Samurai comes from the Cox barn and has a win and two seconds on the resume. The last effort was top notch, but this one ran runner-up to roommate Coach, who went on to win the Rags to Riches Stakes here, too. Last work on Nov. 20 was spot on. Look for more out of this one today. I’m in. Train to Artemus (7) moves up off an impressive MSW win last time out. Ran her eyeballs out to distance the other 10 over a sloppy track. Can she convert her superior speed to a fast dirt track? And, what about the extra distance? Interesting to see what happens at the wire of this one. Good With Numbers (1) is another who should benefit from the extra ground here. Ran away with her maiden win last time out, too. Impressive in the stretch to distance her foes. Has faced some good ones in the first three efforts. In my view? The one to beat. I bet the 2-1 across the board and then box the top 3 numbers in the exacta. I will key the top 3 numbers over/under the 6-4 in two smaller units.


8th: 6-5-4/9-2-7/11-12/3-11-1…Tiz Spendid News (6) shifted over to the main track last time out and ran off to a 7+-length win. Has speed to burn and by the looks of the work schedule, she will air to the front here, too. Gets a new rider for this one and this jockey has been red-hot all meet. Should not hurt the effort at all. Oliviaofthedesert (5) comes into this one off three straight Stakes efforts. Has closed in each to run 3rd in two of them. Looks to need a fast pace to run into here, but has the talent and the kick to make this interesting at the wire. But the cut-back to the flat mile may be a tad too short for this one. Minute Waltz (4) is another impressive MSW winner. Has returned to work nothing but bullets and the trainer is having a superb meet. Daughter of Nyquist will stretch out to the 1 mile off the 6-furlong win. Barn wins with .16% of those routing for the first time. I bet the 6 to win/place/show and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the 6-5 over/under the 4-9-2-7-11-12 in two smaller units.


9th:” 8-6-5/3-1-7/9-4-10-2…G2 Golden Rod Stakes…This is the first of two major Stakes events today and I will go with the ravishing Simply Ravishing (8) in this spot. I would do so with a flair if not for the jockey choice here. This meet, the rider is 0-for-38. Don’t tell me about the ride in the Preakness Stakes. Don’t tell me how he hasn’t gotten the mounts. The facts are the facts. Compromising for me. Clairiere (6) will move up to face winners for the first time for a HOF trainer, who does win with .21% of those kind. This daughter of Curlin could be any kind. Her mother was the world-class Cavorting, and this one came from last to win her career debut. Love her class in that one. Could be a super freak going forward. Chance. Travel Column (5) is yet another from the Cox barn. After breaking the maiden here impressively, the connections shoved this one into the G1 Alcibiades. And, against Simply Ravishing. No match for that one that day, especially after a hop, skip and a jump to begin the race. A better start today could mean a better finish. I bet the 8-6 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the 8-6 over/under the 5-3-1-7-9 in two smaller units.


10th: 6-10/11-3-2-9-1/8-4-5…Founder (6) gets the nod in this spot. The 2YO son of Upstart won the debut over the mud at Saratoga. But came back to run a disappointing 5th against Essential Quality in the G1 Breeders’ Futurity at KEE in Oct. The winner that day came right back to dominate the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. This one now will drop back into the allowance ranks. Should fit this profile perfectly. Has trained well. Gets a top jockey for the job. And, the trainer wins with .27% when away from the races this long. Big shot here. Mandaloun (10) is a 2YO son of Into Mischief. Won the debut after a rather slow beginning. Big run in this one. Work here on Nov. 21 was spot on. Spot. On. I can’t dismiss here. I bet the 6-10 across the board and then box those two sternly in the exacta. Sternly. I will key the 6-10 over/under the 11-3-2-9-1 in two smaller units.


11th: 4-3-1/7-1A/2-5-6-8…G2 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes…This is one of the major 2YO Stakes in the country each and every year and this field looks to send the next winner right into the hunt for the 2021 Kentucky Derby picture. I will give the edge to Keepmeinmind (4), the big ML favorite. This one ran 2nd and 3rd to Essential Quality – who just so happens to be the #1 contender for the 2021 Derby title right now. In 3 career starts, this one has been right there each time. But can he finish the job. Still a maiden. A maiden? Hmmmm. Arabian Prince (3) is my last Longshot Special of the Day. This 2YO Kentucky-bre won the debut here on Sept. 2. Came back to run a very troubled 4th to King Fury in the Street Sense. Has returned to work even better. Look at the rider switch here. Huge. Huge. Huge. Sittin On Go (1) won the first two starts of the career, including the G3 Iroquois Stakes here in September. Had no chance in the G1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. Never in it. I toss that one and give another chance to this son of Brody’s Cause. I bet the 3-1 – take note – across the board and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the top 3 over/under the 7-2 in two smaller units.


12th: 7-10-(15)-11/3-(16)-(14)-9-4-2/6-8/5-1…The final race on this marathon day is a MSW event that will be contested at 7 furlongs for the 2YOs. I will go to the outside for my top 3 picks – led by Outasite (7). This 2YO son of Outwork looked to be a winner late in the debut, but came up empty at the end. The barn wins with .27% when making the 2nd start and this one will lose the blinkers today, too. Barn wins with .35% when they drop the eye equipment. My Key Play of the Day. I will: Bet the 7 to win/place/show and then box the top 3 numbers in the exacta. I will key the 7 over/under the “all button” in two smaller units, and will key the 7 over (only) the 10-11-3-9-4-2 in yet another.


Good Luck & All the Best / Gene