|2019 Overall 968||968/348-337-451|
|Win % of Top Pick||35.95%|
|Payoff % of Top 3 Picks Overall||39.19%|
|2019 Top Pick in the Money –654 of 968||67.56%|
|Top Selection ITM / CD 22/40||55.00%|
|Top Selection Win / CD 15/40||37.50%|
|“Key Horses” @ CD 3-2-0-0||66.66%|
|“Key Horses” in 2019 168-66-34-20||39.29%|
What a nice day on Friday, to kick start what we hope will be a fun and fruitful weekend for all. Nice day. Nice, nice day.
If you were able to play along on Friday, we had 5 winners on the 10 race card and hit for exactas that returned $40, $7.20, $43.20, $37.40 and $27.60 for each $1 play.
Started the day with a horse that returned a whopping $36.40 for every $2 wagered across the board.
Let’s hope Saturday is just as good. Here’s a look at our plays for Churchill Downs. If you have been following along at home, you know how I feel about the G1 PA Derby and G1 Cotillion up at Parx.
Let’s go W. Bret Calhoun and Tom Amoss. Let’s go Mr. Money. Let’s go Serengeti Empress.
1st: 1-6-7/8-4-10/3-9-11-12…We start the day with a low-level MCL event with the price tag set at $10,000. I will go to the rail and with Jumpin Thru Hoops (1), who has garnered both a second and third in 4 previous runs for trainer Peter Miller. Is dropping all the way down from a $30,000 tag to this level today, and the barn hits with .21% of those getting this kind of class plunge. Rail is winning at a .20% rate, as well. Apprentice gets the assignment and they nearly took them gate-to-wire last time as the favorite. Barn hits with .26% of those returning as a beaten favorite. Adds up for me. I bet the 1 to win/place/show and then box the top 3 in one exacta. I will key the 1 over/under the 6-7-8-4-10-3-9 in two smaller versions.
2nd: 2-3/6-4/1-5…This is another claiming event, but the price tag jumps to $30,000 and so does the level of competition. I will give a strong lean to Social Circle (2). This is another who is getting a huge class drop today. Comes out of some big races this Spring, and just two races ago nearly won at the $50,000 level here. Winner that day came right back to score again the next time out. Been off since June, but the barn hits with .18% of those away this long. Like the work on Sept. 14 over at KEE. In only try at this distance, has a win. I bet the 2 to win/place/show and then box the 2-3 in the exacta. I will key the 2-3 over/under the rest of the numbers in two smaller versions.
3rd: 6-1/9-8/4-5-2-3-7…This is a very high-level MCL event for the 2YO fillies with the price tag a hefty $150,000. I will go with Tetrahydro (6), who hails from the barn of Dale Romans. She has race once previously — and was beaten 26 lengths at Saratoga on Aug. 15. Never foot a shoe in the ground that day, although supported well at the betting windows. Has returned to train lights out, but, then again, she worked well before the failing debut. Barn hits with .19% making the second start and gets Lasix for the first time today. I expect improvement. In a big way. Evil Lyn (1) was beaten 15 lengths on debut at Ellis Park on Aug. 25. But she was beaten by Portrait, who ran off by 12 that day. The latter has come back to run third in the G2 Pocahontas Stakes here since. Evil Lyn has worked better since the race and there doesn’t appear to be any “Portraits” in this field. Look for more today. I bet the 6 to win/place/show and then box the 6-1 in one exacta. I will key the 6-1 over (only) the rest of the numbers in a smaller version.
4th: 7-6-4/3-5/1-2…A $40,000 claimer here to be contested at the 6.5-furlong distance and I go with Pick Up the Fone (7). This 2Yo Overanalyze filly won two starts ago before the connections moved over to try the turf. Experiment didn’t go all that badly, as she ran 2nd when facing winners for the first time. Gets back to the dirt today, though, and that may be her best surface. Barn hits with .20% of those making this surface switch. Like the move on Sept. 10. Gets a top rider in these parts. Adds up for me. Symphony Hall (6) won last time out for fun, down at Ellis Park. Now, she will face winners for the first time. Barn hits with .12% of those moving up the ranks. Interesting that the barn sticks with the rider choice. Barn does hit with .21% in the 2YO division. Richie Great Girl (4) won on debut over the all-weather up at Arlington Park on Aug. 9. Travels South today to face much tougher, but the trainer has hit with .33% winners out of 326 starters this year. Gets a top local rider to take the saddle job. Don’t dismiss. This outfit knows what it’s doing. 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 6-3-5-1-2 in two smaller versions.
5th: 3-11-12/5-2-(14)/7…Another MCL event for the 2YOs, and the price tag for this one is a more modest $30,000. I will go with one of the brightest and best young trainers in these parts and Norm Casse. His 2YO son of Munnings will be making the career debut, and the barn has hit with .14% of those that start in the MCL ranks. Sire scores with .16% with first timers, and the dam has 1 winner from 1 starter, to date. Worked very well here on Sept. 14. Gets a solid and aggressive rider up. Looks poised. Kentucky Peerless (11) has the experience edge and gets Corey Lanerie in the saddle. Ran well on debut at Indy Grand back in July. Came back with a debacle at Ellis Park. Met up with a juggernaut in that one — by the name of Juggernaut. That one came back to set all the early fractions in the G3 Iroquois last week. Kentucky Peerless is now a gelding and will race as such for the first time. May help. Archrival (12) was claimed last time out for $16,000 and goes to a new barn that wins with .21% when making the first start for the new connections. Bred well and could be a nice price, too. I bet the 3-11 across the board and then box the top 3 numbers in the exacta. I will key the 3-11 over (only) the rest of the numbers in a shorter version.
6th: 5-9-1/4-10/6-8-2…Desert Image (5) has run the last 4 times over the sod, and now will transfer her talents to the main dirt track. Over a fast dirt surface, she has a 2-4-2 mark in 17 lifetime tries. Not overly promising. But the last time she surfaced on the dirt, she won by over 2 and beat 5 others at the Fair Grounds this past winter. Has a 2-2-1 mark this year in just 6 races. So? Spotty record, to be sure. But worthy of a shot against the likes of these. Myositis Mystique (9) may be the horse to beat. But she comes from so far back that she will need both a good run and an opening late. In two tries at this distance, has a win and a second. She goes turf to dirt, too, but gets some class relief in doing so. Barn hits with only.08% of those making the switch, but with .25% of those returning as a beaten fav. Unfading Beauty (1) is another from the barn of Greg Foley and could be a price play here. Drops in class and gets back to a track where she won impressively against tougher on May 1. In 11 tries here, she has a 2-2-4 mark. Like this rider switch, for sure. I bet the 5-1 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I key the top 3 over (only) the 4-10-6-8-2 in a smaller version.
7th: 4-5/8-7/10-3/6-11-12…Sweet Addison (4) has not been out since running at Indy Grand in late July, but she now drops to an all-time low price tag in search of the career #1 win for a barn that hits with .14% of those dropping from MSW to MCL, and, more importantly, with .28% of those coming back as a beaten fav. Gets a top rider, who is off to a super hot meet, in the saddle. Love the work here on Sept. 12. In 2 previous runs here, has a 2nd and a 3rd. Poised. Paigely (5) may offer some real value, since she has a 8-1 ML odds rate. Will be making only the 2nd start since May 2 today. In the first effort, she ran a very even 5th as the beaten favorite. Barn hits with .27% of those returning and with .12% on the second start off a layup. Gets a top rider up and the work on Sept. 16 was nice. Could see some huge improvement here today. In 11 stars, though, has 3 seconds and 2 thirds. Must learn not to hang late. I bet the 4 to win/place/show and then key the 4 over/under all the numbers listed.
8th: 5-8-2/1-10/4-6-3-7…This is a wide, wide, wide open turf event, carded to be contested at 11/8-miles. Hard to narrow this focus, and that’s why I lean to some price plays here, as well. I will give the edge to He’s Cheeky (5), who enters today’s fray with a 6-1 ML posting and off two straight wins for a barn that certainly knows how to find a winner’s circle. The barn has won with .33% of the 326 starters this year. Likes the sod. In 13 tries, has 5 wins. But no seconds and thirds? Strange. But good right now. Go Away (8) is my top pick, but the 3YO son of Scat Daddy has not raced since last seen at Tampa Bay on Feb. 8. Does he need a start? Barn hits with .13% of those coming off this type of layup, but he is training well for a barn that is having a very nice year. Gets a top rider up. Bemma’s Boy (2) has not faced this type, yet, but since being moved to the sod has a solid record and ran off to an impressive win up at Saratoga in the last out. If you are looking for a price play, may consider Louder Than Bombs (10), who comes from the David Fawkes’ barn. Has been facing much tougher and could find a nice spot rallying late here with a top rider getting up. Wide open. Have I written that before? I bet the 8 — take note — and the 10 across the board. I box the 5-8-2-10 in one exacta. I key the 8-10 over/under the 5-2-1-4-6 in two smaller versions.
9th: 11/6-7/2-5/3-4-9…My first Key Play of the Day comes here with the 2YO filly parked all the way to the outside gate. Not idea, I will be the first to admit. Hope she eyes the field in front of her and doesn’t break outward, like many are prone to do. Especially the youngsters. But this 2YO daughter of Race Day not only cost $170,000 to purchase earlier this year, but has raced three expert races so far. The best may have been on debut — when she ran second to Magic Dance — a good one. Came right back to win the next out and was second to Lady Glamour at Ellis Park on July 26. Was odds-on that day. Barn hits with .31% of the time when a beaten fav returns to action. Look for more today. I am. I bet the 11 to win/place and then key the 11 over/under all the numbers listed in the exacta.
10th: 6/1-2-5/3-4…Dogwood Stakes…This figures to be a coronation more than a race. Covfefe (6) comes home to race over a track where she trains and has a win and a third in two previous races — off an impressive win in the G1 Test Stakes. In that one, she beat KY Oaks winner Serengeti Empress. The only blemish this year is a third to Mia Mischief in the Roxelana Stakes here — when she was facing older mares for the first time, and a darn good one. She has been training lights out and now that Monomoy Girl is laid up for the rest of the year, Covfefe is the main gal in the barn. Look for her to air it out today. No odds. And, against a solid field. But if she is ready? She is best. Better to watch, but if you want to play, I could bet the 6 to win (only) and key 6 under the “all button.”
11th: 3-1/6-8-(11)/9-2-10/(12-15)…Hey Kitten (3) was much better last time out for a barn that gets better with more starts. Added blinkers for that one and set the pace and pushed hard from the get-go. Comes back at the same distance today, but gets one of the hottest riders around to take the mount. Love the guy on the sod, too. Looks like the one to beat. In Good Spirits (1) ran well early on in the debut, but spit the bit late. That one was washed off the sod up at Saratoga. Has trained well since, and the barn hits with .20% when getting grass for the first time. I look for a lot more from this one today. I bet the 3 to win/place/show and then box the 3-1 in the exacta. I will key the 3-1 over/under the rest of the numbers in two smaller versions.
Good Luck & All the Best/Gene