|Day Results||11 / 6-2-3|
|2020 Overall 503||503 / 182-165-199|
|Win % of Top Pick||36.18%|
|Payoff % of Top 3 Picks Overall||36.18%|
|2020 Top Pick in the Money –321-503||63.82%|
|Top Selection ITM / CD Spring-Summer: 8-11||72.73%|
|Top Selection Win / CD Spring-Summer: 6-11||54.55%|
|“Key Horses” @ CD Spring-Summer: 0-0||0.00%|
|“Key Horses” in 2020 72-22-17-10||30.56% Win / 68.06% ITM|
(Gene and his filly, Miss Jacqueline)
We are off and running. Finally.
And, despite a little moisture in the track. Despite a few scratches on the board. Despite the fact that we are dealing with this world-wide pandemic. Despite the fact that there are no spectators in the stands. Despite all that?
Saturday was wonderful.
Racing was back in Kentucky. Back at Churchill Downs. Monomoy Girl — the great 2018 Champion Filly — was back racing and back in the winner’s circle. Again. Back.
We had a successful day picking winners. Had 6 winners out of the 11 races. Yeah. We are back, too.
But we were less successful at the windows. We were horrid in our exacta picks, coming up with only four modest payouts on the card. And, we fanned on our horizontal plays — with the exception of the first Pick 4 that was dominated by favorites.
Any time you pick 6 winners out of 11 races, you should make money. We didn’t.And, we should be better.
So, here we go. We’re back.
Early AM / Fast & Firm
1st: 1-11/6-8-13-4/2-10…The early scratches are 5-14-15-16…I go to the inside and the rail with Common Courtesy (1), a 3YO daughter of Will Take Charge. The barn hits with .23% of those dropping into the MCL ranks for the first time and this one was favored in the last outing in a MSW event, too. Has backed up twice at 7 furlongs. May like the cutback to 6 panels here. Gets a HOF rider to take the reins and the “show” horse in the last race came right back to win. A lot to like, although the price is certain to be short. Liam’s Lookout (11) got the outside post, but that might not be all bad in this spot. This one was favored last time out at the $50,000 price tag level. Ran an OK 4th in that one. But just OK. Barn hits with .28% of those returning as a beaten favorite, and she gets more class relief here, too. Could be closer to the front today, coming off a really nice work on May 2 at KEE. Barn had a good winter at GP. I bet the 1 to win/place/show and then box the 1-11 in the exacta. I key the 1-11 over/under the 6-8-13-4 in two smaller versions.
2nd: 5-2-7/13-6-10/14-11-3…Scratches are 8-9-15-16…Heart River (5) gets the nod for me. This 3YO Include filly drops from the $20,000 tag to the $10,000 level today and should be a tough out in this company. Ran a nice 2nd when claimed two races back for $8,000 at Oaklawn Park. Caught a muddy track that day and couldn’t match strides with the winner. Won the race before that as the odds-on favorite. Will be coming at the end, and that style didn’t play successful on Saturday. So? Traci’s Greeley (2) came with a huge rush to just miss last time out at a nice price. Trainer can get one ready, but has won with only .06% of the 17 runners this year. Look to get a piece. But I use under. Mi Chachis Intenta (7) has raced 8 times and has a win and 3 thirds. Another closer in a field that doesn’t appear to have much speed types. Speed was the ideal characteristic on Saturday. May need to hunt for some here. 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 “all button,” in two smaller units.
3rd: 11-1-15/8-9/14-12-2/5-6-3…Scratches are 7-10-13-16…My first Upset Special of the Day may plummet in the odds department before post time. But…I’m sticking with P R Radio Star (11), a 5YO gelded son of Warrior’s Reward. This one was picked up out of the claim box by trainer Robertson Diodoro two races ago. Immediately moved up in class and just couldn’t hold on for the last part of it. But this barn is spitting out winners at a remarkable rate. This year alone, the trainer has won with .23% of 514 runners. With runners making the 2nd start off the claim — .23% winners. With beaten favorites — .27% winners. And? He won one on Saturday — with one of our Upset Specials of the Day, too. So? I go back to the well here. This one could be salty at a return to this level. Rockshaw (1) is another that was claimed two starts ago. Ran very well to be second last time out against tougher. Returns to the level where he won. Will press the pace early and may have to go from the rail. Interesting rider choice with the jockey colony here. But the apprentice does get the weight allowance. Don’t leave out Facilitator (15), who draws in from the AE list. Has a win here and should like this level of competition. Will be coming late and may be hard to hold off in the final yards. I bet the 11-15 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the 11-15 over/under the 1-8-9-14-12-2 in two shorter units.
4th: 12-11-8/7-2/9-6/10-3-4…The scratches include #13 through #20. The first grass race of the Spring/Summer meet comes here. Today. After all the sod races were moved on opening day. And, this is a 11/16-mile event for the MSW level of fillies and mares 3YO & Up. I’ll go to the outside and hunt/peak for my top selections — led by Luck Money (12). This 3YO daughter of Lookin at Lucky has not started this year, but was very consistent in 4 starts as a 2YO. Ran 2 seconds and 2 thirds. Should be better as the age develops and the dam of this one has thrown 7 turf winners from 8 starters. Nice record. Training well at Fair Hill for a top trainer — who has won with .20% of 45 starters this year. Could be a solid price and gets a top lawn rider, too. My solid pick. Duopoly (11) will be making the career debut. Dam of this one has one turf winner from one starter. But the key factor here? Trained by Chad Brown. On the grass. Trainer wins with .27% of turf runners and .23% of those that debut on the grass. Works have been very nice. Gets a HOF rider. What’s not to like? Three Flamingos (8) may be an interesting one to include in your exotics here. Will be making the first start for a new trainer — who won twice on Saturday. This one could have won a couple already, if not for some unfortunate luck. Watch out here at a nice price. I bet the 12-11 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the 12-11 over/under the 8-7-2-9-6 in two smaller units.
5th: 7-1/10-9-2-6/5-3-11-13-12…Scratches are 4-14…This really could be our first Key Play of the Day/Meet. Trainer Brad Cox — who has fast become one of the most successful and winningest trainers on this backside — will send out Dean Martini (7). The 3YO gelded son of Cairo Prince has raced 7 times. Has 3 seconds and 3 thirds. Should get to the circle today. Just needs a little luck and gets a top rider — who excels for this barn operation, too. Barn hits with .30% of those making the third start off a layup. Just adds fuel. I bet the 7 to win/place/show and then box the 7-1 in one exacta. I will key the 7 over/under all the numbers listed — but far, far more over the 1-10-9-2-6.
6th: 8-3-11/7/2-9-1…Scratches are 4-6…With the departure of the likely favorite via the scratch box (#4), I was left searching and scratching. I will go with Candy Store (8) in a rather well-matched group. This 4YO gelded son of Twirling Candy gets back to a level where he may be very tough to head in the late going. Barn hits with .32% when they drop this much for a single race. Trainer is also winning at a .22% clip in 197 races this year. Owner has had this one before and the connections reached back into the claiming box to re-take three races ago. Looks well spotted for this one. Rucksack (3) ships down from NY to get a race in. Has not started this year and the barn hits with .12% off this kind of a layup. May need a race, but otherwise fits here. Knight’s Cross (11) won at the Fair Grounds three races ago when facing similar. No match against tougher in the last two. Does have a nice 2nd over this track last May. Like the return of a rider who has won on this one’s back before. I bet the 8-11 across the board (more on the 8) and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the 8 over/under all the numbers listed in two smaller units.
7th: 4-8-6/11/5-2-7-1-9/3-12…Scratches are 13 through 19…The second of the turf races, and this one is well stacked and well stocked. Interesting betting affair here. I will go with a nice price in the ML — Devious Charm (4). This one is already Stakes-placed and has 9 trips over the sod. Has won only once, but has 3 seconds. Picks up a rider who is best on the grass, and nearly won with this one last time out at Gulfstream Park. Has a tendency to hang in the late stages. Not a good habit. But has the talent. Can she find it? Fierce Scarlett (8) is surely named after my great friend’s daughter? Scarlett Murphy is the second daughter of former MLB pitcher Rob Murphy and has been working as a nurse in NYC during this pandemic. Bless her heart. But if this 4YO filly is not named after her, then she should be. LOL. This one has a 1-1-1 mark in 6 starts and once ran 4th to Concrete Rose. Has not been out since October. May need a race. But this barn wins with .30% of this kind of layup. Talent does travel. Lost Ticket (6) was no match in the G3 last time out, but ran well in two 2019 starts. Should fit better here. Love the rider choice. I bet the 4-8 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the top 3 over/under the 11 in two smaller units.
8th: 9-3-7/10-4/1-11-2…No early scratches…Raggedy Annie (9) is owned by the Churchill Downs Racing Club and she seems very well spotted for this try today at her home facility — where she is a perfect 1-for-1. Would not surprise if she is claimed out of this one today. Daughter of Union Rags is still a 3YO and has plenty of conditions left to run at and for. She fits nicely at this level, too. Broke the maiden here for this price tag. Ran well at Oaklawn against tougher this winter. I can toss the last effort, when she came in at the 7/16th pole and had some traffic issues. Will run on late, but prefers this sprint distance — I think. The one to beat. Between the Hedges (3) is another daughter of Union Rags and this one was haltered four starts ago by trainer Tom Amoss. Toss the last out against much tougher. Gets back at a level where she can do some running. Blinkers (7) could finish up the exotics. Has some speed if the new rider wants to utilize early on. Love this jockey switch. I bet the 9-7 across the board and then box the top 3 in one exacta. I will key the 9-7 over/under the 3-10-4-1-11-2 in two smaller units.
9th: 9-8/11-4-10-1/2-3-6/12-7…Scratch the 1A and the 5. What a nice allowance event this has turned out to be. I will go with Toledo (9) in this spot. After a nice start to the career, this one was highly touted going into the G3 Holy Bull Stakes. Heady company, too. Bet down to near favoritism. But ran 14 lengths behind Tiz the Law that day. The winner and the runner-up have both come back to win Graded Stakes, again, and are now both prime contenders for this year’s delayed KY Derby. So? This one figures here, right? Without a doubt. Has the ability to run early and run on late, too. Distance should be perfect and gets a HOF rider, to boot. I bet the 9 to win/place/show and then key the 9 over/under all the numbers listed. I will box the 9-8-1 in another exacta. Don’t throw the 1 out completely. Moving up in class, to be sure. But may have ability to demonstrate. Interesting to me.
10th: 1-11-3/4/6-5-7/2-9…Scratches are 8-10 and 15 through the 18…This marks the return of undefeated and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint Champ Four Wheel Drive (1). Speedster has been prepping for the 2020 debut at KEE for trainer Wesley Ward. And, of course, he stands out on paper. How could he not. Won a Stakes to start the career. Has won a G2 and G3 since. Mighty. But…this is an interesting spot to debut and full of possible hiccups. One, he draws the rail. Has never done that before. Two, he probably gets a soft turf today, if it stays on. Could be a lot of cut to it by this time. Don’t know if he likes that or not, either. Never been on it. And, this race has some runners, too. Chimney Rock (11) lost to this one by less than a length in the Breeders’ Cup. Gets back to sprinting today. Should like that cut back and has some experience over a good sod last time out. The horse that really intrigues is Guildsman (3). This French-bred has plenty of experience over soft ground and ran a huge one after missing the break at Gulfstream Park last time out. This is my Upset Special of the Day. Love the rider. Love the prep. Think he’s sitting on a big one with a better break. I bet the 3 to win/place/show and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the top 3 over/under he 4 in two smaller versions. Also, I will key the 1-3 over/under the 11-4-6-5-7-2 in two smaller versions, as well.
11th: 10-2-7/3-1/4-9-5-11-8…Scratches include 13 through 16…A 6-furlong sprint for the MSW group concludes the opening weekend. Wide, wide open affair here. May see a bomb price finish off the last of the horizontals. I give the edge to the pre-race favorites, for a reason. Chasing Anna (10) ran very well on debut when contesting 7 furlongs. Got tired at the end and bailed. But cuts back here and faces easier. Should be the one to beat with the rider switch, too. Kowalski (2) has run a couple of nice ones in the first 5 outings. Has faced some good ones, too, like Stakes winner Shoplifted and Tree Technique. But this one has the look of a runner-up and show type, to me. Never has finished off a race, yet. Whiskey Man (7) is 8-1 in the ML and rates a shot. Ran well on debut at Ellis Park last summer before throwing a clunker at KEE. Works are encouraging. Late runner, though. Which brings me to two intriguing types that may rate a shot here — Hoof Prince (1) and Toshio (3). The former is running for the first time, and I would really prefer to draw anywhere other than the rail. But, he got it. Has been training very well and gets a HOF rider. Interesting. Needs to break and go. The latter has not run since 2018, when he had a debacle of a race. Ducked out. Lost the rider. Has been off since September of 2018. But has been training very well and the barn can win. Has won with .23% of the 40 runners so far this year. Gets a speed rider in the irons. Interesting. I bet the 10 to win/place/show. I will key the 10 over/under the “all button” in the exactas. But I may use a 10-1-3 exacta, too. Just for giggles.
Good Luck & All the Best / Gene