Day Results 9 / 2-4-6
2020 Overall 1440 1440 / 508-483-610
Win % of Top Pick 35.28%
Payoff % of Top 3 Picks Overall 37.06%
2020 Top Pick in the Money –933-1,440 64.79%
Top Selection ITM / KEE 99-152 65.13
Top Selections Win / KEE 52-152 34.21%
“Key Horses” @ KEE 14-8-2-1 57.14% Win / 78.57% ITM
“Key Horses” in 2020 194-66-44-27 34.02% Win / 70.62% ITM

It was a weak final day at Keeneland.

The card was not much, and the feature event of the day — which was originally scheduled for the turf — was moved off the sod and onto the main track, yet again.

Our picks weren’t much, either. We toss out the 9th, due to the fact that it was announced as a grass race. And, of course, wasn’t. But still, we managed just 2 winners in the 9 “other races,” and our we hit only a second out of 2 “Key Plays of the Day.” 

We salvaged 4 exactas on the day, and they rendered $28.50, $5.00, $21.40 and $46.20 for each $1 played.

Ho. Meet. Hum.

Yet, we move on.

And?

We are happy to announce that Churchill Downs is back. And, so are the fans. Come out to the ole’ ball yard and let us wager a shekel or two.

Here’s our looks at today’s races — which is now known as the “Stars of Tomorrow” card. All 2YO races.

1st: 3-9-4/1-5-7-2/6-8…Tenth of Gold (3) comes off a closing 2nd in the career debut and now stretches out to the two turns for the first time. Barn hits with 17% on the stretch out, and the works post-race have been spot on, too. Looks like he fits here at a square price. Let’s go racing. Bird Ruler (9) is a first timer for the barn of Norm Casse, who hits with .50% when debuting at a mile or more. Works are very nice and gets the Commonwealth’s hottest rider in the bike. Look out here. Big Union (4) could help give trainer Brad Cox a big day today. The trainer is winning at a .24% clip this year and that is with 701 starters. This one has a 2nd and a 4th on the resume. Both of those on turf. May prefer the main track. Chance. I bet the 3 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I key the 3 over/under the 9-4-1-5-7-2 in two shorter units.

2nd: 4-8-2/6/9/7…Rookery (4) is getting closer and closer to breaking that maiden, and graduation day could be today. Ran a nice 2nd here at the 1 mile distance on Sept. 19. Works since then are good, too. Looks like this daughter of Hard Spun prefers the longer routs and gets blinkers here. Barn wins with .24% of those added the hood for the first time. Army Wife (8) moves to the dirt and this barn wins with .19% of those. Also, this one returns as a beaten favorite, and the barn wins with .24% of those. Coming off a terrific meet at KEE, the barn could roll right into a nice Fall here. Chance. Shastaloo (2) is another from the barn of Cox. Ran 2nd on debut as a beaten favorite. Has remained at Ellis Park to train, but the works are OK. Just wondering if this gal is on the first team or not. I bet the 4-8 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I key the 4-8 over/under the 2-6-9 in two smaller units.

3rd: 8-5-4/7-1-3/9-2…Wild Combo (8) was well-bet in the debut race here on Sept. 23 and came up a bit short at the wire that day. Tired going the 7 furlongs on debut. Barn wins with .22% when making the 2nd career start and with .26% when they return as a beaten favorite. Should be fitter for this one today and the barn’s go-to rider is up. My pick. Princess Lea (5) ran a good one here on Sept. 27, nearly getting the job done. Has faced some good ones in the first three efforts and don’t know if the same caliber exits here. We shall see. Chance. Zarella (4) is my first “Upset Special of the Day.” Don’t know if this 2YO daughter of Ghostzapper can beat our top pick of the day, but this one certainly has the breeding and the first race was solid enough. Look for more out of this one here with one of the all-time best in the saddle. I bet the 8-4 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the 8-4 over/under the 5-7-1-3 in two smaller units.

4th: 5-9-(15)/1-(11)-7-(12)/(14)-2-8…The key to the first turf race of the day is the “weather” question. Do the rains stay away? Does this race stay on the sod? If so, I lock and load on the top two in here. Spicy Marg (5) started her career in a Stakes race at Monmouth Park. Ran a very nice 2nd when the 5 furlong event was moved off the grass onto a “good” main track. So, this one looks to have ability on either. And, why not. A daughter of Into Mischief. Are there any of those that can’t run? Invincibility (9) could give the top one a tussle if it stays on the grass. Ran at KY Downs in the debut, and that is not easy. Ran a very nice 4th and the runner-up that day came right back to win the next out. Barn wins with .24% of those making the 2nd career start over the grass. If this one is moved, I go with the top pick and the MTO runner, as well. I bet the 5-9 across the board and then box those two sternly in the exacta. I use the 15 if it comes off the sod. I will key the 5-9 over (only) the 1-11-7-12-14 in a shorter unit.

5th: 6-7/3-4/2-1…Stayin’ Out Late (6) was super impressive in the inaugural effort, running off to a near 8-length win. Just as impressive, though, is how the runner-up and “Show” horse that day have both come back to win the next outings, respectively. This son of Tapit cost just $200,000 at the 2019 KEE September Yearling Sale. Could be the “Steal of the Century.” Can’t wait to see this one back today. Ultimate Badger (7) won impressively in the debut over a muddy track at Ellis Park. If there is moisture in the surface today? Take another look here. May be better with the 2nd try around the two turns. I bet the 6 to win/place/show and then box the 6-7-3 in one exacta. I will key the 6 over/under all the numbers listed in two smaller units.

6th: 9-10/6-7-5-8/2-4/1…Super Quick (9) is a 2YO daughter of Super Saver, and she should relish the added distance today. Has run two credible efforts against some potential good ones to start the career. But this should be her game — two turns. Barn wins with .25% of those going from 2 sprints into a route. Love the work here on Oct. 16. Sharp. Ship It (10) could spoil the pooch here for the top one. This one went very wide last time out when stretching out. Had the short stretch at KEE to negotiate, too. Should love the longer main drag here and could be a top contender. Clairiere (5) is a first timer for the barn of Steve Asmussen. This one is a daughter of Curlin and the great race mare Cavorting. Will love to see the debut from this one today. Works just OK, but the breeding is spectacular. I bet the 9-10 across the board and then box the 9-10 in one exacta. I will key the 9-10 over/under the 6-7-5-8-2-4 in two smaller units.

7th: (13)-(14)/1-8-7/(11)-(12)/5-4-3…The 2nd grass race of the day is an interesting tilt. It appears — at least on paper — that the top 2 contenders are parked on the AE List and need a super stroke of luck just to make the starting gate. If they do? Use. If not? Then don’t. I will opt to Go Big Green (1). This is a 2YO daughter of Ghostzapper, and the youngster has two thirds on the resume so far. The added distance could help and the adjustment to a very nice turf rider could assist, as well. Barn is having another super year. No surprise here. La Burnett (8) is a first timer from the barn of Mark Casse, and is a well-bred daughter of Bernardini. Works are spot on. Assistant trainer’s son takes the mount. Could be a surprise one. Miss Adeline (7) ran very well at a price at KY Downs. Any improvement at all, and she could be a winner against this group. I bet the 13-14 if they get in. If not, I go to the 1-7 across the board and box the top 3. I will key the 1-7 over/under the 8-11-12-5-4-3 in two smaller units.

8th: 4-7/5-3-2-1…Street Sense Stakes…I will go with a slight upset in this 11/16-mile Stakes event for the 2YOs. I will give the edge to King Fury (4). This son of Curlin cost $950,000 to purchase at the 2019 Fasig-Tipton August Sale at Saratoga. And, on debut, he ran off to a nice win of nearly 3 lengths. Went 4-wide on both turns and still covered the ground. Ran back in the G1 Breeders’ Futurity in the last outing and had another wide trip. Should fit better here and the works since the last outing have been really good. Like the return of Brian Hernandez here. Big shot. Super Stock (7) is the likely PT favorite. And, should be. Ran third in two Graded Stakes events over the last two races. Distant third in both of those efforts, though. Could be a horse that just allows others to win. Test of courage today. Either amp up or settle. Eucharist (5) could be the real deal, too. Gets the top rider in these parts, these days. Son of Flatter is already gelded, and will have to stretch out to two turns. But looks capable. I bet the 4-5 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I key the 4-5 over (only) the 7-3-2-1 in a smaller unit.

9th: 1A-12-1/3-11-9-7/4-6/8-2-10…The entry of HOF trainer Steve Asmussen looks salty in this spot. I give the edge to Santa Cruiser (1A), who comes in off a nice 2nd here on Sept. 24. Stretches out a bit to two turns here and the run against Essential Quality in the debut was not bad, either. Must draw in from the AE List, though. Race Craft (1) should improve off the first effort. Made a middle move but flattened. Works better since and the two turns should fit the son of Street Sense. Mystical Man (12) could be the horse to beat, if Miguel Mena can negotiate a good trip from the extremely wide post. This one gets blinkers for the first time and the barn wins with .13% of those. Ran up against King Fury in the last out. If that one runs well in the Street Sense? Look out here. I bet the 12 — take note — to win/place/show and then box the entry with the 12 in one exacta. I will key the 1-12 over/under the 3-11-9-7-4 in two smaller units.

10th:4-8-9/2-1-6/5-7-3…Rags to Riches Stakes…Oliviaofthedesert (4) has the most experience in the group, and that has to speak for something. But she may have the most talent, too. The daughter of Bernardini ran a huge one at Ellis Park to break the maiden, and followed that up with a nice 3rd in the Juvenile Fillies Stakes at KY Downs over the turf. Top two from that one came right back to win the next outs. Didn’t fare great in the G1 Alcibiades, but really had no shot. Gets back the rider who coaxed a win. Could be a winner at a nice price here. Coach (8) has been a run-away winner in both of her career starts to date. Both at Indy Grand. I witnessed her last win. Impressive from get to go. Don’t dismiss here. Midnight Ballerina (9) won one debut for a HOF trainer who normally does NOT crank them up for the first go round. Look who she beat, too. Take a gander. That one came back to impress at KEE. Big chance at a nice price. “Upset Special of the Day.” I bet the 4-9 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the 4-9 over/under the 8-2-1-6-5 in two smaller units.

11th: 4-10-11/3-5-12/9-2-1/7-8-6…What a nice MSW event to end the day. Really nice. I will give the slight edge to Foliage (4), who is coming off a near miss here over the grass course. Stretches out today and returns to the dirt, where he ran 2nd at Saratoga over the mud. Looks like a good one for great connections. Trump Card (11) is one to watch here at a huge price category. Listed at 10-1 in the ML, by Brisnet.com. This one ran just behind Eucharist at KEE. If that one runs well in the Stakes, take another look here. “Upset Special of the Day — Lurking.” The other one that could upset the apple cart here is Outasite (10). This is a first timer for Brad Cox. Connections paid a handsome $380,000 for this one at a 2YO Sale earlier this year. Works are brilliant. Rider has won with .29% of the last 69 mounts for the barn. Look out. I bet the 4-11 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the top 3 numbers over/under the 3-5-12 in two smaller units.

Good Luck & All the Best / Gene