McLean’s Selections for Churchill Downs on Sunday, Sept. 15 / Huge Late Pick 5 Carryover

Day Results11-3-6-4
2019 Overall 948948/338-331-444
Win % of Top Pick35.65%
Payoff % of Top 3 Picks Overall39.13%
2019 Top Pick in the Money –641 of 94867.62%
Top Selection ITM / CD 9/2045.00%
Top Selection Win / CD 5/2025.00%
“Key Horses” @ CD 2-2-0-0100.00%
“Key Horses” in 2019 167-66-34-2039.52%

Saturday is a pretty brutal day at the pari-mutuel windows.

Until…

Until it was paradise.

Through the first six races, we sputtered and spit and coughed and gagged. But then we finally started to purr.

Made a little money on the 6th, and then we slammed the 9th, the G2 Pocahontas Stakes  — picking the winner Lazy Daisy that paid $28.20 for $2 across the board and $223.10 for every $1 exacta played when teamed up with His Glory.

And, we played more.

In the G1 Iroquois, we keyed the winner — Dennis’ Moment — and had the cold exacta with Scabbard, as well.

In addition, we sauntered home with the late Pick 5; the late Pick 4, and two late Pick 3s.

Hello.

Now, we are back for a little relaxation and a swing at the big carryover in the Late Pick 5. Here’s our look at the card:

1st: 3-1-7/6/4-5-2…The first race is a $40,000 claimer, and it is as well-balanced as any event on the card today. Although Giro Gate (6) has won 4 times in the career, which is by far more than any other in this event, I will give the edge to Midnight Karma (3). This 3YO daughter of Violence has a 2-1-2 mark in the first 9 starts, and has hit the board in each of the last 3 and 4 of the past 5. Ran better than it looked 3rd last time out. Bumped at the start of that one, and then rushed up to take the lead. against tougher down at Ellis Park. The question may be this distance. But did win here on the lead going 7 furlongs — so she can milk the clock a bit. I bet the 3 to win/place/show and then box the top 3 numbers in one exacta. I will key the top 3 over/under the 6 in two smaller versions.

2nd: 1-6-7/2-5/3-4…Another 6.5-furlong sprint, this one for the $16,000 tag. I will give the edge to the rail horse — You’re Killin Me (1). This one has a 3-5-3 mark in 18 starts, so is normally around when the counting is done. I can toss the last out. Stepped up to a notch — or two — above his raising. But the race before was a nice move, overcoming a slow start and a wide trip to take the money at this level. Looks to like it around this group. I bet the 1 to win/place/show and then box the top 3 numbers in the exacta. I will key the 1 over/under the 2-5-3-4 in two smaller versions, as well.

3rd: 5-6/1-2-3…This is a higher-end Starter Allowance, and I will go with the grass converter — Alizee (5). This 3YO filly by Mark Valeski has run over the sod in 4 of the last 5 outs. The lone dirt try was against tougher here, when she was 4th but went 7 wide. Beaten only a neck for 3rd that day. Did break the maiden over the main track down at the Fair Grounds. Gives away dirt experience here, for sure, but the trainer sports a nifty .31% win rate when converting surfaces. My pick. I bet the 5 to win/place/show and then box the 5-6 in one exacta. I will key the 5-6 over/under the 1-2-3 in two smaller versions.

4th: 3-7-5/6-2…Girls Know Best (3) has not been out in the afternoons since winning a Stakes event at Gulfstream Park in late December of 2018. That’s the only hesitation here. If she is ready and ripe? Then she can roll. Speedster has faced the toughest competition in here and has a win over this sod, as well. Looks to be training very well for a barn that has won .21% of 207 races this year. Top rider up. But…Recount (7) has a win and a second in two tries here, and seems to like Louisville. The race two back, he lost to a horse that has come right back to win at KY Downs. Good right now, too. Jazzy Times (5) should run much, much, much better today. I can toss the last out at KY Downs. Didn’t like the hills and dales. At all. Time before ran a huge one against Totally Boss and Fast Boat — both of whom came back to win at KY Downs, too. Totally Boss is headed to the Breeders’ Cup. So? I bet the 5 — take note — on top and then box the top 3 numbers in one exacta. I will key the 5 over/under all the numbers in two more.

5th: 3-8-5/6-2…I will go with another grass converter to the main track in this spot, and land on Mystic Tiger (3). This one ran 2nd last time out at Arlington Park for trainer Bernie Flint. The Indiana-bred prefers this level, IMO, and will be making the third start of the 2019 season. Barn hits with .19% of those making the 3rd start off a layup, and scores with .30% of those switching surfaces. Gets a top rider. Distance could be an issue. The horse to beat, I think, is Overzealous (8). This Candy Ride gelding won last time out and was claimed by a talented young trainer that can figure out the path to the winner’s circle. Has won with 11% of the 103 starters this year — which is not bad for someone just getting started in the training biz. Don’t be surprised if this one wheels right back. Has a win at this distance and has a win and a second in 3 starts here. Barn hits with .46% of those trying to repeat the win in the claiming ranks. I bet the 3-8 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exacta.

6th: 7-5-12/11-4-6/9-2…There’s a huge carry-over in the Late Pick 5 today — and it starts right here. And, it starts with a tough one. This is a claimer for the tag of $10,000 and there’s a number of would-be contenders — some of them with serious credentials if they bring their running game today. I will give the edge to Weiland (7), who is 6-1 in the ML. This one has not been close in the last two outs, against much, much tougher. But three races back he ran here and was a nice third. Runner-up that day, who beat this one by a neck, came right back to win. In 4 races here, Weiland has 2 wins and a third. Never been this low on the totem pole before, and the barn is having a very nice year. Gets a top jock in the saddle. Honduras (5) is another 6-1 shot with credentials, too. Has run two good ones in a row, and has a win over this track two races back. Trainer has won with .24% of 368 starters this year, and has never started for a price this low, either. Just a Coinkydink (12) is the third 6-1 shot that I like here. Funky name, to be sure. But this Arkansas-bred drops considerably for this one and the rider has won .50% of the last 6 starts for this barn. I can’t leave out. I bet the 7-5 across the board and then box the top 3 numbers in the exacta. I will key the 7-5 over/under the 12-11-4-6 in two smaller versions. The Pick 5: 7-5-12/10-11/5-1-10/8-6/4-1A at the .50-cent level.

7th: 10-11/9-8/2-1-7/5-3-6-4…Another deep field of what appears to be like-minded, and equal-talented horses. But I will focus my betting attention on the top 2 in here — led by Shakes Creek (10). This 4YO son of The Factor has been a serious contender at higher levels ever since the Brad Cox barn slipped a pair of blinkers on this one. Over the last 4 — with the shades — he has two seconds and a third. Likes to find a way to hang in the later proceedings and that is a worry, but does have a 2-3-2 mark in 9 starts. Never been this low before. Should be challenging late again for a barn winning at a .27% clip in 618 starts this year. He’s No Bull (11) is a speedster who nipped our top pick just 3 starts ago. Likes to get on the front end and hit the pedal to the metal. Has a win and a second in 3 starts at this distance, but is 0-1-1 in 4 starts here. Can he find the wire fast enough? I bet the 10-11 across the board and then box those 2 in the exacta. I key the 10-11 over/under the 9-8-2-1-7 in two smaller versions.

8th: 5-1-(12)-10/2-7-9/8-3-6…Wow. Wide. Wide. Wide. Open. I’m going to go — tepid, mind you — with Fra Mauro (5). Beaten last out as the favorite at Indy Grand for cheaper. But that was the 2nd try off a deep layoff, and he was beaten only a head when closing late. Gets a huge rider switch for this one, and does have a 1-2-1 mark in 7 grass tries. I think this 4YO son of Mizzen Mast could be a tough out with just a modicum of improvement on the 3rd try off a layup. My choice. Salvator Mundi (1) used to have some serious run to him. Ran 3rd by a head to Current in last Fall’s G3 Bourbon Stakes at Keeneland. But this year has been a debacle. Has not hit the board in 4 tries. Not even close in any of them. Gets the drop today into the claiming ranks for the first time, and if that doesn’t shake this one up, I don’t know what can or will. Barn hits with .16% of those getting into the claimers for the first time. Bad Boy (12) is a real threat if he draws in from the AE List. Keep an eye out. Days of Glory (10) would not be a stretch, either. I bet the 5-1 to win/place/show and then box those two in one exacta. I key the 5-1 over/under the (12)-10-2-7-9 in two smaller ones.

9th: 8-6-4/9-2/7-3…This is a really nice featured allowance event for the gals, going 11/16-miles. I will key the Tom Amoss-trainee Tap Gun (8). This daughter of Tapit is owned by Mandy Pope — who has a way of making headlines in the horse biz. She purchased this one for $1.4 million at the 2016 KEE September Yearling Sale. A bargain compared to the $8.2M she spent for one this year. But this gal has been a different horse since being equipped with the blinkers three starts ago. She won 2 of them easily, and the last out she ran 5th behind a filly by the name of Go Google Yourself (2nd in that one). Go Google Yourself romped in a Stakes event here yesterday — impressively. But…This will be here 2019 debut. Has not been out since that run against Go Google Yourself here last November. Barn hits with .22% of those away from the races this long. And, she has been training good. Yet…Still a long way to be gone. Sally’s Curlin (6) is a closer who is owned in party by my great friend and partner — Mike Schnell. Rooting like crazy for him and the connections. And, she has credentials. Ran third behind G1 winner Dunbar Road in just her second start. Since adding the blinkers three back, she has 2 wins — including an impressive maiden score here. Will be closing nicely, and the rider has made the winner’s circle with here before. Must use for me. True Dream (4) has made 5 starts this year with a 1-1-1 mark. Has speed to burn, and she usually does get burned. At the end of races. Still, in 5 starts here, she has 2 seconds and 2 thirds. I use under (only). Shacklette (9) and Beautiful Tale (2) both could figure in the mix, too. I bet the 8-6 across the board and then box the top 3 numbers in one exacta. I will key the top 3 numbers over (only) the 9-2 in a smaller version.

10th: 4-1A-7/8-1/3-5-9-11…We finish the day with a MSW event for the fillies, and we have an outstanding group of wannabes lined up to strut their stuff. I will go with a pair of Brad Cox youngsters making their first career starts. Getridofwhatailesu (4) is a 3YO Ghostzapper filly that has been training lights out for the barn — that hits with 21% on debut. This gal $160,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Sale a couple of years ago, and is out of a Stakes winner who has produced 4 winners. Looks the part on paper. And, she has been working right with — and on Aug. 23 a tick better — than her stablemate. The stablemate is Quotation (1A). She cost a hefty at the same sale 2 years ago. She is a daughter of Congrats and comes from a Stakes-winning dam, as well. Dam has 7 starters and 3 winners — including 2 Stakes winners. Pedigree is there on this one, too. And, working stride for stride with our top pick. Your choice. I have to include a little on Newellton (7). Ran second by a half-length last time out at Ellis Park off a long layoff. A little improve and she could be tough in here, too. I bet the 4-1A to win/place/show and then box the top 3 numbers in the exacta. I key the 4-1A over/under the 7-8-3-5 in two more smaller versions.

Good Luck & All The Best

The horse broke well today,” Gaffalione said. “I had the horse inside, Dunph, going to the lead and then (Gun It) showed a little bit of speed. When I saw they were intent on going I just tried to get him back and got him to relax. He came back to me nicely and settled well down the backside. Got a little keen going into the far turn and wanted to move a little early. But I didn’t want to take too much away from him so I tried to sit as long as I could. He was waiting on horses down the lane but I kept him at task and there was plenty of horse there.”

“Mark (Casse, the trainer) and his team have done a great job,” Gaffalione said. “They’ve had a ton of confidence in this horse the whole way. It’s just an honor to be able to ride the horse. He’s just so professional, trains great and he’s a pleasure to be around.”

Tyler Gaffalione, Rode of War of Will to victory in the G2 Risen Star Stakes at the Fair Grounds
  • Gene McLean

    Gene McLean

    Gene McLean began his professional career in 1977 as a sportswriter and columnist for the Lexington Herald-Leader in Lexington, Ky., and was recognized as one of the state’s best writers, winning the prestigious “Sportswriter of the Year” honor in 1985. Now the President and Publisher of The Pressbox, McLean sets ...

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