(Statistics Will Be Updated After Wednesday at Indy Grand)
1st: 3/1-8-4-7-6/5-2…The first “Key Play of the Day” will come in the ole’ lid-lifter in the twilight billing at the “big oval” in Louisville. Our Musical Moment (3) is 6-5 odds in the ML, according to my great friends over at Brisnet.com. And, this 5YO mare should be the PT favorite, as well. But there are good reasons to still play this one, if the odds stay at 4-5 or above. This one has put up a 9-3-2 record in the first 28 career races, and will drop to the near bargain-bin here. Will be offered up for the $8,000 price tag. Last time this low, this one was third at Houston back in March. Since joining this barn? Has run three times, with a win and two seconds. Has a win over this track two starts ago and against much tougher than these. Switches to the barn’s go-to rider and the barn wins with .26% of those returning as a beaten favorite. Adds up for me. I bet the 3 to win/place and then key the 3 over/under the 1-8-4-7-6 in the exactas.
2nd: 10-11-9/7-5-4/6/3-8/2-1…This is a MCL event with the hefty price tag level of $50,000. I will go to the far outside and saddle up with Deemed Essential (10) for this play. This 3YO Upstart filly cost $125,000 at the 2019 Fasig-Tipton July Sale. Started the career in 2020 with back-to-back seconds. Since then, though, she has not moved forward. Now, she drops to the same level where she was claimed just three starts ago. Ran a good one in the slop at KEE that day. Working very well for the return to the starting gate. Has a third in only previous try here. One to beat, IMO. Toccata (11) is my first “Longshot Special of the Day.” This 3YO Flat Out filly is 8-1 in the ML and may even drift up the odds board before tip. This one will start for the first time and the barn is having a super meet here this Spring/Summer. Over the first 31 starters, this one has a 8-4-4 mark and that pops out to a .26% win percentage. On first start in the MCL ranks? This barn wins with .16%. Dam has 3 winners from 4 starters. Rider is red hot, winning 5 of the last 19. Look for some early run out of this one. Joy Unbridled (9) is another first timer and this barn has won with 1 of 2 this meet. Training very well and gets a hot rider. Like the odds on this one, too. Could light up the board. I bet the 10-11 across the board and then box the top three in the exactas. I will key the 10-11 over/under the 9-7-5-4-6 in two smaller units.
3rd: 5-8-2/3-4-1/(10)-7/9-6…Tulfarris (3) is a 5YO gelding for the top-notch racing syndicate known as CJ Thoroughbreds. This outfit normally buys and races fillies. But this fella loves the grass and has run two thirds in three tries here since moving to this side of the big pond back in the winter at Gulfstream Park. Out of a Stakes-winning mare, who has thrown 5 turf winners already. This could add to that list. This one will stalk and pounce. The “Place” horse last time out did come right back to win the next time out, too. Barn wins with .26% when it has a beaten favorite back in the gate. Look out here. Mud Pie 98) may be the horse to beat. This 4YO son of Morning Line has not been out since last November, but has been training lights out for a barn operation that normally does not ask for the best in the a.m. Gets a top grass rider in the saddle. Threat off the bench. Bakwena (2) is another longshot possibility. This one is 8-1 in the ML, and could fire much better than that here. Will be facing winners for the first time after running off to a near 6-length victory last time out. But loses the meet’s top rider and picks up a youngster. Chance. I bet the 5-8 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exactas. I will key the 5-8 over/under the 2-3-4-1-10-7 in two smaller units.
4th: 2-4-7/8/3-5/1-6…Sweet Queen Bee (2) will return to a sprint distance here after a failed experiment over the grass route. Was in the hunt until late, but gets back to the dirt and the sprint here. Both of those changes could help immensely. Rider starting to heat up a bit as the meet closes down. Chance. Fortuna Adiuvat (4) is a real speedster who should benefit from the cutback in distance here, too. But? Barn is 0-for-32 when going from a sprint to a route and then back to a sprint. Won just two starts ago. Talent is there. But what level? Hennys Crazy Train (7) was claimed last time out for $30,000. Won that one impressively. Now, will move up to face winners for the first time and the barn wins with .17% of those. Cut back in distance could help, too. Working well for the new barn operation, which wins with .14% on the first try after the purchase. I bet the 2 to win/place/show and then box the top 3 in the exactas. i will key the top 3 over/under the 8 in two smaller units.
5th: 10/9/5-4-6/3-2-1/7-8…The next “Key Play of the Day” comes here in a $75,000 MCL event for the 3YOs & up. I go strong with Cryo (10). Despite the far outside post, which is not ideal for this 11/16-mile dirt circle, this one just appears to have a class edge on the rest of the group. Will drop from the $100,000 tag level to this spot on Thursday evening. Has run a 2nd and three 4ths against better. Had traffic issues in the last one. Was up against a couple of next out winners in the race three back. Started very slowly in the initial frame. Rider has to get this one motivated a bit earlier, but the connections are here, and they paid $185,000 for this one at a 2YO Sale last year. One to beat and training well. I bet the 10 to win/place/show and then box the 10-9 solidly in one exacta. I will key the 10-9 over/under the rest of the numbers listed in two smaller units.
6th: 10-2-6/1-5-7/3-4/8-9…I go back-to-back with the “10s.” This time, I saddle up with Strong Odor (10). Cleverly named filly (by Strong Mandate and out of the mare named “Tuna”), is coming off a nice 2nd last time out at Indy Grand. In two turf starts now, this one appears to have found a preferred footing. Barn has won with .17% of the last 2,689 runners over the sod. Sharp work on June 14 and switches to a rider who can get the job done, if he is zeroed in on the subject at hand. Here’s hoping. Woke Up to Aces (2) was claimed for $20,000 last time out and now will face the $50,000 company here. Big step up. But the barn wins with .28% of those that are racing for the new connections for the first time after a claim purchase. Moves to the sod, and the barn wins with .17% when making this surface switch, too. Love the rider choice. Nightlife (6) ain’t no good life; but it’s my life. OK. Sorry. Line from a Ray Price / Willie Nelson song. Claimed last time out for $30,000. Ups the ante here. Barn wins with .20% in first try after a purchase. New rider here, too. Chance. I bet the 10-2 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exactas. I will key the 10-2 over/under the 6-1-5-7-3 in two smaller units.
7th: 2-5-9/8-1-3/4/7-6…Reagan’s Edge (2) is a very, very, very classy filly and has a speed edge on most in this crowed. But? Will be making the 2021 debut here after a lengthly bench time. Working well for a barn that has been hot all meet, and winning at a .23% rate after 22 starts. Gets a top rider in the irons. Ran up against Frank’s Rockette twice in Graded Stakes last year and ran runner-up in each. If she can duplicate that? Look out. Caribbean Caper (5) has not been beaten, yet, after the first two career starts. And, no one has come close. After two starts, she has won by a combined 121/2 lengths. She is by one of my most favorite sires and has an extra gear in the lane. Could be special. Very. Special. Skinny Dip (9) is a $400,000 purchase in the 2018 KEE September Sale and a daughter of the great Into Mischief. She has two wins and a tough-beat 2nd in three starts this year since being switched to the barn of Greg Foley. Cannot toss here. Not in my opinion. Looks like she is working lights out here, too. Watch out. Could spring it. I bet the 5-9 — take note — across the board and then box the top 3 in the exactas. That’s it. Love these 3.
8th: 7-4-2/10-1-6-(13)-(11)/(12)-8-9/(14)-5-3…The final race of the night is a 11/8-mile test over the sod for the gals, and I will line up with Mulsanne (7). This one has not raced since early May, but she seemed to be on the bring of snapping the maiden at that time. Ran two fast-closing thirds in a row. Gets a new rider who is a bit more aggressive in the lane than most and that could turn the trick. Has been working very well for the return and the barn wins with .30% of those that come back as a beaten favorite. Choice. Elle Est Forte (4) ran a huge one at KEE two starts ago. By all accounts, she could / should have won that one. Has been working well for the return here since the last race on May 1. Rider will be trying the rail slot, to be sure. Has to have a key to open the lock. Texas Shuffle (2) ran very well in the career debut, and, actually, finished much better than our 2nd choice in that affair. Working well for this one, too. Gets a good grass rider in the irons and the young trainer has won with .10% of the first 29 starters on the grass. Could be a handful late. I bet the 7-2 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exactas. I will key the 7-2 over/under the 4-10-1-6 in two smaller units.
Good Luck & All the Best / Gene