Day Results 9 /4-2-4
2020 Overall 1229 1229 / 438-408-509
Win % of Top Pick 35.64%
Payoff % of Top 3 Picks Overall 36.75%
2020 Top Pick in the Money –800-1,229 65.09%
Top Selection ITM / CD 81-113 71.68%
Top Selections Win / CD 42-113 37.17%
“Key Horses” @ CD 18-5-5-3 27.78% Win / 72.22% ITM
“Key Horses” in 2020 168-56-39-24 33.33% Win / 70.83% ITM

I was at lunch on Wednesday with a friend whom I had not seen or visit with for quite some time, when he alerted me that he had purchased a Pick 5 ticket at Churchill Downs (starting with the first race) based on my picks.

I didn’t spit out my water. Or my Coke, my beverage of choice. That would not have b been COVID-19 respectful.

But I did laugh a bit.

I joked that if my picks were not accurate that we may not be able to have lunch again for quite some time.


Thank goodness I started out good on Wednesday.

Sure enough, my friend cashed his Pick 5 ticket for nearly $650.00.

Sure enough, I think we will get another invite to have lunch again.

Sooner rather than latter, I hope.

All in all, we had 4 winners out of the 9 races and we scored exacta returns of $14.80, $7.80, $22.70, $14.40, $22.20, and $22.20 for each $1 played correctly.

Not a bad day at the ole’ ball yard.

A really good day at lunch.

Here’s hoping that we can “eat” a little more “cabbage” on Thursday. Here’s a look at our picks:

1st: 2-5-3/6-4/1-7…Two Worlds (5) gets the nod in the initial race of the day. This 2YO son of Tapiture come form the barn of trainer Tom Amoss, one of the best in the business. But the same one who is looking for the first win of the abbreviated September race meet. Currently, the barn is 0-15 in the win category. Still, it has 3 seconds and 3 thirds. This one fired a bullet on the morn of Sept. 10 and looks to be getting some better. Barn wins with .28% in the MCL ranks and with .24% with the 2YOs. I look for more out of this one day at a rather nice price. Wayakin (2) gets a chance here, too. The 2YO son of Into Mischief cost a tidy $285,000 as a KEE September Yearling purchase just a year ago. Today, you can save about $255,000. The colt is in for a bargain basement sum of $30,000. Need a bigger truck? This one has lost the first two career races by a combined 30 lengths. But he drops into the claiming ranks for the first time and comes from the barn of Brad Cox — who has won with .25% of his 24 runners so far this meet. Interesting. Very interesting. Speed Benjamins (3) converts from the turf to the dirt and also goes from the MSW level into the MCL ranks for the first time. Barn wins with .36% of those dropping in the class department. Sharp work at the Louisville training center here on Sept. 19. I would not dismiss here. I bet the 5-3 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the top 3 numbers over/under the 6-4 in two smaller units.

2nd: 1-5-9/4-6/10…Seize the Day (1) drops from the $30,000 tag all the way to the $10,000 level today. Barn hits with .15% in the 3rd start off the layup, too. Gets a huge rider switch. Good one here. Love the last work on Sept. 17. Choice. Smart Call (5) takes another drop in the class department for a top young trainer in the business. In 7 starts here this September, the barn has won 3 times and has added another second. In dirt starts this year, the trainer has won with .20% of 155 starters. Like the last work and the chance in riders, too. Threat here at this level. We’re Still Here (9) drops to the lowest level of his career. Has not been close of late, but the plunge in class could shake this one up. Like the work here on Aug. 25. Maybe. I bet the 1 to win/place/show and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the top 3 over/under the 4-6 in two smaller units.

3rd: 4-7/3-5-1…Distorted Moon (4) has posted two 3rds in the first 4 career starts, but this gelded son of Distorted Humor comes into this one with the blinkers for the first time and without his manhood for the first time. Both of those, er, alterations may make a huge difference for this one on the racetrack. After all, this one has been facing some real good ones in the past — like Dr. Post in the debut run. Airstreem (7) has not raced this year and has been off since Dec. 28 — when the 3YO son of Tapit made the career debut. Now, this one changes barns and gets a new rider. Barn hits with .13% with those coming off this type of a layup and with .14% of those routing for the first time. This one should love the extension in distance and the winner of the debut run is no slouch, either. I bet the 4-7 across the board and then box those two solidly in the exacta. I will key the 4-7 over/under the others listed.

4th: 7-9-8/1-2-10/5-3-6/4-(11)…What’s the Move (7) will be making the 3rd career start today for a clever trainer who does a remarkable job with the horses tendered to her care. Will drop into the MCL ranks, too, and the barn wins with .06% of those. Gets a top rider for this assignment. And, the first two runs up at Indy Grand were nearly good enough, too. Big chance here. Madam Pie (9) goes for another top, local trainer. Will drop into the MCL ranks for the first time today, as well, and the barn wins with .31% of those. Will get the sod for the first time, too, and the trainer hits with .24% of those testing the grass. Like the new rider and the dam of this one has thrown a turf winner from 6 starters an a Stakes winner, too. Big shot here. Harms Way (8) drops into the MCL ranks and the barn wins with .29% of those. Love the work here on Sept. 9. I bet the 7-9 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I key the 7-9 over/under the 8-1-2-10-5 in two smaller units.

5th: 6-7-8/3-9/1-2/5…Buffalo Shuffle (6) comes from the barn of Brad Cox, and most of those leave their stall as stone-cold runners. This 2YO son of Carpe Diem ran OK in the career debut, but this barn wins with .26% of those making the 2nd career start. The colt will also get blinkers for the first time today, and the barn wins with .25% of those. Gets the barn’s go-to rider today, and he has won with .24% of the last 41 mounts. Adds up for me. A C Expressway (7) is a first time starter for a barn that wins with .13% of those making the career debut. Trainer has gone 2-1-1 in the last 5 races and this one worked brilliantly here on Sept. 18. Looks prime and ready to go. I bet the 6-7 across the board and then box the top 3 numbers in the exacta. I will key the 6-7 over/under the 8-3-9-1-2 in two smaller units.

6th: 1-7-11/1A-5-4/10-9-6/2…I’ll go to the entry for a little dose in this spot, although both parts (if the 1A gets in from the AE List) will have to break from the outside. Hidden Talent (1) drops all the way from the high-end allowance ranks to a $10,000 claimer here. Likely to be nabbed out of the claim box today. Won three starts ago against much, much better at Oaklawn Park. Big chance here. Jack’s Advantage (7) drops a couple of huge rungs in the claiming ladder today, as well. Barn wins with .30% of those dropping this much in one swoop. Won just two races ago at Ellis Park. Should fit with these nicely. Midnight Patriot (11) has been running in Texas and Louisiana. But I would not dismiss here. Gets a top rider up and the barn wins with .13% of those going back from a route to a sprint distance. I bet the 1-7 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the top 3 over/under the 5-4 in two smaller units, too.

7th: 3-4/1-8/5/7-6…Palio Flag (3) comes from the barn of Steve Asmussen and the 3YO daughter of Curlin has run two nice ones to begin the career. Won on debut at KEE in July and then returned to run a very nice 2nd when facing winners for the first time at Saratoga in August. Gets the barn’s go-to rider up and should be a tough out. My first Key Play of the Day. I bet the 3 to win/place/show and then box the 3-4 in one stern unit. I will also key the 3-4 over (only) the rest of the numbers in a smaller unit.

8th: 1-1A-9/2-3-8-7/4-6-5/(10)…I’ll load up the grocery cart with a nice play on the entry — and hope that both parts can crack the top 3. Double the fun. Double the payoff. On a Spree (1) won the last time out here on Sept. 5. Has hit the board in each of the last 10 starts — with 5 wins in that mix. Gets a rider who pulled all the right strings and punched all the right buttons last time out. Morocco (1A) ran in a Stakes event at KY Downs last time out. Didn’t much care for the final furlong straight up the incline to the finish line in the last outing. Before that one, though, this 6YO gelded son of Pioneerof the Nile won over the grass at Ellis Park. In 12 starts at this distance, he has a 3-4-1 resume. Nice. I bet the entry to win/place/show and I hit it rather hard. I will box the entry with the 9 in the exacta. I hit it rather hard. And, I will key the entry over/under the rest of the numbers listed. If, for any reason, this one gets washed off the sod? I trade the 1s, for the 10s. Straight up.

9th: 6-1A-1/8-3/9-4-5/7-2…Scarlet Fusion (6) is a first time starter for Mark Casse, who wins with .16% of those in the MSW ranks. The 2YO son of Curlin has been working very well here and the dam of this one has 10 winners from 11 starters — with 4, count ’em — Stakes winners. I like this one. A lot. But the connections must have, too. They paid $800,000 at the 2019 KEE September Yearling Sale. Race Craft (1) is another nice-looking first time starter. This one is a homebred for famed Calumet Farm, and has been working lights out for the opener, as well. Dam of this one has 3 winners from 3 starters and the rider has gone 6-4-2 in the last 23 mounts. Can he handle the rail? Tough to do on the first career start — especially on the quirky 7-furlong distance. I bet the 6 to win/place/show and then  box the 6-entry in one exacta. I will key the 6-entry over/under the 8-3-9-4-5 in two smaller units.

Good Luck & All the Best / Gene