On Sunday, we punted our handicapping responsibilities to our great friend and ally, Ed DeRosa, the very accomplished handicapper and Director of Marketing at Brisnet.com. That day, I, along with a group of my finest friends, recognized our fallen colleague, Mr. Eric Jensen, in a service during the National Beer Wholesalers Association meeting in Las Vegas. Today, there is a Memorial Service for Eric in his home of Madison, WI. I wish Eric’s wife, Jodi, and their 4 children all the love and peace that God Almighty can bestow. The world has lost a great human. Jodi and the kids have lost a lot more.

Tonight, we return to action under the Twin Spires. Here’s a look at our selections:

1st: 8-9-2/6-7/5-10-3-12…This is a wide open affair for the maidens in the claiming division of $10,000. I will give the slight edge to Limage (8), who will get the saddle from the meet’s top trainer. Barn hits with .27% when dropping down this far in class. Barn also hits with .31% of those that return as the beaten favorite. The one to beat. Sovay (9) may be able to spice up the odds rack a little bit here. This one ran a nice one for cheaper on the grass last time out. But the grass at Ellis Park was so hard and fast, it was akin to running on the dirt. Barn does hit with .42% of those making this surface switch. Look for more improvement today. I bet the 8 to win/place/show and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the 8-9 over/under the 2-6-7-5-10 in two smaller versions.

2nd: 6-5-1/2-4-3…Cautious Giant (6) is dropping from a G3 event into the $50,000 claiming event. If you toss out the two tries at Graded Stakes company, then this one has hit the board in the other 5 tries. Barn hits with .19% of those making the second start after a claim. Gets a top rider up tonight, too. Watch out. Hunka Burning Love (5) has raced here 9 previous times and has compiled a nice 3-1-1 record. Last time here, he won on May 23. Training very well for this one, too. I bet the 6 to win/place/show and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the 6 over/under the 5-1-2-4-3 in two smaller versions.

3rd: 2-7-1A/4-3-5-9/6…Sazerac (2) is my first “Upset Special of the Day.” This one is slated at 6-1 in the ML odds pool, but could make a serious run in this spot. Has not been out since Aug. 1 at Prairie Meadows. But this one is training well and looks like he has enough run to make the transition to the big leagues today. Barn hits with .21% with this kind of a class drop. K C Against World (7) broke the maiden last time out, when running over the grass at Ellis Park. That was the second time with the blinkers, but it was the first time on the big class drop, too. I really like this one at 8-1 odds, too. I bet the 2-7 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the 2-7 over/under the rest of the numbers in two smaller versions.

4th: 1-1A/2-10/3-7-4…The entry — 1 & 1A — look to have the edge on this group. Whispering Speaker (1) gets a huge drop in class and the barn hits with .32% in the claiming ranks, and with .29% of those that have gotten a break this long. Love the work on Sept. 15. Looks ready. Served Cold (1A) is making the 3rd start off the layoff, and the barn hits with .25% of those. Another class dropper. Interesting rider choice, but looks to have the game. I bet the 1-1A across the board and then key them over/under the other numbers listed in the exactas.

5th: 4-12-(13)-9/1-6/10-2-8/3-5…This is the first grass race of the day, and it will be contested at the 1-mile distance. Secretary at War (4) will make the first start for a new barn operation, and the new connections hit with .26% of those making the debut. Will drop out of mostly Stakes company to this high end claimer, but gets a top rider and looks to be training well for the first try since late January. If ready, he will be tough to hold off in this spot. Parlor (12) is another dropping out of the Stakes-level competition, and ran a huge one to win at Delaware Park just two races ago. This one should be closing with a real purpose. I bet the 4-12 across the board and then box the top 3 numbers in one exacta. I will key the 4-12 over/under the 9-1-6-10-2-8 in two smaller versions.

6th: 1-7-2/10/8-3-4-5…Candy Carolos (1) comes from the connections of owner Maggi Moss and, shockingly enough, trainer Jason Barkley. No Tom Amoss? They claimed this one last time out at Ellis Park and the new barn hits with .14% on the first try after the purchase. This one has hit the board in 6 of the last 7 tries. Has a second in 3 previous runs here. Like the new rider, too. Interesting. Yes I See (7) was claimed for $25,000 last time out, too, and drops off that purchase. The new barn only hits with .04% of those making the barn debut, but prior to the grass try last time out, this one had won 2 in a row over the main track. One of those came right here. In 3 races here, has 2 wins and a third. I can’t leave out with those kind of numbers. I bet the 1 to win/place/show and then box the top 3 numbers in one exacta. I will key the top 3 over/under the 10 in another smaller version.

7th: 8-11-2/6-5-12-(13)/1-4-3…This is a MSW event for the 2YO fillies, and will be contested at 6.5-furlongs. I will go to the outside and land on the first time starters Irrepressible (8) and Wicked Smart (11). The former is a daughter of Into Mischief, and cost a smart $750,000 to purchase at a 2YO Sale earlier this year. Has been training very nicely, and the dam of this one has 4 winners from 5 starters. Looks primed. The latter is a $425,000 purchase at the same 2YO Sale. The dam of this one has 7 winners from 8 starters, and the barn hits with .23% on the first attempt. Love the wok on Sept. 20. Love it. I bet the 8-11 across the board and then box the top 3 numbers in the exacta. I will key the 8-11 over/under the 2-6-5-12-1-4-3.

8th: 1-9-6/8-10-11/4-12/3-7-5-(15)…The final race of the night is a turf event that will be contested at 11/8th miles. I will go to the inside and plunk down on Delta’s Kingdom (1). In 8 previous runs, this 3YO daughter of Animal Kingdom has a mark of 1-2-2. Ran a closing third at KY Downs last time out. Gets one of the best grass riders in the land today. Looks well positioned for a good one here. Woodfin (9) has a 1-1-3 mark in 9 previous runs. Some how, some way, she finds a way to lose it at the wire. I use underneath again. Amazima (6) could spice up the odds rack, with a 10-1 ML odds. Broke the maiden last out and now will face winners for the first time. Tough to do. But has never been off the board. I look for a big one out of this one tonight. I bet the 1-6 across the board and then box the top 3 in one exacta. I will key the top 3 over (only) the 8-10-11-4-12 in another smaller version.

Good Luck & All the Best/Gene