2023 Only / Top Pick in the Money Overall — 467-773
2023 Only / Top Pick in the Money @ HI 27-41
2023 Only / Top Pick Wins @ HI 14-41
2023 Only / Top Pick in the Money @ CD 76-133
2023 Only / Top Pick Wins @ CD 38-133
2023 Only / “Key Horses” @ CD 23/9-7-2
39.13% Win / 78.26% ITM
2023 Only / “Key Horses” @ KEE 2 / 2-0-0
100.00% Win / 100.00% ITM
2023 Only / “Key Horses” @ TP 45/21-8-4
46.47% Win / 73.33% ITM
2023 Only / “Key Horses” @ FG 5/1-1-1
20.00% Win / 60.00% ITM
2023 Only / “Key Horses” @ GP 6/6-0-0
100.00% Win / 100.00% ITM
2023 Only / “Key Horses” @ OP 2/1-1-0
50.00% Win / 100.00% ITM
2023 Only / “Key Horses” @ HI 3/0-0-2
00.00% Win / 66.67% ITM
2023 Only / “Key Horses” @ PIM 2/1-0-1
50.00% Win / 100.00% ITM
2023 Only / “Key Horses” Overall 111/48-23-13
43.24% Win / 75.68% ITM
(Stats to be updated after Wednesday’s card at Horseshoe Indianapolis)
Here’s our looks at the Churchill Downs’ Twilight Card this Thursday night:
1st: 2-5/4-6/1-3…Bon Bueno (2) gets the nod in the ole’ lid-lifter at the big oval in Louis-Town on this Thursday night, with first post going at the 5 o’clock hour. After all, right? It’s 5 o’clock somewhere. This 4YO gelded son of Mineshaft comes in off a near-miss at the MCL $30,000 level. Drops to the $20,000 price tag here and that should aid and assist the cause. New rider adorns and the blinkers go back on. First time gelding, too. This barn wins with .16% of those that return to the gate as a beaten favorite, in the last 99 of those kind. Lots of changes. Lots to like. I’m sold. Regimental (5) will drop from the MSW ranks to the MCL $20,000 tag here. Barn wins with .25% of the last 32 to go this far into the ranks. Gets a clever rider up for the first time and will race with Lasix for the 2nd time. Barns wins with .11% of the last 38 to get the anti-bleeder again. I bet the 2 across the board and then box the 2-5 in the exactas. I will key the 2 over/under the 5-4-6-1-3 in two smaller units.
2nd: 1-8-3/6-9/4/2-5…Go Otto Go (1) draws the dreaded rail for a first time starter and a newbie, to boot. Not a good starting spot, unless you can pop and go. This one has flashed speed in the morning and will get a veteran rider up for this first out. Sire wins with .17% of his progeny making the first start and the dam of this one has a winner from 1 starter. Like this one. A lot. I bet the 1 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exactas. I will key the 1 over/under the 8-3-6-9-4-2-5 in two smaller units.
3rd: 3-2-4/5-1/6…Windy Bay (3) gets the top slot here, for us. This 3YO filly sold at the 2022 OBS March 2YO Sale for a hefty $150,000. Now, she is being offered up for $30,000. Need a bigger truck? Was claimed last time out for $20,000. Will make the first start for the new barn, which wins at a .14% rate in the last 35 to make the first start after the purchase. Has speed. Figures here. Luna Moth (2) is a home-bred for Calumet Farm and will face winners for the first time after an impressive win here on May 2. Rider holding his own in these quarters and won with this one last time out. In the last 5 outs for this barn, has won with 2. Byzantine (4) drops in class for this one. Won here a year ago for $75,000. Has been rough sledding since then. May like this crowed better. I bet the 3 across the board and then box the top 3 numbers in the exactas. I will key the top 3 numbers over/under the 5-1 in two smaller units.
4th: 4-3/6-7/5-8/2/1…Out of Alcatraz (4) is our “Upset Special of the Night.” This one is 10-1 in the ML, and may drift higher by PT. Toss the last one. Too tough and had no rally late. Drops in for $10,000 here and should fit. Won the MCL for $20,000 in Hot Springs. Rider is finding KY tough, but can boot. Writeitontheice (3) drops to half the asking price here. Ran very well at this level two starts ago. Veteran pilot is back aboard here. That should help, too. I bet the 4 across the board and then box the 4-3 in the exactas. I will key the 4-3 over/under the 6-7-5-8-2 in two smaller units.
5th: 3/1-2-6/8/4-7//5…The first “Key Play of the Day” comes here with Easy Time (3). This 5YO son of Not This Time will make the 2nd start off the layoff and the barn wins with .14% of the last 64 to do that. Has never won on the sod, but has 4 runner-ups and a third, to boot. Trainer is solid and threader has won with .22% of the last 9 for this barn. I bet the 3 across the board and then double down on the win wager. I will key the 3 over/under the 1-2-6-8-4-7 in the exactas. More with the 1-2-6 than the rest.
6th: 8-9/3-5-7/6-2/4-10/1…Doubly Blessed (8) is my selection here. This 6YO gelding has a 2nd in two previous tries over the is track and will pick up a new rider for this one. Ran well at this level just two starts ago at Oaklawn Park. Fits with these. Upstriker (9) won against tougher at Oaklawn Park just two starts ago. In too tough last time out, but the barn has won with .23% of the last 192 outs and that means the trainer knows where to spot them. Look here, too. I bet the 8-9 across the board and then box these two sternly in the exactas. I will key the 8-9 over (only) the 3-5-7-6-2 in a smaller unit.
7th: 2-7/3-5/1/6/4…Hard to separate the top two numbers here, so I just use them both. Beauxs Artes (2) ran well before tiring in the last out. May love this shorter distance here. Rider is world class and has won with .26% of the last 23 for this trainer. Dawny (7) ran huge in the final effort at Oaklawn Park in early April. In 4 career starts, never worse than 2nd. Has faced some good ones, too. Will be coming late and the new rider needs to fire at the right time. I bet the 2-7 across the board and then box these two sternly in the exactas. I will key the 2-7 over/under the 3-5-1 in two smaller units.
8th: 9-10/2-4/7-1-3/5-8/6…The night’s finale is a 11/8-mile contest over the main track and will kick up some nice ones to try to fill this bill. I give the edge to Creative Minister (9). This sone of Creative Cause ran huge last time out and was just nipped at the wire. Ran 3rd in the G1 Preakness Stakes about a year ago. There are no Early Voting-types in this one, but a salty field, none the less. Sharp work here on May 19. Looks the part. Gilded Age (10) will make the first 2023 start for the HOF trainer. Barn wins with .22% of the last 102 to get Lasix for the 2nd time. New rider up. Having a very solid meet. This one comes very late. Speed rider? I bet the 9 across the board and double down on the win wager. I will box the 9-10 in the exactas. I will also key the 9 over/under the 10-2-4-7-1-3 in two smaller units.
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 the vision for the site and still finds time to handicap races, interview trainers and keep his finger on the pulse of the industry, More About Gene.