Total Day Results 9 / 5-3-5
2021 Overall 635 635/ 226-235-259
Win % of Top Pick 35.59%
Payoff% of Top 3 Picks Overall 37.80%
2021 Top Pick in the Money Overall — 405-635 63.78%
2021 Top Selection ITM / CD 14-19 73.68%
2021 Top Selections Win / CD 8-19 42.11%
“Key Horses” @ CD 0 / 0-0-0 00.00% Win / 00.00% ITM
“Key Horses” in 2021 98 / 42-23-7 42.86% Win / 73.47% ITM

What a nice way to kick off Kentucky Derby Week 2021. What. A. Nice. Way.

Out of the 9 races carded on Tuesday, we had 5 winners.

Out of the 9 races conducted on Tuesday, we had 7 exactas.

And, we closed out the activities with a $29.60 payoff winner in the final race — for each $2 played across the board, and a nice $68 exacta for every $1 played correctly.

Let’s just keep the momentum rolling.

Here’s a look at our picks for Wednesday:

1st: 4-1/5-2…Scabbard (4) is a horse whom I have bet on; cheered for; lost more money on that I care to admit; and, for some odd reason, continue to support and back. What’s wrong with me? Seriously? But this 4YO son of More Than Ready — who, once upon a time, ran 4th in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile to Storm the Court — falls to the lowest price tag and level ever here today. In two previous runs over this main track, this one has a win and a second. And, even though this one is 0-for-9 coming in, he did run second for $30,000 at Turfway Park just two starts ago. One more time. I give this one one more try. Gets a new rider who could help. Man on the Moon (1) provides the stiffest challenge, on paper. This one is a 3YO gelded son of Distorted Humor and cost $100,000 at a 2YO sale in 2020. Has won just $21,000 coming into this one and most of that came two starts ago when he broke the maiden for $30,000 at the Fair Grounds. Trainer wins at a whopping .35% clip with beaten favorites. I bet the 4-1 across the board and then box those two in the exacta. I will key the 4-1 over (only) the 5-2 in a smaller unit.

2nd: 6-4/2-5/3/1…Big in the City (2) will race as a first-time gelding in this event. And, that is a very quick surgery since he ran last on April 3. I normally give horses 30 days between starts when this knife job is involved. Hmmm. But this one did win at the $30,000 tag two starts ago. Had a nice 3rd last Fall at KEE, too. Petit Verdot (4) added Lasix last time out and that really didn’t seem to help much. Has not been close at the wire since winning last July by nearly 7 lengths at Ellis Park. That was over the turf. Gets a hot jockey up, though, and this one could improve with the 2nd try off the layup. I bet the 6-4 across the board and then box those 2 in the exacta. I will key the 6-4 over/under the 2-5-3-1 in two smaller units.

3rd: 8-5-6/1-4-2/3-7/9…This is the first “Baby Race” of the day, and I will go with Wesley Ward’s 2YO Constitution filly — Redefinition (8). This one is owned by the CJ Thoroughbreds group — including my friend and partner, Mike Schnell. I don’t have any inside info. Sorry. But I love Ward in these types of races and the barn is 14-5-8 in the last 40 attempts. Sire wins with .18% on debut, and the dam of this one has 4 winners from 8 starters. Works are good enough. One to beat. Lady Mila (5) is a first-timer from the barn of Steve Asmussen. Works are good, especially the one on April 13. Connections paid $260,000 for this daughter of Into Mischief. Out of a Stakes-placed mare. Chance. My Girl Steve (6) has one race under the girth, and that was a 2nd at KEE on April 11. No match for the winner that day, but solid effort. I bet the 8-5 across the board and then box the top 3 numbers in the exactas. I will key the 8-5 over/under the 6-1-4-2-3-7 in two smaller units.

4th: 1-7-4/6/3/2…This is the first turf event of the day, and will be contested at the two-turn distance of 11/16-miles. I will saddle up with my good friend and great trainer Tommy Drury, who will send out Screenwriter (1). This 6YO daughter of Ghostzapper won the last time out for just $15,000 and now moves way up to face the $40,000 level. Loses the last condition, too. I normally stay clear of these types, but the trainer is very good and wins with .24% of those that won the previous time out. Rider has experience on this one’s back, with 3 seconds in a row last Summer. Tynan (7) ran 4th at KEE last time out, but it was at this same level. Contended in that one until the stretch. That proved to be too much distance or talent for her. She has done her best running over the sod. In 4 turf tries, to date, this one has a win and two seconds. Could pop a good one. Hollywood Hoopla (4) will drop into the claiming ranks for the first time here, and the barn wins with a whopping .32% of those kind. Won the first two career starts. Has not been close at the wire since. Maybe the rider switch and the drop can help propel. I bet the 1-7 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the top 3 numbers over/under the 6 in two smaller units.

5th: 6-2/1-5-3/4…Went West (6) is a 4YO Union Rags colt who has been transferred from the barn of owner/trainer Louie Roussel III to Neil Pessin. Barn doesn’t win with newcomers, but this one just ran third in a nice Stakes event at the Fair Grounds in mid-February. Work on March 26 was spot on. In 6 career starts? Has a 3-2-1 mark. Must use, for me. Little Menace (2) ran in the G3 Appleton Stakes last time out. No factor in that one, but this is not a G3 Stakes field here. Ran 3rd in a Stakes at KEE last November. In 2 previous tries here? A win and a second. Figures. I bet the 6-2 across the board and then box those two in the exactas. I will key the 6-2 over/under the 1-5-3-4 in two smaller units.

6th: 11-3-2/1-6-5-12/10/4-9/7…La Pulcinela (11) drops another couple of rungs in the claiming ranks after finishing a very game 3rd against tougher and in the mud at Oaklawn Park on Feb. 27. Made a nice late run n that sprint. Barn wins with .22% in the MCL ranks and now gets a very nice rider switch. Strong contender in my book. Run Cookie Run (3) has thrown up two 4th place finishes in a row to begin the career. Challenged in both before tiring at the wire. Drop in class here should really help and the barn wins with .20% when shipping in from an off-location. Rider has to prove himself in KY. Can he? Will he? Caught Looking (2) drops from the MSW ranks into the claimers for the first time, too. Barn wins with .12% of those. Gets a salty veteran in the saddle, and this one figures to improve with a return to the dirt surface. Chance. I bet the 11-3 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exactas. I will key the 11-3 over/under the 2-1-6-5-12-10 in two smaller units.

7th: 9-4/(11)-(12)/6-10-8/1-3-2/(14)-5…Perhaps Tonight (9) ran a huge one last time out at KEE on April 7. Came with a very nice late move to be 3rd. Beaten less than a length for it all. Barn wins with .14% in the turf tries and that’s with a sample size of 999 runners. This one has some talent, plus the Irish-bred just seem to have the edge on their NA counterparts. Angle. Laynlomakndough (4) has run two straight 4ths to begin the career. Now could be a force for a barn that wins with .10% of all turf starters. Rider has gone 2-1-1 in the last 5 for this barn operation. Likes to rally late. Should be seeking a clear lane to do that in the final stages. I bet the 9-4 across the board and then box those two in the exactas. I will key the 9-4 over/under the 11-12-6-10-8-1-3-2 in two smaller units. 

8th: 3-8-7/5/2-1-6/4…He’s In Charge (3) has run two very nice races in a row coming into this one, and returns as a beaten favorite here. Barn wins with a whopping .35% of those kind, and that is with a sample size of 68 contestants. Barn’s go-to rider takes the irons, and the works are very solid for this return to action today. Take note of this one. Ready to Answer (8) ran a very nice 2nd over the sod last time out at KEE. Was the beaten favorite in that one, too, and the barn wins with .30% of those on the return match. When going turf to dirt, though, the barn wins with .17%. Gets a heady rider in the irons. Quixotic (7) has not been out since February and since Aqueduct. But this one has run two very nice races before the ill-fated Stakes debut in the last one. This one is a first time gelding, and has had plenty of time to recoup. Major difference, usually. I bet the 3-7 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the top 3 numbers over/under the 5 in two smaller units.

9th: 4/8-3-5/2-6/7/1…Kentucky Juvenile Stakes…Averly Jane (4) is my first “Key Play of the Day.” This 2YO daughter of Midshipman comes into this Stakes event fresh off a near 9-length win at KEE on April 15. Took the lead early in that one. Stomped them at the end, too. Trainer is 14-5-8 in the last 40 attempts, and this one gets a really good jockey to take the reins. Must use for me. I bet the 4 to win/place/show and then I key the 4 over/under the 8-3-5-2-6-7 in two smaller units.

10th: 2-3-5/1-4-7/8/1A…Cool Rags (2) ran a really good 2nd last October here. Since then, not really close at the line. But this one has run here three separate times. Has a second and a third. Son of Union Rags cost $185,000 to halter at the KEE September Yearling Sale in 2019. Take note. Bear Alley (3) is one of many from the barn of Wesley Ward. This one just seems to run much better on the fast dirt than the turf try. Has not been the same since running 2nd here last May (2020). But never has been auctioned off for this low a price tag, either. Ornery (5) will get the blinkers for the first time here and the barn wins with .18% of those kind. In only previous try, this one has a second. Was second all the way around on a muddy track in only previous race day experience. Gets a top rider to take the assignment. Take note. I bet the 2-5 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the 2-5 over/under the 3-1-4-7-8 in two smaller units.

Good Luck & All the Best / Gene