Total Day Results 9 / 3-4-2
2021 Overall 1,684 1684 / 634-606-800
Win % of Top Pick 37.65%
Payoff% of Top 3 Picks Overall 40.38%
2021 Top Pick in the Money Overall — 1,141-1,684 67.76%
2021 Top Selection ITM / CD 73-110 66.36%
2021 Top Selections Win / CD 33-110 30.00%
“Key Horses” @ CD 14/6-2-0 42.86% Win / 57.14% ITM
“Key Horses” in 2021 256/ 116-56-24 45.31% Win / 76.56% ITM
“Longshots of Day” @ CD 8/0-0-1 00.00% Win / 12.50% ITM
“Longshots of Day” @IGR (11-11-21) 21/4-1-0 19.05% Win / 23.81% ITM
“Longshots of the Day” @ SAR (8-28-21) 4/0-2-0 00.00% Win / 50.00% ITM
“Longshots of the Day” @ KY Downs 19/2-1-2 10.53% Win / 26.32% ITM
“Key Horses” @ Breeders’ Cup 2/1-0-0 50.00% Win / 50.00% ITM
“Longshots of the Day” @ Breeders’ Cup : 2 / 1-0-1 50.00% Win / 100.00% ITM

We are back at the ole’ ballgame and ball yard on Wednesday afternoon, picking and a grinning at Churchill Downs. Weather heats up — at least for a couple of more days this week — to shed a little light on the subjects.

Here’s our looks as we kick off another great week of handicapping fun and action:

1st: 1-5/6-7-2/3-4…We go to the railbird’s seat to pick our winner in the ole’ lid-lifter at the big oval in Louisville this Wednesday. Haydens Havoc (1) gets our call in this $10,000 claiming event. Comes in off a 2nd last time out at the $30,000 level. But? That was back in March. Been off since. This barn wins with only .05% when away from the gate this long. But the trainer does win with .17% of those dropping this much at one time, and the 5YO gelding is training very well for the return. Like this one. El Casadora (5) nearly won at this same level last time out. Was 2nd in that one on Nov. 4, at odds of 60-to-1. Normally, I would dodge on this one, but he does have a 2nd and a 3rd in 5 previous tries here. Shot? Maybe. Yet, I am not real bullish on most in this affair. I bet the 1 to win/place/show and then key the 1 over/under the rest of the numbers listed in the exactas. More with the 5-6-7-2 than the rest.

2nd: 5/2/3-4-6/1…The first “Key Play of the Day” comes here in the 2YO MSW event and with Osbourne (5). This 2YO gelded son of Tapiture ran a real good one here on debut back in September. Keep within striking distance and lost by less than 2 lengths at the wire. The winner that day? How about the impressive Howling Time — who came right back to win the next time out, as well, and may be one of the best 2YOs in the country now. I’m all in here. I bet the 5 to win/place/show and then key over/under the numbers listed in the exactas.

3rd: 4/2-7-3/1-5-6-8…The second “Key Play of the Day” comes here with trainer Greg Foley’s Steely Danza (4). This 4YO son of Danza has raced just three times this year, but does have two 2nds on the resume. Ran super last time out for the $20,000 tag. Just missed at odds-on favoritism. Barn wins with a whopping .31% when starting a beaten favorite, and the rider has gone 7-5-2 in the last 22 starts here. Adds up to a huge chance here. I bet the 4 to win/place/show and then key the 4 over/under the 2-7-3-1-5 in the exactas. 

4th: 4-5-2/6-1-3/7…You always bet the #4 in the 4th race, right? Well, I do when the numbers add up that way. And, that is exactly what happens here with Bear Alley (4). This 4YO colt drops in for the $50,000 tag here and will be returning from a layup since early August. Working well for a barn that has heated up nicely this Fall. Look at the start here just three ago. Won on the front end with a dash of speed and a pinch of stamina. Has a win and two 2nds in 3 starts at this distance. Has 2 wins and a third in 4 starts here. Looks the best to me. Blake B (5) gets the future HOFer Joel Rosario in the saddle for the first time and comes in with back-to-back wins. Was claimed last time out for $30,000 and is inched up to the $50,000 tag here. Trainer wins with .27% when starting a claimer trying to repeat a victory. Look out here. Dangerous. Hawk of War (2) is another with a shot. Will move from the turf to the dirt here, but the barn wins with .18% of those kind. Returns as a beaten favorite, too, and the Breeders’ Cup winning trainer tallies on .27% of those kind. Chance. I bet the 4 to win/place/show and then box the top 3 numbers in the exactas. I will key the 4 over/under the 5-2-6-1-3 in two smaller units.

5th: 5-7-8/3/2-6/1-4…You always bet the #5 in the 5th race, right? Well, certainly, when the numbers add up to support the theory. This time, they do. Kasserine Pass (5) gets the edge. This one will be making the first career start for the new barn operation, and the trainer wins with .25% of the last 284 to do that. Also, this one will be returning to a sprint distance and that could help immensely here, too. At this distance? This one has 2 wins and 2 thirds in 5 starts. Barn’s go-to rider is up. Threat. Honey Parade (7) gets a rider who is 4-2-2 i the last 13 mounts and this one has 2 wins in the first 5 efforts over this track. Hmmm. Chakra (8) won up at Indy Grand just two starts ago, and picks up a hot rider. Has won both tries at this distance and could pop and go again at a square price. I bet the 5 to win/place/show and then box the top 3 numbers in the exactas. I will key the top 3 numbers over/under the 2 in two smaller units.

6th: 5-7/2-4-6-1/3…Runnin’ Ray (5) returns as a beaten favorite in this spot, and the barn wins with .26% of those kind. This 5YO gelded son of Street Sense may respond a bit better with today’s shorter distance and the rider has teamed up with this trainer to go 3-0-1 in the last 8 mounts together. Has speed. Can burn. Arabian Prince (7) is the closer in this group that bears watching. Ran a nice 4th last time out over the turf at KEE. Back on the main track here, and the barn wins with .12% of those making this track transition. I bet the 5 across the board and then box the 5-7 in the exactas. I will key the 5 over/under the numbers listed in two smaller units.

7th: 4-1/2-8-7/5/3-6…Inthemidstofbiz (4) ran a huge 4th the last time out in the G2 TCA Stakes at KEE. Lost to Bell’s the One in that one by less than 2 lengths. That mare just came back to win the Dream Supreme Stakes here this weekend. In 15 lifetime tries at this distance? Has a record of 7-2-0. Fits with these and should be primed. Barn wins with the .21% of those making the 3rd start off a layup. Flat Awesome Jenny (1) has been facing much weaker, but has been crushing it, too. Has 5 wins in a row and will face tougher here in this spot. Gets one of the best riders in the world to take the reins and jockey has won the last two with this mare. Threat. I bet the 4 across the board and then box the 4-1 in the exactas. I will key the 4-1 over (only) the 2-8-7-5 in a smaller unit.

8th: 5-4-1/2-3/6…What a wonderful allowance event has been assembled here by Racing Secretary Ben Huffman and his assistant, Dan Bork. Wow. I will give the edge to Endorsed (5), who most recently ran 4th in the G2 Phoenix at KEE. Was just a couple of lengths behind Aloha West, who just won the Breeders’ Cup Sprint in dramatic fashion. Endorsed has run 8 times this year. No wins. But 2 seconds and 3 thirds in the mix. Pneumatic (4) will make only the 2nd start of the year in this spot. Ran a very solid 3rd in a high-class allowance here on Oct. 3. Tired a bit in that one against a solid group of hard-knockers. Wasn’t that long ago when this one was beating the likes of Jesus’ Team and running up against Tiz the Law, Maxfield and others. Look out if this 4YO son of Uncle Mo is more fit and ready to romp. Good one. I bet the 5-4 across the board and then box the top 3 numbers in the exactas. I will key the 5-4 over/under the 1-2-3-6 in two smaller units. 

9th: 5-10/1-7-2/6-4-8-9…Temple Belle (5) nearly won at this same level at KEE last time out. Nipped at the wire by a neck, after leading for much of the stretch drive. Gets a top rider — who won 6 on a single day here last week. Has won with 3 of the last 8 mounts for this barn operator. Barn wins with .24% of the last 49 to make the 2nd start off the claim. Look out. Supertaleofhoudini (10) is a 3YO filly owned by Maggi Moss and trained by Jason Barkley. Hmmm. Interesting, in its’ own right, since Tom Amoss normally conditions most of the owner’s horses in these here parts. This one will get the blinkers for the first time after being claimed last time out for $30,000. Barn wins with .06% with the shades added, and .04% when stretching out the initial time, too. Will hit the floor in this spot for $15,000. First time after the claim, which the barn wins with .12%. Chance. Purrfect Love (1) is 3YO daughter of Commissioner comes in off a 3rd here on Nov. 7. Came late in that one to get a piecer of the action. Stretches out to the route distance for the first time and the barn wins with .11% of those. This will be the 2nd start off the layoff, too, and the barn wins with .10% of those kind. Gets a top rider up, and he has been serving well all year. My pick.I bet the 5-1 across the board and then box the 5-10-1 in the exactas. Sternly. Stern. Ly. I will key the 1-5 over (only) the rest of the numbers listed in a smaller unit.

Good Luck & All the Best / Gene