Day Results 9 / 2-1-5
2020 Overall 1625 1625 / 574-554-704
Win % of Top Pick 35.32%
Payoff % of Top 3 Picks Overall 37.58%
2020 Top Pick in the Money –1,051-1,625 64.68%
Top Selection ITM / CD 98-156 62.82%
Top Selections Win / CD 53-156 33.97%
“Key Horses” @ CD 25-12-1-4 .48% Win / 68.00% ITM
“Key Horses” in 2020 222-81-45-31 36.49% Win / 70.72% ITM

We return to the big oval on Wednesday and just a drumstick away from Thanksgiving 2020. Here’s hoping to kickstart a solid week of handicapping, and, more importantly, winning.

Here’s our picks for Wednesday’s action:

1st: 5-6-2/3-1-4…Wise’s Landing (5) has not raced since winning by a whopping 11 lengths up at Belterra on Sept. 25. Broke the maiden that day for a mere $7,500.  Will face winner’s for the first time here, and the barn has not done that all year. Zero-for-12. But this is not the strongest field ever assembled for a horse match at Churchill Downs. And, the work here on Nov. 19 is good enough to encourage optimism. Chance. The New Miami (6) will make the first start for a new barn operator today. New trainer has not won with a first timer all year. Zero-for-9. But she does win with .11% of those shipping in for the fray. Work over at the training center here in town was spot on Nov. 14. Encouraging move. Chance. Playful Justice (2) is an Indiana-bred filly who has never faced open company before. Just broke the maiden last time out, too, ripping off to a 5-length win. Gets a huge jockey swing here and the barn wins with .17% when facing winners for the first time. Chance. I bet the 5-2 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the 5-2 over/under the 6-3-1-4 in two smaller units.

2nd: 5-4/3/2-1-6…Well Connected (5) could give us back-to-back “5s” to start the day. This one is a 3YO son of Distorted Humor. Drops to the claiming ranks for the first time and the barn wins with .22% of those. Won the last time out, too, and the barn wins with .18% of those trying to “repeat the magic.” Rider is super hot and the work on Nov. 17 was solid enough. In two starts at this distance, this one has a win and a second. In 4 tries over a fast dirt track? Two wins and a third. Big chance here. Backshot (4) won the last time out when racing for the $40,000 tag. Bumps up to face tougher here, but the barn wins with .25% when he won the last time out. Super work here on Nov. 12. Gets a top rider up, too. For the meet, the jockey has won with .22% of his mounts. Chance. I bet the 5 to win/place/show and then box the 5-4 exacta. I will key the 5-4 over/under the 3 in two smaller units.

3rd: 4-9-1/8/7-5…Park Ridge Benny (4) was claimed last time out for the mere sum of $8,000. Ran well before tiring at the end. They went the half in :461/5 in a blistering duel up front. Tired mightily as the beaten favorite that day. Barn wins with .21% in the first start off a claim purchase, and with .24% of those returning as a beaten favorite. Work here on Nov. 19 was very nicely done. Gets a return to the same rider that nearly won here against tougher in September. One to beat, IMO. Snaggletooth (9) won last time out when competing at this level. In 17 starts at this distance? Has a 4-3-1 mark and comes in with two wins in the last 4 races. Rider is super hot these days, capturing 12 of the last 24 rides, with 6 seconds and a third in the mix, too. Wow time for this hot jock. Paddy O’Dini (1) has not done much for the new barn since being claimed four starts back here. Won that day by 4 easy lengths. Returns to the bottom today and should be a factor. Work here on Nov. 1 was spot on before the last race debacle. I can toss that one. I can wager in this one. I bet the 4-9 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the top 3 over/under the 8 in two smaller units.

4th: 5-6-7/1/4-9/3-2…The key “number” today and the top “saddle cloth” could be the #5 today. Got another one that figures mightily. Microcap (5) comes into this one off a drop from the $50,000 price tag to $20,000 today. Barn wins with 100% of those getting this kind of class relief. That is 5-for-5 this year. Over the last 7 days, the rider is as hot as anyone in the country and the barn wins with .26% of those making the 2nd start off a layup. Try as I must? Can’t figure how to beat this 3YO daughter of Wicked Strong. My first Key Play of the Day. I bet the 5 to win/place/show and then box the top 3 numbers in the exacta. I will key the 5 over/under the 6-7-1 in two solid exactas, too. I will key the 5 over (only) the 4-9-3-2 in a smaller unit. 

5th: 5-7-8/2-1/6/3…Another #5? Seriously? Yep. I go with Victory Boulevard (5) in this spot. This 3YO gelded son of Dialed In comes into this one off a nice head victory at KEE on Oct. 8. Won that one from a stalking position early on and close with authority. The “Show” horse that day came right back to win the next outing. Now, this one gets a drop off the win. Barn wins with .33% of those kind, and the hottest rider alive sticks for the gig. Morning Social (7) was claimed last time out for the $30,000 price tag. Drops to the $20,000 level today. Need a bigger truck? But the barn wins with .36% when it drops off the claim purchase and that is with a 14 race sample size. In the first start off a claim? Barn wins with .28%. Work here on Nov. 12 was solid, and the rider has won with .25% off the last 8 starts for this outfit. Chance. Forloveofcountry (8) has run two very nice 2nds in a row at this level. In 3 starts at the distance, has a win and has gone 1-1-1 in 4 starts here. Veteran rider nearly got this one home in front in each of the last two . Can’t dismiss. I bet the 5-7 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the top 3 numbers over/under the 2-1 in two smaller units.

6th: 12-3/7-10-6/11-2/9…No #5 here? Nope. Upset, right? I’ll go to the far outside and saddle up with Irish Spirit (12) and Team Asmussen here. This 5YO gelded son of Curlin is coming in off a rather solid 3rd last time out here on Nov. 4. Over the last 8 career starts, this one has hit the board 5 times. In three starts at this distance, has gone 0-1-2. Will need to kick it home, and sometimes finds a way to stick when he gets close. But this field gives this one a big shot. Whisky Man (3) moves to the big leagues today after running up in Ohio over the last 3 outs. Last time in Kentucky, though, this 3YO son of Into Mischief ran a huge one at KEE in July. Blinkers come off today, and the barn wins with .16% when getting a shipper. I have to use. I bet the 12-3 across the board and then box those two in the exacta. I will key the 12-3 over/under the 7-10-6-11-2 in two smaller units.

7th: 1-3-2/4-7-6/5…Sugar Love (1) gets a new trainer for this one today, and this barn operator knows exactly what to do with the newbies. Has won with .24% of the last 533 to make the first start for this outfit after a claim purchase. Will get the blinkers for the first time, too, and the barn wins with .21% of those donning the shades for the initial time. Gets the barn’s go-to rider up, and he wins with .21% off the last 43 for this barn. My choice. Flashy Biz (3) has run two good ones in a row and has a win over this track in only previous run here. Gets a huge, huge rider switch for this one. New rider has gone 12-6-1 in the last 24 mounts. Yet, only has 1 career win in 16 lifetime starts. Hmm. Super Cat Lady (2) returns today after snapping the MCL last time out here on Oct. 29 when negotiating a sloppy racetrack. Barn wins with .22% when moving up out of the MCL ranks to face winners for the first time. Interesting. I bet the 1 to win/place/show and then box the top 3 numbers in the exacta. I will key the 1 over/under all the numbers listed in two smaller units.

8th: 1/2/9-10-3-4/5-7/8-6…My second Key Play of the Day comes with one of my most Favorite Horses of a Lifetime — Dennis Moment (1). This was my KY Derby pick going into 2020. Lots of things have changed since then. After the debacle in the G2 Fountain of Youth in only previous 2020 start back in February — this one got an extended layup and vacation. Has returned with a flair. Talked to the trainer. He thinks this horse has trained better than any horse he has ever had. Ever. I think that is good enough for me. If this one can break well and the rider can find a nice spot off the rail going from the chute into the main backstretch, then watch out. But it won’t be easy. Some nice ones return to test him in here, too. I bet the 1 to win/place/show and then key the 1 over/under all the numbers listed. More with the 2. Less with the 9-10-3-4. Even less with the rest. But I will box the 1-2 sternly in here, as well.

9th: 10-(13)-5/4-1-6-7/(15)-9-2-11…Bird Ruler (10) is my solid choice in the nightcap. This 2YO gelded son of Empire Maker ran a better-than-looks 4th in the career debut here on Oct. 25. Had all kinds of traffic and bumping issues in that one. Take a look at the video. And, this one has returned to work lights out. I love this one here. Love him. I bet the 10 to win/place/show and then box the top 3 numbers in the exacta. I will key the 10-5 over/under the 4-1-6-7 in two smaller units. 

Good Luck & All the Best / Gene