McLean’s Selections for Churchill Downs on Wednesday, Nov. 27

Day Results10/3-4-7
2019 Overall 1,3951,395/489-508-625
Win % of Top Pick35.05%
Payoff % of Top 3 Picks Overall38.76%
2019 Top Pick in the Money –918 of 1,39565.81%
Top Selection ITM / CD Nov 135-20466.18%
Top Selection Win / CD Nov 74-20436.28%
“Key Horses” @ CD Nov 25/11-6-044.00%
“Key Horses” in 2019 214-83-43-2238.79%

We begin the final week of racing for Churchill Downs in 2019. It has been an interesting year, to be sure. It has been a good year, without doubt. And, we hope that we can finish the Churchill Downs’ live racing year with a bang, too.

Here’s a look at the card for Wednesday:

1st: 4-3-7/2-1-5…He’s No Bull (4) gave a good run at this same level here on Nov. 7, before tiring in the final strides of that 6.5-furlong event. Shortens up to 6 furlongs for this try today, and that should help this speed monster. Gets a new rider in the irons today, too, and one who is known for being able to throttle a horse back and save a little energy for the final furlong. Like the recent work pattern and the barn hits with .23% of the claimers run this year, too. All Around (3) will drop back to the price level where he was claimed two starts back. He closed well in that one, and then bumped up two rungs on the claiming ladder last time out for a top barn operation. Won that one coming from off the pace. Now, falls after the win. Barn hits with .10% of those kind and with .25% of those trying to repeat in the claiming ranks. Has a win and a third in 4 previous runs here. Interesting rider choice here. Jockey is red hot and making a run for the rider’s title. Jimmy Joe (7) won the last time out, and now will lose that condition. Will have to face tougher today. Still, this one is very good right now. Has hit the board in each of the last 3 outs and 4 of the last 5. Like the maintenance work since the last race, too. Threat. I bet the 4 to win/place/show and then box the top 3 in the exacta.

2nd: 8-9/2-5-3/7-1A…Instigated (8) nearly won at this level last time out here on Nov. 1. Came with a rush that day and lost the wire by a neck. New rider takes the reins for the first time, but this one is a real threat at this same price tag. This 2YO son of Malibu Moon cost $195,000 as a yearling last July. Now, he is being offered up for $30,000. Might not be a bad purchase for a winter at Turfway. St. Paddy’s Daddy (9) will move up in class after nearly closing to win on debut here just 10 days ago. Wheels right back with a new rider up. Will face tougher today, but may have been better fitted at this level any way. Have to regard highly. I bet the 8 to win/place/show and then box the top two in the exacta. I will key the 8 over/under all the numbers in two smaller versions.

3rd: 3-1A/4-6-8/2-1-5…Lady Cleopatra (3) looks the best of these, if you can toss the last race. And, for me, I can do just that. Brushed the gate coming out at the start and that is one of the toughest start problems that a horse can encounter. Especially those that want and need to be on the lead. This one should air right to the front again today, and if she can get away clean, she will be tough to run down. The barn hits with .31% of those that return as a beaten favorite, and the barn has won with .25% of the 24 starters this week, too. My first Key Play of the Day. I bet the 3 to win/place/show and then box the 3-1A in the exacta. I will key the 3 over/under all the numbers in two smaller versions.

4th: 6-10/4-7/(14)-9-5-1/2-3…This one is the first turf race carded on the day. You never know at this time of the year if the sod is going to dry out enough to be useful surface or not. I am betting and handicapping that the races stay on the sod today. If it does, I will go strong with Tryon Summer (6). This 3YO daughter of Discreetly Mine is a Virginia-bred and she has done some of her best running against restricted company. That is a concern. But…This one is dropping back into the claiming ranks for the first time since she was a very nice third here on the dirt back in June. If she can duplicate that run, she will be a tough one to handle. Speedy type will try to take them gate-to-wire. Can she carry them the whole way? We will ride along. Mo Gayle (10) will go from dirt to turf, and the barn only hits with .06% of those kind. In one previous run over the grass, she finished a distant 9th, too. But that was against much tougher and the last time this one tried the claiming ranks, she won impressively here on the dirt in September. New rider will try his luck and has hit with .08% of the last 25 rides for this barn. I bet the 6 to win/place/show and then key the 6 over/under the numbers listed. More over the 10-4-7. Less with the rest.

5th: 4-7/8-2/6-1/3-9-5…Turner Time (4) is a veteran that we have used here in the Commonwealth several times this year. The 4YO returns to KY from Presque Isle and a couple of trips over the all-weather surface. Those races went well, but this one likes the dirt, too. In 11 tries over the fast dirt, he has a record of 4-1-3. In 4 starts here, has a win and 2 thirds, as well. Love the work at the Trackside Training Center here on Nov. 17. Look for this speedster to be tough to catch. Lewys Vaporizer (7) is a 7YO gelding that we touted as a Key Play of the Day last time out. He disappointed us and may others by spitting the bit late and giving up in the stretch. Gets the meet’s top rider in the irons today, and I think that should help this one, for sure. The work on Oct. 17 is solid. Look for a return to favor. I bet the 4-7 across the board and then box those 2 in the exacta. I will key the 4-7 over (only) the rest of the numbers in a smaller version. More over the 8-2-6-1.

6th: 3-8-7/11-6/4-9…Strong Side (3) could slide up the odds board before post time in this one, and I really think that this 6YO gelded son of English Channel could be a tough out. Drops down from $30,000 price tag to the $10,000 level today. Barn hits with .32% of those getting this kind of class plunge. Has never been offered up for this low a price, either. I look for a much better effort in this wide-open affair. Bear Trappe (8) could spice up the odds rack, as well. This one drops from the $20,000 level to the $10,000 price tag. Barn hits with a whopping .43% when getting this big of a drop in one swoop. Throw out the last race against much better, and look at the race two back against this level. Won by over 4 that day here in September. Goes from a route to a sprint, too, and the barn hits with .20% of those. Deano (7) moves up in class after two nice runs in a row. Interesting, but will have to run much better in this spot. I bet the 8 — take note — to win/place/show and then I box the 8-3 in one exacta. I will key the 8-3 over/under the rest of the numbers in two smaller versions.

7th: 3-2-4/8-6-5/7…Every Single Day (3) will be making the third start off a layup, and the barn hits with .21% of those kind. Ran over the slop at KEE on Oct. 26. Didn’t run badly, but never seemed to grab the ground. Gets a new rider who is red hot right now and I think you can look for huge improvement here today. Big Time Delivery (2) ran a nice second here on Sept. 29 to nearly break the maiden. Didn’t fire at all last time out over the slop at KEE. Returns home to his favorite track and the meet’s top jockey stays aboard. Dam of this one is Stakes placed and has 5 winners from 6 starters. This one could join that group today, for sure. Gets the blinkers for the first time today, and the barn hits with .19% of those. Le Moine (4) will be making her first start since July. Has been intermittent all year long, but this daughter of Curlin is super-well bred and could cover the ground with a good effort here at a very nice price. My first Upset Special of the Day. I bet the 2-4 across the board — take note — and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the top 3 over/under the rest of the numbers in two smaller versions.

8th: 3-9-(13)-(14)-1A/4-8-2-1/6-(11)-10-5…The second turf event of the day is scheduled to be contested at the two-turn distance of 11/8-miles. If it stays on the grass, I will go with La Signare (3) in a rather strong way. This 4YO French-bred nearly won at KEE on Oct. 17. Lost that one as the PT favorite by only a neck. Came with a rush that day and just missed. Love the work here on Nov. 18. Before the last outing, this gal had run in four straight Graded stakes events. Should love this spot and the give in the ground, too. Bred to love it. This is my Key Play of the Day. I will be the 3 to win/place/show and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the 3 over/under all the numbers in two smaller versions.

9th: 10-8-6/1-2-11-4/5-3-9-7…Lady Kate (10) is a 3YO daughter of Bernardini and will be making her second start off a considerable layup. The barn hits with .20% of those and this one returns as a beaten favorite, too. Barn hits with .29% of those. Should be a lot fitter for this one and the shorter distance could be a big help, as well. Love the rider choice, and this one did cost $485,000 as a KEE September Yearling Sale graduate in 2017. Adds up for me. Diamond Crazy (8) is a deep closer who has hit the board in each of the last four. Barn is having a rather chilly meet, but the rider returns from two starts back, and he is red hot right now. Could push this one late, too. Super Wonder Girl (6) is no slouch, either. Has two straight 2nd place finishes, and lost by less than a length last time out. Love the work here on Nov. 19. Looks sharp. Could add to the mix. I bet the 10 to win/place/show and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the 10-8 over/under the 6-1-2-11-4-5 in two smaller versions.

10th: 2-6-8/5-3-9-7-10/1…The final race of the day is a wide open affair for the 3YOs & Up. Will be contested at the flat 1-mile distance. Hard to separate many of these kind today. I will give there slight edge to Take Charge d’Oro (2). This one won here on Sept. 29 in a run-away. Moved up in class last time out and he was no match for that group. Back at the same level at which he won two starts back. Barn hits with .26% of those making the second start after a claim purchase. Barn also hits with .23% of those getting this kind of class drop, too. Rider fits this one’s race style just perfectly, and the jockey has won with .25% of his rides for this barn over the last 60 days. Interesting. I bet the 2 to win/place/show and then box the top 3 numbers in the exacta. I will key the 2 over/under the 6-8-5-3-9-7-10 in two smaller versions.

Good Luck & All the Best / Gene

 

The horse broke well today,” Gaffalione said. “I had the horse inside, Dunph, going to the lead and then (Gun It) showed a little bit of speed. When I saw they were intent on going I just tried to get him back and got him to relax. He came back to me nicely and settled well down the backside. Got a little keen going into the far turn and wanted to move a little early. But I didn’t want to take too much away from him so I tried to sit as long as I could. He was waiting on horses down the lane but I kept him at task and there was plenty of horse there.”

“Mark (Casse, the trainer) and his team have done a great job,” Gaffalione said. “They’ve had a ton of confidence in this horse the whole way. It’s just an honor to be able to ride the horse. He’s just so professional, trains great and he’s a pleasure to be around.”

Tyler Gaffalione, Rode of War of Will to victory in the G2 Risen Star Stakes at the Fair Grounds
  • Gene McLean

    Gene McLean

    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 ...

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