McLean’s Selections For Churchill Downs on Wednesday, Nov. 6

Day Results10/4-3-3
2019 Overall 1,2541,254/441-451-563
Win % of Top Pick35.17%
Payoff % of Top 3 Picks Overall38.68%
2019 Top Pick in the Money –820 of 1,25465.39%
Top Selection ITM / CD Nov 37-6160.66%
Top Selection Win / CD Nov 25-6140.98%
“Key Horses” @ CD Nov 13/7-2-053.85%
“Key Horses” in 2019 202-79-39-2239.11%

Thank goodness the 2019 Election is over. Thank God and Greyhound those awful, negative, attacking TV advertisements are done — at least for now. Thank the Almighty that we can go to the racetrack today and celebrate the great election of them all — who to “vote for” on the racetrack.

My favorite election comes with the horses.

Here’s our look at the Wednesday card at Churchill Downs:

1st: 2-1-3-6…Italian Justice (2) is a 2YO daughter of Justin Phillip and is dropping all the way from $150,000 claiming to the $30,000 level today. Barn hits with .27% when dropping this far. She will get blinkers for the first time, and the barn hits with .24% of the time. When going from the sprint to a route, the barn hits with .27%. Ran well for a half last time out, but spit the bit. Shows up now with a work at the Thoroughbred Training Center in Lexington. Don’t think I’ve ever seen a horse with this barn operation at that facility. Interesting. Addison (1) is another major class dropper. This one goes from MSW to the MCL level for the first time ,and this barn hits with .08 doing that for the first time. Interesting switch of riders, too. Has a shot in this spot and class level, too. I bet the 2 to win/place/show and then key the 2 over/under the rest of the numbers use. 

2nd: 3-6-5/4-2-1…Majestic John’s (3) gets the nod in this spot, what with a huge drop in class from a Stakes event two races ago to the $30,000 price tag today. Won over the all-weather surface three races ago, and will switch from the turf to the dirt. Barn hits with .15% of those. Dam of this one is a Stakes-placed winner with 2 winners from 3 starters. Will be interesting to see how this guy does over the fast dirt. Carpe Noctem (6) won the last time out when racing at Santa Anita on Sept. 29. Was the odds-on favorite that day. Has since travelled East to KY, and will make the first start in the new confines. Trainer hits with .12% when moving up to face winners for the first time. Gets a solid rider, who is off to a really good start this meet. Parked It (5) inches up in the class ranks after an easy win at Indy Grand. Comes from a top barn operation. Hot rider takes the seat. I bet the 3-6 across the board and then box the top 3 numbers in the exacta. I will key the 3-6 over/under the 5-4-2-1 in two smaller versions.

3rd: 8-7/9-3/6-10-5…Marquee Spirit (8) will be making the career debut for the same barn operation that will send two major players in the daily double. This one has been training at the Thoroughbred Training Center in Lexington, too. Interesting. This one gets the services of Tyler Gaffalione, too. Comes from a Stakes Winning dam, who has 2 winners from 2 starters. Interesting, too. Happy Peddler (7) is 12-1 in the ML, and is my first Upset Special of the Day. Dam of this one has 7 winners from 7 starters and 1 SW. Barn hits with .24% with those that debut in the MCL ranks. Like the work at Churchill Downs on Oct. 30. Rider is still looking for the first win here after 22 rides. A bit chilly. I bet the 8-7 across the board and then box those 2 in the exacta. I will key the 8-7 over/under the 9-3-6-10-5.

4th: 4/2/9-8-5-3…The first Key Play of the Day is French Quarter (4). This one is an 8YO gelded son of Shakespeare and was claimed last time out at this same price tag. Won that event for the 2nd straight victory, and now will wheel right back for another try. Picks up the meet’s top rider for this assignment. Looks formidable in this spot. I bet the 4 to win/place/show and then key the 4 over (only) the numbers listed. I will box the 4-2 in one solid exacta to boost.

5th: 8-6/5-4-1/2-7…Blinkers (8) broke the Maiden last time out on Oct. 12 in Oklahoma at Remington Park. Ran off to a 10-length win that day as the odds-on favorite. Has a 1-1-2 record on the resume after the first 9 starts, but look at the record since the addition of, hmmm, blinkers four races ago. Since then, she has 2 thirds, a second and a win. A different horse, for sure. Look for this one to gas from the get-go. Lunar Orbit (6) has not been close in either of the last two. But she was off from Feb. 21 to Sept. 29, and now drops considerably for this spot. Barn hits with .19% in the claiming ranks. This will be the second time off the layup, and the barn hits with .15% of those. Works have improved. I bet the 8 to win/place/show and then box the 8-6 in one exacta. I will key the 8-6 over/under the 5-4-1-2-7.

6th: 9-8-1/6-5/4-7-2…Icatiro (9) is my second Upset Special of the Day. This one is 6-1 in the ML, but is dropping out of a $16,000 claimer and falls all the way to the $7,500 level. The barn hits with .27% of those dropping this many ranks in one swoop. Winner of the last one, and the runner-up have both come back to win again, too. And, that was against much, much tougher. Big shot with a new rider in the irons here. One Man Party (8) drops another level for this one after another poor outing last time out. Comes back as a beaten favorite today, and the barn hits with .29% of them. Im the Best I Know (1) was second last time out at Hawthorne up in Chicago. Was second over the all-weather surface three races back, too. Work on Oct. 21 was outstanding. I bet the 9-1 across the board and then box the top 3 numbers in the exacta. I will key the 9-1 over/under the 8-6-5, too.

7th: (13)-9-11-1/2-10-8-3/(15)-(12)-4-5-6-7…Longclaw (13) will be the favorite if the 2YO colt draws into the body of this field. Ran a real good one against Peace Achieved down at KY Downs in the last showing. That one ended up in the Breeders’ Cup last Friday. If he gets in, I will land and support this one, too. If he does not, I will spread out on the next 3 numbers to try and find a winner. Summer Palace (9) is 8-1 in the ML and will be making his first start in NA for a barn that hits with .20% of those getting treated with Lasix for the first time. Moves over to the sod, which should help with this pedigree. Top rider takes the reins. Be interesting to see how this one is treated on the tote board. Kierkegaard (11) is a NY-bred who really ran well the last time out when moving over the mud at Belmont Park and against only other State-breds last time out. That was the first time that he was shoved to the front. May lay a bit off this pace today when shifting back to the turf, where this one had run two nice races before. Palace Coup (1) was right there at the finish line here on Sept. 22. But this one is on the AE List, too, and must draw into the race. If this son of Bernardini does, he will be a prime time player. I bet the 13-1 — if either or both draw into the race from the AE List. If not, I will concentrate on the 9-2. The best two horses appear to be on the AE List.

8th: 6-11-10/9-2-7/1-12/3-5…Young Phillip (6) nearly pulled off the win two races ago when racing here on Sept. 13. In 6 starts to date, this 3YO son of Gemologist has 3 seconds and 1 third. Last time out, he shied at the 1/8th pole and that didn’t help, at all. Rider wrapped up on him after that. Can toss that one. I look for a win here in this spot today. My next Key Play of the Day. I will look to Speed Effect (11) — who is 10-1 ML odds — will get another drop in the class order today. Has 2 thirds in a row and will get blinkers for just the second time today. Look for big improvement in here. Trashtalkinyankee (10) is 12-1 in the ML line, and this 3YO colt can be an upset contender, too. This one will be making the third start off a layup, and the barn hits with .22% of them. Has enough speed to be a serious threat here, too. I bet the 6 to win/place/show and then key the 6 over/under the 11-10-9-2-7 in two smaller versions.

9th: 3-1-6/2/5-4…Lemon Chill (3) has been a different horse since being equipped with blinkers four starts ago. Broke the maiden with a power performance two starts ago, coming from far off the pace. Ran well in the first try against winners the last time. Love the work for this one on Nov. 3. Looks like this one could be a real threat in this spot today. Saracosa (1) has two seconds and two thirds in 5 starts this year. In three starts over this main track, he has a second and two thirds. The work here on Oct. 30 was spot on. Hottest rider on the grounds. Will be a real threat, as well. I bet the 3-1 across the board and then box the top 3 in one exacta. I will key the 3-1 over/under the 6-2-5-4 in two smaller versions.

10th: 1-3/(11)-(12)-(13)/10-7-(14)/2-9-8-4…Today’s finale will be a turf event over 11/16-mile course, and I will go with Unchained (1) in this spot. This 4YO daughter of the Irish stallion Dansili is coming off two nice runs in a row. Nearly won on debut, losing by only a neck to a horse that came right back to win the next time out. The second time out, this one went a bit faster and didn’t have the stamina to finish. Gets a new rider today, who know hows to wait and knows how to win, too. My last Key Play of the Day. I will also use Moving Moon (3), who is coming off a near-miss second at Indy Grand in his last outing. That was way back in July, when in tight quarters the first part of the race. Got Lasix for the first time in that race. Barn hits with .19% of those getting the anti-bleeder medication for the second time. One of the top grass riders in the entire country gets the mount again. Daughter of the great stallion Galileo has credentials. I bet the 1 to win/place/show and then box the 1-3 in the exacta. I will key the 1-3 over/under the horses that get into the race on my list.

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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