Day Results 10 / 2-2-3
2020 Overall 982 982 / 347-324-392
Win % of Top Pick 35.34%
Payoff % of Top 3 Picks Overall 36.08%
2020 Top Pick in the Money –633-982 64.46%
Top Selection ITM / SAR 53-78 67.95%
Top Selection Win / SAR 30-78 38.46%
Top Selection ITM / Ellis Park 63-93 67.74%
Top Selections Win / Ellis Park 29-93 31.18%
“Key Horses” @ SAR 11-4-1-1 36.36% Win / 54.54% ITM
“Key Horses” @ Ellis Park 12/4-4-2 33.33% Win / 83.33% ITM
“Key Horses” in 2020 131-45-28-19 34.35% Win / 70.23% ITM

We launch another weekend of fine racing at Ellis Park. Racing Secretary Dan Bork has done a tremendous job all meet, carding some exciting and interesting racing at all levels. The Friday card is one of the best for the entire meet. From top to bottom.

Here’s our investigative report on the horses that we like…and why:

1st: 4-2-1/10-3/7-8-5…My Discreet Secret (4) gets the edge in this 5.5-furlong specialty event for my betting strategy. This 3YO filly by Secret Circle is coming off a 3rd here over a muddy track on July 31. Bumps up to the $10,000 tag level today, but appears to have some run to her and the grass could be right up her ally. Out of a Stakes-placed dam. Naughty Factor (2) drops a bit in the class category here, and ran very well in the last two at Belterra. That was against softer competition, though, and this one must pick it up to be a “factor” here. Gets a top rider for the assignment and the barn wins with .42% of those returning as a beaten favorite. Wow number there. Money Well Spent (1) could spice up the odds rack here, a bit. This Louisiana-bred has been running against open company and two races back won over this turf course. Was claimed out of that one for $10,000 and immediately moved up and off the sod. Didn’t like either change. Now back. Could find this to be the niche. I bet the 4-2 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the top 3 over/under the 10-3 in two smaller units.

2nd: 6-4-5/2-3/1…Sugar Love (6) just missed by a nose at KEE last time out, when racing for a $50,000 tag. In 5 times at this distance, the 4YO Candy Ride filly has two seconds and a third. Gets a top rider up and the barn has 2 wins and 2 thirds in 10 tries here this meet. Could be a tough out in here. Remanded (4) is the ML favorite and is the most likely candidate to be the PT favorite, as well. The 3YO Elusive Quality filly will be making the third start off a layup and should like this company a lot better than the ones she found in each of the last two. Won impressively on debut at Gulfstream Park back in February. Has trained well for this one. Gets a rider who has won .16% of his mounts here this meet. The one to beat. Urban Insight (5) has been beaten a half-length in each of the last three tries. May not get past the top 2, but could be close at the wire. Again. I bet the 6-4 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the top 3 over/under the 2-3 in two smaller units.

3rd: 9-4/6-1-2-3/7-5-8…Tuff Bird (9) comes from the barn of Norm Casse, who seemingly always has his horses looking fit and ready. This one ran 4th last time out here and had some traffic issues along the way. Gets a rider who knows his way around the turf and gets so much needed class relief, as well. The barn wins with .20% of those dropping into the claiming ranks for the first time. Take heed and note. Heavenly Peace (4) drops into the MCL ranks for the first time, too, and this trainer wins with .26% of those kind. Ran a better than looks 6th here on July 24. Came with a serious late rally from next-to-last to lose by just 21/4 lengths. Could be a tough out against these types and with a little earlier spunk. I bet the 9-4 across the board and then box those two in the exacta. I go rather stern in this spot. I will also key the 9-4 over/under the 6-1-2-3-7 in two smaller units.

4th: 5/2-1-3/4-6…The first Key Play of the Day comes here with High Regard (5). This 4YO daughter of Will Take Charge didn’t fire a lick in the last outing. But that was against G3 company at Monmouth Park. Simply put? Overmatched. Two races back, though, this one ran second and was beaten just a neck. That was over the dirt at Churchill Downs. Gets back to the main track here and picks up a top rider in the saddle. Works of late have been spot on. Spot. As in? On. My solid choice here. I bet the 5 to win/place and then key the 5 over/under the numbers listed here. I will also key the 5 over (only) the “all button.”

5th: 7-5-3/2-8/6-1-4…Villanelle (7) is a 3YO daughter of Curlin and will be making the career debut for a trainer that wins with .18% on the first try. Works are very solid. Dam of this one was a Stakes winner. Cost $300,000 to purchase at the 2018 KEE September Sale. Looks poised. Flatoya (5) has raced 6 times previously, and has 2 seconds already on the resume. Spit the bit as the favorite last time out. Now, cuts back to the sprint distance again, and that should help this one immensely. Love the rider choice. He’s had success on this one before. Work on Aug. 3 should sharpen the edge. Propose (3) is another first timer and goes for a barn that wins with .18% of those making the debut appearance. Dam has a winner from 2 starters, to date, and was a Stakes winner, as well. Work here on Aug. 5? Bullet. I bet the 7-5 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the top 3 over/under the 2-8 in two smaller versions.

6th: 7-3-6/2-8-1/5-4…Pine Knoll (7) gets my top spot in this route over the grass. This 3YO son of City Zip just ran 3rd at KEE on July 9. That was the first try over the sod, and it was the first race in nearly 3 months. Should be fitter off the last race and gets a nice rider switch here. Look out. Civil Servant (3) spit the bit after pushing the pace last time out. Now, gets the grass for the first time and will be making the 3rd start off the layup for a top barn. Dam of this one has 3 winners from 4 starters and here’s the kicker — 2 turf winners. May excel over the sod today. King of Fortune (6) has been trying to come from off the pace in each of the first 5 starts. Has gotten up for two thirds in the past. Rider has been very hot of late, winning 4 of the last 9. I bet the 7-3 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I key the 7-3 over/under the 6-2-8-1-5 in two smaller units.

7th: 4-8-6/9-3-(14)/2-7/1-5-10/11-12…This is the 2YO event for the day, and I will go with my first Upset Special of the Day — Devil’s Tower (4). The 2YO son of Into Mischief is a home bred and has been training very well for the debut. Look at the move at KEE on July 18. Rider choice is interesting, but he has won with .13% for the meet. Gator Romp (8) could be another Upset Special of the Day II. This 2YO Florida-bred is already a gelding and should improve off the last race on July 31. Ran very well in that one until he didn’t. Moves to the dirt today, and the barn wins with .11% of those making this surface change. Work on July 27 was spot on. Rider switch is something I like. Adds up for me. Money Miles (6) is 15-1 in the ML. Could we have another Upset Special of the Day? This one ran here on July 19. Ran 7th and was beaten plenty. But this one ran very well through the first few quarters and has returned to training with a mission. Look at the last work for a barn that has a 2-1-1 record in just 9 starts here. The horse than ran 2nd in the debut effort, just came back to run in a Stakes here over the weekend. Take note. I bet the 4-8-6 across the board. All 3 of ’em. Then I box the top 3 numbers in the exacta, trifecta. Go get ’em.

8th: 1-7/3-8-6/4-2-5…Sagaponack (1) won at Monmouth Park last September to break the maiden. Was off until July, when this one showed up at Ellis Park. Ran a tiring 3rd, but that is no shocker – -considering the long layup. Goes to a sprint today. That could help. If the last race helped to tighten the girth on this one, look out. May be gone. As in long gone. Sea of Hope (7) has not run very well in three of the last four efforts. The first three races of the career, though, are very encouraging. Top rider takes the reins. Love the rider choice here. I bet the 1-7 across the board and then box those 2 extensively. I will key the 1-7 over (only) the 3-8-6-4-2-5. Ring the bell.

9th: 6/1-7-5-8/4-9/2-11…The raceday finale is another turf event, and I will go with my second Key Play of the Day. The lucky lady today is a 4YO filly by the name of Sequaya (6). This 4YO Fort Earned filly is coming off a near win at this same level last time out and over the course. Made the lead nearing the wire. Past in the shadow of the goal post. Barn hits with .24% of those returning to the starting gate as a beaten favorite. Jockey has joined up with this trainer to go 2-0-1 in the last 4 outings. Works good enough to maintain conditioning. Interesting note? The horse that beat this one last November 21? Stolen Beauty. She just won last time out this week. I bet the 6 to win/place/show and then key the 6 over/under all the numbers listed. I will key over (only) the “all button.” And, I will take another 6 over/under the 1-7-5-8.

Good Luck & All the Best / Gene