Day Results 6 / 3-3-2
2020 Overall 847 847 / 302-282-341
Win % of Top Pick 35.66%
Payoff % of Top 3 Picks Overall 36.40%
2020 Top Pick in the Money –540-847 63.75%
Top Selection ITM / SAR 9-13 69.23%
Top Selection Win / SAR 4-13 30.77%
Top Selection ITM / Ellis Park 22-28 78.57%
Top Selections Win / Ellis Park 10-28 35.71%
“Key Horses” @ SAR 0-0 00.00% Win / 00.00% ITM
“Key Horses” @ Ellis Park 3/1-1-0 33.33% Win / 66.67% ITM
“Key Horses” in 2020 111-38-24-16 34.23% Win / 70.27% ITM

We bounced around a bit on Friday afternoon, traveling (virtually) to both Saratoga and Ellis Park. We had a great tour.

We handicapped a total of 6 races on Friday. We ended up with a 3-3-2 mark, and cashed exactas that returned $46.75, $8.20 and $12.20 for each $1 played at Saratoga; $62.50, $5.60 and $9.70 for each $1 played at Ellis Park. Six for six. Not bad.

We are going to bounce around a bit today, too. Comments will be short. Too much handicapping. Too many races for in-depth analysis.

But, hopefully, fun and productive info here.

Here’s a look:

Ellis Park:

3rd: 11-1-(2)/13-3-5-10/(1A)-7-8-4…Saturday Night (11) is a first time starter from the barn of Brad Cox. The 2YO filly is by Tapit and out of the Stakes-placed mare Nina Fever. Has been working lights out at KEE in prep for the inaugural run. Looks ready to score. But…Tapits can take a little while to get it all figured out, some times. I go. Sarah Sariah (1) ran 2nd in the debut at Ellis Park on July 3 for a trainer that stays at the “Pea Patch” much of the year. In 11 starts so far this meet, he has a 0-3-2 mark. I go under. If Zebra Cake (2) draws in, I think you have to seriously consider. Beaten favorite last time out and the dam has 3 winners from 5 states and 1 turf winner. Barn wins with .39% with a beaten favorite. I bet the 11 to win/place/show. Box the top 3 numbers in the exacta. Key the 11 over/under all the numbers listed in two smaller.

4th: 4-3/7-6/2-5…Sweet Carolina (4) won last time out, but loses that condition. Moves up in class to face tougher. But in 6 career starts now, has 2 wins and 3 seconds. Consistent sort. New rider has a 1-4-1 mark here in the first 12 rides. Lil Miss Hot Mess (3) was claimed last time out and gets blinkers for the first time today. Barn hits with only .07% in the first start after a purchase, but does win with .13% when adding the shades. Top rider up — who has won on this one before. I bet the 4-3 across the board and then box those two in the exacta. I key the 4-3 over/under the rest of the numbers listed in two shorter units.

5th: 4-3-2/5-8/1…Shackleford’s Joy (4) goes for the barn of D. Wayne Lukas, who teamed up with rider Joe Talamo to win with one here on Friday. This one has run two good ones in a row and now cuts back to a sprint. Should appreciate this distance and look for the rider to be aggressive. Could be a square price, too. Homebred (3) goes for the connections of trainer Tom Amos and owner Maggi Moss. Tough combo. Beaten as the favorite last time out and the barn, but the barn wins with .27% of those making the second start off a layup. Look out here. Sky Ride (2) broke the maiden last time out, but could pop on the move up to face winners. Found both the grass and Ellis to his liking last time out. I bet the 4-3 across the board and then box the top 3 in one exacta. I key the 4-3 over/under the rest of the numbers in two short units.

7th: 7-3-6/5/1-4-2…Mountain Air (7) gets the nod here. Nearly won last time out at Churchill Downs, when nipped by a nose at the wire. New rider up today, but if he can duplicate the last effort? Gone. All Eyes West (3) is a 3YO son of Street Sense that was nominated to the Triple Crown series. Will make the first career start for the new trainer, who takes over for the disgraced and embattled Jason Servis. I like this one off the layup and the cutback. Barn hits with .17% with horses away from the races this long. Cowboy Diplomacy (6) is a pupil of Brad Cox. Off since April, but the works have been spot on. Look for big effort today. I bet the 7-3 across and then box the top 3. I will key the top 3 over/under the 5 in two smaller units.

8th: 6-1/3-2-1A/8-7-5/4-9…Maniacal (6) drops from a high-priced allowance event at Churchill Downs to the $40,000 price tag today, and the 7YO gelded son of Kitten’s Joy should love the plummet. Gets a top rider in the saddle again and the work on July 11 is a good indication that he is doing good right now. Look for a top effort here. Lyman (1) will be making the first start ever on the sod, but with the lack of rain for much of the summer so far, this grass should be firm. Has faced a top sprinter in Long Weekend in the last two. None of those types in here. Worth a shot. I bet the 6-1 across and then box those two solidly in the exacta. I will key the 6-1 over/under the 3-2-8-7-5-4-9 in two smaller units.


3rd: 7-1/5-3-2…G2 Hall of Fame Stakes…If this one comes off the grass today, it will be a shame. But, if it does? You have to use the “Main Track Only” entry — Money Moves (4). If it stays on the sod, I go with the grass experts — led by Decorated Invader (7). This one has 4 wins and a second in 6 grass starts, to date and has both a win and a second in two tries here. Has won each of the last two outings and won a G1 last year in Canada. Experienced. And, good. Domestic Spending (1) has never been beaten in two starts and goes for the great Chad Brown. Moves up to Stakes company for the first time and will face a little bit different class today. But? The Brit-bred colt is trained by Chad Brown. I bet the 7-1 across the board and then box those two in the exacta. Solid.

10th: 1-2-3/5-6-4…G1 Coaching Club American Oaks Stakes…Tonalist’s Shape (1) has been running off the board in Florida all of her young life. In 7 career starts, she has 6 wins. Most of them by easy margins. Ships North today and outside the comfort zone. Plus, she will travel 11/8 miles to try to get the job done. I don’t know if she will like either one of those new opportunities today. Big favorite, and worthy one at that. But, IMO, vulnerable at a very low odds price. Antoinette (2) is a hard-knocker who has 2 wins and 3 seconds in 6 lifetime starts for HOF trainer Bill Mott. Steady and tough. Has faced the best competition. But she has bounced back and forth between dirt and grass. Don’t know which one she really likes the best. Should be close at the wire. Altaf (3) may be the horse to watch. Broke the maiden last time out at Churchill Downs coming from the clouds. Drew off by nearly 6 to win. Did she beat anything? Can she move up to G1 status off a MSW win? Brown did it last year with Guarana. Why not. I bet the 3 — take note — to win/place/show and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the 3 over/under them all.

Monmouth Park:

9th: 5-7/6-2-1/4-3…G3 Matchmaker Stakes…The Chad Brown Invitational. Could sweep the top 3 spots in here, for sure. I love Beautiful Lover (5) in this spot. The 4YO Arch filly ran a good one in the G1 Gamely. Just tough luck. In 3 tries this year, two seconds. Look for a big effort here today with Jersey Joe up in the saddle. Tacit Today (7) ran 3rd in the first Graded Stakes effort last time out. Tired in that one. Comes in off a layup now. Should be fresh and ready. Top local jockey takes the reins. Stalking type. Nay Lady Nay (6) is the third “Brown Horse,” in here. Won a G2 two back. May just come from the clouds and get the job done, too. I bet the 5 to win/place/show and then box the top 3 in one exacta. I key the 5-7-6 over/under the 2-1 in two smaller versions.

10th: 10-9/8-1-6-7/2-5/3-4…G3 Monmouth Cup Stakes…Bodexpress (10) gets caught with the widest post position today, but the head-case 4YO colt could be the best of this field, too. If he behaves? If he behaves! Has the speed to control and gets a top local rider who knows this track well. Barn hits with .17% of those coming off a layup. Could be primed. Ball Harbour (9) will make the first start for the new trainer, who wins with .15% of those on debut. I can toss the last out in 2019. Has faced some very good ones in the past and has experience over this surface, with a 1-2-1 mark in 4 tries. Will be stalking our top choice from the get-go. Just Whistle (8) will be fit and ready. Coming late. If he is good enough, he could be tough enough. I bet the 10 to win/place/show and then box the top 3 numbers in the exacta. I will key the 10-9 over/under all the numbers listed in two shorter units.

11th: 1-2-8/9-5-6…G1 United Nations Stakes…Arklow (1) is a G1 winner and gets a G1 rider up today. The 6YO son of Arch had no chance in the G2 Elkhorn Stakes last time out. Barn hits with .30% of the layup. Should tower over this group with the right trip and he has the rider to give him just that here today. I bet the 1 to win/place and then key the 1 over/under the “all button.”

12th: 2-1-7…G1 Haskell Invitational…Authentic (2) needed the last race in the G1 Santa Anita Derby and I have always contended that this son of Into Mischief has been and still is trainer Bob Baffert’s best shot at the 2020 KY Derby. Won the first 3 career starts with impressive fashion. Had a wide trip and was not fully geared up for the last one. Will be today. I bet the 2 to win/place and then key the 2 over the 1-7 solidly. Pure. Simple. The #2. All day long.

Good Luck & All the Best / Gene