|2020 Overall 888||888 / 313-295-355|
|Win % of Top Pick||35.25%|
|Payoff % of Top 3 Picks Overall||36.15%|
|2020 Top Pick in the Money –568-888||63.96%|
|Top Selection ITM / SAR 21-30||70.00%|
|Top Selection Win / SAR 11-30||36.67%|
|Top Selection ITM / Ellis Park 35-47||74.47%|
|Top Selections Win / Ellis Park 13-47||27.66%|
|“Key Horses” @ SAR 3-2-1-0||66.67% Win / 100.00% ITM|
|“Key Horses” @ Ellis Park 5/2-2-0||40.00% Win / 80.00% ITM|
|“Key Horses” in 2020 116-41-26-16||35.35% Win / 71.56% ITM|
What a frustrating day on Saturday. What a day it could have been, too.
We went winless in 7 races at Ellis Park, but…
Our top selections ran second on 3 occasions and our second pick won three times and had a second.
Hmmm. Can’t fault the handicapping too much, I don’t think.
We had one win in 4 races at Saratoga, but…
Our top pick won once and finished second twice.
Hmmm. Can’t fault the handicapping too much, especially when we took a shot to try and beat Volatile.
Plus, on the day at the two tracks:
We scored 6 exactas out of the 11 races that returned $18.90, $42.30, $16.20, $14.50, $13.30 and $4.45 for each $1 played.
So close. Yet? So far away.
Here’s hoping for a little better luck on Sunday. Soul could use an uplifting experience.
Ellis Park: (Comments to Come Shortly)
1st: 7-6/2-1-5…I’m going with my first Upset Special of the Day right out of the box in this 5.5-furlong sprint over a very firm sod course. Elle Factor (7) is by a sire who can produce rapid-fire grass runners and this one does have a second and a third at this distance in 4 previous tries. Drops from the $20,000 tag to $10,000 today and that should aid and assist this one’s efforts. Worth a shot early on. Right? Proudly Fought (6) is the ML favorite and should be after winning here on July 2 by nearly 5. Moves up in class today, but attracts the meet’s top rider to the saddle. Move to the grass for the first time, though. Wheels on? I bet the 7 to win/place/show and then key the 7 over/under the “all button.” Go big or go home. Early.
2nd: 3/1-6/2…The first Key Play of the Day comes in just the 2nd race and with Free (3). This one drops from the $50,000 level all the way to $16,000 grand today and if she can find the form of two back? Look out. On again, off again sort, but looks like this may be the right spot. I’m on board. I bet the 3 to win/place/show and then key the 3 over/under the other numbers listed in the exactas.
3rd: 4-2-1/6-3/5-7…Moon of Love (4) is my pick here. Will make the 2nd start in NA and should improve with the move to the grass course. The shorter distance may help this one, too. Ran up against a stablemate last time that look ready to win. Should fit here nicely with the meet’s top jock in the irons. Solid pick. Moravia (2) comes from a barn off to a great start here this meet. Has not been out since May of 2019. Concern. But the words are very solid and should be ready to go this sprint distance. Rider has won with .21% in the last 14 mounts for this barn. Elle Z (1) will get the Lasix for the first time today, and the barn hits with .07% of those. But the combo of the medication, a top grass rider and the fact that this one is bred top and bottom to go this distance over this surface. I like. I bet the 4-2 across the board and then box the top 3 in one exacta. I will key the top 3 over (only) the 6-3 in a shorter version.
4th: 2-1-3/4-5-6…Bahama Mischief (2) is a 2YO daughter of Into Mischief and trained by a top conditioner. Ran super in the debut race at Churchill Downs on June 26. Any improvement at all today and she could be a tough out. Looks to be a late runner, and the added distance should really help her style. Look out here. My second Key Play of the Day. 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 “all button” in two smaller versions.
5th: 6-2-1/4-3/5-7…Jungle Warfare (6) moves to the grass for the first time in awhile — since last May of 2019. IN 10 starts over the sod, he has never won. Zero-for-10. But does have 3 seconds and 4 thirds over the surface. This is a much softer field of study and the last race is a toss for me. Barn hits with .24% on the second start after a claim. Looks poised to me at a square price. Limnery (2) returns after winning by a nose last time out. Moves up in class today. But the barn wins with .28% of those making the 2nd start off a layup and with the same percentage when trying to repeat trips to the circle. Has a 1-3-1 mark in 6 starts over grass. The one to beat? Maybe. By Your Side (1) started the career with back to back wins — including a triumph in the G3 Sanford at Saratoga last year. Been tough sledding since and now moves to the grass for the first time and gets blinkers for the first time. Experiment time. The works have been good. Get a familiar rider up. Not without a shot. I bet the 6-2 across and then box the top 3 in one exacta.
6th: We skip
7th: 8-4-1/6-3-7-9…Torsie’s Charm (8) gets the nod from our barn today. The 2YO daughter of More Than Ready goes for a barn that wins with .20% when debuting on the grass. Sharp works of late. Top rider up. I think could pop on debut. I’ll Make It Coach (4) ran third last time out when getting the grass for the first time. Gets the meet’s top rider back up. Could be better in the second route race. Beautiful Star (1) hopped and was bumped at the start in the debut. Lost all chance. Now, she draws the rail? I would prefer a better spot in the gate, but if she can get out of there running — big chance. I bet the 8-1 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exacta.
8th: 3-2-8/7-6-4/5-10…Good Lord Stakes…Manny Wah (3) has faced much, much tougher in his lifetime and caught a monster last time out. Winner of that one just came back to capture the Stakes at Saratoga on Saturday and may just be the best sprinter in the world right now. If Manny can close off a fast pace? Big shot here. I’m all in. My third Key Play of the Day. I will be the 3 to win/place/show and then box the top 3 in one exacta. I will key the 3 over/under all the numbers listed in two shorter units.
9th: 6-4-1-(11)/5/9-7-3…Irish Spirit (6) will drop to a career low price tag today and the barn hits with .32% of those getting this kind of class relief all at once. Last race was a debacle, but the winner of that one came right back to win. Look for much more here today. My last Key Play of the Day. I bet the 6 to win/place/show and then box the top 3 in one exacta. I will key the 6 over/under all the numbers listed in two shorter units.
Saratoga Race Course:
5th: 1-10-7/(11)-(9)/2-6/4-8…This is a 5.5-furlong sprint over the turf course and I will go with Mad Maddy (1). This 2YO son of American Pharoah was a bargain (we shall see) at $150,000 at the 2019 Fasig-Tipton July Sale. Has run two very nice seconds over the dirt at Churchill Downs to begin the career. Had a few gate issues in both and hung in the last one when poised to win. Rail is no bargain — especially for a horse with gate issues. Will need to pop and go. River Tiber (10) has run once over the grass at Belmont Park for 2YO guru trainer Wesley Ward. Ran 4th in that one, but beaten less than 2. New rider up. Outside post should help here. More experience today could help loads. Pitaman (7) could be the surprise here. Ran third on debut, but was beaten 17 lengths. Yet, that was scheduled to be on the turf before being moved over to a muddy main track at Belmont Park. This one bred for the grass. Could move up huge on the sod. Take note. I bet the 10-7 across the board — take note — and then box the top 3 in the exacta. If it comes off the turf, the two MTO horses play in the mix.
6th: 1-6-2/11-5-3/7/(8)-(9)…Jazzique (1) looks the best to me on paper in this 1-mile contest over the inner grass course. The 3YO daughter of Animal Kingdom has never missed the board and been right there in the last two. Barn hits with .26% of those making the 2nd start off the layup and the work on July 19 was spot on. Love the rider back up today. Hot. Has won with .33% of the last 39 rides for this barn. Witez (6) gets a huge rider switch for this one and has run against much better than most of these. The G3 Regret was a debacle. Toss race for me. Has a win and a third at this distance . Eye of a Soldier (2) will make the 2020 debut for a new barn operator, who hits with .15% of those making the first start for these connections. The G2 Jessamine was much better than looks on paper. If ready off the layoff — and he move on July 20 suggests that she is — look out here. I bet the 1-2 across the board and then box the top 3. I will key the 1-2 over (only) the 11-5-3-7 in two smaller.
7th: 7-3/6-8-9/5/(4)…American Mandate (7) looks awfully good in this spot to me. The 4YO ran a huge one last time out over a wet-fast track at Churchill Downs. Moves to the grass today, and this may be the best surface for this one. Looks ready for a power performance. Competitive Saint (3) could spice up the odds rack here. The 3YO son of Competitive Edge won the debut back in May. Moves to the grass for the first time and this is not a surface change that this barn excels at — winning at only .03% rate in 35 tries. But This one looks to have some real talent and nice jockey switch for this one. I bet the 7 to win/place/show and then box the top 2 in the exacta. I will key the 7-3 over/under the rest of the numbers listed.
8th: 3-2-6/7-5-4…High Amplitude (3) gets the slight edge here for me. Trained by Chad Brown and is coming off a nice 2nd last time out at Aqueduct in March. Returns as a beaten favorite, and this barn wins with .29% of those. In 5 career starts, never off the board. Work pattern headed in the right direction and the barn wins with .30% off the bench this long. Happy Saver (2) ran a huge one on debut back in June at Belmont Park. Won by nearly 6 that day. Moves up to face winners for the first time and stretches out to the route distance, too. Lots of firsts for this one, but the barn does win with .24% when moving up in both class and distance. Rider is on fire for this barn — winning at .38% clip over the last 16 rides. Take note. Basquiat (6) is another from the Chad Brown barn. Won the debut at GP, before falter at Belmont in June against a tough-butt field. Will do better today. Count on it. I bet the 3-2 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will box the 3-2 again — solidly.
9th: 6-2-1/3-4-5…G2 Bernard Baruch Handicap…The Stakes race of the day and I go with the pure speed in here — Halladay (6). This one has won two in a row and three of the last four. All of which were gate to wire. Will try to do the same in here and I don’t see a ton of speed to give chase and worry this one much on the front end. Can he hold on? Always the worry with a speedster, but has a 2-1-1 mark in 5 races at this distance. Come catch me. Good Governance (2) is the big ML favorite and should be, I guess. Comes from the barn of Chad Brown and it’s a Graded Stakes on the grass. After all, right? This one is a neck from being unbeaten and looks formidable. Seismic Wave (1) ran a length behind the favorite in the G3 Saranac last August here. Would not be a shocker if he gets up for the Mott barn. Will be coming late and will need racing room. Luck be a lady? I bet the 6-2 across the board and then box the top 3 in one exacta. I will key the 6-2 over (only) the 1-3-4-5 in a smaller version.
Good Luck & All the Best / Gene