(Grandson Jack made his baseball team’s All-Star squad)

Days Results 9 / 5-4-5
2023 Overall — 1,135 1135 / 388-393-516
Win % of Top Pick 34.19%
Payoff % of Top 3 Picks Overall 38.09%
2023 Only / Top Pick in the Money Overall — 709-1,135 62.47%
2023 Only / Top Pick in the Money @ EP 33-54 61.11%
2023 Only / Top Pick Wins @ EP 23-54 42.59%
2023 Only / Top Pick in the Money @ CD – EP 87-135 64.44%
2023 Only / Top Pick Wins @ CD — EP 45-135 33.33%
2023 Only / Top Pick in the Money @ HI 82-120 68.33%
2023 Only / Top Pick Wins @ HI 44-120 36.67%
2023 Only / Top Pick in the Money @ CD 137-215 63.72%
2023 Only / Top Pick Wins @ CD 69-215 32.09%
2023 Only / Top Pick in the Money @ Belmont 6-12 50.00%
2023 Only / Top Pick Wins @ Belmont 4-12 33.33%
2023 Only / “Key Horses” @ Belmont 4/2-0-1 50% Win / 75.00% ITM
2023 Only / “Key Horses” @ CD 33/11-10-3 33.33% Win / 72.73% ITM
2023 Only / “Key Horses” @ KEE 2 / 2-0-0 100.00% Win / 100.00% ITM
2023 Only / “Key Horses” @ TP 45/21-8-4 46.47% Win / 73.33% ITM
2023 Only / “Key Horses” @ FG 5/1-1-1 20.00% Win / 60.00% ITM
2023 Only / “Key Horses” @ GP 6/6-0-0 100.00% Win / 100.00% ITM
2023 Only / “Key Horses” @ OP 2/1-1-0 50.00% Win / 100.00% ITM
2023 Only / “Key Horses” @ HI 23/13-1-3 56.52% Win / 73.91% ITM
2023 Only / “Key Horses” @ PIM 2/1-0-1 50.00% Win / 100.00% ITM
2023 Only / “Key Horses” @ EP 28/10-6-2 35.71% Win / 64.29% ITM
2023 Only / “Key Horses” Overall 173/75-33-18 43.35% Win / 72.83% ITM

Here’s our looks at “The Shoe” on this “Hump Day:”

1st: 1-4/3-6//7//5-2…Yolo Santiago (1) gets the nod in the ole’ lid-lifter at “The Shoe” on this “Hump Day” extravaganza of live racing, at one of the best racing venues anywhere. This 4YO gelded son of Maclean’s Music comes in off a 4th place finish here on May 30. But that was at a far higher level and now this one hunts in the “bargain bin” for the first time ever. Has a win and a third in 3 previous tries here and the rider is having a very solid meet. Choice. Jahez (4) won to break the MSW at Belterra two starts ago. Ran OK in first try against winners in Cincy in the last one, too. Ships here and goes for a trainer who has won with just .06% of the last 17. Ugh. I bet the 1 across the board and then double down on the win wager. I will box the 1-4 in the exactas. I will key the 1 over/under the 4-3-6 in two smaller units. 

2nd: 3-5/4-1-7/6-2…River Ant (3) will run in the claiming ranks for the first time and goes for a barn that has won with .10% of 21 starts this year. Picks up a red-hot rider, who has gone 9-3-4 in the last 33 mounts. Red. Hot. Has run two thirds in a row and now drops to this level. Should be a tough out. Bumpy (5) goes for a top trainer in these parts and nearly won at this same price level last time out. Has just 1 win in 12 previous tries here. Ugh. But does have 3 runner-ups and 3 more thirds. Underneath? I bet the 3 across the board and then double down on the win wager. I will box the 3-5 in the exactas. I will key the 3-5 over/under the 4-1-7-6-2 in two smaller units. 

3rd: 1-5/2/3-6-7//4…Climber (1) a Stakes winner here last year on three occasions, has not been the same filly this year. But this 4YO drops into the claiming ranks here for the first time and that she help her carry her speed just a tad longer. Cuts back to the 1-mile distance, too, and that should help. Has a win in 3 tries at this distance. Wake up call with the meet’s top rider up. Mintchocolatechip (5) drops from the Stakes company to the claiming ranks here, too. This one has gone 6-3-4 in 28 runs over this track. Consistent sort looks to have a shot in this one, as well. Hot rider up. I bet the 1 across the board and double down on the win wager. I will box the 1-5 in the exactas. I will key the 1-5 over/under the 2 in two smaller units. 

4th: 5/4-8-7/2/1//6/3…The first Key Play of the Day comes here with Good Forever (5) — even  though our very own Wire the Cash (7) will return in this spot, as well. The former was eased and walked off in the last affair, but that was a stretch out to the 2-turn distance and that simply just is snot what this one wants. Cuts back to sprint distance here and that could be just the thing. Won at 5.5-furlongs two starts ago. Has 9 starts here with 2 wins and 5 seconds. At this distance? A win and two more runner-ups in 3 starts. Wire (7) fell well off the pace in the last try and couldn’t sustain a late run, when he was coming from last into consideration. Ran out of space and gas. Third off the layoff and should be closer here. Or so we hope. I bet the 5-7 across the board and then box these two sternly in the exactas. I will key the 5-7 over/under the 4-8-2-1 in two smaller units. 

5th: (11)/8-3/4-(9)-(10)/2-5-6/1-7…This is a turf event that will be contested at the 1-mile distance. I give a strong lean to Pretti Xtreme (11) if this one comes off the sod and is moved to the main track. This one could dominate. But if it stays on the sod, I will go with Frozen Solid (8). This will be this one’s first effort at a route, but this one has run some good ones in the sprint conditions and should be able to stretch out. Barn does a great job with the pupils in its’ care and this one looks ready to move forward. Timeless Rose (3) picks up the meet’s top rider once again and this one ran super last time out. Just missed at the wire on June 21. Could remedy that issue today. Has a 5-4-5 record in 22 starts here  and all those placings came over the sod. I bet the 11 if the race is moved to the main track. If not, I bet the 8-3 across the board and then box these two sternly in the exactas. I will key the 8-3 over/under the 4-9-10-2-5-6 in two smaller units.

6th: 6-5-7/3-4-1-8//2…Jr’s Gift (6) drops in class for this one and picks up a hot rider, who is on a roll these days. Ran super two races ago and if this 4YO gelding can duplicate the race two back? Look out. At this distance, this one is 0-for-8. But has 4 runner-ups and 2 more thirds. Dog Red (5) has speed and may be a tough one to catch here if the hot rider can milk the distance. Barn is having a super meet, too. Tabeguache (7) broke the MSW last time out for a top barn, which is winning at a .35% rate after 37 starts this meet. All horses from this barn must be considered. Must be. I bet the 6-7 across the board and then box the top 3 numbers in the exactas. I will key the 6-7 over/under the 5-3-4-1-8. I definitely include the 8 in that mix, too. 

7th: (14)/2/1-6-10/5-7/4-8-11/3-12…This turf event will be contested at 1-mile distance and the top pick for me will come from the AE List — Circle Back Jack (14). Barn is little light on the move from dirt to turf (.06% in the last 82), but this one has a second and two more thirds on the sod. Looks like he could be a tough out, if he can get in. Ocean Pointe (2) gets the nod if the top pick is left on the sidelines. This one has speed and could be right there with the cut-back in distance. Run in Stakes two back was very solid. I bet the 14 or 2 across the board and double down on the win wager. I will key either the 14 or the 2 over/under the 1-6-10-5-7-4-8-11 in the exactas. More with the 1-6-10 than the rest. 

8th: 2-5/9/1-10-3/6-(12)-(13)/4-8…The finale is another grass event and I will saddle up with the ML favorite — Dooblay (2). This 2YO filly got off to a step slow start and that cost here mightily in the career debut. Never quit in that one and now gets a solid ride for this trip. Works are solid and the Stakes-winning dam has produced 5 turf winners already. Pedigree is there. Baytown Bama Girl (5) is my Upset Alert. This 2YO daughter of West Coast comes from a Stakes-winning mare and ran super at this same level over the sod here on July 7. Duplicate that race? Right there. I bet the 2-5 across the board and then box them in the exactas. I will key the 2-5 over/under the 9-1-10-3-6 in two smaller units. 

Good Luck & All the Best / Gene