(Diamond Solitaire and Gene play around at the barns one recent morning. She does like the hair.)

Total Day Results 9 / 3-5-2
2021 Overall 579 579 / 205-208-233
Win % of Top Pick 35.41%
Payoff% of Top 3 Picks Overall 37.19%
2021 Top Pick in the Money Overall — 365-579 63.04%
2021 Top Selection ITM / KEE 82-114 71.93%
2021 Top Selections Win / KEE 52-114 45.61%
“Key Horses” @ KEE 15 6-3-1 40.00% Win / 66.67% ITM
“Key Horses” in 2021 91 / 40-19-7 43.96% Win / 72.53% ITM

It is 2021. It is Race Day, 2021. It is Indiana Grand Racing & Casino Day, 2021. And, we are hoping that is it Diamond Solitaire’s Day in 2021.

This afternoon, Diamond Solitaire — our most beautiful and wonderful 3YO home-bred filly by Majestic Harbor and out of our star-crossed mare Diamond Seeker — will make her 2021 debut at the grand Indiana Grand in Shelbyville, Ind. A most beautiful racing venue that is scratched right out of the bountiful wonderland that is known as Indiana. Fields surround the track. Beautiful skies of blue tossed with a few cotton balls called clouds hang overhead. The grass is greener than green. The dirt browner than brown. And, the people lovely as friends can be.

We are headed up for lunch, and in plenty of time for Diamond’s scheduled run in the 9th race. We may wander over to the casino next door and test the craps tables to see if they are bouncing as true as a golf ball hit by Dustin Johnson. We may make our way to the backside to check in on our darling filly, who loves to nibble on my locks, that were reduced by about 4-inches last week, but still long enough for her to snare. We may even go by and see the IGR staff, who brighten each day with a smile that is as genuine as our heartland.

But make no mistake. We are here for one thing. To watch. To wager. To win.

So, as a matter of interest, we offer up our “Bonus Coverage” of handicapping on Wednesday’s card at Indiana Grand. Here’s hoping that we all can celebrate this day with a winner or two.

Here’s our looks:

1st: 2-6/1-5/3-4…Jump Right In (2) will return to run against only Indiana-breds in the first race of the day. The 5YO Proud Citizen mare ran up against open company last time out at Turfway Park. Didn’t fare too well in that one. But the three races before — when in against restricted company? Two seconds and a win. This one may return to those good returns here. Work here on April 13 was spot on. I hook up to this wagon. Hitched (6) goes for one of the hottest trainers in recent memory. Has started this meet on fire — winning with 6 of the first 17 starters. That is a win rate of .35%. That is about 3-times the win rate for the previous 269 starters. Likely to cool off sometime, but maybe not here. This one drops to the bargain bin for the first time since she nearly won here last November. Fits with these. I bet the 2 to win/place/show and then box the top 2 numbers in the exacta. I will key the 2-6 over/under the rest of the numbers listed in two smaller units.

2nd: 3/1/6-4/2…The first “Key Play of the Day” comes here with Ivorysgoldtreasure (3). This 4YO daughter of Treasure Beach is listed at 4-5 ML odds by Brisnet.com (the only place you need to go for all your handicapping tools and needs). And, this is another from the barn of trainer Randy Klopp. Has not been out since last September. But returns at the $10,000 tag level and this one has never run for that cheap before. Has been training well. Figures with these. My solid pick. I bet the 3 to win/place/show. I box the 3-1 in the exactas. I will key the 3 over/under the “all button.” I will also key the 3-1 over/under the 6-4-2 in two smaller units.

3rd: 3-6-1/4-2/5…Dox Folly (3) is another ML favorite, but another one that figures very strongly in my numbers equation. The 7YO gelding didn’t fare well in the last one at Tampa Bay Downs. But this Indiana-bred has put up a tidy 10-2-9 record in 29 starts here. Trainer is a Louisville veteran who can get the job done and wins with .10% in the 2nd start off the layup. Pentimento (6) ran a very good one at Hawhtorne on March 14. Nearly won that one. Another one quite familiar to these surroundings. Has made 26 starts here before. Has a record of 5-9-3. Should be a tough out in this spot. Wildcard Prado (1) won the last two outings at Turfway Park against open company. Comes here and will face Indiana-bred only. Wow. My pick. Notice that. My pick. I bet the 1-3 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the 1-3 over/under all the numbers listed in two smaller units.

4th 9-6/4-7-8/2-3-1/5…Cap de Fuego (9) has not raced since Nov. 4, 2020. Was beaten just a neck to finish the last campaign, and returns now as a beaten favorite. Barn wins with .15% of those. Works suggest that this 5YO gelding is doing well and the barn wins with .11% off the bench. In 5 previous tries at this distance? Has 2 wins. Proud N Famous (6) goes from the turf to the dirt and should relish this surface switch. In 8 tries over a fast dirt surface, this one has 2 wins and 2 seconds. Chance. I bet the 9-6 across the board and then box those two sternly in the exactas. I will key the 9-6 over/under the numbers listed in two smaller units. More on the 4-7-8. Less on the 2-3-1. 

5th: 1/7-4/6-5/3-2…The second “Key Play of the Day” comes here with Blueridge Mountain (1). This 5YO son of Tapizar has had a very productive Spring down South. Last three times out, this one has two wins at the Fair Grounds in New Orleans and a strong 2nd at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, AR. Certainly figures to be a tough out in this spot. Gets a rider who has won with .12% of the last 434 mounts. Has just 2 thirds in the first 5 starts here this meet. I bet the 1 to win/place/show and then key the 1 over/under the numbers listed. More with the 7-4. Less with the 6-5. Even less with the 3-2.

6th: 4-6/7-3-1/5-2…Vivid Verse (4) has been very good of late, too. This 5YO gelding has hit the board in each of the last 6 outings, and has 3 wins in that group. In the first 6 starts here this meet, the barn has three seconds and two thirds. This one has shown the ability to stalk and pounce, and, also, come from well off the leaders. Rider has a 1-3-2 mark in the first 9 mounts here this meet. Keeping It Classy (6) has 3 wins in 5 lifetime starts here. Last win came here last July. Drops into the claiming ranks for the first time and the barn does win with .28% when away from the gate this long. Chance. I bet the 4 to win/place/show and then box the top 2 numbers in the exacta. I will key the 4-6 over/under the rest of the numbers. More with the 7-3-1.

7th: 2/6/1-8-5…The next three races all render “Key Plays of the Day” for me, too. Here I will land on Established (2) — who is a whopping 2-5 in the ML. This 4YO gelding nearly broke the maiden last time out at the Fair Grounds. In the first 5 starts, this one has 2 seconds and a third, too. Trainer has won with .19% of the last 707 starts. I bet the 2 to win/place/show and then key the 2 over/under the rest of the numbers listed. I will box the 2-6 sternly in two more, as well.

8th: 4/2-3-1-7/6/5-8…The “Key” here is Betsdownletsride (4). This one is 4-5 in the ML. This Indiana-bred won the first three career starts and then was 3rd in the Crown Ambassador Stakes here last October. That was the only race he has made, to date, over a sloppy track. Just didn’t seem to handle the track in that one. Barn wins with .22% of those that return as a beaten favorite and with .12% of those coming off this long a layup. My solid pick. I bet  the 4 to win/place and then key the 4 over/under all the numbers listed. More with the 2-3-1-7. A bit less with the 6. Lesser with the 5-8.

9th: 9/6-10/7-3-4/8/2-5…This is the return of our very own Diamond Solitaire (9). Enough written. She is our girl. She is doing well. I will key here. I bet to win — only. I key her over — only — the numbers listed. More with the 6-10. Less with the 7-3-4-8. Even less with the 2-5.

10th: 2-1/4-9-8-7/6/5/3…This is the finale and this is the Quarter Horse event, which will be contested at 300 yards. Shockingly, I have done quite well with this sprint event in the first couple of days of the meet. Here, I will lean on Rock Hard Candy (2). This 4YO gelding looks to have the best speed in the race. Will need to get away quickly and get to the front quickly, as well. If so? Look out. Beach Stone (1) could add some spark and spice to the odds rack here. This one seems to have a bit of early lick to his step, too.  Could splash down at the finish line. I bet the 2 to win/place and then box the 2-1 in the exacta. I will key the 2-1 over/under the 4-9-8-6-6 in two smaller units.

Good Luck & All the Best / Gene