(Indiana Grand will be alive with the sound of horse’s making music on Wednesday)

Total Day Results 8 / 3-4-5
2021 Overall 1,114 1114 / 412-401-511
Win % of Top Pick 36.98%
Payoff% of Top 3 Picks Overall 39.62%
2021 Top Pick in the Money Overall — 737-1,114 66.16%
2021 Top Selection ITM / EP 63-88 71.59%
2021 Top Selections Win / EP 38-88 43.18%
“Key Horses” @ EP 8/ 4-2-2 50.00% Win / 100.00% ITM
“Key Horses” in 2021 160/ 75-36-12 46.89% Win / 76.88% ITM
“Longshots of Day” @ EP 13/1-5-2 .077 Win / 61.54% ITM

It’s Wednesday, and it’s another great day to be a fan of Thoroughbred racing at the beautiful Indiana Grand Racing & Casino in downtown Shelbyville, IN. (Before we go on, though, is there a downtown Shelbyville? I am sure there is, but I don’t think I have ever been there. I will make a stop of it on my next visit. To be sure.)

We have a couple of Stakes events on the 10-race card, headlined by the Send It In Army Stakes (5th) and the Clarksville Stakes (7th).

Any way you cut it, though, this figures to be an intriguing and exciting day of racing, and sure to have some thrills and chills mixed right into the fabric of what makes the Midwest USA one of the best possible spots on this great, green, beautiful Earth.

Here’s my looks for the day:

1st: 1-4/6-5/3-2…Christmas Present (1) drops to a career-low price tag in this spot and if he can capture the same run that he flashed in breaking the maiden here on May 10, then he figures in this spot that we like to call the ole’ lid-lifter. Trainer is winning at a .20% clip this meet, and that’s after the first 51 starters. Barn wins with .20% of the last 81 to convert from the grass to the dirt, too. Gets a rider who is winning at a .20% rate her this meet and that is after 110 mounts. Figures here. Murdo (4) goes for a barn that has been chilly all meet. Trainer is 6-for-113 so far this meet. Hmmm. Does drop considerably after breaking the maiden for cheaper. Mixed signals here. I’ll pass. I bet the 1 to win/place/show and then key the 1 over/under all the numbers listed in the exactas. I will use more with the 4-6-5 than the others.

2nd: 3-6/4-1/5-2…Blueridge Mountain (3) has raced four times over this main track and has a 1-2-1 record to show on the resume. Ran well in the final stages last time out here on June 22 to get the job done at the wire. Has a nice closing kick when he is at his best. But speed on this track can get away and hide if others don’t threaten and pressure the pace. Will need to stay in touch to have a shot in here. Barn does win with .20% of those that won the previous race and with .20% in the routes. Peruvian Boy (6) just may be the horse to beat. This one ran a nice 2nd over a sloppy track last time out. If the rains return, you can give this one a mud mark. Over two “off tracks,” this one has a 2nd and a 3rd. Gets a top, veteran rider who gets the most out of his stock. Trainer is winning at a .22% rate with 36 starters. Big chance here. I bet the 3-6 across the board and then box those two in the exactas. I will key the 3-6 over/under the rest of the numbers listed. More with the 4-1.

3rd: 1-6-5/3-2/4…Go Big Green (1) is another from the barn of trainer Tom Amoss, who is sweeping out the stalls today. This one moves from the turf to the main track, and the barn wins with .23% of those kind. Also, this one returns as a beaten favorite — having run 4th here against the grain on July 6. New surface. New rider. New post. New outcome? I think so. Look out here, especially when you consider that the trainer wins with .26% of beaten favorites. Roc’s Princess (6) has run only once this year, overcoming a very rough and tumbling trip at Churchill Downs on June 19 to run a much-better-than-looks 4th. Veteran rider knows his way around the oval, and the barn wins with .25% in the 2nd start off a layup. Threat. Vegas Weekend (5) won the last time out at Pimlico. Now, drops off the win? Interesting idea, but the barn has won with .21% this year and figures to be a pace presence in this one. One to beat. I bet the 1-5 across the board and then box the top 3 numbers in the exactas. 

4th: 2-9-4/6-8-10/5-7/3-1…Miss Sugarbaker (2) goes for a barn operation that has won with .28% of its’ 43 starters here this meet. This 4YO daughter of Colonel John was beaten as the favorite last time out, and the barn wins with .25% of those coming right back. Has speed. Will use it early and often. Look out here. Get Lucky Justice (9) is my first “Longshot Special of the Day.” This 3YO Indiana-bred gets the blinkers for the first time and the barn wins with .16% of those kind. Also, goes from a route distance to a sprint cutback. Barn wins with .22% of those kind. In three starts here so far? Has a second and a third. Graduation day could be coming. Thunderstruck (4) ran third last time out, tiring in the latter stages of that tilt. Should benefit from that exercise, though. Gets a top rider here up. Works of late are spot on. Dam is Stakes-placed and has produced two winners out of the first 4 runners. Barn wins with .27% of those making the 2nd career start. Threat. I bet the 2-9 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exactas. I will key the 2-4 over/under the 9-4-6-8-10 in two smaller versions.

5th: 5-6-2/3-4/1…Send It In Army Stakes…The first Stakes event of the day comes here with the $65,000-added event to be contested at 6 furlongs. I go with Long Weekend (5), a 4YO son of Majesticperfection who looked like he was well on his way to a brilliant 3YO year and the Breeders’ Cup. So much for the great laid plans of mice and miniature riders of them. The last two finishes have not been anything to write pen pals about. But? This one started the career with 4 nice wins in the first 5 races. The only blemish was a 6th in the G2 Saratoga Special. Ran super in the Gold Fever at Belmont Park last July, too. Works are spot on and spectacular. This one could rev up and go early. Don’t know if anything can run with his. My solid pick. And…My first “Key Play of the Day.” I bet the 5 to win/place/show and then box the top three numbers in the exactas. I will also key the 5 over/under the numbers listed in two smaller units and key the 5 over/under the “all button” in two smaller units, still.

6th: 5-2/7-4/9-1/6-8-3…This is a nice grass event to be contested at the flat 1-mile distance. I go with Timeless Glory (5) — a 3YO filly that we have competed against on several occasions. The last time we saw this one? We ran 2nd in a Stakes event and this one was 5th by 26. Can motor on OK early, and the move to the grass may help. Barn wins with only .06% of those that switch surfaces, and with .07% going on the grass for the first time. Like the rider choice. Mixed signals. But? I will go with the barn roommate here — Covenant Lady (2) — in a “Longshot Special of the Day.” This 3YO Temple City filly beat Mizzen Ash last November when breaking the maiden. That one has come back to run really well over the grass this year. Look for this one to run much, much better and the breeding suggests that she should like the sod, too. Dynaformer on the sire line. More Than Ready in the dam side. Lots to like at a very nice price here. I’m in. I bet the 2 — take note — to win/place/show and then box the 5-2 in the exactas. Sternly. I will key the 5-2 over/under the 7-4-9-1-6-8-3 in two smaller units.

7th: 4/6/7-3-1/5-2…Clarksville Stakes…The second “Key Play of the Day” comes here with Mundane Call (4). This 4YO daughter of Into Mischief started the career and looked like she was going to be a real, real, real good one. The win in the Audubon Oaks at Ellis Park last August was spectacular. Has not flashed the same style since, but the race at Lone Star last time out was very good. Returns as a beaten favorite here. If she can continue the upswing? Look out. Class here. I bet the 4 to win/place/show and then key the 4 over/under the numbers listed. More with the 6. Little less with the 7-3-1. 

8th: 3-5/10/1-4/6-8/2-9…This is the last turf race of the day, and I will go with Prado’s Playboy (3). This 4YO gelding comes into this one off two 4th place finishes in a row. Came from the clouds in each of those to shake the rim at the wire. But the barn is winning with .16% in all turf starts and with .14% in the third start off the layup. If the rider can keep this one engaged a bit more early on? Look out. Dam of this one has 7 turf winners from 9 starters and two Stakes winners. Look out here with a quicker rally. Rockin All Night (5) has hit the board in each of the last two and can stalk the pace just a bit more than our top pick. New rider has a win for this barn and the barn wins with .50% when racing over the sod for the second time. Look for this one to have a shot at the wire at a square price, too. I bet the 3-5 across the board and then box those two in the exactas. I will key the 3-5 over/under the 10 in two smaller units. I will key the 3-5-10 over/under the 1-4 in two smaller units, too.

9th: 2-10/5-9-11-4/6-12-1-3/7-8-(13)…Highcotton Justice (2) gets the nod in this 5-furlong MSW event for the Indy-breds. This 2YO son of Harry’s Holiday has run twice before and has been 2nd in each of them. Any improvement at all, and this one will be a tough out. New rider knows his way to the winner’s circle, too. Could be the push this one needs. Money Man Bryan (10) is my last “Longshot Special of the Day.” This one is a whopping 30-1 in the ML. But? Gets the Lasix for the first time and it looks like this one could benefit greatly from the anti-bleeder. Rider is a good one, who has won with .16% of his 178 mounts so far this meet. I’m playing here, too. I bet the 2-10 across the board and then box those two in the exactas. I will key the 2-10 over/under the 5-9-11-4-6-12 in two smaller units.

 10th: 1-6/8-7-3/5-2/4-9…The final race of the day is a Quarter Horse event that will be contested at the “Don’t Blink” distance of 330 yards. I giddy-up with Zoomin Policy (1). Like I have written so many times before…I don’t know how to handicap Quarter Horse races. But I am winning them at about a 75% rate. So, better lucky than good. Right? This one is 6-1 in the ML, and I like the 2020 form. Has not been out this year, though. Works seem OK to me. Has faced tougher. I like. Just Like Sarah (6) has hit the board in the last four outings and ran a good 2nd last time out to start the 2021 campaign. Still? Has only 1 win in 16 starts. Hmmm. I bet the 1 to win/place/show and then box the 1-6 in the exactas. I will key the 1 over/under the rest of the numbers listed in the exactas, too.

Good Luck & All the Best / Gene