(McLean working at Indy Grand)

Total Day Results 10 / 5-3-4
2021 Overall 1,516 1516 / 576-536-723
Win % of Top Pick 37.99%
Payoff% of Top 3 Picks Overall 40.35%
2021 Top Pick in the Money Overall — 1032-1,516 68.07%
2021 Top Selection ITM / CD 85-117 72.65%
2021 Top Selections Win / CD 44-117 37.61%
“Key Horses” @ CD 21/10-6-2 47.62% Win / 85.72% ITM
“Key Horses” in 2021 231/ 103-54-23 44.59% Win / 77.92% ITM
“Longshots of Day” @ CD 15/2-1-3 13.33% Win / 40.00% ITM
“Longshots of Day” @IGR (9-8-21) 11/3-0-0 27.27% Win / 27.27% ITM
“Longshots of the Day” @ SAR (8-28-21) 4/0-2-0 00.00% Win / 50.00% ITM
“Longshots of the Day” @ KY Downs 19/2-1-2 10.53% Win / 26.32% ITM

We head back up to one of my most favorite spots on God’s green earth on Wednesday for another great day of Thoroughbred racing — the beautiful Indiana Grand Racing & Casino in Shelbyville, IN.

We nominated our very own Diamond Solitaire for today’s Cardinal Stakes, but we decided that it may be better to wait a few days before we tackle the likes of that heavyweight crowd that ended up entering. Our day will come. It just won’t be today.

But I still loving handicapping the races and the horses, and I just love the atmosphere and the track. Great people. Great races. Greater horses.

I’ll be there in person. I’ll be there to watch and celebrate. I’ll be

Here’s my looks at the 10-race card for Wednesday. Hope you delve into the mix. It will feature an All-Stakes Pick 4 that will have a guaranteed pool of no less than $75,000. I’ll be dipping and delving. Join us.

1st: 5-2/1-3/4-6…Rock Star Parking (5) is a 3YO Upstart filly trained by one of the best in the business. Has made only 4 starts this meet, but has a win and has won with over .17% of 500 starters this year, too. This one ships in from Ellis Park and drops to a career-low price tag. Will be coming late, but has the ability to dominate in this spot. Look for a power move out of this one, and the rider has been on fire — going 6-4-2 in the last 23 mounts. Dance On Over (2) is not named after Urban Meyer’s newest dancer partner. (Sorry. I just could not resist.) This one is by Tapiture and comes in off a solid effort at Churchill Downs on Sept. 16. Ran a closing 3rd that day and could be a tough out with a better start. Gets a new rider here, and he has won with .16% of the 178 mounts so far this meet. Work on Aug. 25 was spot on. Won here to break the maiden back in April. Ran off to win by nearly 7 that day. Look out. I bet the 5 to win/place/show and then box the 5-2 in the exactas. I will key the 5-2 over/under the 1-3-4-6 in two smaller units.

2nd: 4-2/1-5-6/3…Fighting Zelda (4) drops to a career price tag here after running in some Indiana-bred Stakes earlier this year. Won the last time out on the main track and the barn wins with .18% of those trying to repeat winner’s circle photo ops. Barn wins with only .04% of those dropping into the claiming ranks for the first time. That’s bothersome. Hmmm. Miss Inhofe (2) won the last time out for the bargain bin tag of $5,000. Moves up here, but has a 2-3-2 record in 15 starts over this track. I bet the 2 — take note — to win/place/show and then box the 4-2 in the exactas. I key the 4-2 over/under the rest of the numbers listed in two smaller units.

3rd: 6-8/1-4/2-7/5/3…Ten At Twelve (6) has run two good ones to begin the career and this 3YO daughter of Midnight Lute will be looking for more in this spot. Ran 2nd on debut here in August, and the winner of that one came right back to win the next outing. Last time out, she encountered a rather bumpy trip and faded off a pressured start. Returns here as a beaten favorite and the barn wins with .26% of the last 259 of those. May like this shorter distance here, too. My solid choice. Miss Dial (8) is another from the same barn outfit, which has won with .18% of 435 starters this year. This one hit a wall last time out and faded into the sunset, but the two races before this one was hunting the wire with the leaders. I expect this one to run much better in the 2nd start off the layup and the rider has a win in two mounts for this barn overt the last couple of months. I bet the 6-8 across the board and then box these two in the exactas. I will key the 6-8 over/under the 1-4-2-7-5 in two smaller units. More with the 1-4 than the rest. 

4th: 6-2-8/12-1-10/11-4-(13)-9/3-5-(14)…The first grass race of the day will be contested at the flat 1-mile distance and will feature a very interesting group. I go with Never Say Know (6), who is a 2YO son of one of the best turf sires in the entire world. This one will run with Lasix for just the 2nd time, and the barn wins with .22% of those. Has run well against some tough ones over the past few months, and was 2nd here in late June. Like the work at Ellis Park in late September. Looks poised. And, the rider has teamed up to go 2-for-2 in the last two weeks. I’m in. Garmento (2) will get the Lasix for the first time and is coming off a very troubled effort at KY Downs in the career debut on Sept. 11. Blinkers go on, too. Barn wins with .27% with getting the shades for the first time and with .30% of those being treated with the anti-bleeder medication on the first time. Barn’s go-to rider climbs up here. Look out. Siege Of Boston (8) is my first “Longshot Special of the Day.” This one ran 3rd her in late August. Came with a late rush and looked like he wanted more. Barn wins with .44% when stretching out from a sprint to a route and with .13% on the second career start. Works of late are good enough. By War Front. Out of Stakes-winning dam who has thrown three turf winners. Pedigree is there. All day long. I bet the top 3 numbers across the board. All of them. I box the top 3 numbers in the exactas. All of them. And…I bet the top 3 numbers over/under the 12-1-10 in two smaller units.

5th: 5-6-7/8/1-4-9-10/3/2-11-12…This is another turf event and will be contested at the 1-mile distance, too. I go with the #5 in the 5th race. Got to, right? At least I do when the numbers add up. And, for here, they add up. Leading the Charge (5) comes into this one off five top shelf races in row. Four race win streak was snapped last time out when facing open company, like he will here. But this one has raced here 9 times and has an impressive 5-1-1 mark. In 5 starts at this distance? Three wins and a third. Rider is hot and back up for another shot here. I like. Poppy’s Boys (6) ships in from Arlington Park and could be a real handful. This one likes to close it out, and has a perfect 2-for-2 record here. Barn is winning at a .35% clip in 17 starts here this meet, too. Will make his presence felt at the wire. Good enough? We shall see. Johny’s Fireball (7) will get the expert services of one of the top grass riders in the country. Comes in off a better-than-looks 5th at KY Downs last time out. Trainer is top notch and wins with .19% of those making the 3rd start off a layup. In 3 turf starts so far? Has a win and a third. Can’t dismiss here. I bet the 5-6 across the board and then box the top 3 numbers in the exactas. I will key the top 3 numbers over/under the 8 in two smaller units.

6th: 3-2-6/8-12-10/9-(13)-4/1-7-11…Miss Indiana Stakes…This is a 1 mile & 70 yards event for the 2YO fillies and, of course, Indiana-breds. I go with Louder Than Words (3) in this spot for trainer Anthony Granitz, who is always well-represented in these events. This year, the barn is winning at a .19% rate in 121 starts and this one has a win and a second in two outings, so far. Broke the maiden on debut here on Aug. 26. Returned to run 2nd on the dirt last time out as a beaten favorite. But? This one was repeatedly check and steadied in that last start. To me? This one was much the best. Stretches out to the route for the first time and that is a legit concern, but the barn wins with an impressive .21% of those. Can close. Should like the extra distance. My solid choice. Holy Justice (2) appears to be the horse to beat. This 2YO daughter of Harry’s Holiday has never run a bad one yet, with two wins and a second in three career starts. Beat our top pick last time out, but this one was able to avoid the snarls and snares. Will stretch out and this barn wins at a .07% rate on the first route. My lean goes to our top pick. Re Ante (6) is my second “Longshot Special of the Day.” This one is slated at 10-1 ML odds by my good friends at Brisnet.com. But? This daughter of Goldencents lost all chance last time out when swung 6-wide at the top of the stretch. Came late to get third. But? This one gets a huge jockey swing to Tyler Gaffalione. Tyler. Gaffalione. Watch out. I bet the top 3 numbers across the board. All 3. I will box those numbers in the exactas. And? I will key the top 3 over/under the 8-12. I will also key the top 3 and the 8-12 over (only) the 10.

7th: 5-6-3/1-11/8-4-2-7/9-10-12…Indiana Futurity Stakes…This is the male version of the previous race, and I will line up with Mowins (5). This 2YO son of Mohaymen is out of a Stakes-winning Pure Prize mare. Should love the extra distance offered up here and this one is coming off a beautiful win here on Sept. 8 to win the first Stakes race of the career. Ran 3rd against open company the race before that and broke the MSW against open company on June 15. Has talent. Can run. Scotty’s On Edge (6) comes into this one off an impressive 7+-length win in the debut. Trainer wins with .21% when inching up to the route distance for the first time, too. Works are solid. Gets a top rider here, who piloted this one to win. Will have to up his game, but his game may be good enough, too. Humble Warrior (3) is my next “Longshot Special of the Day.” This one is listed at 13-1 in the ML, and, by my figures, rates a shot. This is another son of Mohaymen and has two really nice runs back-to-back at the 1-mile distance. This one likes the off-going and likes the distance. That we know. Can he figure out these types? We shall see. I bet the 5-6 across the board and then box the top 3 numbers in the exactas. I will key the top 3 numbers over/under the 1-11 in two smaller units.

8th: 7/5-6/10-8-2/4-1/3-9…Cardinal Stakes…The first “Key Play of the Day” comes right here and the choice will be no surprise — Piedi Bianchi (7). This 6YO mare will have to stretch out from the 5.5-furlong distance to this 11/16-mile distance. She will have to switch back to the main track, too. But this classy mare has won this same Stakes before and has the speed to truly dominate. She is coming off a Stakes win at Saratoga and will be trying to become the winningest Indiana-bred filly/mare in history. She has won over $736,000 in the career, and has a sparkling 3-1-0 record in 4 starts here. Gets a world class rider, who championed her home to victory last time out. And, comes in off a super workout at Belmont Park. Odds won’t be much. But she sure is. I bet the 7 to win. I will key the 7 over/under all the numbers listed in the exactas. More with the 5-6 than the rest. 

9th: 4-7-6/3/1-2-9-10-11/8-5…Too Much Coffee Stakes…This is the male version of the previous race, too, and I will give the edge to Hard Luck Justice (4). This 3YO gelded son of Harry’s Holiday will face older and more accomplished runners in here than normal. But he did defeat orders just two races ago and this one has been a true handful since being equipped with blinkers just three races ago. Since the shads were added? Three wins. All by open lengths. All in kick-butt fashion. This one has run 8 times here before. Has 4 wins and a second. Perfect 3-for-3 with blinkers. Strong Tide (7) has been running in 3 Graded Stakes races over the last 5 starts. Has not fared well in the last two of those, but did run 3rd in the G3 Louisville Handicap on May 15. That was over the sod. Over a fast dirt track, this one has a 3-1-0 mark in 11 starts. Last time on the dirt, though, came in a high-level allowance at Oaklawn Park and against open company. Won that one impressively. If he can rediscover that form? Look out. Chipofftheoldblock (6) is the roommate of the #7 and comesnto this one off a nice sprint win here last time out. Barn wins with .12% when trying to repeat and with .10% when stretching out to a route distance. Has 13 starts here. Has a record of 7-2-2. That’s impressive. I bet the 4-7 across the board and then box the top 3 numbers in the exactas. I will key the 4-7-6 over/under the 3 in two smaller units.

10th: 1-8/7-6/4-2…The final race of the day is a Quarter Horse event that will be contested at the 350-yard distance. I have written it here often, and I reiterate. I know nothing about Quarter Horses or how to handicap them. But, that being written, I have won with 80% of my QH picks this year. So? I guess I’m doing some thing right, right? I go with the rail horse here. The rail can be very, very tricky. Must break well. More importantly, must break straight. And, straight is not this horse’s best quality, so far. DQ’d from a win last time out for not running straight. So? That is a concern. But this one gets a new rider here and if this 5YO mare breaks quick and straight? Look out. I bet the 1 and then box the 1-8 sternly. Stern. Ly. I will key the 1-8 over/under the 7-6 in two smaller units.

Good Luck & All the Best / Gene