|2019 Overall 1,169||1,169/406-414-531|
|Win % of Top Pick||34.73%|
|Payoff % of Top 3 Picks Overall||38.52%|
|2019 Top Pick in the Money –770 of 1,169||65.87%|
|Top Selection ITM / KEE 79-151||52.32%|
|Top Selection Win / KEE 39-151||25.83%|
|“Key Horses” @ KEE 15-2-2-1||13.33%|
|“Key Horses” in 2019 189-72-37-22||38.10%|
Hard to believe how fast this year has gone. Amazing. Harder to believe how rapidly this Fall’s Meet at Keeneland Race Course has gone with the wind, too. Amazing.
Today is “Closing Day” at the ole’ ball yard in Lexington. The Fall Meet will come to an end. From my betting perspective, it can’t come fast enough, to be honest. We have struggled to find winners in this hayrack. But as far as a fan goes? Nothing is more beautiful than a Fall day in Lexvegas.
We have started to warm just a tad over the last couple of days. Our Upset Special of the Day scored on Friday. And, we scored 7 exactas out of the 10 races on the card — including a $56.40 return for each $1 played in the feature race.
We also were “oh so close” in the late Pick 5. Hit four 4 of those and got more than half of our money back in that selection.
Onward. Upward. And, watch for the rain today. It’s falling. Sometimes in buckets. Maybe poncho time.
Here’s a look at today’s card:
Race 1: 2-6/5-3/4-7…Miss Firecracker (2) gets huge class relief in this spot for a barn that hits with .22% when getting this kind of drop. Ran well for much of the first race against tougher in September. Moves to a new barn now, and it will be interesting to see if the tactics change. Ran swiftly and on the lead in the debut. Blackberry Lisa (6) is a first time starter for the barn of Phil Sims. Surely to get a moist track today and the pedigree does suggest that she can handle it. Barn having a good meet, though, and look at the wok here on Sept. 20. Suggests that this one can run a bit. Rider is hot right now. And, the dam has 3 winners from 3 starters. I’ll take a shot. Herculina (5) is the 8-5 ML favorite. Got to use some, right? First time starter for the barn of Wesley Ward, who hits with .29% of these. But the works down South have been mostly over the grass. Questions for me. I bet the 2-6 across the board and the box those 2 in one exacta. I will key the 2-6 over/under the 5-3-4-7 in two softer versions.
Race 2: 7-3/2-5/4-1-6…Blue Sky in Dixie (7) gets my first Upset Special of the Day. This field seems a little suspect, and the one rolled to an easy win two back. Ran hard against much tougher last time out and spit the bit halfway through. Gets class relief for this one, and a red hot jockey sticks for the assignment. Good sign. Look for more out of this one today at a price. Highland Lass (3) is a 4YO daughter of Quality Road and probably worth the $30,000 price tag today. Has a couple of wins in her 14-race career, and could probably go to the breeding shed — if nothing else. Like the work on Oct. 17. Should relish the huge drop in class. The one to beat, for sure. I bet the 7-3 across the board and then box those 2 in the exacta. I will key the 7-3 over/under the rest of the numbers in two smaller versions.
Race 3: 2-5/6-7-1-4/3…This is scheduled to be the first grass race of the day. What with the rains that fell over night and are expected to continue today, it will be interesting to see if this course stays open or not. If it does, I will go with Memorable (2), who comes from the barn of Steve Asmussen. Ran well when getting two turns the last time out, and should improve off that effort. Had faced 3 Stakes races before that. Lot to like here. Kid Mercury (5) is a 2YO son of the grass expert Lemon Drop Kid. Has the pedigree to be tough in this spot, especially if it is a softer grass course. Won over KY Downs’ hills two starts back. Had issues in the last outing. Gets a new rider today. I bet the 2 to win/place/show and then box the 2-5 in one exacta. I will key the 2 over/under all the numbers listed in two smaller versions.
Race 4: 1A-1-9/8-5-7/6-10-3…The entry has the same rider listed on both horses. Means that one is likely to scratch. Doesn’t mean a whole lot which one, although I would prefer if Proud Nation (1A) stays engaged. This 3YO son of Tapit drops into the claiming ranks today and is sure to get plucked from this group by some ambitious new connection. Has not been out since February, when he was distanced. But the a.m. work sessions seem promising and the started the career in style. Interesting. Hidden Talent (1) is a first time starter from a dam who has thrown 2 winners from 2 starters. Barn hits with .21% when the runner debuts in the MCL ranks. Morning works are solid. Reelfoot (9) drops from the MSW ranks into the MCL level for the first time. Blinkers go back on. And, third start off the layoff. Barn has had a rough year, but Joel Rosario takes this mount and the pedigree suggests that he could like the mud. I bet the entry-9 across the board and then box those two in the exacta. I will key the 1A-1-9 over/under the 8-5-7-6 in two smaller versions.
Race 5: 3-4-1/8-9-2/5-6…A nice MSW event here for the 2YOs going the sprint distance of 6 furlongs, and I will go with Wells Bayou (3) in this spot. Comes from the barn of Brad Cox, who has stumbled a bit this meet. Has only .12% winners and that’s less than half of his yearly average. This one has been working very well here, and should like the mud OK, too. Pedigree may suggest that this one will like more ground, though, and that is a concern. Matheson (4) is a first timer from the barn of Asmussen. Breeding here is much more inclined to like this distance. And, the pedigree suggests that he could relish the wet surface, too. Has a bullet work in the last outing here on Oct. 13. Gets a top rider, who has had a super meet. My pick. Descent (1) is another from the Asmussen collection. This one is a 2YO son of Honor Code, and cost a smooth $300K to purchase. From a dam who has 2 winners from 4 starters and 1 Stakes winner. Rail can be a tricky spot for a debut runner, though. Requires a spot-on break and clear. Has some speed, but must use early. Concern. I bet the 4 — take note — to win/place/show and then box the 3-4-1 in one exacta. I will key the 4 over/under the 3-1-8-9-2-5 in two smaller versions.
Race 6: 9-4-3/5-6/8-1…Another MSW event, this one for the fillies and going the two-turn distance of 11/16-miles. I go with Big Time Delivery (9), who is coming off a nice second the last time out. That was this one’s first try at a route, and the barn hits with .17% of those trying it for a second time. Gets a top rider to take the reins again, and the work here after the race was solid enough. Sire is OK on the wet surface. Look for more today. Every Single Day (4) comes into this one off a 3rd in the NA debut last time out. Will stretch out to two turns today. Pedigree is OK for the off going, especially on the dam side. Gets the Lasix for the 2nd time, and the barn hits with .21% of those. Sugar Love (3) has been out 7 times so far with 2 seconds and a third. Was the favorite last time out and ran behind our top pick in here. Hung late in the proceedings of that one, when it looked like she had a big chance. Nasty habit. I bet the 9 to win/place/show and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the top 3 numbers over/under the 5-6 in two smaller ones.
Race 7: 4-8-2/7-4-3/6-1…This is scheduled to be the 2nd of 3 grass races on the card today. Don’t know if it stays or no, but I will go with Delta’s Kingdom (4), if it does. If it comes off? I come off of this one. Pedigree suggests that this 3YO daughter of Animal Kingdom will struggle with a wet main track. Gets a top rider this time. Comes off a nice win, closing late. Will move up in class after that one, but looks to be really good right now. Cash Out (8) is the much “safer” bet in here, for me. Ran well last time out. Barn having a solid meet. Rider is having a super meet. And, the mud marks are here in the pedigree. Has a second over a wet track before. My pick. Layla Noor (2) has been running against Stakes company for much of the year. Has not hit the board in 4 starts, and now gets a drop from a trainer that knows how to get them to the circle. Ran up against Gentle Ruler in the last outing, and that one came right back to impress here in her last race. Mud marks OK, too. I bet the 8 — take note — to win/place/show and then box the top 3 numbers in the exacta. I key the 8 over/under all the numbers listed in two smaller versions.
Race 8: 7-8-9/1-2-4/5-6…Off the Record (7) is a line that I have heard and used a lot in my profession. And, I like this 3YO son of Distorted Humor, too. Was beaten last time out as the odds-on favorite at Belmont Park. Stumbled badly at the start of that one, though, and lost all chance. Barn hits with .21% of those returning to the starting gate. Love the work here on Oct. 20. Rider is having a super, super meet and gets the reins for the first time. My solid pick here. Love the mud marks — especially on the sire side. Holly Blame (8) didn’t run well in the last outing, either, but had troubles at the start, too. Race before was spot on, and has a win in only previous run over this track. Is a perfect 2-for-2 on an “off track.” Take note. Uber Kirk (9) ran a huge one to be third last time out. Was wide coming home and up against some tough customers. Has a third in only previous try over an “off track,” and has good experience here. Chance. I bet the 7-8 across the board and then box the top 3 numbers in the exacta. I will key the 7 over/under all the numbers in two smaller versions.
Race 9: 7-8-3/2-5/1-4-9…G2 Hagyard Fayette Stakes…What a nice Stakes event to close out the year and the Fall Meet. Top horses in here, too. I will go with my second Upset Special of the Day here with Core Beliefs (7), who ships in from the West Coast for trainer Peter Eurton. This horse has shipped out of the home base of California once this year. Won a nice Stakes at the Fair Grounds and beat Silver Dust in doing it. Has a second in his only previous run over an “off track,” and that came in the G3 Peter Pan last year. Blinkers come off today, after a bad experiment last time. Bobbled at the start of that G2 effort, as well. I think this one is sitting on a huge effort. And, 8-1 odds in the ML? I’m in. Ball Harbour (8) is likely to be the PT favorite, after nearly winning the G1 Woodward Stakes last time out. Has 2 wins and a third in 3 tries over an “off track.” And, has hit the board in the last 4 outings and 6 of the last 7. All Stakes. 5 Graded Stakes. Likes to find a way to lose late, though. Interesting. Tom’s d’Etat (3) is a consistent, hard-knocking and talented son of Smart Strike. And, I think should / could make a very nice stallion. Has a win and a second over an “off track.” Won at Saratoga two races back. in 14 career starts, he has 7 wins, 2 seconds and a third. Will be close at the wire. I bet the 7-3 across the board and then box the top 3 numbers in the exacta. I will key the top 3 over/under the 2-5-1 in two smaller versions.
Race 10: 11-13-3/10-4-1A/7-1-8-2…The last race of the Fall meet, and it is an interesting one. Scheduled to be a MSW event for the 2YOs over the grass course. Will be interesting to see if it stays on the sod or no. Either way, I really like Suggested (11) in this spot — even though it has been darn near impossible to win from this far outside all meet long. Ran a huge one last time out when going two turns over the grass for the first time. Has experience on the dirt, too. Pedigree suggests he could like either one. Gets a sneaky good rider in the irons, and the barn hits with .24% of those routing for the second time. My pick. Liam’s Legend (13) is entered for the “Main Track Only.” I have to use this one if the race is switched to the main track. Has solid “mud marks” in the pedigree, and should like the stretch out today. Blanket of Roses (3) figures to be a likely choice if the race stays on the sod. Was a beaten favorite last time out. Got an interesting trip last time on the inside, and never got free enough to run. Trainer is up for the most wins of the meet, and will be trying hard — no doubt. I bet the 11 to win/place/show and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the 11 over/under all the numbers in two smaller versions.
Good Luck & All the Best/Gene