Total Day Results 9 / 5-6-3
2021 Overall 550 550 / 191-198-219
Win % of Top Pick 34.73%
Payoff% of Top 3 Picks Overall 36.85%
2021 Top Pick in the Money Overall — 346-550 62.91%
2021 Top Selection ITM / KEE 63-85 74.12%
2021 Top Selections Win / KEE 38-85 44.71%
“Key Horses” @ KEE 10 4-3-0 40.00% Win / 70.00% ITM
“Key Horses” in 2021 86 / 38-19-6 44.19% Win / 73.26% ITM

A very solid day at the ole’ ballyard on Thursday. Had 5 winners out of the 9 races carded. Had 7 exactas out of the 9 races, too. They paid $41.60, $3.50, $63.90, $14.40, $25.00, $14.20 and $9.20 for each $1 played correctly. And, we gave them out — free of course.

We are looking to continue the positive vibes on Friday. Here’s a glance at what we have to offer up:

1st: 2-5/6-4-1/3…Two Worlds (2) goes to the post for trainer Tom Amoss, who is having another great year. Top conditioner. Top individual. Top handicapper, too. This one raced last at Delta Downs. Now Keeneland? Yes, but this 3YO son of Tapiture fits in this crowd and did break the MCL at Churchill Downs last September against solid horses. My pick. I bet the 2 to win/place/show and then box the 2-5 in the exacta. I will key the 2-5 over/under the rest of the numbers listed in two smaller units.

2nd: 5-1-6/3/2/4…Keep Your Distance (5) is a popular name for the past 11/2 years, but this 7YO mare has some game, too. Has been really solid the last five outings. Hit the board each time. Has won the last two at Oaklawn Park. Has speed and gets the hottest rider on the grounds. Adds up to trouble for the rest. Lady of Luxury (1) won the last time out over the sod at the Fair Grounds. Now, moves to the main track. Barn wins with .16% of those that won the last time out. Solid over the last five races, too. Barn is very capable. Threat. Bye Bye Bertie (6) goes for one of my most favorite trainers in the whole world. She does a great job with her stock and they all look the part when they make the appearance at the track. Don’t dismiss this one. Capable. Barn wins with .10% when shifting from turf to dirt. I bet the 5-1 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the top 3 over/under the #3 in two smaller units.

3rd: 2-6/4-3/1-5…Graysonsmacho Gal (2) raced in a Stakes event last time out. Spit the bit early in that one, but that was a very aggressive placement. Two back, this one was a very game second against the likes of these. In one previous start here? Has a win — by nearly 10 lengths. Very capable. Persisto (6) will likely get the majority of the betting dollars here. Top trainer attracts a top rider, who is red hot. The work at Belmont Park on April 3 is spot on. Looks to be a real threat with this drop in class. One to beat. I bet the 2-6 across the board and then box those two solidly in the exacta. I will key the 2-6 over/under the rest of the numbers in two smaller units.

4th: 3-4/7/5-2-6/1…This is a turf event that will be contested at 11/16-miles, and if you have the opportunity to bet on a Chad Brown horse, why wouldn’t you? On the turf? At Keeneland? Especially when they will be making the 2nd career start after a near-miss 2nd in the debut? Will be low odds, to be sure, but I have to go here. Barn wins with .26% in the 2nd career start and if the rider can just avoid a traffic jam? Watch out. Shaldag (4) has run two solid 3rds in a row and will get a rider who is a perfect 1-for-1 for this trainer. Could be coming late. Maybe? I bet the 3 to win/place and then box the 3-4-7 in the exacta. I will key the 3 over/under the “all button” in two smaller units.

5th: 7-6/5-3-4-2/8-1…Not the best field ever assembled for a MSW event at KEE, and, by virtue, this one is wide, wide, wide open. I will get a tepid nod to Mo Clare’s (7). Has the experience edge and has gotten better with the conversion to the dirt track. But this one has 8 tries to break the maiden and has just 2 seconds and a third to show on the resume. Cut back in distance could help here today, and the rider certainly knows this one well. Callie’s Candy (6) is a first time starter for a very underrated trainer. Has been training lights out. Barn only wins with .09% on debut, but this 3YO daughter of Candy Ride fits here, if she gets away from the gate clean. Rider? Has only 9 mounts but a 2-0-3 record. Underrated, too. I bet the 7-6 across the board and then box the top 2 in the exacta. I will key the 7-6 over/under the rest of the numbers listed in two smaller units.

6th: 2-1-7/6-5/3-4…This is the second turf event on the schedule, and this is a good one. To be sure. Factor This (2) is a solid sod runner and has a 10-4-2 record in 27 career starts, with earnings over $1.176 million. Speedster needs to get out in front. And, needs to settle the pace to reasonable fractions. Should help that Florent Geroux returns to the saddle here. In three previous tries here, this one has a win, too. Can he make his speed last? Master Piece (1) ran a solid one in his only NA start for trainer Chad Brown. And, that was in a G1 event. Ran 4th behind Channel Maker. Barn wins with .29% coming off this type of a layup. Figures to be coming. I bet the 2-1 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the 2-1 over/under all the numbers listed in two smaller units.

7th: 5-4-7/3-9-10-8/1-6-2…Therideofalifetime (5) is a 3YO son of Candy Ride, who could have a solid day with his progeny here. This one is getting the Lasix for the first time and will make the 2021 debut. Barn is having a very good meet and the rider choice is perfect. Returns as a beaten favorite, and the barn wins with .13% of those kind. Look for this one to be ready to rock. Subsidize (4) could spice up the odds board, at 6-1 ML odds. This one has not raced since February, and did not fare ell in that 1-mile trip. Cuts back to the sprint distance here, though, and look out. Has the speed to be very dangerous here for a top barn operation. I bet the 5-4 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the 5-4 over/under the 7-3-9-10-8-1 in two smaller units.

8th: 7-10-3/5-4-6-8/11-2-9…This is another sod race and will be for the sprinters going 5.5 furlongs. I go to the outside here for my top choices — led by Jades Gelly (7). This one comes from the barn of Wesley Ward, who is having another super meet in Lexington. Has won .33% of his 24 starts so far. This one has not been out since last October here. Toss that one, when it was moved off the turf. In 8 turf tries, has a 1-2-2 mark. Better yet? Has a 1-1-0 record in 4 starts at this distance. One to beat. Lexintonia (10) could be a real threat here if this one moves forward off the last race for a top barn operation. Gets the meet’s top rider, too. Didn’t race at all in 2020. But the March 21 race was very solid and the works since are spot on. Look out here. I bet the 7-10 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the 7-10 over/under the 3-5-4-6-8-11 in two smaller units.

9th: 5-6-1/4/7-2/2…G3 Doubledogdare Stakes…Named after one of the best racing mares of her time (or any time, for that matter). This is a 11/16-mile test over the main dirt track and I will saddle up with Bonny South (5). She will be making the 2021 debut for trainer Brad Cox, but this one has 3 seconds in a row — all in G1 or G2 company. In fact, she has been in a G1 or G2 in the last five outings and has missed the board only once — in the G1 Ashland here last year. At this distance? Has won 3 of 4 lifetime. Works are spot on. I hope she is ready. She is that good. Speech (6) will be making the 2021 debut, too, and this one had her finest moment in the sun last year at this very track — winning the G1 Ashland. The Florida-bred was not able to duplicate that effort again last year, but she returns to her favorite locale today for a top trainer. Horses for courses? This could be one. Royal Flag (1) is very good, too. She won a G3 at Aqueduct to end the 2020 season. In 8 career starts, has a 4-2-2 mark. Always there. Always. I bet the 5-1 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the 5-1 over/under the 6-4 in two solid exactas, as well. 

10th: (8)-3-6/1/7-5…We will end the day with another grass race, hopefully. If it is moved to the dirt, I will go with the only MTO entry — Happy American (8). But the sun is shining and we expect a nice day at the ball yard. I expect it to stay on the sod. If so, I will go with Mubtadaa (3). This one ran very well on debut at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 30. Has been training lights out at Palm Beach Downs in South Florida. Gets a top rider. Adds up for me. Scarlet Fusion (6) looks to be the major threat. Has raced 5 times, but moves to the grass for the first time here. Barn wins with .15% of those trying the sod for the first time and with .14% changing surfaces. Has been spot on in the last 3 outings since getting the blinkers. Chance. 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 in two smaller units.

Good Luck & All the Best / Gene