|Total Day Results||10 / 5-3-8|
|2021 Overall 560||560 / 196-201-227|
|Win % of Top Pick||35.00%|
|Payoff% of Top 3 Picks Overall||37.14%|
|2021 Top Pick in the Money Overall — 353-560||63.04%|
|2021 Top Selection ITM / KEE 70-95||76.84%|
|2021 Top Selections Win / KEE 43-95||45.26%|
|“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|
What a nice day of handicapping, wagering and friendship we enjoyed at the Louisville Thoroughbred Society on Friday. Had several groups of friends, special friends, very special friends and lifelong friends. (This is an inside joke that I will explain sometime. But some of my “friends” like to joke and kid me about how many “friends” I have. Another story. For another day.)
And, we spiced it up just a bit with a little of my favorite rums and a few winning picks, too. We had 5 winners on the 10 races and we hit for 7 exactas. The fun came at the end of the day, though, when we closed with the last Pick 4 and the final Pick 5. We had the place jumping. Or, at the least, I was. Come see us at the LTS. It’s a blast.
Here’s a look at today card:
1st: 6/5-2-1/3…My first “Key Play of the Day” comes in the very first race of the day. I will go with Super Sol (6) in this spot. The 6YO son of Awesome Again comes into this one off a “better-than-looks” 6th in the KY Cup Classic at Turfway Park on Jeff Ruby Steaks Day. He was crowded throughout the early part of that race, and was swimming in deep waters to begin with. Drops to a level that he should find rather enticing here. In two previous tries at KEE? Has a win — that came last October by nearly 5 lengths. In 11 races over fast dirt tracks? Has a 3-0-3 mark. I go here. I bet the 6 to win/place/show and then key the 6 over/under the numbers listed in the exactas.
2nd: 3/5/2-4-1…My second “Key Play of the Day” comes in the second race of the day. I will go with Ashaar (3) this time. The 4YO son of Into Mischief cost a hefty $650,000 at the 2018 KEE September Yearling Sale. Since then, has come up a tad bit short of winning back his allotment. To date, has earned about $80,000. But it looks like the 4YO may be onto something now. Ran a real good one last time out at Oaklawn Park, finishing 2nd. Before that, he was 2nd at Gulfstream Park. This guy has faced some good ones in the past — like Independence Hall and Sole Volante. None of those kind in here. Main competition will be his stablemate. I bet the 3 to win/place/show and then box the 3-5 in the exacta. I will key the 3-5 over/under the rest of the numbers listed in two smaller units.
3rd: 6-9-4/5-8-10/2-7…Let Them Eat Cake (6) should be much better this time around on the 2nd try off the layup. Ran very well at 5 furlongs over the Gulfstream Park sand (which they call turf). Was bet down to near favoritism that day. Ran a nice 2nd at Saratoga last summer over real grass. Should appreciated the extra distance here and the rider choice is spot on. American Goddess (9) is a 4YO American Pharoah filly trained by Wesley Ward, who is winning at a .35% clip this meet. The rider has gone 8-5-2 in the last 26 mounts. Wow. This one has speed and has faced some good ones. Could be a tough out. My first “Longshot Special of the Day” comes here with Dynamite Gift (4). This one is listed at 6-1 in the ML and could drift North from there in the odds department. The 4YO Justin Phillip filly is trained by an under-rated trainer, who can get them running on this speciality distance and surface. I like this one to hit the board and maybe challenge them. I bet the 6-9 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the top 3 over/under the 5-8 in two smaller versions.
4th: 7-1-4/8-10-2/5…Despite the odds disparity in the ML, I think this is a wide open race. I will lean to the ML favorite in Jail House Code (7), who is dropping from the $50,000 price tag all the way to the $20,000 level today. Was claimed just two starts ago for the $50,000 level. (They need a bigger truck.) And, the barn wins with .22% of those making the 2nd start after a claim purchase and with .20% of those dropping this much in one swoop. Gets a top rider for the assignment, and he’s winning with .26% of his 47 mounts to date. Adds up. But? She’s never been close at the wire, and even though the drop should help? I would like to see some move at the end. War Empress (1) faced lighter company at Tampa Bay Downs, but does come in with a fast-closing 2nd in the last effort. In 8 tries to date, this one has 2 seconds and a third. Encouraging. Might have a shot here. Bless Em (4) is trained by one of the best young conditioners in the game today. Does a great job. And, he wins with a whopping .56% when he drops this much in class at one time. Has been off for nearly a year. Training is improving, and the barn wins with .24% when away from the gate this long. Got to use. I bet the 7-4 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the 7-4 over/under the 1-8-10-2-5 in two smaller units.
5th: 9-10/5-12-4/8-2-7/3-1…News Break (9) was claimed two starts ago for the $30,000 price tag and immediate was stuck into the allowance company for the initial try with the new connections. Ran a solid, if not tiring, 3rd that day. Has come back to train well and gets a rider who has won with .11% of the last 37 mounts for this barn operation. Trainer wins with .22% on the second try after a claim purchase. May improve with this shorter distance here and the MCL win was spot on. A lot to like here. Casanova Kitten (10) goes for the barn of Wesley Ward, who is winning at a .35% rate this meet. This one ran a huge one last time out at GP and loses the blinkers today. Barn wins with .21% of those that toss the shades, and with .24% of those that are making the 3rd start off the layup. Gets a nice rider here and could be a real threat. I bet the 9-10 across the board and then box those two in the exacta. I will key the 9-10 over/under the 5-12-4-8-2-7 in two smaller units.
6th: 5-8-1/6-2-7-3/4…On paper, this appears to be a rather weak group to line up in a MSW event at KEE. But there are a few first-time starters that could turn this race upside down and turn out to be OK, as well. I will give the edge to the experienced horse with the best record to date — Pledgeofallegiance (5). This 4YO son of Constitution will race for the first time as a gelding and the first time in 2021. Finished up the 2020 campaign with a nice 2nd at Churchill Downs. Coming with every stride in that one. Has trained very well for the return and the barn can get them ready off the bench — winning at a .14% rate with this long a layup. Gets a veteran to pilot today. Captain Hank (8) goes for a trainer who is known for allowing his first timers to get a start (or two) of experience before really cranking up the engine. But this 4YO son of Medaglia d’Oro — who cost $635,000 to purchase as a yearling — has been training lights out for the inaugural effort. If he can duplicate his morning runs? Look out here. I bet the 5-8 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the 5-8 over/under all the numbers listed in two smaller units.
7th: 6-5-4/8-10-9/1-7-2…What a great betting race this should be. Hard to toss any of these and hard to pin point any of these. Should set up as a great rider’s race, and if you can find the needle in this haystack, it could be rather rewarding. I will go with Notorious R B G (6), from the very capable barn of trainer Christophe Clement. This one has not raced since February, when she won at Tampa Bay Downs. Will definitely face much tougher here, but this one did run a very nice 2nd at Saratoga last summer. Suggests that the talent is here. Gets a top rider. And, this one is a daughter of Speightstown. I love the sire. My pick. Ready for Change (5) is a perfect 2-for-2 and this one has the speed to lead them from the start to the finish . Dam has produced 3 turf winners and the breeding is spot on. Like this one, too. Chili Petin (4) comes from the barn of Wesley Ward and gets the HOF rider Johnny V. in the saddle. That’s enough for me here. I bet the 6-4 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the 6-4 over/under the 5-8-10-9-1 in two smaller units.
8th: 7-3-6/2/5-1-4…This event has a former KY Derby starter imbedded in the entries, and I still pick another steed instead. Wow. I will go with Top Seed (7), who hails from the barn of HOF trainer Shug McGaughey. This barn has only 1 win in 12 starts this meet, but this one could double that total here. The 5YO son of Orb has not started since last June. But he won that day at Churchill Downs and has 3 wins and a second in 5 career starts. When he is right? He is right. And, this trainer does NOT start them if they are not right. I go here. South Bend (3) ran in the 2020 Kentucky Derby — that was moved to September. Didn’t fare too well, but no one expected him to, either. This one has bounced back and forth between the grass and the dirt. Come on, man. Pick a surface and stick to it. In 7 starts over a fast dirt track? Has 3 wins and a second. In 6 starts over the sod? Has 0-1-2 mark. Looks like the dirt is better. Give the horse a chance. Stick to the dirt. (This is me telling a HOF trainer what to do. LOL.) I bet the 7-3 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the top 3 over/under the 2 in two smaller units.
9th: 10-1/2-6/9-7/3-8/4-5…G2 Elkhorn Stakes…This 11/2-mile marathon over a softer and giving turf surface should be a true test of endurance. These types don’t make the greatest of American sires, but they do make for some very exciting and fun races to watch and wager. I will give a very slight edge to Red Knight (10) in this spot, and I do so based on one experience edge. This guy has a 2-2-0 mark in 5 tries at this distance. In two races here? Has a win and a second. Has not raced since November, and that concerns me. But has ran very well off the bench before and over a tough course to do so. Works look promising. Cross Border (1) is a horse that I truly love and enjoy watching. I touted seriously last time out in the G2 Pan American at GP. Was a beaten favorite that day and the barn does win with .20% of those returning. My biggest concern? In 5 times at this distance? Has not won. Here? Has not raced. I bet the 10 to win/place/show and then box the 10-1 in the first two exactas. I will key the 10-1 over/under the 2-6-9-7-3-8 in two smaller units.
10th: 8-3/6-12-11-10-4/7-1-2…The last race of the day is a 6-furlong sprint for the $10,000 optional-claimer group. Interesting farewell event. I will go with the top 2 numbers here in a strong way. Look much the best to me, on paper. Small edge to High Five Cotton (8), who ran a very nice 2nd here on April 7. Was the beaten favorite that day and the barn wins with .25% of those returning to the fray. Gets a top rider back in the irons. One to beat. Loopallu (3) won the last time out at the Fair Grounds for an under-rated barn operation. In one previous try here? Has a win. Don’t dismiss this one. I bet the 8-3 across the board and then box these two in the exactas. Sternly. I will key the 8-3 over (only) the 6-12-11-10-4-7.
Good Luck & All the Best / Gene