|2019 Overall 1,028||1,028/371-357-473|
|Win % of Top Pick||36.09%|
|Payoff % of Top 3 Picks Overall||38.94%|
|2019 Top Pick in the Money –696 of 1,028||67.70%|
|Top Selection ITM / KEE 5-10||50.00%|
|Top Selection Win / KEE 4-10||40.00%|
|“Key Horses” @ KEE 0-0||0.00%|
|“Key Horses” in 2019 174-70-35-20||40.23%|
Well, we are off.
Had a really good break and settled nicely on Opening Day. Hit a nice Pick 4 early in the card and was rocking and rolling.
Until we weren’t.
Finished with nice win in the last, though, and we head into today’s most wonderful day and card with a little cash roll to invest. Had 4 winners on the Opening Day card and hit 7 exactas. One of those returned a whopping $117.60 for every $1 wagered. Suffice to say? Had more than a buck.
Here’s a look at my selections today:
1st: 2-3-10/8-4-5/1-6-9…The first event of the day is a 6-furlong sprint for the 2YO fillies that still qualify for the MSW level. I go inside with my top 2 picks, led by Hai Bobbi (2). This daughter of Shanghai Bobby is coming off a grass race at Saratoga. Ran well there, but had some serious traffic issues and was DQ’d from 4th to 5th for interference. In the debut, back in June, ran over the slop at Belmont. Nearly won that one. Has speed, when she can use from the gate. Gets a top rider back in the saddle. Graduation day looks imminent. Ivyetsu (3) is parked just to the outside of our top pick at the gate. Will be making the first start for a trainer that only hits with .06% of those running for the first time at the MSW level. Dam has a winner from 1 starter and that is a Stakes winner. Brilliant work here on Sept. 28. Daughter of Tapit. That means talent. But that could also mean that she needs a race. Or 2. Talent obviously there and aggressive rider named to board. Beware at a 8-1 ML price. Specially (10) gets an outside post, but that can be OK, too. First time starter who sire gets .18% winners on debut. Dam of this one has a winner from 2 starters and a SW, too. Nice works. Interesting rider choice for this barn. I bet the 2 to win/place/show and then box the top 3 number in the exacta. I will key the 2-3 over/under the 10-8-4-5-1 in two smaller versions.
2nd: 5/6-1-8/4-3…First Key Play of the Day comes here with Alberobello (5). This 4YO daughter of Bernardini comes from the Todd Pletcher barn and gets Jose Ortiz up. Comes out of a lot of Stakes company races and now finds a high-end allowance to try and build the confidence level. Has speed to burn, and will shorten up from 11/8-miles to the flat 1-mile distance today. Although this race is still 2 turns, it fits her style much better, IMO. Is a perfect 1-for-1 at the distance and the same at this track. Love the last work on Sept. 28. Looks poised. I bet the 5 to win/place/show and then key the 5 over/under the rest of the numbers listed in the exacta.
3rd: 7-1-9/2/6-5/4-3-8…Solomini (7), simply, has not been the same horse since earlier in his career, when hje was a legit Triple Crown threat. Ran 2nd to Magnum Moon in the G2 Rebel Stakes. Ran 3rd to the same horse in the G1 Arkansas Derby. Despite a 10th in the KY Derby, he came back to run 3rd in the G3 Affirmed Stakes. Although he has only 1 win in the last 10 starts, he makes my top spot today. Will go for the barn of Steve Asmussen for the first time today. Shifts from the barn of Bob Baffert. Asmussen is known for rejuvenating a horse’s career. Did so on Friday with Engage. Puts Jose Ortiz up and you may hope that this one lays a little closer to the pace than the recent races. I give a shot here. Guest Suite (1) has a win and a third in two tries over this track and comes off a nice 2nd to Seven Trumpets just two races ago. I can toss the last one. No match at that distance with those fast guys. Gets back to 2 turns here and a distance where he is 3-1-1 in 9 starts. Will try. Malibu Max (9) has been running up in Minnesota. But don’t overlook. Stretches out for a sharp barn operation, and they hit with .29% that go from a sprint to a route. Beware. Could add some real value here. I bet the 7-9 across the board and then box the top 3 numbers in the exacta. I key the 7-9 over/under the 1-2-6-5 in two smaller versions.
4th: 11-7-4/(13)-3-8/(14)-10-5-1…A very nice MSW event for the 2YO colts, and I go to the outside and land on Whisky Man (11). This one ran a closing third on debut at Ellis Park on Aug. 30. Gets a huge, huge rider switch today, and a little more ground to work with. Barn hits with .23% of those making the second career start. Son of Into Mischief cost $500,000 to purchase at the KEE Sept Sale a year ago. Talent. Ghostlore (7) ran a nice 2nd to Maxfield last time out at Churchill Downs, and now that winner will show up in the G1 Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity later today. If this one runs well here, take note a bit later. Trainer does well when he gets a couple of races into them. This one has the breeding and conditioning now to be serious threat here. I bet the 11 to win/place/show and then box the top 3 numbers n the exacta. I will key the 11-7 over/under the 4-3-8-10 in two smaller versions.
5th: 9-11-4/7/10-3/6-1/5-2…Night Code (9) won the first time out for the barn of Steve Asmussen, while racing up at Laurel Park. Interesting choice of tracks for this barn, which normally doesn’t travel to that circuit. Has come back to work a bullet here and gets a top named rider in the saddle. Connections paid $500,000 for this son of Honor Code at the KEE Sept. Sale a year ago. Looks like he was well-respected on debut and could pop another big one today at a nice price. Upset Special of the Day if he holds anywhere close to the 8-1 ML odds. South Bend (11) is probably the PT favorite and he horse to beat. Comes in off a fast-closing, nose victory on debut at Churchill Downs on Sept. 14. Amazing stretch performance that day for a trainer that def knows his way to the winner’s circle. Stretches out today a bit more and that could help, too. Beyond Gone (4) should run better now that he returns to the dirt surface. Another long shot possibility here, at 8-1 odds. Take note. I bet the 9-4 across the board and then box the top 3 numbers in the exacta. I key the top 3 over/under the 7 in two smaller versions.
6th: 3-9/2-4-1/6-5…G2 Woodford Stakes…This is the first turf event of the day and will be contested at the sprint distance of 5.5-furlongs. If you watched the turf races on Friday, take note. The grass is hard. And, dry. And speed is a must. I will give the edge to Imprimis (3), who has one of the best “gate riders” in the game today. This one doesn’t flash tremendous speed early, but has enough tactical speed to lay close enough to make a stalking run. Had all kinds of traffic issues in the last out. Is a perfect 1-for-1 over this course and has 7 wins in 9 tries at this distance. Wow. Leinster (9) hooked a real good one in his stablemate at KY Downs last out. Had a wide trip in that one and still managed to get up the hill to be third. Cuts back to a distance where he is a perfect 3-for-3 and has a win here, too. Look for a huge improvement from this one today. I bet the 3-9 across the board and then box these 2 in the exacta. I will key the 3-9 over/under the 2-4-1-6-5 in two smaller versions.
7th: 6-8/3-1/7-4-5…G2 Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes…What a nice event here, with a quality field from bow to stern. I will give the edge to Mia Mischief (6). This filly has battled and faced a lot of good ones in her career. And, when she is at this distance? She is even better. Has a 4-4-0 record in 9 starts at 6 furlongs. Is perfect here. Look at the win three back. Beat Covfefe. Probably the top 3YO filly at this distance. I look for a huge one from Mia today. Chalon (8) has raced here 3 pervious times. Every single one of them, she has been second. I will take that same performance again today. In 9 starts at this distance? She is 5-3-1. I bet the 6 to win/place/show and then box the 6-8 solidly in one exacta. I will also key the 6 over/under all the numbers listed in two more smaller versions.
8th: 11/6-4-13-3/10-7-12/2-8-9…G1 First Lady Stakes…This is my second Key Play of the Day. And, what a horse to do it with. Rushing Fall (11) didn’t draw the greatest of post positions. But she has the speed to spring to the front early and control the front end. She is a perfect 4-for-4 over this turf and the distance. Wow. She has won nearly $2 million already in the career. Wow II. And, she has 8 wins and 2 seconds in 10 career starts. She lost to Sistercharlie — maybe the best horse in the world — last time out. And, she lost to another stablemate by a neck in May of 2018. Short price today. But she is a superstar. I bet the 11 to win/place and then key the 11 over/under the numbers listed. More on the 6-4-13-3. Less on the 10-7-12. Even less on the 2-8-9.
9th: 2-1-10/6/3-8-9-5/7…G1 Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity…Despite what you may hear today, I think this race is a lot more wide open than some of the other experts. Most of the betting action and attention will be centered on Gouverneur Morris (10), who comes into this event off a huge 9-length victory in his only start at Saratoga on Sept. 2. Ran off over the slop that day to beat 6 others. I am always skeptical of huge wins over the slop. Plus, this one now has to stretch out from 5.5 furlongs to 11/16-miles. May be all that and a bag of chips. But he will have to show me more. Instead, I go to another son of the young and impressive stallion Constitution. I go with By Your Side (2). This one ran two huge ones to begin the career before catching a sloppy track in the G1 Hopeful. Didn’t run well that day, at all. He was 5th of 6. But I will toss. Gets a dry, fast one today and a jockey that knows this track better than all others. My solid pick at 6-1 odds. Tap It to Win (1) is another big tout, with a big chance. After starting the career on the grass at Woodbine, this son of Tapit moved to Saratoga and blew the doors off the comp. Runner-up came right back to win. Dangerous. I bet the 2-1 across the board and then box the top 3 in one exacta. I will key the 2-1 over/under the 10-6-3-8-9-5 in two smaller versions.
10th: 4/2-6-12-(16)/13/8-14-5-10…G1 Shadwell Turf Mile…The third straight G1 Stakes event on the card. Wow. And, my third Key Play of the Day. I will focus my betting strategy on another from the deep and wide barn of Chad Brown. Valid Point (4) is not only a perfect 3-for-3 in his career, but he is coming off a superman effort in the G1 Secretariat Stakes at Arlington Park. Will move up to face older horses for the first time today, and the track bias may play a tad against him. But this one could be the next Rushing Fall. Seriously. He has shown to be that good. Today? The world may see it again. My choice. I bet the 4 to win/place/show and then key the 4 over/under all the numbers listed.
11th: 4-5/12-1-9-3/6-7-11…The finale on the card today is a 6-furlong sprint for the 2YO fillies, and I will focus my attention on my top two numbers here — led by Mom’s Pass (4). this one ran huge the first two times out and then regressed a little bit for the barn of Steve Asmussen. Now, will move from the turf to the dirt for the first time. Barn hits with .21% of those making the surface switch and with .27% of them returning as a beaten favorite. Gets a rider who normally doesn’t get a lot of mounts for this barn, either. Interesting. Further Lane (5) will be making the career debut for a barn that scores with .20% at this level. Works have been spectacular. Gives the riding job to a HOF jock. Could set sail from the get-go and be tough to corral. I bet the 4-5 across the board and then box those 2 in the exacta. I will key those 2 over/under he 12-1-9-3-6 in two smaller versions.
Good Luck & All the Best/Gene