|Total Day Results||10 / 6-2-4|
|2021 Overall 570||570 / 202-203-231|
|Win % of Top Pick||35.44%|
|Payoff% of Top 3 Picks Overall||37.19%|
|2021 Top Pick in the Money Overall — 360-570||63.16%|
|2021 Top Selection ITM / KEE 77-105||73.33%|
|2021 Top Selections Win / KEE 49-105||46.67%|
|“Key Horses” @ KEE 12 5-3-0||41.67% Win / 66.67% ITM|
|“Key Horses” in 2021 88 / 39-19-6||44.32% Win / 72.73% ITM|
What a nice day, we had, on Saturday at the ole’ ball yard in Lexington. Ten races on the card. Six wins in the bag, with a couple of 2nds and four more 3rds. We had 6 Exactas that returned the likes of $10.90, $37.60, $120.90 (yep, that’s not a typo), $26.00, $30.80 and another $84.30 for each $1 played.
We helped some friends land the first Pick 5. We helped some friends down at The Louisville Thoroughbred Society have some fun. We helped a few others find a winner or two in their belated hunt for an egg or two that the Easter Bunny obviously left behind.
It was a fun day. And, we hope to keep it going as we build towards the greatest week in sports — the Kentucky Derby.
Here’s our looks for today:
1st: 7-1/5-2-6/4-9/3-8…We start our Sunday brunch with a 1-mile grass event for the 3YO fillies who have never won a race. Yet. And, I will saddle up with Flatter Me Silly (7), who comes from the barn of Neil Pessin. This barn is having a very solid meet, with a 1-1-1 mark in 5 races, to date. This one ran a huge one on debut at the Fair Grounds in early March. Only travelled 5.5 furlongs that day and nearly came from last to win it at the wire. Returns today off a couple of very nice workouts and could improve just enough off the experience to have a big shot here at a very solid price point. Barn wins with .25% when routing for the first time and with .13% on the 2nd career start. My pick. Speed Lane (1) draws the rail for this event and this daughter of Union Rags will have to utilize some of her speed to maintain a good spot early on. Race on the lead last time out and just missed at the 11/16-mile distance. Cut back in length could help and the works here are solid. Rider is very under-rated and, at times, he can be special on the sod. I can’t dismiss this one’s chances. I bet the 7-1 across the board and then box these two in the exactas. I will key the 7-1 over/under the 5-2-6-4-9-3-8 in two smaller units.
2nd: 3-5-1/2/4…Just a 5-horse field will line up in this $30,000 claimer that will be contested at the 11/8-mile distance over the main track. I go with Tamanrassett (3), who broke the maiden two starts back and last November at Churchill Downs. That was a route that was moved off the turf and over to the main track, but was contested over a fast dirt surface. Stalked and pounced in that one with the same jockey who will be reunited with this one today. Last time out is a toss for me. First race of the 2021 season, and run over the sandy turf at Gulfstream Park. Had a horrific trip. Horrific. Watch the replay. Horrific. Lacked room. Steadied. Had no chance in the spot that he was put. None. Look for a lot more out of this one today. Justinthenickotime (5) will make the first start on the reunion tour for trainer Mike Maker. The barn used to have this one and did remarkably well in their time together — if you love 2nd place finishes. In the last 8 races under the tutelage of Maker, this gelded son of Justin Phillip had 6 runner-up finishes. Was finally claimed last December. Made just two starts for the barn before Maker reclaimed this one last time out at the FG. Super work here on April 10 for the renewed connections. Look for more today, as well. My guess? Second. Beniah (1) goes for one of the hottest trainers on the grounds. Has had 6 starters this meet. Has had 3 winners. Rider has been up for all 6 and the 3 wins, too. Should appreciate this class drop to be sure. Figures strongly here. I bet the 3-1 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exactas. I will key the top 3 over/under the 2-4 in two smaller units.
3rd: 1-5-2/3/6/4…This is the 2nd grass event of the day and this one is set up for the filly and mare sprinters. Will be contested at a 5.5-furlong distance, and although it has only 6 runners to make the gate, it should be very competitive. I’ll give the slight edge to the first of the two runners from the barn of Wesley Ward, who is having another great meet at his home base. In 33 starts this meet, the barn has won with .36%. Could add another here. Karak (1) has not raced since last May — nearly a year ago. And, draws the tough rail position. But? But this one has tremendous talent and won the debut race in May of 2019 at Belmont Park while sprinting over the sod. Barn known to get them ready off the bench and the training sessions are spot, spot, spot on. In 3 tries at this distance? Two wins. Long layup, to be sure. But talent here with a HOF rider up. Has to break well and go early. But has the speed to accomplish just that. Dixiecandyland (5) ran well last time out and much better than the outcome shows. In 11 tries at this distance, the daughter of Candy Ride has a 3-3-3 mark. Gets a top rider up for the third time. He won on this one last April — a year ago. Will stalk and close. Is she good enough. Sequin (2) is the “other” Ward horse in here. And, she can’t be dismissed either. Good right now, and coming off a huge, near-6 length win at Turfway Park. Training solidly and has a very credible resume at this distance over the sod. In 3 tries? No wins, but 2 seconds and a third. Has a 2nd in only previous run here. I bet the 1 to win/place/show and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the top 3 over/under the 3, in two smaller units. And, I will key the 1 over/under all the numbers listed in two smaller units, as well.
4th: 7-1A-1/3/2B-4/9-2/10-5-6…This is the first “Baby Race” of the day and I will saddle up with the “Guru” of these kind of events, and his 2YO colt by Speightstown — Overbore (7). Love the trainer. Love the sire. Love the fact that the sire wins with .16% of first time starters. Love the face that the trainer/jockey have combined to go 4-1-2 in the last 9 races together. And, love the way this one is training, too. Connections paid a handsome $275,000 for this one at the 2020 KEE September Yearling Sale. Make get quick dividends. Ask the Umpire (1) and Trebbiano (1A) both appear to have legit shots for a barn that is rapidly developing a solid reputation for being able to get the “Babies” ready early and often. Unfortunately, the first one draws the rail in this 4.5 furlong event. That’s a very tough ask for these youngsters. But the barn attracts the hottest rider on the grounds — who opts to go here rather than ride for his regular gig with trainer Joe Sharp. Very interesting development. The 2nd part of the entry draws way wide, but could pop and go. Has demonstrated lots of speed in the a.m. Lots. And? Don’t forget to include Tejano Twist (3) here. This is a son of Practical Joke, and may be the first progeny of that great runner to ever make the races. Dam of this one has 4 winners from 4 starters and a Stakes winner. Training great. Love the potential of this sire, too. I bet the 7-entry across the board and then box the top 3 in the exactas. That is the 7-entry-3. I will key those same three number combos over/under the 2-2B entry and the 4, as well. I will key the 7-1 entry over/under the 3-2 entry-4-9-2-10 in two smaller units, still.
5th: 6-8-5/7-11/3-4-9-2…This is the 3rd grass event today and will be contested at the flat 1-mile distance. I’ll give the slightest of edges to Camellia Gal (6) here. this one toils for the barn of Mike Maker, who is having a solid, if not spectacular, meet here. Has a 2-2-2 record in 8 starts over the grass surfaces, and ran a good one last time out at GP on March 4. Rider is red hot, going 7-4-1 in the last 23 mounts. Has speed. Has never won at this distance. Hmmm. Hat Tip (8) drops off a nice effort here against much, much, much tougher. Rough trip in that one. Traffic issues. Dead stopped. Still only lost by 4. Look for much better here with a clean trip. Coming late. My Candy Girl (5) goes for the barn of Brad Cox for the first time today. Trainer wins with .26% of those making the debut under his tutelage. This one has speed, to burn, and may help set it up for the 8 here. Interesting. I bet the 6-8 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the top 3 over/under the 7-11 in two smaller units. I will key the 6-8 over/under the 5-7-11-3-4-9-2 in two smaller units, as well.
6th: 1/2/6-5…This is my first “Key Play of the Day,” and I will go with the rail entry — Alfie Solomons (1). Good news is that this one appears to be a standout from the barn of Wesley Ward. Has not raced since last August, but drops from a Stakes event to a $20,000 claimer here. Has speed to dominate. And, has trained great for the return. Bad news? This one is 3-5 in the ML. No value to be had, it appears. I bet the 1 to win only. I bet the 1 over/under the numbers listed in the exactas. I will key the 1 in the horizontal plays and maybe have a “saver” with the other numbers in a lesser version.
7th: 4-7-2/1-8/6-5-3…Another 5.5-furlong sprint over the grass course, and a solid group of allowance horses have been assembled to contest this one. I will give the edge to Super Dormy (4), who comes from the barn of Mark Casse. Trainer has a 2-2-1 mark in 16 starts this meet, but this one has some real back class and could inch the barn’s record North with a good effort here. Has not started since last September. But has performed well off the bench before. Last time out, nearly won the G3 Franklin-Simpson Stakes at KY Downs. Has a nice 2-1-0 record in 4 starts at this specialty distance. Gets a solid grass rider for this one. Works are spot on. Adds up. Kingpin (7) returns today as a beaten favorite. Barn wins with .24% of the last 172 runners that qualify for that designation. Gets a rider change to a jockey who won on this one three starts ago at the Fair Grounds. In 6 starts at this distance? Has a 2-1-2 record. Will likely push the envelope here. Star of Kodiak (2) will be coming in the later stages, and has a nice 3-1-2 record in 8 starts at this distance. Last out, just missed at the wire. Has hit the board in the last 4 outings and 5 of the last 6. Around. I bet the 4-7 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exactas. I will key the top 3 over/under the 1-8 in two smaller units.
8th: 5/8-6-9-2/1-3-7/11-4…This is a rather interesting group for the $20,000 MCL ranks. Lots of connections dropping their expectations and their steeds from the MSW level into the mid-range price points to see if they can become more competitive. I will go with my second “Key Play of the Day” here with Sovereign Change (5). This 3YO son of Will Take Charge is dropping from the MSW level last time out and back to the MCL ranks for the 2nd time. Ran a very nice effort at the Fair Grounds when in this company back in February. If he can duplicate that effort here, he is the likely winner. Gets a top rider, who has won with half of his 6 mounts for this barn operation this meet. I saddle up here. I bet the 5 to win/place/show and then key the 5 over/under all the numbers listed in the exactas. More with the 8-6-9-2. Less with the 1-3-7. Even less with the 11-4.
9th: 2/3-8/4-10-1/7-6…The final race and the final turf event on “Green, Green Grass of Home Day.” And, it is our final “Key Play of the Day,” too. I’ll go with the ML even-money favorite Nevisian Sunrise (2). This 3YO War Front filly is trained by Chad Brown, who is having a very modest KEE meet this Spring. Has a pedestrian 4-6-2 record in 21 starts here this April. We are used to twice those numbers. This one could help boost the morale a bit. Ran a super 2nd last time out at GP, losing by a neck at the wire. “Show” horse came right back to win the next outing. Gets a top rider, who has won with .20% of the last 5 rides for this barn operation. Dam of this one is a Stakes winner and looking for her first winner from her first starter. Could be here. I bet the 2 to win/place and then key the 2 over/under the “all button.” I will also key the 2 over/under the numbers I list above. More with the 3-8. Less with the 4-10-1. Even less with the 7-6.
Good Luck & All the Best / Gene