Day Results 11-6-3-4
2019 Overall 501 501/194-187-246
Win % of Top Pick 38.72%
Payoff % of Top 3 Picks Overall 41.72%
2019 Top Pick in the Money –355 of 499 71.14%
Top Selection ITM / KEE 23-29 79.31%
Top Selection Win / KEE 14-29 48.28%
“Key Horses” @ KEE 4-4-0-0 100.00%
“Key Horses” in 2019 111-46-20-12 41.44%
Upset Special of the Day/ KEE 7-2-0-2 28.57%

1st: 5-10/7-6-11/2-4…I’ll go with the “Baby Race” Zenmaster in here and trainer Wesley Ward. He will saddle Kimari (5), a 2YO filly by Munnings, who has been training very well here this Spring. This one cost $152,000 to purchase and the sire hits with .17% of those making the first start. Barn hits with .31% of those debuting in the MSW ranks. Looks the best off the early morning works. The roommate, Palace Duchess (10), may be the one to beat. This daughter of Palace will draw to the outside and that can help these youngsters, who will be breaking from the gate for the first time in earnest. The dam of this one has 8 winners from 10 starters and has been training well in the a.m., too. I bet the 5 to win/place/show and then box the 5-10 solidly in one exacta.

 

2nd: 4-9/8-6/7-5…Strut the Ring (4) gets the nod in this one. In 19 lifetime tries, this 7YO gelding has hit the board on 12 occasions. Ran a game second over the mud at the Fair Grounds last time out on Mach 16. Made the lead late in that one before getting caught at the wire. Drops in class for this spot today, and that should move this one up a bit more. Should improve off that race, and a top rider gets the saddle here again. Barn has hit with .29% of the last 55 horses to saddle. Cookies Are Good (9) won last time out for trainer Joe Sharp, who had a super winter meet at the Fair Grounds in New Orleans. Contended for that meet’s Trainer’s Title right up to the last go. This 5YO gelded son of Into Mischief has a win in his only try over this track, as well. Has hit the board in 6 of the last 7 races, with three wins in that mix. Good right now. I bet the 4 to win/place/show and then box the top 2 numbers in the exacta. I will key the 4-9 over the 8-6 in two smaller versions.

 

3rd: (14)-6-12/(13)-(15)-5-9/8-10/1-11-7…This is the first turf event of the day and I will go to the extreme outside and give a checkmark to Exult (14), who is on the Also Eligible list. Will have to draw into the body of the race with a scratch or two, but if he can make the field, he figures to be a tough out. Ran second two times in a row for trainer Chad Brown to start the career. Looks salty for the next out. If he doesn’t make the race, though, I will go with Life Mission (6). Although he has not won yet, he has hit the board in 5 of 6 and has run second in three of the last four – including the Pulpit Stakes down at Gulfstream Park in the last out. Made the lead in that one after closing the time before. Definite “Z Pattern” working here, and that is an old handicapping tool perfecta by the late, great “Pittsburgh Phil.” Bar Harbor (12) ran huge to get up to be second in the debut effort on Feb. 10. Stuck at the back for much of the race. Barn hits with .15% of those making the second career start. If he improves at all, he will be a tough one to hold off late in this going. I will bet the 14 if he makes it in, but if not, I will go strong with the 6 across the board. I will box the 6-12 in the exacta. I will key the 6-12 over the 13-15-5-9 in a smaller version.

 

4th: 2-8/1-7-10-3/9-5/4-11…Grove Daddy (4) gets the drop from the MSW ranks into the MCL level for the first time. The barn hits with .20% of those getting this kind of class drop. Ran a really nice second to a good one in Tackett three races back at the Fair Grounds. Ran behind Gun It and By My Standards (winner of the LA Derby last time out) two races ago. Has been facing much tougher than these. Not Now Rand (8) is another getting the class drop from the MSW ranks to the MCL level. Has run 4th in all three lifetime tries to date. Gets the blinkers on for the first time today, and the barn has won with .26% of the last 39 saddle jobs. Sharp workout on March 30, to boot. I bet the 4 to win/place/show and then box the 4-8 solidly in the exacta. I will key the 4-8 over the 1-7-10-3 in a smaller version.

 

5th: 3/6-10-5-7/9-4-2/12-8…My first Key Play of the Day comes right here with Sniper Shot (3). This 3YO son of Shackleford – who cost $175,000 to purchase at the 2017 Keeneland September Yearling Sale – won impressively at odds-on favoritism at Gulfstream Park last July. Runner-up in that one came right back to win. This one has been idle since then, but has been training lights out for this return for trainer Todd Pletcher. The barn hits with .31% of those away from the races this long, and Jose Ortiz takes the mount job. Looks like it adds up to me. I bet the 3 to win/place/show and then key the 3 over/under the 6-10-5-7-9 in the exactas.

 

6th: 4-10-5-3/(15)-(13)-7/6-8-2-1…The second grass race carded for today and will be contested at the two-turn route distance of 11/8-mile. What a wide-open affair, but I will give a slight nod to Hierarchy (4). This one is trained by Shug McGaughey, and is comng off a valiant effort to be fifth in the last try. Ran into all kinds of trouble and traffic in that one – which was the first start of the new campaign. John Velazquez takes the reins back today, and with a little better luck, he could be a tough customer to hold off in the late going here. Won three starts back at Belmont and the work at Payson Park on March 31 indicates this one is ready on the second start off the layup. Watch out here. Fashion Decree (10) is 10-1 in the ML and is one of my Upset Specials of the Day. This 4YO Speightstown gelding is coming off an impressive maiden win in the first ask for a top trainer who doesn’t get his due. Never mind that this win came at Tampa Bay. This man knows how to get a horse ready, and does well when matching heads and horses with some of the game’s best. I love how this one closed so strongly in the debut. Not an easy task to learn. Watch out for his late run today. Both Valycove (5), from the barn of Ian Wilkes, and Midnight Tea Time (3) have a shot in here, too. The former won last time out and now has a 2-1-2 record in 9 career starts. Stalks and pounces. Has hit the board in 5 of the last 6 outs. The latter has hit the board in 8 in a row. Gets a top rider in the irons. Watch out for this one to lay close and make a move. If he can quit hanging late in the going, he could be a tough customer today, as well. I bet the 4-10 across the board and then box those two in one exacta. I will key the 4-10 over/under the 5-3 in two smaller versions. I will key the 10 over/under the “all button” in two more.

 

7th: 8/2-5-3/7-6/1-4…G3 Beaumont Stakes…My second Key Play of the Day comes in this one, and in the form of Feedback (8). This one was originally scheduled to run in the G1 Ashland Stakes on Saturday. But the connections – headed by trainer Chad Brown – opted for this 7-furlong event rather than the 11/16-mile, two turns of the Ashland. Feedback is a perfect 2-for-2 to start the career, and won on debut by over 8 lengths last summer at Saratoga. Returned to win the G3 Forward Gal Stakes last time out on Feb. 2 in a grueling match to the wire at 7 furlongs. She looks tons the best here. All the right boxes are checked. I bet the 8 to win/place and then key the 8 over (only) the 2-5-3-7-6 in the exacta.

 

8th: 1-9/4-7/5-11-10-8/6-3-2…G2 Appalachian Stakes…I will take the Chad Brown duo in this Stakes event over the Keeneland grass course. And, why not. The man dominates the sod wherever he goes – including the Lexington oval. Clause (1) gets a slight nod for me, event though he just graduated and broke his maiden last time out at Gulfstream Park on Feb. 9. Came rolling late to rip apart that field and draw off by 11/2 lengths at the wire. This 3YO Speightstown filly is a home-bred for the Juddmonte Farms and has all the pedigree and ingredients to be a good one. Look out here. Regal Glory (9), the stablemate of the top choice, is more experienced and has 3 races under the girth. And, she ran a nice second n the G3 Sweet Chant Stakes at Gulfstream Park in February, too. In those 3 starts, she has two wins and a second. Impressive resume. So why go with the maiden winner? Because Chad Brown put her in here is validation enough. I bet both the 1-9 across the board and then box those two solidly in one exacta. I will key the 1-9 over the 4-7 in a lesser version.

 

9th: 6-12-9/7-2-10/8-1-4-3…The last race of the day and the glorious weekend will be a nice MSW event for the colts going a route of ground. Ranger Up (6) gets my top number in here, coming off a very nice second at GP on March 2. Nearly won that one when racing wide for much of the event. Luis Saez takes the reins once again, and this son of First Samurai will be a tough out if he improves any off that last effort. In 3 tries now, he has 2 seconds and a third. Look at the race two back, as well. Was beaten by the “world beater” Hidden Scroll in that 1-mile event over the slop. Looks ready to graduate today. Passion Play (12) has two seconds and a third in 4 races so far. Didn’t do well in the last out, but I can toss that one. It was the second start off a layup, and many bounced in that particular race. Now, will get the third start off a layup and many excel with that timing. Look for more out of this one today, at some nice odds of 8-1. My second Upset Special of the Day. Bandon Woods (9) looks good in this spot, too. Trained by Chad Brown, this one cost $700,000 to purchase as a yearling. Ran fourth in the career debut, but may have needed that race on Feb. 16. Has trained well since the debut run, and gets a top rider up – and he is on absolute fire. Barn hits with .30% of those stretching out to two turns for the first time. I bet the 6-12 across the board and then box the top 3 numbers in the exacta.

 

Good Luck & All the Best/Gene