|Day Results||11 / 3-6-9|
|2020 Overall 1309||1309 / 461-440-544|
|Win % of Top Pick||35.22%|
|Payoff % of Top 3 Picks Overall||36.80%|
|2020 Top Pick in the Money –846-1,309||64.63%|
|Top Selection ITM / KEE 12-21||57.14%|
|Top Selections Win / KEE 5-21||23.81%|
|“Key Horses” @ KEE 0-0||00.00% Win / 70.79% ITM|
|“Key Horses” in 2020 180-58-42-26||32.22% Win / 70.00% ITM|
(The sun did rise, after all, this morning. The look out my bedroom door at Kentucky Lake. Peaceful. I need peaceful.)
It was a bloody Saturday.
Now, I need a Bloody Mary on this “Sunday Morning Coming Down.”
Managed just one winner in 11 events at Keeneland. Managed three winners in 11 events at Pimlico. (Did coax home 11 exacta payoffs combined, and they did pay handsomely.)
But after winning the initial race of the day up in Maryland with a nice 7-1 shot, it was downhill. Black Diamond-like downhill.
I didn’t like Swiss Skydiver. Not because she is a filly. Because I don’t think she is the best 3YO filly in the country. She proved me wrong.
I did like Authentic. Not because he is a colt. Because I thought he was the best 3YO in the country. At least right now. And, every stride in the stretch, I thought he was going to go by. Every. Single. Darn. One. He proved me wrong.
I did like Leinster. Thank God, some things never change.
But, all in all, it was awful.
Yet, we are a resident bunch — these degenerates that some call horse handicappers.
And, the sun did rise.
And, so did our picks for Keeneland today.
Here’s a peek. After all? I’m due.
1st: 2-1-6/5-4-3…Admire (2) looks like a “cull” for the powerhouse stable of the Albaugh Family. This 4YO son of Cairo Prince just ran a huge one in allowance company at Ellis Park and last time he was here? Won against much tougher going a mile. Goes a bit farther today, but should be able to carry his speed a tad on this speed-favoring strip and against these kind. In 13 starts, has 3 wins and 2 seconds and just does not fit this stable’s profile heading into the winter months. Not a bad purse for a $25,000 claimer, either. Honoring Major (1) ran a solid one last time out at the $40,000 threshold. Gets back to the level where he likes the best. Barn is having a super year, again, and this one fits for a piece here. House Limit (6) could be the one to beat. Was claimed last time out off a super nice win and the new barn operator scores with .25% on the first try after a purchase. Will be coming off the pace, it seems, in this one. But likes the distance. I bet the 2 to win/place/show and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the 2 over/under all the numbers listed in two smaller units.
2nd: 7-1-6/2-4/5-3…Communicator (7) gets the class drop off a poor outing last time. That was the first start since February, though, and was caught down on the inside for much of the races. Excuses can be made. Barn hits with .27% of those making the 2nd start off a layup. Barn wins with .30% of those returning as a beaten favorite. Barn wins with .29% of those dropping into the claiming ranks for the first time, too. Adds up for me. Handy (1) could come in exactly what his name implies in this spot. This 3YO son of Tiznow could be worth the $30,000 claiming price. Ran much, much better than the last result indicates. Had troubles at the start. Checked hard later on. And, gets a huge rider switch. Take note here. My first Upset Special of the Day. There is one more that I think ranks a legit chance to upset this apple cart, too. That is Sea of Hope (6). This one ran very well at this level last time out. Nearly won. Looks like the move to the dirt could pick this one’s head up a bit. I bet the 7-1 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the 7-1 over/under the rest of the numbers listed in two smaller units.
3rd: 4/3-2/6/1-5…The first Key Play of the Day comes right here with a former winner of the Claiborne Farm Breeders’ Futurity — Knicks Go (4). This talented and speedy son of Paynter came off an extended layup in February to run them off their feet at Oaklawn Park in his first race ever for the barn of Brad Cox. Happy days were here again. Right? Well…He disappeared as fast as he came on the scene, though. Will return for the first time since that race. Has been working well, but one has to question why and what? Still, if this guy is anything close to that last race? Or anything close to the horse that won the Breeders’ Futurity? Latch on. Gets a top rider up, too. I bet the 4 to win/place and then key the 4 over/under all the numbers listed.
4th: 1-7-6/9-5-2/8-4-3…The first 2YO race of the day and I go with my second Upset Special of the Day and a highly-acclaimed homebred for the Albaugh Family Stables — Mahomes Money (1). This one will be cutting back to the sprint distance after a determined effort going two turns. Barn wins with .27% when they start with a sprint, go to a route and return to a sprint. This one has flashed talent in the a.m. Look for more out of this one from the rail. Has to go. Bebop (7) is a first time starter for the barn of Brad Cox, who is having yet another fantastic year at the ovals near you. This one comes from a dam who has 2 winners from two starters and has been working lights out, too. I have to use. Candy Curl (6) got the first career start at KY Downs — and that’s about as tough as it gets for the debut run. Now, the son of Twirling Candy is flat ground and dirt. Should appreciate both. Ran well in that debut, too. Drew clear before the uphill climb to the line. Look for this one to be a handful today. I bet the 1-6 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the top 3 over/under the 9-5 in two smaller units.
5th: 1-3/8-7/2-4…I go right back to the rail here for the 2YO fillies, and saddle up with Lady Goldstart (1). This gal won impressively on debut, gutting out a win over a filly that came right back to win her next outing, too. And, this daughter of Upstart goes for a barn operator who does not normally have them fully cranked for the debut. Impressive. Wheeled back in a Stakes at KY Downs on the grass. Don’t look at the finish numbers. Look at the replay of that race. Was eliminated in the first turn. Eliminated. Almost went down. Returns today off some solid works and has a big chance with return to the dirt. The Grass Is Blue (3) looks like she was purchased privately after her MSW win at Monmouth Park in July. Now, she finds herself in the barn of Chad Brown. Comes from a Stakes-placed dam and she won the debut race by nearly 9. Gets a top rider and has worked the wheels loose. The one to beat. I bet the 1-3 across the board and then box those two sternly. I will key the 1-3 over (only) the rest of the numbers listed.
6th: 5-3-4/6/7-1/2…Indian Summer Stakes…Should be renamed after 2YO guru Wesley Ward. He has the top 3 in here, according to my calculations, and the man is winning at a .27% clip this year overall. With the juveniles? He is the man about town. The top contender appears to be Golden Pal (5). This son of Uncle Mo has a win and two seconds and is already a world traveller. Ran a huge 2nd at Royal Ascot. Came home to win the Skidmore Stakes at Saratoga by nearly 4. Gets a top rider. Wow. Wink (3) is another Ward pupil and comes in off a near-miss second at Longchamp in France. Had two wins before traveling over there. Filly against colts, but we saw yesterday that doesn’t matter much these days. Chance. Roderick (4) is the third Ward horse in here. Won on debut at Belmont Park by nearly 9. Shipped to Del Mar and ran poorly in the G2 Best Pal Stakes, but has returned home and is working lights out for the grass debut. Son of Into Mischief. Enough written. I bet the 5-4 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I key the top 3 over (only) the 6-7-1-2 in a smaller unit.
7th: 1-6-8/11-9/12-10-4/5-3-2-7…A wide open MSW event that will span 11/16-miles over the main dirt track. I will go inside and saddle up with Munqad (1). This 2YO son of War Front is a homebred for the Shadwell Stable and comes from the barn of Todd Pletcher. Ran really well on debut in a tough 7-furlong event. Tired at the end of that one. If he benefitted at all from that exercise, he should be ready to go today. Barn wins with .27% of those routing for the first time and with .26% going to the post for the 2nd time in the career. Windcracker (6) tired in the first try at the route distance. Barn wins with .28% of those doing it for the second time. Gets a top rider up. And, trainer wins with .29% of those returning as a beaten favorite. Watch out here. Repo Rocks (8) ran up against a good one last time out and held on for third. “Place” horse came right back to win the next outing, too. Gets blinkers for the first time and the hottest rider on the grounds. I can’t dismiss. I bet the 1-6 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the 1-6 over/under the 8-11-9-12-10-4 in two smaller units.
8th: 7/11-12-1/2-4-8-10/5-6-9/3…G2 Bourbon Stakes…This is an incredibility difficult race to handicap and/or pick a winner. Can make a case for nearly any or all. And, yet? I will make it a Key Play of the Day and a Upset Special of the Day, all rolled into one. How about that? I am going bullish on Blame the Booze (7), who is listed at 8-1 in the Brisnet.com ML. Can’t believe you — or I — can or will get those kind of odds, but I sure would like to lock that in. This 2YO by Blame is already a gelding and trained by Wesley Ward. Winning is on their mind. Right now. Has been entered for two grass races. Both washed off. Yet, has a win at Belmont and a near-win in a Stakes at Saratoga. Got to think he is better on the sod and has trained like it here and at “The Spa,” too. Rider has won with .30% of the last 20 mounts for this barn. Has speed. Will need to carry it farther than ever before. But I will try it. I bet the 7 across the board and then key the 7 over/under the 11-12-1 more. Less with the 2-4-8-10. Some with the rest. But then I will try to cover, a bit, with a 7-11-12-1 exacta box and a 7-11-12-1-2-4 trifecta box. Lots of investment. But I’m in on the 7.
9th: 6-3-2/5-4/1…G1 Spinster Stakes…Lady Kate (6) — owned by the Anderson Stables out of Columbus, OH. — has never been better in her life, and she has been pretty good for most of it. Over the last three races, she has two wins and a hard-beat 2nd to Monomoy Girl in the G1 at CD. Got hooked in a speed battle in that one, too. And, there ain’t no Monomoy Girls in the world — except one. The “Lady” has the early gate speed. On a track that favors speed. Will face some salty ones in here and she will stretch out to a distance she has not tried before. All tough components. But she will likely be in front turning for home and with a 1/16th of a mile to go. Love the rider choice. Now, needs to just hold on. Shedaresthedevil (3) has never been better, either. Just won the KY Oaks over the likes of Swiss Skydiver. Know her? this one has won three in a row now and looks to be gaining on her roommate (Monomoy Girl). She will be moving up to face older fillies for the fist time today. Can’t she latch the top speed? We shall see. Ollie’s Candy (2) is a good one, too. Very good. Has hit the board in 4 straight G1s. Close in a couple of those. But may like to settle for the runner-up spot. Underneath for me. I bet the 6-3 to win/place and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will hit the 6-3 in another exacta box, too. Just for good measure.
10th: 3-4/8-5-2/9-1-11/10-6-7/(14)…Another wide open event to finish the day. This will be a turf contest at a flat mile for the 2YO fillies. Joy in Grace (3) ran up against Fluffy Socks in the last outing at KY Downs. That one ran a huge one to win a Stakes event at Pimlico on Saturday. Huge race. Fence-skimming win. I had it. Yeah. Now, “Joy” is back in Mudville. Information Mosaic (8) is a first time starter from the barn of Chad Brown, who is winning at .21% on debut. Also wins at .27% on the grass. Works are just OK, and sure to be over-bet. So? Illiogami (5) is working very well for a barn that wins with .11% in first time runners on the sod. Daughter of Tapit cost $400,000 at the 2019 KEE September Yearling Sale. Big chance. Point of Infinity (2) is another first timer, and could make a nice run against this group, too. Rider has won with .20% of the last 35 mounts for this barn. I bet the 3 to win/place/show and then key the 3 over/under all the numbers listed. Why not. She ran up against Fluffy Socks. Who won on Saturday at Pimlico. And, I had it. Yeah.
Good Luck & All the Best / Gene