|2019 Overall 1,039||1,039/371-360-479|
|Win % of Top Pick||35.71%|
|Payoff % of Top 3 Picks Overall||38.82%|
|2019 Top Pick in the Money –700 of 1,039||67.37%|
|Top Selection ITM / KEE 9-21||42.86%|
|Top Selection Win / KEE 4-21||19.05%|
|“Key Horses” @ KEE 3-0-0-0||0.00%|
|“Key Horses” in 2019 177-70-35-20||39.55%|
On Saturday, I stunk.
No doubt about it. No way around it.
In 11 races, I discovered and unearthed ZERO winners.
As my lovely wife, Leigh Ann, said last night on the way to dinner:
“Man, that’s hard to do. Even if you are trying.”
I was trying. To pick winners. Believe me. But I was as dry as the weather. I was as bad as Javier Castellano was on both Rushing Fall and Valid Point. I went down with the ship, if we had any water around here to float one.
There is a favorite line of mine from a song that Jeff Bridges sang:
“Falling feels like flying…
“Even if it’s for a little while.”
But it’s the crash that hurts.
I’m hurting. So is the billfold.
And, I feel badly, too. So badly, in fact, that I’m going to cut the price for my “free picks” in half. I don’t know what half of nothing is, but that’s what I’m offering them up for today.
One of the disappointing things is that I have been on a pretty good roll of late. Well, as you know now, “Falling feels like Flying…Even if it’s for a little while.”
Back to work. Yesterday is in the past. And, as Maureen McGovern would sing:
“There Has to Be a Morning After.”
Here it is.
The morning after.
And, here’s my Sunday’s “Best:”
Race 1: 1-7/8-3/4-5-6…Ruler of the Nile (1) is the 8-5 ML favorite for a reason. He looks the best on paper. The 4YO colt does have 6 wins, 1 second and 1 third in just 12 starts. And, after being picked off the bottom by trainer Michael Later, the colt has proven to be both a good buy and a resurgent one, too. He won the last out at Churchill Downs for the new connections, and now has 4 wins in the last 6 tries. Has enough speed to lay close, but stretches out to 7 furlongs today. If you are worried? He has 3 wins in 4 tries at the distance. My choice. Griff (7) is an 8YO gelding, who has the ability to be close at the wire. In 7 tries at this distance, he has only 1 win. But 3 seconds. Has hit the board in each of the last 4 outs and 5 of the last 6. Lost to our top pick by 21/2 lengths last time out. Has a second in only previous run over this track. I bet the 1 to win/place and then box the 1-7 in the exacta. I key the 1 over/under the numbers listed in two smaller versions.
Race 2: 3-2-10/6-8-5-7/4-1-9…What a Fox (3) gets the nod here. This 3YO Bernardini filly will inch up in class a notch after an impressive win last time out for new trainer Wayne Catalano. Ran off in the final furlong of that one. Has a second in only previous run here and must really have enjoyed getting the blinkers for the first time last time out. Could wheel right back with the same rider. Choice. Quick Quick Quick (2) comes from the barn of Ian Wilkes, who has 2 seconds from the first 2 starters here this meet. This one has been off since August, after a debacle up at Saratoga. Training well since the return to KY, and lost to Talk Veuve to Me — who ran in the TCA Stakes on Saturday. If she can rediscover her past form? A threat. I bet the 3 to win/place/show and then box the top 3 numbers in the exacta. I bet the 3 over/under the 6-8-5-7 in two smaller ones.
Race 3: 8-2-6/10/(14)/3-7…Strut the Ring (8) comes into this one off a 5th place finish at Indy Grand, while running as the public’s betting choice. The barn gave this one a nice layup after that June running, and the trainer hits with .30% of those away from the races this long. Also scores with .22% of the beaten favorites returning for the first time. Before that race, though, this one had hit the board 4 straight times and had 2 wins in that mix. Is a perfect 2-for-2 here. Love the last work on Sept. 28. Looks ready to me. Above Board (2) is both owned and trained by Steve Asmussen He claimed this one two back at Ellis Park. Ran a tiring 4th in the first out, after setting all the early fractions, last time out. Barn hits with .27% of those making the second start after a claim. Barn’s go-to rider is back in town. Look for a better performance in this one. Frost Or Frippery (6) won the last time out for trainer Chris Hartman. The barn hits with .19% of those trying to make it two in a row. Out of the last 10 races? Has hit the board 9 times, with 5 wins in that mix. Steady. I bet the 8 to win/place and then box the top 3 in the exacta.
Race 4: 1-7-12/5-2-8/(1A-15)…Invader (1) draws the rail for this 1-mile try over the bristle-like and dusty grass course. Droughts are a bad thing for grass. And, we are under a serious drought. But this 2YO son of War Front looks ready to break the maiden today in this spot. Ran huge last time out at KY Downs. Closed very well up the hill at 6.5-furlongs. Now, gets a little more ground to negotiate. Dam was a SW and has 2 SWers from 3 starters — so far. This one may not be far behind. I try to make up for yesterday if this one stays at 4-1 ML odds. Chapalu (7) gets Lasix for the first time from a trainer that hits with .26% of those getting medicated for the first time. Pushed the pace in the first start on Aug. 1. Tired late. Now stretches out and the barn hits with .33% of those routing for the initial time, too. Chance. Opposite Field (12) comes from the Chad Brown barn and that’s always a dangerous thing. Gets Jose Ortiz in the saddle for this one, after Castellano put a couple of brain-fart rides on Brown’s horses on Saturday. This one will be making the career debut, but the barn hits with .22% of those doing that over the sod. I bet the 1 to win/place/show and then box there top 3 in the exacta. I will key the 1 over/under the rest of the numbers showing.
Race 5: 4-8-3/7-5/6-2/1…True Dream (4) was distanced last time out, but I was there that day to see the race. My great friend and partner, Mike Schnell, owns part of Sally’s Curlin — who ran off to a 91/4-length victory that time. She’s a good one. The race before, True Dream hooked another one from the Dale Romans’ barn — Coach Rocks. She just came back here to win impressively over the grass. Don’t see any Sally’s Curlins or Coach Rocks’ in here. So, I go with True Dream. Like the work on Sept. 28. Looks poised. High Regard (8) is dropping down out of 3 straight Stakes events and 2 of them were Graded. Has a second in 2 tries over this track before. Should improve with a return to the dirt today, as well. Take note. Shacklette (5) is 10-1 in the ML and comes from the Romans’ barn. Ran a length behind our top pick last time out. My Upset Special of the Day. I bet the 4-5 across the board and then box the 4-8-5 in one exacta. I key the 4-5 over/under the 3-7-6-2-1 in two smaller versions.
Race 6: 9-5-4/8/6-1/3-2…Tempers Rising (9) is a 2YO daughter of Bayern and will be trying to improve off the first two starts that have rendered a 2nd and a 3rd to two really nice winners. This one likes to close late, and the extra ground may make a huge difference in this one. Hope Castellano can figure out a spot on the track where he doesn’t get blocked today. Sense of Self (5) ran second on debut at Colonial Downs. Shows up here and the work on Sept. 29 was spectacular. Gets a top rider and the barn hits with .25% when routing for the first time. Pedigree certainly suits this distance, and the dam was a SW whole has 1 winner from the first 2 starters. Chance. Glamour Girl (4) gets a new rider today, and that could make a huge difference for this one — who will be stretching out for the first time. Barn hits with .15% of those that go from 2 straight sprints to a route. I bet the 9-5 across the board and then box the top 3 numbers in the exacta. I will key the top 3 numbers over/under the 8 in two smaller versions.
Race 7: 2-9/3-1-5/7-6-4…Indian Summer Stakes…Kimari (2) is a 2YO daughter of Munnings and has been nothing short of spectacular in her first 3 career starts for the barn of Wesley Ward. If she is anything close to the filly that she has shown so far? Goodbye. Mike Smith comes in to ride? Wow. Could be a special one. Chimney Rock (9) does not come close to having the resume of the top pick, but don’t dismiss totally here. This one was checked hard in the last race and still nearly won. If Jose Ortiz came get a clean trip? Outside chance. I bet the 2 to win/place and then box the 2-9 in the exacta. I key the 2 over/under all the numbers listed in two smaller versions. Go 2. Go hard.
Race 8: 6-3-14/5/9-10-12/4-7-11-2-1-13-8…G3 Dixiana Bourbon Stakes…Field Pass (6) gets the nod here and becomes my second Upset Special of the Day, if he stays anywhere close to the 6-1 ML odds. This one should have won as the favorite last time out in the Laurel Futurity. Floated out wide in that one. Nearly won the G3 With Anticipation Stakes at Saratoga the time before. Gets blinkers for the first time today. Take note. The barn hits with .20% of those getting the shades for the first time. Important note. Doc Boy (3) is 12-1 in the ML and could team up with the top pick on a really nice exacta payout with a nice run in here. This son of Into Mischief cost $325,000 to purchase at the KEE September Yearling Sale last year. Has 2 wins in the first 4 starts and ran well in the Laurel Futurity last time out. This one had to steady late in there, or could have won, too. Big shot, IMO. Vitalogy (14) probably would have been my top pick if not for the post position. Last gate in the gate. Ran huge last time out in the G1 Summer Stakes up at Woodbine. Started the career overseas. Have to use in the mix. I bet the 6-3 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the top 3 over/under the 5 in two smaller versions.
Race 9: 1/5-4/2-3…G1 Juddmonte Spinster Stakes…Ok, Ok, Ok. If you were wondering, yes I have lost my mind. But…hear me out…I’m going to single a filly in this race and it is not going to be Elate (5). Wow. That’s a gamble. Well, yes, that’s what this is. And, I am going strong on Dunbar Road (1). I know that Jose Ortiz is taking off and going to ride Elate. That leaves me with a Chad Brown filly getting Javier Castellano. And, we have already documented that combo’s issues on Saturday. Or, let’s me correct. I have already underscored my great disdain and disappointment with Castellano’s rides on both Rushing Fall and Valid Point on Saturday. But…This filly — Dunbar Road — is something special. In 5 lifetime starts, she has 4 wins and a second. She has won 3 in a row and done so easily and impressively. And, she looks to be getting better and better. Each time out. Faces older horses for the first time today. Faces a filly that may even go up against the colts in the Breeders’ Cup Classic in Elate (5) today. But I go strong. On Dunbar Road. I bet the 1 to win/place and then key the 1 over/under the numbers listed.
Race 10: 2-10-4/8-5/6-9-1…Summer Delivery (2) gets the nod in this one. Well be making the second start off a layoff, and the barn hits with a nice .23% of the time with those types. Look at the race 3 starts back. Ran a huge second to Lady Apple, who ended up in this year’s KY Oaks and ran a good one. This filly has been training lights out, too. Looks ready and I love the 9-2 ML odds. Love this one. And, the rider, too. Big shot. Hallawallah (10) comes from the barn of Steve Asmussen. Ran poorly in the G3 Indiana Oaks two back, but that was against Street Band. Returned to run OK at Saratoga in the last. Had some issues in that one. Look for better today. Urban Insight (4) picks up Jose Ortiz for this one, and that should help. Love the work on Oct. 1. Looks primed. I bet the 2 to win/place/show and then key the 2 over/under all the numbers listed. I’m bullish on the 2. Bull. Ish.
Good Luck & All the Best/Gene