McLean’s Selections for Keeneland on Thursday, Oct. 10

Day Results8-3-5-2
2019 Overall 1,0571,057/377-371-486
Win % of Top Pick35.67%
Payoff % of Top 3 Picks Overall38.92%
2019 Top Pick in the Money –711 of 1,05767.27%
Top Selection ITM / KEE 20-3951.28%
Top Selection Win / KEE 10-3925.64%
“Key Horses” @ KEE 4-0-0-00.00%
“Key Horses” in 2019 178-70-35-2139.33%

Not a bad day at the ole’ ball yard on Wednesday. Hit for 3 winners. Hit the last Pick 4, that paid handsomely. And, this…

Had an exacta that returned $38.20 for each $1 played.

Had an exacta that paid $82.10 for each $1 invested.

Had an exacta that cashed for $49.70 for every $1 churned.

And, after an exacta paid $3.40, we hit for a monster exacta that cashed for $220.00 per $1 played.

Closed out the finale with an exacta that returned $13.70 for each $1 ticket.

That is 6 exactas out of the 8 races.

The average payout on the 6 exactas was $60 per every dollar wagered.

Now, that? Is what?

I call a good day.

Here’s a look at Thursday’s card at Keeneland:

Race 1: 7-2/6-5/4-3…We start the day’s activities with a claiming event at the $7,500 level, which is the bargain basement for those running at Keeneland.Still, these races attract the connections and the horses and the competition. No different here. I go with Served Cold (7), who will be dropping down from a $16,000 price tag last time out when the 6YO mare was a very nice second up at Saratoga. Barn hits with .32% when making this kind of a class plunge, and the shorter distance today could help and assist this one’s speed. In 15 tries at this distance, she has a record of 3-1-2. All against tougher. My choice. Myositis Mystique (2) cannot be totally dismissed in here, though. This 5YO mare has a win in three previous runs over this main track, and that was over the mud here this past April. In 23 lifetime starts on a fast dirt track, though, she has a 7-7-1 record. Returns today as a beaten favorite last time out, and the barn scores with .26% of those kind. I bet the 7 to win/place/show and then box the 7-2 in one exacta. I will key the 7-2 over/under the 6-5-4-3 in two smaller versions.

Race 2: (13)-(14)-(16)/11-4-10/3-7/8-1…The first grass race of the day will be contested at 11/16-miles and will be held for the MSW fillies and mares. My best three numbers come back on two horses (13-14) that are on the Also-Eligible List. If they get in? I have to use — especially Passive Investing (13). The other intriguing horse in here is Getridofwhatailesu (16). But this 3YO Ghostzapper filly is entered only for the Main Track, and it is highly unlikely that this one is moved off the sod. So? If the horses get in, I go there. If they don’t, then I will give the edge to the next 3 numbers on my list — led by Temple City Terror (11). This one has not won yet in 8 starts, but does have a second and 2 thirds on the resume. Ran a nice one two starts back to be second. If she can run that kind of race again today? Watch out. Cloche (4) ran 2nd on the turf up at Arlington Park in the last outing on Aug. 10. Ran well at the end of that one, and the winner of that one has already come back to win again. Gets a solid grass rider up. My Sweet Baboo (10) has run only once this year, and that came after a 10-month hiatus. Ran OK as the beaten favorite at KY Downs. Barn hits with .20% on the second start off a layup, and the jockey has teamed up with this trainer for a 2-1-0 mark in the last 5 outs. Must use for me. I bet the 11-10 across the board and then box the top 3 numbers in the exacta.

Race 3: 5-1/6/2-4-3…Blunt Force (5) nearly won last time out, when pushed the pace from the get-go. Had some issues right after the start, but was cruising along until the very wire in that one. Has a third in only previous try here, and the barn hits with .22% when racing in the claiming ranks. Big shot. Ready Orb Not (1) has not been out since July, and she ran a disappointing 8th against much tougher in that spot. Had the rail in that one, too, and never was able to muster much of a run. Blinkers come off today after two failed attempts. Barn dropping way down in class for this one, and a dry surface may help. Gets a top rider to take the reins. I bet the 5-1 across the board and then box the top 2 numbers in the exacta. I will key the 5-1 over/under the 6-2-4-3 in two smaller versions.

Race 4: 12-3/9-8/2-7/5-4-6…A MCL event for the fillies and mares and they will travel the sprint distance of 6 furlongs in here. I go with Sweet Addison (12), who will be dropping to a career low price tag in this spot today. Ran 4th at the $30,000 level last time out. Goes for $15,000 today. Gets a new rider for the first time, and the barn hits with .44% of those getting this big of a class plunge. Barn also hits with .27% of those returning as a beaten favorite, too. My pick. Her Giant (3) gets a huge drop in price today, as well. Ran really well two back at Ellis Park. Didn’t show anything last time out. Which one will show up today? I go with the former for a barn that can hit with a big number. This one is 12-1 in the ML, and is my first Upset Special of the Day. I bet the 12-3 across the board and then box those 2 in one exacta. I will key the 12-3 over/under the 9-8-2-7 and over (only) the 5-4-6 in smaller tabs.

Race 5: 5/4-7-1/10-3-11/2-9…This turf event will be contested at the flat 1-mile distance, and I will go with my first Key Play of the Day — Thanks Be (5). This 3YO filly is a Brit-bred and will be making her first start on this side of the pond for trainer Chad Brown. Gets Lasix for the first time, and picks up a top rider, who has a 2-3-3 mark in just 15 rides here this meet. Has been training well here since Summer, and now looks primed for a top performance. My solid pick. I bet the 5 to win/place/show and then key the 5 over/under all the numbers listed. I go more on the 4-7-1 that the rest.

Race 6: 2-11-1/7-5/3-6-10-9…We’re Still Here (2) drops into this high-priced claimer off a G2 Stakes event two starts ago. The connections paid $270,000 for this 2YO son of Union Rags at the KEE September Yearling Sale a year ago. Ran back-to-back seconds in California to start the career, but has now been switched East and from the barn of Bob Baffert over to Rodolphe Brisset. I can toss the last try over the hills and dales of KY Downs. Obviously, he didn’t like that. But back on dirt today. Blinkers come off, too. Barn hits with .12% of those making the second start with the new connections. Big shot in here. Lonely Private (11) will break from the far outside gate, and that’s about as tough as the rail for these “babies.” This son of Soldat was bet down to 2-1 favoritism in the debut run on Sept. 14 at Churchill Downs. That was over the grass, and after showing brief speed, he spit the bit. Now, shortens up and gets the dirt. Love the work here on Oct. 4. Looks primed. I bet the 2-11 across the boar and then box the top 3 numbers in one exacta. I will key the 2-11 over/under the 1-7-5 in two lesser versions.

Race 7: 6-12/5-2/9/8-1-7…Another grass race and another race where I will lean heavily on the horse from the Chad Brown barn — Dabinett (6) This one just broke the maiden last time out on Aug. 24. That was at Saratoga, and was the 4YO Blame filly’s first race in nearly 15 months. Looked good in winning. Has returned to rain solid. Comes to KY now and gets the services of Jose Ortiz, who is having a super meet here. Moves up to face winners for the first time, and the barn hits with .27% of those. But I like this one. A lot. Be Nimble (12) will break from the far outside, and that’s never easy at this distance. Will get back to the allowance company today after trying two straight Stakes races. The race two back at Indy Grand was a solid effort. Has faced some good ones in the past. Look at the race on Feb. 9 at the Fair Grounds. That winner can close with a rush. No surprise if this one runs well today. I bet the 6 to win/place/show and then box the 6-12 in one exacta. I will key the 6-12 over (only) the 5-2-9-8 in a lesser version.

Race 8: 6-8-3/7/5-9-2-1-10/11…Indian Lover (6) will drop way down the totem pole and deep into the claiming ranks today after a debacle over the grass at Churchill Downs in the last outing on June 13. Been off since then for a barn that can win off the bench. Moves from the grass to the dirt, and this barn hits with .21% of those making this surface switch. Sharp, sharp work here on Oct. 5. Could be tough to handle if he can find his running shoes late. One Man Party (8) is 12-1 in the ML, and could really spice up the odds rack with a good run here. Ran horrible last time out at Churchill Downs, but that was the first race since March. Bumbed and rushed in that one at the start. A recipe for disaster, and it was. Has returned to work well. First 3 races of the career were spot on. I am willing to give a pass in the last. My Upset Special of the Day — Part II. Commandeering (3) would be no surprise. Has run two good ones at this level coming in. Trainer has a 2-1-0 mark in the last 4 outs here. Watch out for this one. I bet the 6-8 across the board and then box the top 3 numbers in the exacta. I will key the 6-8 over/under the 3-7 in two more.

Race 9: 3-9-6/4-2-1-10/5-8-11…The featured event of the day is a turf contest that will be conducted at 11/16-miles. I will go strong on my third Chad Brown horse of the day — Sacred Life (3). This one ran a solid second in the G2 Barnard Baruch Handicap in the last outing. That was over soft ground. He will find very hard, firm and stern sod in Lexington today. Last time he was on that kind of footing? Ran a huge second in the Lure Stakes at Saratoga. Looks like a Key Play of the Day to me. So, I jump. I bet the 3 to win/place/show and then key the 3 over/under the 9-6,4-2-1-10. 

Race 10: 3-2-9/12-11/1-5/4-7-6…Cairo Cutie (3) will get my nod in today’s finale. This one is dropping into the MCL ranks for the first time, and the barn hits with .38% of those. Gets a HOF rider and the filly will be making her second start off an extended layup. Barn hits with .23% of them, too. Gets off the slop today, and that should help — a lot. My solid pick. Drop Dead Gorgeous (2) is something I call my wife on a regular basis. No kidding. She is. And, this filly looks well-spotted in this place, as well. Comes off a 5th last time out, but will get an extra furlong today. That should aid and assist her late run. It’s a Ford (9) is the second horse in two days that has the name “Ford” in the title. If you read on Wednesday, my oldest grandson is named “Ford.” So, I went that route on a horse on Wednesday — and we won. Can’t ignore that logic. This 3YO filly by Shackleford will get a class drop for a barn that hits with .16% in the MCL ranks. Love the young rider. Have to use this one, right? I bet the 3-9 across the board and then box the top 3 numbers in the exacta. I will key the 3-2-9 over/under the 12-11 in two smaller versions.

Good Luck & All The Best / Gene

 

The horse broke well today,” Gaffalione said. “I had the horse inside, Dunph, going to the lead and then (Gun It) showed a little bit of speed. When I saw they were intent on going I just tried to get him back and got him to relax. He came back to me nicely and settled well down the backside. Got a little keen going into the far turn and wanted to move a little early. But I didn’t want to take too much away from him so I tried to sit as long as I could. He was waiting on horses down the lane but I kept him at task and there was plenty of horse there.”

“Mark (Casse, the trainer) and his team have done a great job,” Gaffalione said. “They’ve had a ton of confidence in this horse the whole way. It’s just an honor to be able to ride the horse. He’s just so professional, trains great and he’s a pleasure to be around.”

Tyler Gaffalione, Rode of War of Will to victory in the G2 Risen Star Stakes at the Fair Grounds
  • Gene McLean

    Gene McLean

    Gene McLean began his professional career in 1977 as a sportswriter and columnist for the Lexington Herald-Leader in Lexington, Ky., and was recognized as one of the state’s best writers, winning the prestigious “Sportswriter of the Year” honor in 1985. Now the President and Publisher of The Pressbox, McLean sets ...

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