Total Day Results 11 / 9-5-1
2021 Overall 455 455 / 157-158-180
Win % of Top Pick 34.51%
Payoff% of Top 3 Picks Overall 36.26%
2021 Top Pick in the Money Overall — 278-455 61.10%
2021 Top Selection ITM / KEE 17-21 80.95%
2021 Top Selections Win / KEE 12-21 57.14%
“Key Horses” @ KEE 5 2-2-0 40.00% Win / 80.00% ITM
“Key Horses” in 2021 74 / 34-16-4 45.95% Win / 72.97% ITM

We are back to racing on Wednesday, and back to one of the most wonderful and beautiful venues in the free world — Keeneland.

Here’s our looks, and picks, too:

1st: 4-6-7/3-8-5/2…So far, the “Guru of 2YO Racing” — Wesley Ward — is blanked in the “Baby Races” for this meet. Can’t be on a losing streak for long and be a “Guru.” And, he is a “Guru.” So? Kaufymaker (4) gets the top billing here. This 2YO filly by Jimmy Creed has the pedigree to be super fast, and she has been training like it over this track surface. Dam has a winner from 1 starter and the barn is 9-4-1 in the last 15 starts overall. My first Key Play of the Day.” I bet the 4 to win/place/show and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the 4 over/under all the numbers listed in two smaller versions. I will also key the 4 over/under the “all button” in two smaller units, too.

2nd: 6-5/4-3-2…Cleveland Simpson (6) is a 4YO gelded son of Hard Spun, and this one just broke the maiden last time out at Turfway Park for the asking price of $15,000. Shows up today to face winners for the first time and the claiming tag is $20,000. Barn wins with .17% when moving up to face winners and with .23% on the 2nd start off a layup. Weak field here, at least on paper, and this one goes for a barn that has won with .28% of the last 151 starts in the claiming ranks. My pick. Tepid. But my pick. Hard Sting (5) is another gelded son of Hard Spun and this 4YO drops from the $30,000 ranks to this level today. Two starts back, at Laurel Park, this one ran at $16,000 price and nearly won. This may be the perfect spot for the 2nd try with the new barn operation. Figures to do his best running late. I bet the 6 to win/place/show and then box the top 2 in the exacta. I will key the 6-5 over/under the 4-3-2 in two smaller units.

3rd: 7-8-1/3-5/4/6-2…A Thing of Beauty (7) will make the third career start for HOF trainer Todd Pletcher here. Has run two 4ths so far on the resume and has closed in each of those. Gets Lasix for the 2nd time here and the barn wins with .16% of those. Gets a new rider, too, and this jockey has won with a whopping .43% of the last 21 mounts for the trainer. Bingo. We have a winner. My pick here. Ballacolla (8) is a 3YO Munnings filly and from the barn of Chad Brown. So far this meet, the trainer has sent out 4 horses. Has returned with two seconds. Look for more out of this operation very soon. This one ran 2nd on debut at Tampa Bay on March 6. Returns as a beaten favorite here and the barn wins with .26% on the 2nd career start. Gets a huge rider switch and should be coming late. Look for a rolling bay in the stretch. Mulsanne (1) is my first “Longshot Special of the Day.”  This 3Y0 Irish-bred ran a much better-than-looks 7th in the career debut. Was left at the gate and stuck on the inside at GP on March 6. Finally got a free run on the rail and moved up enough to lose by only 4+ lengths. Gets a new rider here and one better suited for this grass course. Working well, too. Look for much more here today. Possible. 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 8-3-5-4-6-2 in two smaller units.

4th: 6-3-2/4-5/1…Kaely’s Sister (6) comes from the barn of Brad Cox, who sports a 2-1-2 record in the first 9 starts here this meet. This 3YO daughter of Maclean’s Music won on debut at Turfway Park last December. Came right back to run well until tiring in the late stages as odds-on favorite at TP on March 5. Gets the Lasix for the 2nd time today, and the barn wins with .33% of the last 60 to qualify for that category. Drops into the claiming ranks for the first time and the trainer wins with .29% of the last 139 to go there. Gets a huge rider switch here and should be close, if not on the lead early. Barn wins with .28% making the 2nd start off a layup. One to beat. Madame Overserved (3) drops into the claiming ranks for a top barn operation at TP, too. Trainer wins with .21% of those making the 2nd start off a layup and this one has been right there in most of the 11 career races. Despite only 1 win, has 4 seconds and a third on the resume, too. Over a fast dirt track? Has gone 1-2-0. Should love this surface and the new rider, too. Makeajoyfulnoise (2) may be the PT favorite. Comes off some really good races down at the Fair Grounds in New Orleans. Barn wins with .21% of the last 62 to run in the claiming ranks, and this one keeps a familiar jockey in the stirrups. I bet the 6 to win/place/show and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the top 3 over/under the 4-5 in two smaller units.

5th: 3-4-6/7-1/9-8-5/2…Third Draft (3) is a 3YO daughter of Curlin and out of a Stakes-winning dam. Pedigree galore. Will be making the 2nd start off an extended layup and the barn wins with .18% of those kind. Gets the Lasix for the 2nd time, too, and the HOF trainer wins with .24% of those types. Has trained well here in prep for this one. Sports a nice “Z” pattern in the last two outings. Showed speed and faded two back. Came late in the last one. Look for a big effort here. Salit (4) could spice up the odds ranks a bit. This 3YO daughter of American Pharoah switches to there turf after two dirt runs and may be better suited for this surface. Ran over the sod in the career debut on Jan. 24. Was a deep, deep-closing 3rd that day. Figures here. Never Content (6) is our second “Longshot Special of the Day.” This one is by the spectacular Irish sire No Nay Never and despite the lackluster finishes so far, this one definitely figures here. Ran 4th to Jouster just two starts back. That one just won a Stakes here over the weekend. Last time out, this one had to wait and wait and wait as the traffic consumed her. The winner that day came right back to win the next outing, too. Look for this one to be motoring late and the rider has no choice but to find an opening. Watch out. I bet the 3-6 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the 3-6 over/under the 4-7-1-9-8-5-2 in two smaller units.

6th: 4/5-6-7/1-2…The 2nd “Key Play of the Day” comes here with Don’t Forget (4). This 5YO has won two in a row and has hit the board in each of the last 4 races. Since joining the new barn operation, after a $20,000 claim purchase at Remington Park last December, this one has won the next two. Barn wins with .27% when they won the last time out, too. Interesting rider choice for this operation. But this one figures to be the one to beat. I bet the 4 to win/place and then key the 4 over/under the numbers listed in the exactas.

7th: 3-(13)-1-11/12/8-9/10-5/(14)-6-4…Today’s featured event is a 11/16-mile excursion over the turf course. Solid field assembled here, but I will give the edge to Tuned (3). This 5YO mare just ran 4th in two straight G3s at GP. Came with a late move in each of those. Should like the softer company here and the addition of one of the hottest riders in the universe. In only previous try here? Has a win — coming from the clouds. Needs a clean path late, but has the moves. More Than Unusual (13) could figure to be a tough out if the 4YO More Than Ready filly draws in from the AE List. Comes off a near-6 length win at the Fair Grounds last time out. In 6 starts, has 2 wins and 3 seconds. Figures here if she can make the gate. Flabbergasted (1) goes for a trainer who is 0-for-7 already this meet, and seems to struggle at this venue in recent years. But? This one has a 2-1-1 record in the first 5 career starts and is training lights out for the 2021 debut. Has speed and the rider has won with .17% of the last 12 mounts for the operation. Chance. I bet the 3-13 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the 3-13 over/under the 1-11-12-8-9-10 in two smaller units. 

8th: 9-4-6/1A-3/2…Today’s finale is a $10,000 optional-claimer, and, truthfully, not something to write home about. I’ll give the edge to Diddley (9), who will return to the control of trainer Cole Bennett. This one has 13 wins, 8 seconds and 5 thirds in the long career that now spans nearly 50 starts. Consistent sort. But seems to have done his best running over the AW surfaces. Does sport a 4-3-1 mark in 15 races over a fast dirt track, too. High Five Cotton (4) goes for a trainer who has won with .23% of the last 328 starters. With beaten favorites, this trainer has won with .25% of the last 103. This one comes in from Tampa and has some stalking ability. Chance. Ike (6) has not run very well in the last two outings, but before that he won two in a row. Gets a top rider up for the assignment and has the speed to be dangerous in this group. Catch him, if you can. I bet the 9-6 across the board — take note — and I box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the 9-6 over/under the 4-1A-3-2 in two smaller units. 

Good Luck & All the Best / Gene