Day Results 5/ 2-0-4
2020 Overall 785 785 / 281-257-311
Win % of Top Pick 35.80%
Payoff % of Top 3 Picks Overall 36.05%
2020 Top Pick in the Money –504-785 64.20%
Top Selection ITM / Ellis: 19-25 76.00%
Top Selection Win / Ellis: 8-25 32.00%
“Key Horses” @ Ellis Park: 3-1-1-0 33.33% Win / 66.67% ITM
“Key Horses” in 2020 106-37-24-15 34.91% Win / 71.70% ITM

(Our great friends, Mark & Susan Drury, at Keeneland’s first Breeders’ Cup)

We kick start a brand new week with a brand new thing: the first Keeneland Summer Meet.

For the next five days, we will be treated to some of the best racing that nobody can watch live — since Ellis Park is allowed to have spectators and Keeneland cannot. We will get to see some of the Graded Stakes that had to be postponed when the Keeneland Spring Meet was cancelled due to the pandemic and the outbreak of COVID-19. We will get to see — on TV — some of the best horses, trainers, and jockeys that the sport can muster.

It all gets kicked started on Wednesday. Here’s our look at the first card:

1st: 2-9-6/3-7/4…Cernan (2) drops another couple of notches on the claiming ladder today and is entered for a new low price tag. This one cost $500,000 as a KEE September Yearling in 2018. Now, you can halter for the sum of $50,000. (Need a bigger truck, right?) Son of Malibu Moon comes fully equipped and does have a couple of 3rds on the resume in the first 5 starts. Barn hits with .21% of those in the MCL ranks and a new rider takes over. Majority Rules (9) has not raced since Saratoga last August. Gets a new trainer, who hits with .18% of those making the first start for the new connections. Gets blinkers for the first time today, too, and the barn scores with .17% of those. Works OK for the return, and gets a top rider — who just won the rider’s title at Churchill Downs. Chance. Beaver Hat (6) ran a good one two starts ago. Experiment on the turf last out was not successful. Barn hits with .19% of those switching surfaces and this one does come from a Stakes winning mare who has produced 7 winners from 8 starters. I bet the 2-6 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the 2-6 over/under the 9-3-7-4 in two smaller versions.

2nd: 1-6/2-4-5…Heaven’s Whisper (1) is even-money in the ML, and with 13 wins, 5 seconds and 5 thirds out of the first 29 starts? There’s lots of reasons to like this one. In 12 starts at the distance, she has a 5-2-3 mark. In the last five starts, she has a second and three wins. And, in the last two published works, she has two bullets. Looks good right now. Over the Blues (6) does have a chance at the upset. The 3YO daughter of Overanalyze comes in with a 2-1-0 mark in 4 starts. Not been out since February, but does go for a barn that can win off the bench. Last work here on June 29 is spot on. I bet the 1-6 across the board and then box those two in the exacta. I will key the 1-6 over/under the 2-4-5 in two smaller units.

3rd: 6-9-8/3-10/5-1-11…Patty H (6) gets my nod in the first “Baby Race” of the meet. The daughter of Flatter comes from the highly successful barn of  Brad Cox and is coming off a third in the career debut at Churchill Downs on June 18. Was very wide in that one and lost all chance at the end. Works since have been solid and gets a new rider for this tilt. I like it. Spun d’Etat (9) may offer some real value in this spot. The daughter of Hard Spun has been working lights out for a barn that wins with .22% of those making the career debut. Gets a top rider to take the reins and this one comes from a Stakes-winning dam, who has produced 3 winners from 3 starters. Look out here. Puye Timing (8) could improve in the second career start for a top young trainer. Steady throughout in the debut, and this one comes from a Stakes-winning dam, too. She has produced two winners from the first 4 starters. Chance. I bet the 6-9 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the 6-9 over/under the 8-3-10-5-1-11 in two smaller units.

4th: 5-6-1/2/7-10/11-(13)-12-(14)/8-9…Flying Colors (5) is another ML favorite, and there is plenty of reason to like. Coming off a 13-month layup, this one nearly won last time out, losing by a head at the wire. If the 4YO daughter of War Front improves at all from that route effort, she will be mighty tough. If she bounces? Forty Zip (6) is a 3YO daughter of City Zip and ships in from New York and the barn of HOFer Shug McGaughey for this one. Hit the gate and was last in the opener on March 8 at Gulfstream Park. Gets Lasix for the first time and with any luck at all at the start? Look out. Could be a steamroller. Fate Factor (1) comes from a Stakes-placed dam, who has already produced 4 turf winners from the first 7 starters. This daughter of The Factor has 3 seconds and a third in 6 starts, to date, and could be a tough here here, too. Gets a new rider for this one. Interesting. I bet the 6 — take note — to win/place/show and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the top 3 over/under the 2 in two smaller units.

5th: 1-7-4/2-11/3-6-12-(13)/8-9…Dark Web (1) has raced 8 times so far. Has 5 seconds and a third. May be a little snake bitten, and may be a hanger. May be a little of both. Has hit the board in each of the last 4 though and has been a different guy since getting treated with Lasix six starts ago. Work good here on June 30. Looks ready to pop the cork. Searing Chase (7) is a first time starter by Uncle Mo. Connections paid a whopping $700,000 for him at the KEE September Sale in 2017. Works of late are spot on. Tough distance for the debut, no matter who you are. But could be ready with a top rider aboard. Savvy (4) is another from the barn of Ian Wilkes, one of the best in the game today. Returns as a beaten favorite today, and the barn wins with .24% of those. Looks about read with the 2nd start off the layup. I bet the 1-4 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the 1-4 over/under the 7-2-11-3-6-12 in two smaller units.

6th: 9-5-2/12-7-13/6-10-(1)/11-4…Andesite (9) is another from the deep & wide barn of Brad Cox. This 3YO son of The Factor tossed a clunker in the G1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf last November at Santa Anita. But had all kinds of issues in that one. Before the ran three huge efforts — including two Stakes events. Has been training well over this track. Look for a huge effort here. Scabbard (5) has not been the same in 2020. In 4 tries this year, he has been blanked. But last time out, the connections tried the turf for the first time with this son of More Than Ready. Ran a much-better-than-looks 6th in that one. Shortens up for the 1-mile distance today, and that could be exactly what the DR ordered. Gets a grass rider today, too. Look out at some odds. My Upset Special of the Day. Greyes Creek (2) is a 4YO son of Pioneerof the Nile and trained by Chad Brown. Won the last time out to break the maiden and now must face winners for the first time. A tough group to move up to face, but this one cost $850,000 at a 2YO Sale in 2018. It’s Chad Brown. I bet the 9-5 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the 9-5 over/under the 2-12-7-13-6-10 in two smaller units.

7th: 3-11-7/9-4/5-8-10-1-6/2…Fra Mauro (3) is my second Upset Special of the Day. This one is slated at 8-1 odds in the ML. I think the 5YO son of Mizzen Mast is much better than that, and will out-run those odds. Over a fast dirt track, this one has a record of 2-1-1 in 6 starts and before the last race, he has hit the board in 3 in a row. Squeezed at the start of the last one and way wide at the top of the stretch, too. I can toss that one. Returns as a beaten favorite and the barn wins with .26% of those. I’m on. Lngtermrelationshp (11) must break from the outside, but gets a top rider back on the saddle. They combined to run a very nice second last time out at Churchill Downs and in 17 runs over a fast dirt surface, this one has a 2-6-4 record. May hang in the late going, but is a consistent sort, too. Could add some spice to the odds rack, as well. Father G (7) goes for the barn of Tom Drury, a top young trainer in this game. Has 2 wins and 2 thirds in 5 races to date. Look for more out of this one today. Last race was much better than looks on paper. I bet the 3-7 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the 3-7 over/under the 11-9-4-5-8-10-1-6 in two smaller units.

8th: 2-5-10/6-9-1-8/4-11-7-3…Today’s feature is a 5.5-furlong sprint over the grass surface, and I will go with Maven (2). This 3YO son of American Pharoah has been off since last July, when he ran in Great Britain. Before that, he won the first two career starts — including a sprint at Chantilly in France. Training well for the 2020 debut. Look at work on June 13. Spot on. Rider has won with .30% of the last 23 mounts for this barn, and 3 of the last 6. Hot. Super Dormy (6) has not been out since March, but won that one for trainer Mark Casse — who had a super cold meet at Churchill Downs this Spring & early Summer. This son of Into Mischief looks poised, though. Works of late solid. And in 3 runs at this distance, he has 2 wins and a second. Digital (10) was once on the Triple Crown trail earlier this year. After a 5th in the G2 Risen Star and a 6th in the Oaklawn Stakes, though, he has been throttled back to sprints and now will try the sod for the first time ever. Barn hits with .10% of those getting to the grass for the first time, and with .15% making this surface switch. Has talent. Could be ready. 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 more exactas.

9th: 11-10-(14)/(13)-1-3-9/(16)-12-8-5-7…Today’s finale is a 7-furlong event for the $20,000 MCL level. I will go to the outside for my top contenders — led by Spice Road (11). This 4YO gelded son of Street Sense will be making the second start for the new barn operator. Gets the blinkers back on, too. In 8 career starts, this one does have 3 seconds and 4 thirds. Has had his chances, true, but may have found the right group today and the perfect level. Naughty Prince (10) is a 3YO gelded son of Into Mischief and will be making the career debut for trainer Wesley Ward. The barn wins with .26% of those that debut in the MCL ranks and this one comes from a dam who has 3 winners from 3 starters — including 1 Stakes winner. Bred to win. Whisky Man (14) and Magic Man’s Touch (13) both have a chance if they draw in from the AE List. I bet the 11 to win/place/show and then box the top 3 numbers in the exacta. I will key the 11 over/under all the numbers listed in two shorter units.

Good Luck & All the Best / Gene