|2019 Overall 1,049||1,049/374-366-484|
|Win % of Top Pick||35.65%|
|Payoff % of Top 3 Picks Overall||38.89%|
|2019 Top Pick in the Money –705 of 1,049||67.21%|
|Top Selection ITM / KEE 14-31||45.16%|
|Top Selection Win / KEE 7-31||22.58%|
|“Key Horses” @ KEE 4-0-0-0||0.00%|
|“Key Horses” in 2019 178-70-35-21||39.33%|
New day. New week. New start.
After a promising beginning on Opening Day last Friday, we fell into, well, the “Muck Pit” on Saturday. Rallied a bit on Sunday. Now, we have hit the refresh button and poised for a great week at the oval in Lexington.
Here’s a look at today’s card at Keeneland:
Race 1: 2-3-8/4/5-7…Oro de Tejano (2) is once again under the careful eye of trainer Tom Amoss, who claimed the 3YO gelded son of Munnings for this price tag; then lost him for this price tag; and then claimed him back for this price tag. Tried to elevate his game last time, without much luck. Now, back at the same familiar spot. Has a 1-1-1 mark this year in 7 tries. Love the work session here on Oct. 3. Will be coming late, and should like the extra ground today. Barn hits with .39% on the second start after a claim. King Ford (3) has to be a top choice of mine. After all, I have a grandson that goes by that name. LOL. Seriously. This one has recorded two 3rds in a row at the same level and was closing well in both of them. Gets extra ground today, as well, and that should help the late move. Chance. Treasure Trove (8) drops another notch in the claiming ladder and will run for the first time today as a gelding. The ultimate “equipment change.” Barn hits with .28% of those converting surfaces, and has some late run to him, too. Where’s the speed in here, is the big question. That may come from only War Veteran (4). I bet the 2 to win/place/show and then box the top 3 numbers in one exacta. I will key the top 3 over/under the 4 in two smaller versions.
Race 2: 9-6-7/8-1/2-3-10/4-5…The first turf event of the day will be contested at the flat, 1-mile distance, and I will pin much of my hopes on Tell Your Daddy (9). This 3YO gelded son of Scat Daddy is bred top & bottom for the sod, and has a couple of seconds in the first 6 outings. If he can run back to the race three back, he will be mighty tough in this spot. Gets a top grass jock to take the reins today, as well. Embellisher (6) has flashed speed before at this 1-mile distance. Has never been able to sustain it all the way to the wire, as of yet. Not a trend that I like to see. Work on Sept. 21 was flashy. May be good enough to last. Alexander Hamilton (7) is a first time starter from the barn of the young and restless Norm Casse. He hits with .14% of those making the career debut, but only .06% when the debut is on the grass. Still, he gets the top grass rider around these parts and the works are solid. Chance here. I bet the 9-7 across the board and then box the top 3 numbers in one exacta. I will key the top 3 over/under the 8-1 in two smaller versions, as well.
Race 3: 9-5/1-3-6/8-2-7/4…Hurricane Highway (9) could be my second #9 in a row to make the winner’s circle. This 3YO gelded son of Quality Road comes from a barn that is hitting on .33% of the 337 runners they have sent postcard this year. This one has a 2-1-2 mark in 5 starts and is coming back as a beaten favorite. Barn hits with .33% of those kind, too. Lots to like here. Will be stepping up in class, but gets a nice rider switch to help. My pick. El Asesino (5) comes from another high-percentage barn, and this one scores at .24% rate in 769 starts this year. Has speed and has a 2-2-3 mark win 8 starts at this distance. One to beat, most likely. I bet the 9 to win/place/show and then box the 9-5 in one exacta. I will key the 9-5 over/under the 1-3-6 in two smaller kind.
Race 4: 9-11-8/4-2-5/7-6-3…How about three #9s in a row? May be. She Be Addie (9) is shipping down from Minnesota for a trainer that has won with .22% of the 373 horses he has started in 2019. Has not had much success this meet, so far, but this one is dropping in class off two straight wins up North. Like the rider choice and this one will be running late. Could be some decent odds here, too. Socata (11) drops a notch in class after a debacle of a race last time out. Finished last and was beaten over 20 lengths in that one. The race before, though, came last November. So, there was a long, long layoff until Aug. 11. The works since the race have been solid and a top rider takes the saddle. Jock won on this one twice before. He may hold the secrets to this one. Bold Esther (8) is a speedster who has been running over the grass and all-weather in Chicago. Only dirt try came here, when he caught a sloppy track last October. Ran 2nd in that one. Has a 2-2-1 record in 6 starts and could be a tough out. The winner and the show horse in the last race have both come back to win. Watch out here at some nice odds. I bet the 9-8 across the board and then box the top 3 numbers in the exacta. I will key the 9-8 over/under the 11-4-2-5 in two smaller versions.
Race 5: 10-1-6/4-8-9/5-7-3-2…This is another turf event, and I will go back outside for my top pick — Life Mission (10). This 3YO gelded son of Noble Mission is coming off two nice, closing thirds against solid MSW company. Will get the blinkers for the first time today, and returns as a beaten favorite, too. Barn hits with .20% of those kind. Love the sharp work on Oct. 2 here, and gets an aggressive rider in the saddle. Will be running late, but the blinkers may help sharpen this one up a tad, too. Nice combo, IMO. Hard Count (1) draws the rail after running from the #11 hole at KY Downs last time out. Sprang out and took the lead in that one, only to falter in the late going, when running up the hill. Has 6 seconds an d 2 thirds in 12 career starts. Has had his chances. But finds a way to run runner-up. I use again in the #2 spot. Fantastry (6) gets to the grass for the first time, and is bred for this conversion. Dam has thrown a turf winner and a Stakes winner, to boot. Barn hits with .21% of those routing for the first time, as well. Look for huge improvement from this one today. I bet the 10 to win/place/show and then box the top 3 numbers. I key the 1 — take note — under the “all button” in a smaller version.
Race 6: 4-7-9/3-6/5/2-1-8…Honest Mischief (4) is even-money in the ML, and figures to be odds-on by PT. Comes off a 3rd place finish in the G2 Amsterdam Stakes at Saratoga. Hooked Shancelot that day, when he set the track record and ran off by 12 lengths to win. That one ran 2nd to Omaha Beach over the weekend in the SA Sprint Championship. So? Honest Mischief figures prominently in this allowance. Right? Right. But…I’m going to take a stab to upset with both Airtouch (7) and Breaking News (9). The former is coming off an impressive MSW win at Saratoga after a 2-year hiatus. Two years off. Son of Tapit was impressive, though, coming from off the pace to win by over a half-length. Has to step it up today, for sure, but looks to have some real talent. The latter ran a deep-closing third to Bourbon Calling in the last out. in 8 starts, has only one win. But has 3 seconds and 2 thirds. Always coming late. Always close. May be closer today. I bet the 7 to win/place/show and then box the top 3 in one exacta. I will key the 4-7 over/under the 9-3-6-5 in two smaller versions.
Race 7: 5-6/8-9/4/1-14/11-10-2-13-(15)/3-12…G2 Jessamine Stakes…This is a very nice Stakes event, which will be contested at 11/16-miles over the firm, hard grass course. Could be some serious Breeders’ Cup implications in this one, too. I will go with Jezebel’s Kitten (5), who hails from the barn of Brad Cox. This 2YO daughter of Kitten’s Joy is a perfect 2-for-2 to start the career and reminds me a lot of British Idiom, who won for Cox over the weekend. Jezebel’s Kitten has shown both the ability to speed to victory, and come from behind, too. Training well for this one. Looks solid. And, I love the 4-1 ML odds. Can we lock those in? Right now? Sweet Melania (6) ships in from Saratoga to tackle these for trainer Todd Pletcher. Has a win, a second and 2 thirds in 4 starts, but most impressive in the 2nd in the P.G. Johnson Stakes at Saratoga in the last outing. Winner of that one is supposed to be good. Real good. Jose Ortiz takes the mount. Has ability to close and experience at this distance, too. I bet the 5-6 across the board and then box those 2 in the exacta. I will key the 5-6 over/under the 8-9-4-1-14 in two smaller versions.
Race 8: 5-12/4-11-1-7/8-6-10…Today’s finale is a MCL event for the 3YOs & UP going 7 furlongs. Keeneland used to call this the Beard Course. Wonder why it never gets mentioned as such these days? Ponder. I like Holly Sun (5) in this spot. This 3YO gelded son of Ghostzapper is dropping into the price tag bunch for the first time, and did run third last time out — which was way back in February. Is now a gelding, and has been training nicely for the return at Fair Hill. The barn has won .20% of the time with 399 starters this year. Closer. New York Style (12) will be making the third start for a barn that does hit with .12% of those cutting back from a route race to a sprint. This one is going from a mile to 7 furlongs, so not much difference. Ran well on the lead before tiring in the debut run. Never cared for the turf until very late in the last. Definitely a “Z” pattern at work here. Could improve mightily with the drop in class today, too. I would wager that someone delves into the “claiming box” today and takes either or both of these two. I bet the 5-12 across the board and then box those 2 in the exacta. I will key the 5-12 over/under the 4-11-1-7-8 in two smaller versions.
Good Luck & All the Best