Days Picks 13 / 2-3-5
2024 Overall — 386 386 / 111-114-160
Win % of Top Pick 28.76%
Payoff % of Top 3 Picks Overall 33.25%
2024 Only / Top Pick in the Money Overall — 218-386 56.48%
2024 Only / Top Pick in the Money @ TP — 206-368 55.98%
2024 Only / Top Pick in the Money @ FG — 12-18 66.67%
2024 Only / Top Pick Wins @ TP — 103-368 27.99%
2024 Only / Top Pick Wins @ FG — 8-18 44.44%
2024 Only / “Key Horses” @ TP  34/ 12-8-5 35.29% Win / 73.53% ITM
2024 Only / “Key Horses” @ FG 1 / 0-0-0 00.00% Win / 00.00% ITM
2024 Only / “Key Horses” Overall 35/ 12-8-5 34.29% Win / 71.43% ITM

(Stats to be updated with last week of Turfway Park’s meet)

Here are my picks and the reasons therefore for today’s Stakes races at Keeneland:

6th: 5-2/6-7-3/8…Lafayette Stakes…This is a 7-furlong test that will be run at the old “Beard Course,” at Keeneland this afternoon. This event is for the 3YOs, and has attracted a nice blend of sprinters trying to stretch out and routers trying to shorten up, a bit. Should be an interesting affair. I opt for Booth (5), who is the 9-5 favorite in the ML. This 3YO Mitole colt is trained by HOFer Steve Asmussen and will be ridden by Joel Rosario. Keep the rider awake and alert? One of the best in the game. This guy broke the MSW here last Fall by an easy 51/4 lengths. Ran in a Stakes event the next time out. Found that company a little tougher, but the winner is headed for the KY Derby, in all probability. Has speed and can stalk. Look for this one to have his best shot if just off the front-runners turning for home. Scarify (2) is one of those catching a little distance and class relief. Son of Justify was distanced last time out in the G2 San Felipe Stakes at Santa Anita. But this cat has some speed and may be a tough out here for one of the best trainers in the game today. I bet the 2 — take note — to win/place/show and then box the 5-2 in the exactas. I will key the 5-2 over/under the 6-7-3 in two smaller units.

8th: 6-12-2/8-7-10-13/3-5/1-11-14…G3 Transylvania Stakes…This is the first Graded Stakes event of the extended weekend, which will feature a lot of class and Stakes action. The Transy will be contested at 11/16-miles over the sod, which always has a little give to it this time of year. I go with First World War (6). Son of War Front should love this sod and has been first or second in 4 of 5 lifetime tries. But on turf? Two wins in three starts. Nice. Coming off a win in the G3 Kittens Joy at Gulfstream Park. Love the rider sticks here, too. Cugino (12) could add some real value to the plays here. Listed at 10-1 in the ML and trained by a HOFer, as well. Ran a huge 2nd in the Colonel Liam last time out and seems to always be coming at the end. My Upset Play of the Day. The horse that could pop a good one, too, is Guy Named Joe (2). This one ships in from the Left Coast and will try a race East of the Mississippi for the first time. Never been on grass this deep before, and I may take a pass for that. Musical Act (8) ships in from across the big pond for a top trainer and rider combo. Can’t dismiss the Irish-breds and Euros here. Probably over-bet for my liking, but a must use in the exactas. I bet the 6-12 across the board and then I double down on the 12. I box the 6-12-2-8 in the exactas. And, then I will key the 6-12 over/under the 2-8-7-10-13 in a couple of smaller units.

9th: 6-8/1-7/3-5/4…G1 Ashland Stakes…This is the first G1 of the week and this is a top prep for the upcoming G1 Kentucky Oaks in just a few weeks. I have to go with the undefeated champ, Just F Y I (6).  This daughter of Justify is a perfect 3-for-3 in the race career with a couple of G1 wins already. Won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies at Santa Anita to finish the 2023 campaign. Will make the 2024 debut here. Would have preferred one before this one, and that may take some shine off her at the betting windows. But she is working lights out for a HOF trainer. If you can get the ML odds? I load up. Jody’s Pride (8) ran 2nd to the top pick in the Breeders’ Cup. Lost by a long neck in that one. Has a win in only race this year, winning the Busher Invitational at Aqueduct easily. Has talent. Don’t dismiss. I bet the 6 to win/place and then box the 6-8 solidly in the exactas. I will key the 6-8 over/under the 1-7-3-5 in two smaller units. 

Good Luck & All the Best / Gene