Day Results 10 / 2-4-5
2020 Overall 1130 1130 / 407-369-464
Win % of Top Pick 36.02%
Payoff % of Top 3 Picks Overall 36.58%
2020 Top Pick in the Money –739-1,130 65.40%
Top Selection ITM / SAR 53-78 67.95%
Top Selection Win / SAR 30-78 38.46%
Top Selection ITM / CD 47-65 72.31%
Top Selections Win / CD 24-65 36.92%
Top Selection ITM / KY Downs 12-21 57 .14%
Top Selections Win / KY Downs — 8-21 38.10%
“Key Horses” @ SAR 11-4-1-1 36.36% Win / 54.54% ITM
“Key Horses” @ CD 10-3-3-2 30.00% Win / 80.00% ITM
“Key Horses” @ KY Downs 2-2-0-0 100.00% Win / 100.00% ITM
“Key Horses” in 2020 151-52-35-21 34.44% Win / 71.52% ITM

What a day at KY Downs on Wednesday. What a day.

Only two winners out of the 10 races, which is woeful under our standards.

But we rocking and rolling on the exactas, returning $14.80, $40.70, $31.50, $59.30, $28.40 for each $1 played.

Those payouts helped us zoom, and we are not talking about a Conference Call, either.

So, we are looking for more today. Here’s a look at our picks.

Thursday’s Races:

1st: 10-6-2/4-1-8/5-7/11-3…Santino (10) has not raced since March, and the last time out was a bit of a debacle, but the 5YO Artie Schiller mare has been training forwardly and drops into the mid-claimers for the first time. In 12 tries over sod, has 3 wins. Dam has a turf winner from 4 starters. Gets a top rider up this time around. Domonette (6) drops into the claiming ranks for the first time, too, and gets a rider back who nearly won on this one two times back. This one has speed and would like to see her use it here. Flat Meadow (2) has raced over the turf 16 times, and has put together a record of 3 wins, 5 seconds and a third. Never raced at this distance. Rider is red-hot with 7 wins in the last 22 mounts. I bet the 10-2 across the board and box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the 10-2 over/under the 6-4-1-8-5-7 in  two smaller units.

2nd: 8-12-5/9/3-10-11/2-7/1-6…Victory Element (8) has only raced over the sod one time in the past, and has a 2nd to show for the effort. Ran up against Laddie Boy last time out, and ran a good one before tiring late. Has faced better in the past, too. Gets a top grass rider up and the barn has won with .15% of 246 starters this year. Looks well-spotted for this one. Ransack (12) catches a poor gate assignment, but if you toss the last one, he had hit the board in the two previous tries. Gets a nice rider switch for this one and in 28 turf tries to date? Has a 4-4-6 mark. Capable. Clear for Action (5) was claimed last time out and goes to a barn that I know nothing about. In 2 races so far, has 0 winners. But this one has 4 wins in 12 grass tries and is dropping in the class rungs to a competitive spot now. Could improve with the cut-back in distance, too. Live. I bet the 8 to win/place/show and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the top 3 over/under the 9 and then key the 8 over/under the numbers listed in two smaller units.

3rd: 9-2/1-3-5-8/6-4…Secretary at War (9) gets parked a little on the gate assignment, but the 6YO gelded son of War Front has both the pedigree and the Ups to be a force in this spot. Drops into the claiming ranks for the first time and will make the 3rd start off the layup. Both positives and the barn wins with .25% in the claiming classes. Gets a top rider back up. Lot to like. Unmoored (2) was claimed last time out and will get a new barn operation for the first time. New trainer hits with .15% in first try after the purchase. Did win the last two. One on the turf. Gets a world-class rider up and the dam has 2 turf winners from 7 starters. Lot to like, too. I bet the 9-2 across the board and then box those two solidly in the exacta. I will key the 9-2 over/under the rest of the numbers listed in two smaller units.

4th: 4-6/2-9-7-8/1-3/1A…Sorrentina Lemon (4) is my first Key Play of the Day. And, this comes despite the fact that the 4YO Lemon Drop Kid filly has not raced since finishing 2nd at Aqueduct last December. This one is mucho talented and has two wins and a second in the 3 career starts to date. Travels here when the connections easily could have stayed in NY. Top rider gets up. Reason for the trip. My guess is the purse. Summer in Saratoga (6) is a solid second choice, for me. Working very nicely and was blocked in the last race at KEE. Blocked. Look for a late run up the hill out of this one. Could get interesting late. I bet the 4 to win/place/show and then key the 4 over/under the “all button” in here. I box the 4-6 in a stern exacta, as well.

5th: 10-7-9/11-3-(1A)/6-12…Mantra (10) showed a late surge in the last outing at Ellis Park. Returns today as a beaten favorite, and the barn wins with .19% of those kind. Has faced some good ones in the past and does show a 2-5-1 mark in 15 previous grass runs. Needs a clear path late. But if he gets it? Look out. Picasso (7) is my first Upset Special of the Day. This 4YO son of Tapit ran dry well in the first try over the grass last time out at Saratoga — on Aug. 16. Nearly won before tiring late. Barn wins with .25% of those making the 2nd try over the sod. Look out here. Justinthenickotime (9) is another who could add some spice to the odds rack. Has only one win in 11 tries over the sod, so far. But has 5 seconds and 2 thirds. Nice to use underneath. I bet the 10-7 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the 10-7 over/under the 9-3-1A-6-12 in two smaller units.

6th: 8-10-11/9-7-12-(13)/4-5-2-1/6-3…Osaka Girl (8) is a 3YO Firs Samurai filly that I really love in this spot today. In 7 races over the career, she has only one win. But throw in 3 seconds and a third and the resume looks solid. Gets a top grass rider back in the saddle, and the barn wins with .19% in the third try off a layup. Shorter distance just may be the key here. I am in. Confessing (10) is another from the barn of Steve Asmussen and the daughter of Scat Daddy cots $875,000 at a 2YO sale in 2018. Has won back only $112,000 of that to date, but a win today could go a long way to retiring some of the debut. Training really nicely of late — per Aug. 30 at Churchill Downs. Devious Charm (11) has only 1 win in 17 tries. But does have 5 seconds. Underneath play. I bet the 8 to win/place/show and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I go another round on the 8-10 exacta and then key the 8 over/under the 10-11-9-7-12-13-4 in two smaller units.

7th: 5-6-7/2/10-3-4-12/8-1…Sequin (5) is my second Key Play of the Day. This 3YO daughter of Bayern has 3 seconds and a third in 5 starts so far. The only miss came in there G1 Alcibiades on the dirt. Needs a clean trip. Needs the front end. And, needs to finish. If she can get those things? Graduation day. Red Hot Babe (6) is the name of my wife. LOL. Seriously, it is. The 3YO daughter of Distorted Humor will be making the career debut, and the barn wins with .17% of those on the turf. But the works have been rock solid and the rider is red hot these days. Could be off and gone before you know it. Tough place to make the debut, but a rocket in the making — perhaps. Ship’s Creek (7) ran 2nd last time out and has run up against some solid runners in the past. Likely to be coming late up the hill. I bet the 5 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. I also key the 5 over/under the “all button” in two smaller units.

8th: 9-12-(15)-5/10-2-(14)8-1/3-6-7/11-4-(13)…Dueling Grounds Oaks…When are some of these races going to get Graded Status? I mean, come on TOBA and Graded Stakes Committee. These races are not only great to watch, they also attract top fields. Full fields. These are Graded Stakes events. Come on. In this one, I love Harvey’s Lil Goil (9). I have been watching for and on this one all summer. Won the G3 Regret Stakes at Churchill over the sod and then moved to the dirt to run 3rd to Swiss Skydiver and Bonnie South in the G1 Alabama. I’m convinced. All in. She is a Graded Stakes horse and another Key Play of the Day, tooAsk Bailey (12) is 20-1 in the ML and is my second Upset Special of the Day. This one did not run very well over a yielding track at Indy Grand last time out. Before that, though, won a Stakes at Canterbury. But here’s the thing. Ran 2nd in a Stakes here last summer. Horses that like this track, really like this track. Watch out for a huge number here. Stunning Sky (5) is another from the barn of Mike Maker, who is emptying the barn during this meet. Ran 2nd the last two times out at Saratoga. One of those was a Graded Stakes. The horse to beat? Case can be made. I bet the 9-12-5 across the board. All 3 of them. I double down on the 9. I box the top 3 in the exacta. I then key the 9-5 over/under the 12-10-2-8-1-3-6-7 in two smaller units. 

9th: 9-6-3/(13)-11-5-4-12-8/(14)-(15)-2-10-1-(16)-7…Dueling Grounds Derby…Did I mention that these races should be Graded Stakes? Seriously, Graded Stakes Committee. If you don’t start putting these in the Graded Stakes categories, you are going to look very foolish. Great horses. Solid fields. Full fields. They are deserving. This one is led by my next Upset Special of the Day — Kinenos (9). I’m loading up here. This 3YO son of Empire Maker has raced 7 times over the sod. Has 2 wins, 1 second and 2 thirds. Ran 2nd to Fancy Liquor two races back at Indy. Know what Fancy just did? Won a Stakes event at Churchill Downs this past weekend. This one ran up against Field Pass, too. All there. Love this one. Peace Achieved (6) won a Stakes event here last year as a 2YO Has 3 wins in 7 turf tries and gets a huge rider switch for this event. Will be a tough out here. No doubt. Jolting Joe (3) is another upset candidate. Has never been worse than 2nd in the career and ran 2nd to whom here a year ago? Whom? Whom? Art Collector. Watch out at a huge price, too. I bet the 9-3 across the board and then box the top 3 numbers in the exacta. I will key the top 3 numbers over/under the 11-5-4. I will key the 9-3 over/under the 6-11-5-4-12-8-2 in two others.

10th: 12-7-9/11-4-6/(16)-(14)-(15)-10/2-3-8…My final Key Play of the Day comes in the finale of the day. I will go long and hard with Unitedandresolute (12) — which is what all of us have to be in these crazy days and times. This 2YO son of Violence is trained by Tom Amoss, who is winning with .22% of his 366 starters this year. Sitting on a win here after a 2nd to Fauci at KEE over the grass in the debut start. Gets Del Mar’s leading rider up. All adds up here. Go Team Amoss. I bet the 12 to win/place/show and then box the top 3 numbers in the exacta. I will key the 12 over/under the 7-9-11-4-6 in two smaller units. I will also key the 12 over/under the “all button” in two smaller.

Good Luck & All the Best / Gene