Day Results 11 / 6-1-5
2020 Overall 1120 1120 / 405-365-459
Win % of Top Pick 36.16%
Payoff % of Top 3 Picks Overall 36.58%
2020 Top Pick in the Money –734-1,120 65.54%
Top Selection ITM / SAR 53-78 67.95%
Top Selection Win / SAR 30-78 38.46%
Top Selection ITM / CD 42-55 76.36%
Top Selections Win / CD 22-55 40.00%
Top Selection ITM / KY Downs 7-11 63.64%
Top Selections Win / KY Downs — 6-11 54.55%
“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 0-0 00.00% Win / 00.00% ITM
“Key Horses” in 2020 149-50-35-21 33.56% Win / 71.14% ITM

We will roll into the 2nd day of this year’s KY Downs’ live race meet today, with a lot of momentum and optimism. Over the past couple of years, we have had some tremendous success at the rolly, polly, ups and downs of the hill and dale course.

Here’s hoping for more today, and here’s a look at our picks:

Wednesday’s Races:

1st: 1-7-11/8-9/5-6-4…Jordan’s Kitten (1) gets the slightest and slimmest of edges in the initial race of the day, in a wide open affair that will be contested at the 1 mile distance. This 5YO mare has been running up at Indy Grand and won three races back. Thing that pushes this one to the front for me, though, is the race are last year. Lost by a nose. Came right back to win the next one, too. If she can duplicate that effort? Nice way to start the day. I bet the 1 to win/place/show and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the 1 over/under all the numbers listed in two smaller units.

2nd: 2-11-6/9/3-10/4-5-8/7…Sniper Kitten (2) has not been out since February at Turfway Park. Long time between sips of tea. But the barn can score off the bench at this delay (.17%), and the trainer snares .23% winners with the return of a beaten favorite. Again, this one ran here a year ago. Lost by 1/2-length. Like the Aug. 12 work at Ellis. Looks ready and at 10 starts over the sod has a 3-2-1 mark. My choice. I bet the 2 to win/place/show and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the top 3 over/under the 9-3 in two smaller units.

3rd: 12-(13)-11-7/5-3/10-8-4-2/1-6-(14)-(16)…The first 2YO race of the day and it is for the fillies sprinting the 6.5-furlong distance. I will go to either one of the Wesley Ward pupils — who are parked on the outside of the gate. Royal Approval (12) has the experience. She has been out twice, with a nice run at Gulfstream Park back in May and a trip to Royal Ascot already under her girth. England didn’t suit. Back here and training very well at Saratoga. Epicurean (13) has not started yet, but has been training lights out at Saratoga, as well. Either one look capable to going to the front and never looking back. So? I bet the Wesley Ward horse — either the 12 or the 13 — to win/place/show and then box the top 3 numbers in the exacta. I will key the top 3 over/under the 5-3 in two smaller units. I will also key the 12/13 over the “all button” in a smaller unit.

4th: 8-7-12/(13)/10-6-1/11-2-9/3-4-5…American Mandate (8) is my first Upset Special of the Day, but it will come with a caveat. If the #13 draws in from the AE List? Then, he moves into the fray. If not, then I will saddle up with my top choice here. American Mandate comes in off a very nice 3rd at Saratoga when the race was moved off the grass to the main track. But in two races over the sod, he does have a second at Churchill Downs last Fall. Returns as a beaten favorite and the barn wins with .26% of those. Looks live to me. Standup (7) could be another Upset Special of the Day, too. This one comes in off a win at Saratoga and the barn wins with .22% when going for the repeat performance. Gets a top rider up. Barn wins with .29% of “shippers,” too. in 9 runs over the grass, this one has a 2-1-3 mark. Live. Plus, I can’t leave out Churn N Burn (12). This Ian Wilkes pupil was nominated to the Triple Crown races and flashed some style last year. Off until July and didn’t fire much. Now, he gets the grass for the first time. Got to watch out here. I bet the 8-7 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I use the 13 in the mix if he draws in, too. I Key the 8-7-12 over/under the 10-6 in two smaller units if the #13 does not.

5th: 11-5-12/2-10-4/3-9…Fortuna (11) comes into this one off a near-miss loss at KEE back in July. Led the entire way of that endurance test until it mattered the most — at the wire. Lost by a head. Returns as a beaten favorite and the barn wins with .20% of those kind. Gets a HOF rider who is coming off a KY Derby triumph. Dam of this one has a turf winner and the pedigree is there to go long. Very long. I like this pick. Margaret’s Joy (5) may add a little value to the play. This one lost by less than a length last time out and the “Place” horse just came right back to win at Churchill Downs. Good company. Take a long look here, too. I bet the 11-5 to win/place/show and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the top 3 over/under the 2-10 in two smaller units.

6th: 6-9-12/11/1-8-10-5/4…Whimsical Muse (6) gets there nod in this 6.5-furlong sprint. The 4YO Oxbow filly comes out of the Tom Amoss barn for owner Maggi Moss. Didn’t run great in the KY Downs Preview Lady Sprint at Ellis Park on Aug. 2. But that was coming off a layup, and she caught a nice field that day. Drops into the high-end claiming ranks now and gets a hot rider for the assignment. Over the last 30 races, Florent Geroux has a record of 8-3-1. Nice. This one won two races back at Churchill Downs and has 3 wins in 4 career races over the sod. My pick. I bet the 6 to win/place/show and then box the top 3 in one exacta. I will key the top 3 over/under the 11-1 in two smaller units.

7th: 8-3/5-7/11-10-1-4/6-9-12…Red Storm Risen (8) is a 3YO gelded son of Stormy Atlantic and comes from a Stakes-placed dam who has already thrown 2 turf winners. Pedigree is there. Comes off two nice runs in a row to be third. Flashed speed in both of those route races. Now, cuts back. Barn wins with .22% when going route to sprint. Should be plenty fit enough to finish up the hill here and gets a top rider, to boot. My pick.l Grandmas Favorite (3) comes off a nice 2nd place finish on the turf at Arlington Park last time out. That was the first race in nearly two years. Now, that’s a layup. Gets a huge rider switch for this one and should be coming late. Barn knows how to win. Longshot play? Don’t throw out No Nay Now (4) completely. First start here and is now a gelding that gets Lasix. And, guess what. This rider is the #1 choice for this barn. Interesting play here. I bet the 8-4 across the board and then box the 8-3-4 in one exacta. I will key the 8-3-4 over/under the 5-7 in two smaller units.

8th: 2-4-3/9-5/1-10-11/7-6-8…Marzo (2) was eased in the last race and walked off the track. But that was on Aug. 29 and the trainer moves right back into the fray here. Should improve with the shorter distance, to be sure. But get this…this one has raced in 7 straight Graded Stakes races. Now, he gets a little lighter group. I think the 5YO son of Medaglia d’Oro should really appreciate the class drop. Has a 3rd in a race here last year, too. Kroy (4) was claimed last time out at Saratoga. Nearly won that one. Barn wins with .25% on first try after the purchase, and this one has faced better in the past, too. Look for better today. Bizzee Channel (3) is my Upset Special here. This 4YO son of English Channel has a second and a third in two previous tries here. Goes for a top barn, which has won with nearly .30% of the 192 runners this year. Makes the third start off the layup and comes in with a near 6-length win last time out. Rider is red hot. Could pop here, too. I bet the 2-3 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the top 3 over/under the 9-5 in two smaller units and then key the 2-3 over/under the 4-9-5-1-10-11 in two smaller.

9th: 5-11-8/(15)-(16)/4-1-6/9-12-3/2-10…Tapit Stakes…English Bee (5) gets the slight nod in the Stakes today. Comes in off a better-than-looks 6th in the G1 Maker’s Mark Mile. Lost to War of Will by only a length that day. Was 1/2 behind Raging Bull. Race before, ran huge to be 2nd behind Factor This in the G2 Wise Dan. Either one those runs today and this one is a winner. Gets a clever rider in the saddle, and he knows his way around a grass course. Big Score (11) ships in from the West Coast to try the hills and dales of Kentucky. Different course, to be sure. But this one has credentials. Brings his rider with him. Interesting. Hembree (8) ran a nice 3rd in the Preview over at Ellis Park. Was wide in that one and now gets a rider switch. Beware here. I bet the 5 to win/place/show and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the top 2 — take note — over/under the 15/16 if they draw in from the AE List. If not, I go with the top 2 over/under the 8-4-1-6-9-12-3 in two smaller units.

10th: 11-8-7/2-6-5/3-9…Cambeliza (11) has a win at this distance and a win over this course. Not surprisingly, they both came in the same race. This one got a prep in at Laurel in August. Needed it. Tired. Should be more fit. Gets a rider who won with this filly here last year and the daughter of Curlin should not have a problem with the distance, at all. Barn wins with .15% on the 2nd start off a layup. Underrated trainer here. Sister Kitten (8) is yet another from the barn of Mike Maker, who is unloading the operation at KY Downs this meet. This one ran two nice 2nds in row before the last race. Altered course in that one and cost her all chance. Gets a rider switch here today. Should be handy in this spot. Sursum Corda (7) is a must-use for me. This one broke the maiden last time out for trainer Ian Wilkes. Barn normally takes their time developing their horses and this one looks like she is peaking now at the right time. Would not be a surprise to see her jump up and win again in her first try against winners. Barn wins with .17% of those, too. Top lawn rider up. I bet the 11-7 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the 11 over/under the “all button” in here, too. Love the 11.

Also…here’s Thursday’s races, too…

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