Day Results 10 / 4-3-5
2020 Overall 398 398 / 139-133-159
Win % of Top Pick 34.92%
Payoff % of Top 3 Picks Overall 36.10%
2020 Top Pick in the Money –246-398 61.81%
Top Selection ITM / TP Winter-Sprng 180-291 61.86%
Top Selection Win / TP Winter-Spring 104-291 35.74%
“Key Horses” @ TP Winter-Spring 44-11-11-8 25.00% Win / 68.18% ITM
“Key Horses” in 2020 58-16-14-9 27.59% Win / 67.24% ITM

(Whenever you get 4 out of 10 in the win column? It’s a pretty good day of hitting the mark.)

We managed to boot home 4 winners on the Friday card at Oaklawn Park. Most of our winners were short-priced, though, and didn’t yield the greatest of returns.

We did manage to scoop up 5 more exactas, as well, and each of those returned $12.90, $16.90, $14.00, $8.70 and $31.50 for each $1 wagered.

The combo allowed us to sneak out without much damage being rendered. And, left us with a little mojo and confidence headed into a really nice card on Saturday.

Here’s our look at the card in Hot Springs on Saturday:

1st: 9-3-4/7-10/1-5-11/(14)-8…Rivers of Lite (9) gets my nod in the first. This 4YO son of Friesan Fire comes in off only one start — when he ran 4th here on March 13. Was 4-wide in the career debut and now returns at the same level. Barn only hits with .06% of those making the second start, but this one does move from a sloppy track to one that figures to be fast on Saturday. Love the work here on April 4. Bullet move out of 33 to go that morning. Looks like one that can really improve today and love the jockey change, too. Written Permission (3) may be the post time favorite off the narrow loss last time out. Went the entire distance on the lead until the finish over the sloppy track. In the last 4 outs, has hit the board 3 times. Looks like the one to beat. But…In 12 starts, this one has 3 seconds and 2 thirds. May just like to run behind them at the wire. Wenyen (4) ran well here on debut back in February. Shortened up for the last and didn’t finish well, at all. Blinkers come off today and the barn hits with .36% of those getting that equipment change. Barn is hard to leave out. I bet the 9-4 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the 9-4 over/under the 3-7-10-1-5-11 in two smaller units.

2nd: 2-3/9-1/5-11/10-4-8…Executive Branch (2) drops in the claiming ranks and to a level that he has never been offered for in the brief career. Over the first 5 career starts, this one has a win and a second. Didn’t inspire last time out, but the win here on Feb. 7 was really nice. Should like the softer group here. Delp (3) was claimed last time out by trainer Tom Amoss for a top owner in Maggi Moss. The barn hits with .24% of those that make the first start off the claim purchase. Love the work at KEE on April 10. Sharp. Now ships South again for this one. Barn hits with a whopping .38% when it drops off a claim. Take note. I bet the 2-3 across the board and then box those two in the exacta. I key the 2-3 over/under the 9-1-5-11-10 in two smaller units.

3rd: 10-9/6-2/1/5…Lovely Lou (10) is the ML favorite and should go to the post as the favorite, too. This 4YO daughter of Two Step Salsa has never missed the board in the first 4 starts. Gets a nice rider switch for this one, but does spread out from a sprint to a route. Barn only hits with .06% of those getting the extra ground for the first time. Concern. Too Pretty (9) nearly won the last two outs. One was a sprint and the latter was a route. Ran 2nd in the last one and 3rd the time before. Likes to spit the bit nearing the wire. Barn hits with .19% on the third try off the layoff, though. May be fitter for this one. Furzy (2) may be our first Upset Special of the Day. Didn’t run great the first time out. That’s for sure. But gets Lasix for the first time and gets the blinkers, too. These connections ran 1-2 in the Arkansas-bred Stakes event here on Friday and this one has the works to match those. Look for some huge strides forward today at a nice price. I bet the 10-2 across the board and then box those two in the exacta. I will key the 10-2 over/under the 9-6-1-5 in two smaller units.

4th: (13)-10-11-1/9-8-5-2/3-4-12/6-7…Dulce Ride (13) needs some help before the race even starts. This 5YO Candy Ride mare needs a scratch or two to allow her into the gate from the Also Eligible List. If she gets in, though? Watch out. Drops considerably for this one and the barn hits with .29% of those that hit the claiming ranks for the first time. Third time off the layup should help, too. If she doesn’t draw the gate, I will switch to the outside and lean on both Punish (10) and Oh My Oh (11). The former has run two seconds in a row and has hit the board in 3 of the last 4 outs. Top rider takes the reins for the first time. Salty in here. The latter was claimed last time out. If she can duplicate that effort, she figures here for the brother-brother Borel team. Has done most of her good running over the AW surfaces. But looks like she may be OK in this spot. I bet the 13 if she gets in. If not, I will be the 10 to win/place/show and then box the top 3 numbers in the exacta. I will key the 10-11-1 over (only) the 9-8-5-2 in much smaller unit.

5th: 4-12/9-3/7-1-(13)/2-10…Skyvalue (4) will be making only her second career start, and gets a class drop off a very nice 3rd on the debut run. Gets a top rider to take the mount for the first time. Has a very nice stalking style and should be salty at this level — although ran as a pure long shot in the first start. Minji (12) could be the horse to beat if she improves in conditioning off her first start here back in February. I bet the 4 to win/place/show and then box the 4-12 in one exacta. I will key the 4-12 over/under the 9-3-7-1-13-2-10 in two smaller units.

6th: 3/12-4-5-6/7-10…My first Key Play of the Day comes here with Front Door (3). This 5YO gelded son of Point of Entry was claimed two starts back by a top claiming and winning operation. Ran OK last time out in the first start for the new connections. New barn wins with .23% of those making the 2nd start since the purchase. Drops considerably for this one, too. Barn hits with .33% of those that get this kind of plunge. I bet the 3 to win/place/show and then key the 3 over/under the “all button.”

7th: 5-7-2/4-1-9/3/8-6…Dessman (5) is a clear-cut top choice for me in this spot. The 4YO son of Union Rags started the 2020 season with a nice 2nd at Santa Anita at the end of February. That was the first race in nearly a year for a horse that showed so much promise as a 3YO. Ran 2nd by a nose to a speedster by the name of Sparky Ville in the G2 San Vicente Stakes last year. The work here on April 13 was solid. I may have some other options here, but I really like this Bob Baffert shipper today. I bet the 5 to win/place/show and then box the top 3 in one exacta. I will key the 5 over/under all the numbers listed in two smaller units, too.

8th: 9-10/2-4/7-1/8-6-11-3/5…G3 Count Fleet Handicap Stakes…What a nice field that has been assembled for this 6-furlong dirt burner. I will go to the outside and give the edge to both the old-timer Whitmore (9) and his newest rival in Share the Upside (10). The former is a deep closer, who absolutely loves this dirt track. In 13 tries here, this multiple Graded Stakes winner of nearly $3 million in earnings has a record of 8-4-1. That’s getting it done. There should be plenty of speed to set it up nicely for this 7YO super star. Should negotiate a wide trip — which he likes. And, come with a serious rally in the final 100 yards. Share the Upside (10), on the other hand, will likely try to push the pace from the outside. Gets a new rider for the first time and he will have to motivate this one from the gate. Beat our top pick two starts ago here. In 6 starts over this dirt? He has 4 wins and a second. Love the 10-1 ML odds here, too. I bet the 9-10 across the board and then box those two in the exacta. I will key the 9-10 over/under the 2-4-7-1-8-6 in two smaller units.

9th: 6-5/1/10-9/4-8/3-12…Break Even (6) spit the bit in a serious way in her 2020 debut here on Feb. 29. Looked like she was crusing along and ready to pounce, but she went backwards in the Spring Fever Stakes. Returns today and I look for a complete rebound and amends will be made. In the first 8 career starts, this one has 6 wins and a second. Last out was not indicative of this one’s talent. Has returned to work well, too. I bet the 6 to win/place/show and then box the two Brad Cox fillies in the exacta — the 6-5. I will key the 6-5 over (only) the rest of the numbers listed in a smaller unit.

10th: 11-14-12/4-13-6-5-1/3-10/2-7-9/8…G1 Apple Blossom Stakes…Man, oh man. This one is filled to the brim with top contenders; top challengers; top Stakes winners; top talent. I will go with one of my most favorite fillies to ever race — Serengeti Empress (11). This beautiful gal has guts and grit; grind and giddy-up. There is a ton of speed to give her chase and make her move early and often, to be sure. But she is going to go as fast and as far as her little hooves will take her, any way. I go back to her after a huge win in the G2 Azeri Stakes here last time out. I will bet the 11 to win/place/show and then key the 11 over/under the numbers listed. I will go more over/under the 14-12. A bit less over the 4-13-6-5-1. A little less with the 3-10. And, even less on the rest. But I go with the 11. Al the way.

11th: 2-1-8/10-3-9/12-4-(13)/5-6-(14)-7…Kurilov (2) drops in half after a 4th place finish here for the barn of Brad Cox. Should fit in this spot very nicely. Has a stalking style and will come with a run in the final stages. As such, will need a break in racing luck. But the works here indicate a much better effort than the last race, when he was wide throughout. Timeline (1) was cut out to be a real good one. Won a lot early on — like the first 4 races of the career. Didn’t win a single outing last year. In fact, didn’t hit the board in any of the 3 races. Did run third here over the mud in the 2020 debut. Now, he is dropped into the claiming ranks for the first time. The barn hits with .21% of these. Gets the barn’s go-to rider today, too, and he has been red, red, red hot. Should fit better here. A threat. Again. I bet the 2-1 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the 2-1 over/under the 8-10-3-9-12-4 in two smaller units.

Good Luck & All the Best / Gene