Day Results 9 / 2-2-5
2020 Overall 428 428 / 148-139-172
Win % of Top Pick 34.58%
Payoff % of Top 3 Picks Overall 35.75%
2020 Top Pick in the Money –265-428 61.92%
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 62-17-16-9 27.42% Win / 67.75% ITM

(A bit chilly on Wednesday. Let’s warm the heck up)

We managed to coax home only 2 winners in the 9 races carded in Hot Springs, ARK on Wednesday. Not a good day, to be sure.

But it could have been so much better. We were really a lot closer to having a good day than one may suspect.

Why?

Our top selection ran 2nd in four other races. Four of them. If just half of those win, it would have given us 4 winners out of the 9 races.

Now?

That’s a good day.

So close. Yet. So far.

Here’s a closer look at the Thursday card:

1st: 5-10-1/(14)-12-8-(13)/4-11-6-9…Miss Casey Beth (5) drops from a MSW event to the MCL $16,000 level for the daughters of Arkansas-only breds. She ran OK in that one and much better in the race before when slotted for $40,000. Should be a star against this group for a barn that hits with .20% when dropping from MSW to MCL levels. Has some speed. Which is a good thing. Especially here. Do Me a Favor (10) is trained by Steve Asmussen, the HOF conditioner. This one will be making the career debut here, and this barn hits with .18% of those that make the first start in the MCL ranks. Dam has 4 winners from 4 starters and 1 Stakes winner, to boot. Works just OK. Hmmm. Dat Girl (1) is another dropping to a career low price tag. Does have 3 “show” placements out of the first 4 starts. Should fit here, too. May be the one to beat. I bet the 5-1 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I go lightly.

2nd: 5-1/7-2-6/4-9-3…Ransomed (5) is a 7YO mare and a Illinois-bred for the barn of Timothy Martin. The trainer has only 4 wins in 94 starts here this meet. That amounts to a wobbly .04%. Does have 7 seconds and 14 thirds on the resume, too. Has hit the board in each of the last two and has hit the board in 5 of 6 starts here. Threat. Sturdy One (1) is an Ontario-bred and will be making the first start in nearly a year for HOF trainer Jerry Hollendorfer. Works have been spot on. Gets a hot rider up, too. Barn can get ’em ready off the bench. Has won with .17% of those that have been away this long. I bet the 5-1 across the board and then box those two in the exacta. I key the 5-1 over/under the 7-2-6 in two smaller units.

3rd: 12-3/10-8/4-7-(14)-5…Napoleon’s Empire (12) gets a far outside post, and that will be a tough spot to win with and from. But this 4YO gelded son of Cairo Prince returns as a beaten favorite and the  barn wins with .29% of them. Ran a solid race here as an odds-on pick here last time out, too. Works have been good since that race and should be coming late. Anotherdayatthelake (3) is a horse named after my heart. Ran second in two of the last 3 efforts. Will be tough if he can duplicate those tries today. In 12 starts, this one has hit the board 6 times. Has only 1 win. But…may be close enough to try again today. I bet the 12 to win/place/show and then box the 12-3 in one exacta. I will key the 12-3 over/under the 10-8-4-7-14-5 in two smaller units.

4th: 11-8-3/2-6-9-5/1-7/10-4…Miss Mercken (11) is another that comes from the barn of Tom Amoss, who is off to another great start in 2020. Has won with .22% of the last 729 starters. This one drops considerably for this effort, and the barn hits with .27% of those moving from the grass to the dirt, too. In 2 tries over fast dirt tracks in the past, this one has a win. Big threat here. Dutch Treat (8) goes for a barn that has a sparking 8-5-0 record in just 30 starts here this meet. This one won by over 5 lengths last time out here on March 20. Moves up in class after losing that condition, but this one has 3 wins and 3 seconds in 13 starts here. Mucha Mezquina (3) is 8-1 odds in the ML and may spice up the rack a bit. Won at Churchill Downs against much, much tougher to end the 2019 season. Has not shown much here in two start this winter, but capable of better. I bet the 11 to win/place/show and then box the top 3 in the exacta.l I will key the 11 over/under all the numbers in two smaller units.

5th: 4-8-1/9-10/3-2/7-6…River Finn (4) is a talented 3YO son of Pioneerof the Nile for trainer Brad Cox. Ran a good one here last time out, but tired at the end after pushing the pace from the get-go. Went the half mile in that route in :47&change. If he can throttle back just a notch or two, he will be a tough out here. Blinkers come off. Barn hits with .40% of those losing the shades. Also, this will be the 2nd start off the layoff. Barn hits with .28% of those. I bet the 4 to win/place/show and the box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the 4 over/under all the numbers listed in two smaller units.

6th: 1-5-4/3-(13)-7-12/6-11-(14)/2-10…Kalliste Rose (1) is yet another starter today that we like and that comes from the barn of our great friend, Tom Amoss. This is another who is owned by Maggi Moss. Love the connections and this one should be very tough when the drop to the bargain bin today. In 4 career starts here, this one has a win and a third. I expect a big effort out of this one today. Louise the Laser (5) was claimed two starts back by a trainer that hits with .21% of this making the 2nd start for the new operation. Ran at this level last time out and forged a 3rd place finish despite traffic issues. A cleaner trip here could be the difference. Lippy (4) is a California-bred who will be making the second start here. Ran poorly last time but gets a huge class drop for this one. Used to run in California-bred Stakes races just two starts back. Interesting spot here. I bet the 1-4 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the 1-4 over/under the 5-3-13-7-12-6-11 in two smaller units.

7th: 8-1/4-6-2/3-9-10/7…Ragtime Blues (8) is a shipper form the West Coast for trainer Bob Baffert. Normally, Team Baffert only brings the runners to Oaklawn Park. This one has been training lights out and has a world of talent. Purchased for $500,000 as a yearling in 2018 at KEE. Only ran once as a 2YO. Finished 2nd at odds-on favorite in that one. Look for this one to be a tough out here. I bet the 8 to win/place/show and then key the 8 over/under the numbers listed in the exactas.

8th: 10-1/9-3/5-2-6/4-8…Morning Snow (10) was claimed off the Baffert barn here two starts back. Won that one while gassing it on the front end. Ran against much, much better last time out. Ran OK, too. Barn has won with only .05% this meet. Cool as ice. But this one sticks out here on paper. I go. New Colossus (1) is now a 5YO son of Curlin and was projected to be a superstar when he first showed up n the scene for trainer J. Larry Jones. Didn’t measure lip to those standards, and was claimed three starts ago. Has won and run 3rd in the two starts since the claim purchase. Look for another big effort here. In 6 starts over this dirt, he has a 2-1-1 mark. I bet the 10-1 across the board and then box those two in the exacta. I will key the 10-1 over/under the rest of the numbers listed in the exactas.

9th: 5-1/2-(13)-11/3-12/9…Volatile (5) is a pupil of the Steve Asmussen barn. Trainer has a .14% win rate this meet, despite surviving a horrendous drought midway though the meet. Has armed up of late and the rider is 7-6-2 in the last 28 starts. This one won the last race of the 2019 season and in 3 career starts, the son of Violence has 2 wins and a second. Only loss was to Bourbon Calling — a nice one in his own right. I go big here. Strike That (1) has won 3 of 4, with a second in the lone loss. Has speed and can come from off of it, too. Versatile sort and goes for a barn that has won with .24% of the 205 starters here this meet. Can’t throw this one out. I bet the 5 to win/place/show and then box the top 2 in the exacta. I will key the 5-1 over/under the rest of the numbers in two smaller units.

10th: 1-(13)-11/10-2-4/5-6/3-7-9…This is a very fine race to end the card. Lots of speed in this one and it comes from everywhere. I am going to the inside and with the Louisiana-bred No Parole (1). This one ran in a division of the G2 Risen Star Stakes last time out and he gassed it for as long as he could in his first try against open company. But he tired and fell to the back of the group when trying to stretch out to 11/16 miles. Gets back to 6 furlongs today. Gets the rail, too, and that spot has really heated up of late. Got a super sharp work on April 18 at the Fair Grounds. I look for a huge effort out of this one today. In fact, despite all the speed in here, I am going with this one as my Key Play of the Day. Could be a great day for the Amoss barn and owner Maggi Moss. I bet the 1 to win/place/show. I box the top 3 numbers. Then I key the 1-11 over/under all the numbers listed in two smaller units.

Good Luck & All the Best / Gene