Day Results 2/1-1-0
2020 Overall 860 860 / 305-285-346
Win % of Top Pick 35.47%
Payoff % of Top 3 Picks Overall 36.28%
2020 Top Pick in the Money –551-860 64.07%
Top Selection ITM / SAR 12-16 75.00%
Top Selection Win / SAR 6-16 37.50%
Top Selection ITM / Ellis Park 27-33 81.82%
Top Selections Win / Ellis Park 10-33 30.30%
“Key Horses” @ SAR 1-1-0-0 100.00% Win / 100.00% ITM
“Key Horses” @ Ellis Park 3/1-1-0 33.33% Win / 66.67% ITM
“Key Horses” in 2020 112-39-24-16 34.82% Win / 70.45% ITM

We took a swing at two races at Saratoga on Wednesday.

Won the first with a horse that could not be beaten. Easy. Peasy. Little profit to be made, though.

Our top pick ran 2nd in the other race. Our second pick won — at 8-1 odds. And, our “Upset Special” ran 3rd at 9-1. That exacta returned $35.25 for each $1 played. So, we made a little more money.

Now, we move to Thursday. Rains are in the forecast and that means downpours like you have never seen before. Saratoga rain is like Rain Forest rain. So, take a look at the conditions before you wade (pun intended) into the fray. Especially considering that 4 of the 6 races we handicap at “The Spa,” are supposed to be run over the turf course.

Check it out to see if the turf is going to be used. Or not. Big differences in the handicapping.

Here’s a look:

3rd: 4-2-3/5-6-1/7…This is scheduled to be a 11/16-mile event for the soggy sod and for the 2YO fillies. If it stays or if it moves, I will stick with Stunning Princess (4). This daughter of Cairo Prince will be making the career debut for trainer Danny Gargan, who hits with .15% of those making the first start. Has been training well on both the Saratoga dirt and the turf. Has nice mud marks on both sides of the pedigree, although the dam has produced 3 turf winners from the first 4 starters. Interesting. Anamuya (2) comes from the barn of Wesley Ward, a mastermind in the 2YO division. This one is a daughter of Dialed In, who should have plenty of dirt pedigree. Mud marks are solid on both sides of this breeding, too. Interesting rider choice, but he has won with .40% of the last 5 mounts for this barn. Interesting, too. Mo Normal (3) comes from a Stakes-winning mare and will be making the career debut, as well. Works are just OK and the barn hits with .17% of those making the first start. But this one gets Irad Ortiz, Jr. If she stays in this fray, I have to use some. I bet the 4-2 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the 4-2 over/under the numbers listed in two smaller units.

4th: 1/6-2/3-5…New York Stallion Series Stakes…This is another grass event, and is scheduled to be contested at 11/16-miles over the inner course for just the NY-bred fillies. I will go with Fresco (1) no matter the surface; no matter the distance; no matter what. This 3YO daughter of Freud has only run over the grass in her 3-race career, to date, but has solid mud marks — especially on the dam side. Works well over the dirt in the mornings, too. Top rider up. My first “Key Play of the Day.” I will bet the 1 to win/place and then key the 1 over/under the numbers listed. The 3-5 move up on an off-track. Use a little more with them.

5th: 4-2-6/7-3/8-1-5…This is a 6-furlong sprint over the main track and is a MSW event for the 3YOs & up. I go with trainer Chad Brown and his 4YO gelded colt Ahead of Plan (4). This one has not raced since finishing a dull 5th over a turf surface here last August. Off since, but has been training well for the return. Connections paid $475,000 for this one at a 2YO Sale in 2018. Gets Jose Ortiz for the first time today and the barn has a 6-3-5 record in the last 18 races. Hot. O’Trouble (2) has attracted the attention and assignment of HOF rider John Velazquez, even though trainer Todd Pletcher has another horse in this race. Interesting. This one has run two thirds to start the career and should improve off the last effort. Barn hits with .13% on the second start off a layup and with only .08% with those returning as a beaten favorite. Look for a better effort today. Irish Front (6) ran a good one on debut here last August. Off since, but the barn hits with .30% of those returning from this type of a layoff. Rider has won with .31% of the last 13 starts for this barn and got one on Wednesday. Works are very nice. Huge threat here. I bet the 4-6 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the top 3 over/under the 7-3 in two shorter units.

6th: 1-5-9/8-7-3/6 on turf / 4-2-6/5/3 on dirt…This is scheduled to be a 1-mile event over the inner turf. If it stays on the green, I go with the first grouping of numbers. If it is moved to the dirt, I go to the second set of numbers. Radically different handicapping and horses. Balon Rose (1) looks very formidable on the grass. Comes form the Chad Brown barn and has a second over this course last year. Last out was better than looked. Steadied in the stretch when racing on the inside. Look for more today if it stays on the grass. If it comes off, I will go with the Chad Brown entry for the “Main Track Only” — Primacy (4). This one has raced three times to date with a win (last time out), a second and a third. Has solid mud marks in the pedigree and should handle the off track. Either way, I am going with Chad Brown. On the turf, I bet the 1 to win/place and then box the top 3. Key the 1 over/under all the numbers. On the dirt, I bet the 4 and box the 4-2-6. I will key the 4-2-6 over/under the 5 in two smaller units.

8th: 3-9-4-1/6-7-8-2…This is yet another grass race — on paper. If this 5.5-furlong sprint stays on the sod, I will go with Union Colonel (3). This one can run on both surfaces, and has a second over the off going. Has run second in three straight. Has faced some good ones. Should be primed for this one. It’s a Wrap (9) is another that I will bet on either surface. Solid mud marks, especially with this sire line. Blinkers added two back seems to have helped, too. Love the work here on July 19. Showed speed in first two and came from well off the pace in the last one. Looks like a “Z Pattern” to me. French Reef (4) is a must use on the grass. But the Irish bred probably scratches if the race is moved. If he comes out, I replace with Modesto (1), who hails from the barn of Wesley Ward. First timer may not like the rail, but has speed and might be gone early. I bet the 3-4 across the board if it stays on grass. I box the top 3 in that regard. If it moves to the dirt, I go with the 3-9 across the board and then box the 3-9-1 in the exacta. I will key the 3 over/under all the numbers listed in two smaller versions.

9th: 4-1-6/3-5/2…This is a 6.5-furlong event over the main track, and I will go with Honest Mischief (4) in a super nice allowance event that could easily double as a Stakes race. This 4YO son of Into Mischief has raced in 4 Stakes events in the last 5 races. Should appreciate this level better today and has the talent to be very tough in the end of this one with a HOF rider taking back the saddle duties. Ran up against a monster last time out. This one could be the monster today. Wendell Fong (1) has not been out since running 5th to Whitmore in the G3 Count Fleet at Oaklawn Park on April 18. Has run in 5 straight Stakes, too. Will be coming late and the trainer is having a super year. In first 4 starts here, barn has 0-2-1 mark. Could be sitting on a huge effort. Captain Scotty (6) could be a square price and a live horse in this one, too. Gets back to the dirt. That should help. Gets a new rider, up. And, this one has 2 seconds in two tries at this distance. Must use for me. I bet the 4-6 across the board and then box the top 3 in one exacta. I will key the 4-1-6 over/under the 3-5 in two smaller units.

Good Luck & All the Best / Gene