Days Picks 6 / 3-1-2
2024 Overall — 434 434 / 124-135-177
Win % of Top Pick 28.57%
Payoff % of Top 3 Picks Overall 33.49%
2024 Only / Top Pick in the Money Overall — 248-435 57.01%
2024 Only / Top Pick in the Money @ HI — 5-6 83.33%
2024 Only / Top Pick in the Money @ KEE — 7-10 70.00%
2024 Only / Top Pick in the Money @ TP — 224-400 56.00%
2024 Only / Top Pick in the Money @ FG — 12-18 66.67%
2024 Only / Top Pick Wins @ HI — 3-6 50.00%
2024 Only / Top Pick Wins @ KEE — 3/10 30.00%
2024 Only / Top Pick Wins @ TP — 110-400 27.50%
2024 Only / Top Pick Wins @ FG — 8-18 44.44%
2024 Only / “Key Horses” @ HI — 3/2-1-0 66.67% Win / 100.00% ITM
2024 Only / “Key Horses” @ TP  39/ 13-10-6 33.33% Win / 74.36% ITM
2024 Only / “Key Horses” @ FG 1 / 0-0-0 00.00% Win / 00.00% ITM
2024 Only / “Key Horses” Overall 43/ 15-11-6 34.88% Win / 74.42% ITM

(Stats to be updated with this week’s picks)

Here are our looks at the Stakes races — and a few more — at Keeneland today:

4th: 10-6-4/7…This is a 6.5-furlong test for the MSW level and the 3-year-olds. I like Red State (10), in here, and he is listed as 4-1 in the ML by Brisnet.com. This one will make the first start and the trainer had a horrid winter up at Turfway Park, winning less than 6% over the course of the meet. But this son of City of Light has been training lights out and the barn does win with .11% on first ask in this condition. Dam has 4 winners from 6 starters — including a Stakes winner. Gets a top rider up. Needs to break well, but if he flashes speed, this one could be off and gone before you know it. Teen Idol (6) is a nice long shot possibility. Didn’t fire at first ask at the Fair Grounds. But was shuffled back at the start of that one. Is the son of Teen Pauline, a Stakes winner who has turned into a great dam, as well. Should improve here. I bet the 10 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exactas. I will key the top 3 numbers over/under the 7 in two smaller units.

5th: 2-5…This is a 11/16-mile endurance test over the soft sod for the MSW ranks and the 3YO fillies. If it stays on the grass, then I go hard on Chad Brown’s Spaliday (2). This one is likely to be the favorite, but has the breeding and a fantastic race under her belt. Was left at the gate and came running in style to be 3rd in the debut. Stretches out a little farther here. Love this one. A key for me. I bet the 2 across the board and double down on the win wager. I will box the 2-5 in the exactas. I will key the 2 over/under the “all button” in two smaller units.

6th: 2-7…This is a nice optional-claimer allowance and I just want to see the return of Julia Shining (2). This 4YO daughter of Curlin didn’t win a race last year, but hit the board in 3 of 5. As a 2YO, she was a perfect 2-for-2. Love to see her return to that level. She is even money in the ML and will likely drop from there. But she is worth watching. This starts the 2024 season and it could be a good one. A real good. Win bet only on the 2. I box the 2-7 in the exactas. 

7th: 2-1-8/12-4-11/9-6/5-7/(13)…G3 Giant’s Causeway Stakes…This is a 5.5-furlong sprint fantastic over a very soft and giving grass course. Going to be hard for the California shippers and the Florida travelers due to the change in sod here. I go with Bling (2), who is 6-1 in the ML. Has run 3rd in the last two and will make the 2024 debut here. Has run here 4 times in the career with a record of 1-1-1-and 12th in the 2022 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf. Gets a HOF rider for the first time since he won on her here last Fall. Will come late. Wait for it. Wait for it. Play the Music (1) did win a Stakes at Tampa Bay last time out, but is a Florida shipper and may have trouble finding her feet in this deep grass. Roses for Debra (8) ran in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint last November in her last outing. Didn’t fare well there, but has competed at this distance on 5 occasions with 3 wins. Won at Saratoga last Summer and that could compare favorably here. I use. I bet the 2-8 across the board and then box the 2-8 in the exactas. I will key the 2-8 over/under the 12-4-11-9-6 in two smaller units.

9th: 9-6/5-7-2/3-10-1…G1 Jenny Wiley Stakes…This G1 event is a 11/16-distance for the fillies and mares. What a race. What a crowd. Love this one. I go with Didia (9). This 6YO Argentine-bred mare has run over the sod 13 times in her career. Has won 10 with a second, to boot. Ran 10th in the Breeders’ Cup Fillies and Mares Turf last Fall, but never was put in the race that day and, after swinging wide into the stretch, had no shot. The 2nd in the G1 New York Stakes last Summer at Belmont was spot on. She can stalk. She can finish. She can win. Gina Romantica (6) is one of the Chad Brown contingency here, and they all seem to have a big shot. This gal has run here twice. Has won both. Can’t dismiss. Will make the 2024 debut. My concern? The extra 1/16-mile in distance. Only run that long once before. Didn’t hit the board and was 4th. Take note. I bet the 9-5 — take note — across the board and then box those two in the exactas. I will key the 9-5 over/under the 6-7-2-3 in two smaller units. 

10th: 8-5-2/9/10-4/1…G3 Lexington Stakes…This 11/16-mile event is the last “Points Race” on the “Road to the Kentucky Derby.” That is the 150th Kentucky Derby. And, some contenders (pretenders?) need this race to ensure their respective connections they can make the field for the First Saturday in May. I’m going hard with Encino (8). This son of Nyquist is a real talent and developing late, but very quickly. Has the ability to stalk. Has he ability to finish. Has ability. Has never run on dirt, but the barn wins with .23% of the last 47 converting from the All Weather to the traditional dirt surface. Gets the barn’s go-to rider up and looks poised here after scratching out of the G1 Blue Grass last week. Love the 5-1 ML odds. I’m all in here. I bet the 8 across the board and double and triple down on the win wager. I will box the top 3 numbers in the exactas. I will key the 8 over/under the 5-2-9-10-4-1 in two smaller units. Let’s go.

Good Luck & All the Best / Gene