|2020 Overall 72||72/24-22-25|
|Win % of Top Pick||33.33%|
|Payoff % of Top 3 Picks Overall||32.87%|
|2020 Top Pick in the Money –51-72||70.83%|
|Top Selection ITM / TP Winter-Sprng 51-72||70.83%|
|Top Selection Win / TP Winter-Spring 24-72||33.33%|
|“Key Horses” @ TP Winter-Spring 11-2-5-3||18.18% Win / 90.90 ITM|
|“Key Horses” in 2020 11-2-5-3||18.18% Win / 90.90% ITM|
We only managed one winner at Turfway Park on Friday night, and, without a doubt, it is difficult to call that any kind of a success.
There’s always a “but,” right?
But, if you are and were are an exacta player and you played along with us on Friday night, it was a success.
A real success story.
We cashed exactas for $25.80, $15.00, $71.20, $43.40, $31.30 and $10.30 for each $1 played in 6 of the 8 races.
We would like to add the winner to that grouping, and we will try today and tonight. Here’s our look at today’s G3 Lecomte Stakes at the Fair Grounds and tonight’s full race card at Turfway Park:
9th: 5-1/11/8-9/4-7/3-2…Marie G. Krantz Memorial Stakes…This is a 11/16-mile event to be contested over the turf track. With all the rains that have fallen in the Bayou this Winter, this course should have plenty of cut and give to it. And, this race is truly wide open for many of these entered. I will give the slight edge to La Signare (5). This 5YO French-bred mare has not raced since last October when she was a nice third in a tough allowance event. She has faced some real good ones in the past, and seems to be training very well for the return effort. The barn can get one ready off the bench and the rider has won with 1 of 2 for this barn over the last 60 days. May be ready to fire a big one off the layoff. Quebec (1) may be the horse to beat. She ran third here while sprinting on Dec. 28. Now, she stretches out to a distance where she has 3 wins and 3 seconds in 9 starts. Rider is having a solid meet here and has won with .13% of the last 45 rides for this barn. Only blip on the screen, of late, was a dismal effort in the G2 event at Del mar last August. But look who won that one. Big shot here. Avie’s Mineshaft (11) is coming off a third in that same race to the top pick. But if you go back to the sod races on the resume, this one has a 1-1-2 mark in 5 starts. Never been on this track. But has faced some good ones in the past. I like the 20-1 odds and that make her a long shot play for me, too. I bet the 5-1 across the board and then box those 2 solidly in one exacta. I will key the 5-1 over/under the 6-11-8-9-10-4-7 in two smaller versions.
10th: 3-2-8/4/6…G3 Louisiana Stakes…A very nice field has been assembled for this G3 event, which will be contested at 11/16-miles over the main track. I will go with the “hot” horse in Blended Citizen (3). Since moving from the barn of Doug O’Neill over to the shed row of the very talented Brad Cox, this 5YO son of Proud Citizen has made two afternoon appearances. Won an allowance at Churchill Downs in last November. Came back to run a very game second here over the slop in the Tanacious Stakes on Dec. 21. Could have won that one with a bit of luck. Barn hits with .31% of those that return as a beaten favorite, and is winning at a .20% clip this meet after 69 runners. Jockey has won with 3 of the last 6 mounts for this trainer and this one has a win and a second in just two starts at this distance. Will be close at the wire. Silver Dust (2) just loves this racetrack. In 6 starts here, he has 2 wins and 3 seconds. Beaten a neck in the G3 Lukas Classic at Churchill Downs last September in the last start for trainer W. Bret Calhoun. This 6YO gelded son of Tapit has been a true war horse for this barn. In 7 starts last year, had 2 wins and 4 seconds. Has now won over $642,000 in purses. Tough. And, talented. Kukulkan (8) may be the most accomplished of the group. Ships in from Gulfstream Park for this Stakes event. Won the last time out in December. Maybe the best Mexican-bred ever? Interesting he shows up here. I bet the 3-2 across the board and then box the top 3 in one exacta. I will key the 3-2 over/under the rest of the numbers in two smaller versions.
11th: 14-11-12/4-5-7/9-10…Colonel E.R. Bradley Stakes…Mr. Misunderstood (14) has simply been a turf monster for trainer Brad Cox. In 21 tries over the grass, the 6YO horse has amassed a resume of 12 wins, 2 seconds and 3 thirds. In 5 trips over this sod, he has 3 wins and a second. Has been off since November, but has run well off a break before. Works indicate that he is doing well. Gets the barn’s go-to rider. My pick. Factor This (11) gets back to the sod after a run over the slop last time out. In 17 grass trips to date, has 5-3-1 record. Work here on Jan. 12 suggests that he his really poised for a good one. Does his best when on the lead. Look for him to go to that spot today, for a barn that has a 3-1-1 record over the last 9 starts. Barn could go 1-2 here. Captivating Moon (12) is a good one for trainer Chris Block. Won over the slop here on Dec. 21. But did run in the G1 Arlington Million and was not embarrassed by the great Bricks and Mortar in that one. Threat here, for sure. I bet the 14-12 (take note) across the board and then box the top 3 numbers in the exacta. I will key the 14-12 over/under the 11-4-5-7-9-10 in two smaller versions.
12th: 6/7-4/1-3/2-8…Silvrbulletday Stakes…Someone, by the name of Marcus, wrote on Twitter earlier this week that the Silverbulletday may not be near as good as other preps for the KY Oaks on the calendar for either today or recent days. Just leaves you shaking your head. This race today may have one of the prohibitive favorites for this year’s KY Oaks in it. Sure, there is British Idiom — who is on the grounds — but not in the race. Sure, there is Taraz — who is on the grounds — but is likely to start next in the Martha Washington at Oaklawn Park and may go the KY Derby Trail. Sure, everyone can have an opinion. But? This one does have the wonderful filly Finite (6). This 3YO daughter of Munnings is coming off three straight victories after starting the career with back-to-back seconds. In the last 3 she has a romp in the Rags to Riches Stakes and a nice win in the G2 Golden Rod at Churchill Downs. Has toughness. Has enough speed to stalk. Has one of the best trainers in the game. And, has the look for a true KY Oaks contender. My single here. I bet the 6 to win/place/show and then key the 6 over/under the rest of the numbers. Stay tuned on this filly. She’s the real deal.
13th: 4-9-2/7/1-5-13-10/6-11-12…G3 Lecomte Stakes…So it begins. The Road to the 2020 Kentucky Derby starts right here — in earnest. Next step for many of these will be the Risen Star. Next up? Maybe the Louisiana Derby. We shall see. But the road begins and we have to give the huge edge to Scabbard (4), who is the most accomplished of any and all of these runners. Ran second and was beaten less than 2 lengths to and by Dennis’ Moment — who is our top pick for this year’s Run for the Roses. Sure, Dennis’ was being eased the final yards of that one. Maybe didn’t have to run much to win it for the final 1/16th, but Scabbard was impressive in the closing moments. Despite some issues in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, he was 4th in that one, too. Now, will make the 2020 debut with Corey Lanerie returning to the saddle. That should help, too. Has been training well. Be interesting to see how ready he is for this one. Mr. Monomoy (2) is ready. He has a race under his girth here on Dec. 21. Ran a tough-beat second in that one when stretching out to the two turns for the first time for trainer Brad Cox. This half-brother to the great Champ Monomoy Girl is talented, too. Love to see this one step it up and see what he has in the belly. I expect a lot. Silver State (9) has run two really outstanding races in the career. Should love the stretch out in distance and has been training well for the 2020 debut. Game as heck in both of the first two career starts. Be interesting to see this one, too. If there is to up an upset today? Look here. I bet the 4-9 to win/place/show and then box the top 3 numbers in the exacta. I will key the 4-9 over/under the 2-7-1-5-13-10 in two smaller versions.
See you a little later at Turfway Park:
1st: 5-8-1/4-6/3-7…Chargaree (5) has won 5 of the last 6 starts for a top trainer, who has a 7-4-3 mark in the last 36 mounts here at Turfway Park. Won at this level on Jan. 1. Pushed the pace and held the win at the wire. In 2 starts here, has 2 wins. And, this one has hit the board in 11 of 18 career starts. Adds up for me. Patti Patti Patti (8) may add a little spark to the exotics here. This 5YO Sidney’s Candy mare is 6-1 in the ML and the odds may drift North from there. Has faced much tougher in the last 4 outings. If she can get a clean trip late, she may make some noise by the wire. Gets a new rider for this one and that may help the cause, too. Diva Banker (1) has enough speed to carve out the early fractions. Will stretch out another 1/2-furlong and that is not in her favor. Will need to milk some early fractions that are realistic for this one to stick around late. I bet the 5 to win/place/show and then key the 5 over/under all the numbers listed in the exactas.
2nd: 9-8/1-7-4/2…This one is wide, wide open and one could make the case for several. By default, a little bit, I will give the edge to Poppy Joe Rocks (9). This 4YO son of Red rocks is out of a Kitten’s Joy mare. Has the breeding to love the AW surface, but that has not shown up in $ over the first two starts with the poly. The last race was not bad, at all, though, and he did close going the 6.5-furlongs in that one. Gets the same rider back and if he can capture that late run a bit earlier tonight, he may be tough to hold off this time and against this bunch. Toothpic (8) is a 5YO son of Graydar and comes off a solid second here last time out on Jan. 2. Faced tougher that day. Will get a slight drop off that effort, and this one has some speed and should be the one to catch. The distance may be the factor here. Gets the cut-back to 5.5 furlongs and that should certainly help. I bet the 9-8 across the board and then box those 2 solidly in one exacta. I will key the 9-8 over/under the rest of the numbers in two shorter versions.
3rd: 1A-7-1/6-8/9-4-3-5…Elle Factor (1A) drops into this spot off a layup and a tougher group. If the 4YO filly by The Factor can find the same run as she flashed the last 3 out, she will be tough to handle and catch. Has speed and will get a rider that has done well for this barn — winning 2 out of 4 over the last 60 days. Only has the 1 win in 15 career starts, but does have 5 seconds and 4 thirds. Better of the two in the entry format. Stellar Stiletto (7) ran a solid race here on Dec. 4. Comes back at the same level with a new rider up. In 3 tries over this surface, she has a second and a third. I bet the 1A to win/place/show and then box the entry with the 7 in a solid exacta. I will key the 1A-7 over/under the 6-8-9-4-3-5 in two smaller versions.
4th: 1-12-6/8-4/(13)-9-2-3-5…This MCL event is wide, wide open and it could be anyone’s guess time. I will go with the rail horse — This Is Me (1). The 3YO gelded son of Doctor Chit (who?) is coming into this one with several key changes to the equipment. First, the blinkers go on for the first time. Barn hits with .33% of those getting the shades for the initial occasion. Second, this one will be treated with the anti-bleeder medication Lasix for the first time, as well. The barn hits with .30% of those. The biggest change, though, is the class drop. Goes from a MSW event level to the MCL group at $7,500 price tag. Huge drop, especially for a gelding who worked a bullet here on Jan. 8. Gets the meet’s top rider to take the reins for the first time, too. Adds up for me. Tadeo (12) is on the other end of the starting gate. This one gets an equipment change, too. The ultimate one. Will race as a gelding for the first time tonight, and drops from $30,000 to the $7,500 level. A hot rider gets the mount for the first time, too. Should be a factor at this level. Man He Can (6) ran well at this level here last time out. Was a long shot in that one, but still was ahead nearing the wire late. Got to figure he’s got a shot with that kind of run, again. I bet the 1-12 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the 1-12 over/under the 6-8-4-(13)-9-2 in two smaller versions.
5th: (13)-3-6-1/2-4/11-10-8-1A-9…Wow. Dart time. Can’t seem to find much to latch onto here, unless Social Circle (13) draws into this one from the AE List. If the 4YO Stay Thirsty filly can get into the gate, I will put on top. Immediately. This one will be dropping from the $15,00 bracket to the bargain bin. It will be the second start off a claim, too, and this barn hits with .22% of them. Trainer is having a nice meet, winning at a .22% clip with 37 runners. Barn has teamed up to go 3-1-0 in the last 5 starts with this rider, too. My choice. If this filly doesn’t get in, though, handicapping becomes a real challenge. I will give the edge to a possible long shot in Skip and a Hop (3), who is 8-1 in the ML. This one is dropping off a poor performance against tougher last time out. Two races back, though, this one ran a solid one here against these types. Ran a huge one at KEE back in October against much, much tougher. Back class there. I bet the 13 if she gets in. If not, I will go with the 3 across the board. I box the top 3 in one exacta. I key the 13-3 over/under the 6-1-2-4-11-10 in two smaller versions. I tread lightly.
6th: 5-9-11/2-7/10-8-6/3…Golden Gift (5) gets my checkmark here. This 11YO gelded son of Lemon Drop Kid raced 9 times last year. Won only once. But had 2 seconds and 3 thirds. Drops to the bargain bin for the first time since winning at this level at Arlington Park back in September. Barn hits with .22% of them returning as a beaten favorite. Gets a new rider here, and this one is 3-3-1 in 9 starts over the AW. My choice. Rio Seco (9) drops from a $13,500 price tag to the bin. Barn hits with .22% of those getting this kind of class plunge. In 15 tries over the poly, this one has a 3-3-3 mark. One to beat? I think so. Man of Blues (11) has some speed and with a good break today, this one could be the one to catch. Goes from a sprint to a route tonight. That angle may actually help this one and the barn hits with .29% on that move. I can’t dismiss at some nice odds. I bet the 5-9 across the board and then box the top 3 in one exacta. I will key the top 3 over/under the 2-7 in two smaller versions.
7th: 3-7/4-5-2-1/6-9…Summer Delivery (3) will be making her first start ever over the AW surface, and that truly is the question mark here. Barn hits with .17% of those that make this surface switch, and this one has run some big races against top notch competition in the past. Working well in prep for this one, too. Rider has won with 1 of 4 for this barn here. And, this trainer is highly under-rated. Can get the job done without a lot of fanfare. Beware here. Bizzee Mischief (7) has proven to be a real runner over this track. Has won all 4 efforts over this AW track. In 13 lifetime tries on poly, this 6YO Into Mischief mare has a mark of 7-1-3. Won easily here on Jan. 2. Barn has been hot all meet. and this rider has won with .46% of the 13 rides for the barn here. The one to beat, for sure. Has speed. And, lots of it. Tough to catch. I bet the 3 to win/place/show and then box the 3-7 in one exacta. I will key the 3-7 over/under the 4-5-2-1 in two smaller versions.
8th: 3/8-2/1-6-11-9/(14)-5-7-12…The first Key Play of the Night will come into this one off a layup that extends to December. December of 2018. Didn’t run a single race in all of 2019. And, he is now a 7YO son of Unbridled’s Song. Dangerous to plunk a lot on a horse of that age, who has been off for that long. Granted. But this one — if he has anything left in the tank at all — should be the best on the track just like he is the best on paper here. The barn is known for getting them ready off the bench, and the owner is the trainer, too. Why spend so much time getting one like this back to the races if they can’t run. Right? This guy can run. Or, at the very least, he used to be able to. Has a win and 2 seconds over the AW, too. I end the night with this one. I bet the 3 to win/place/show and then key the 3 over/under all the numbers listed.
Good Luck & All the Best/Gene