|Tampa Bay Day Results||8 / 4-1-3|
|Turfway Park Day Results||8 / 1-3-3|
|Oaklawn Park Day Results||3 / 0-1-2|
|Santa Anita Day Results||7 / 1-3-5|
|Total Day Results||26 / 6-8-13|
|2021 Overall 193||193 / 57-64-75|
|Win % of Top Pick||29.53%|
|Payoff% of Top 3 Picks Overall||33.85%|
|2021 Top Pick in the Money Overall — 114-185||61.62%|
|2021 Top Selection ITM / TP 79-132||59.84%|
|2021 Top Selections Win / TP 40-132||30.30%|
|“Key Horses” @ TP 19 / 8-3-2||42.11% Win / 68.42%|
|“Key Horses” in 2021 33 / 15-7-2||45.45% Win / 73.73% ITM|
With all the severe weather conditions that we have been dealing with in the Commonwealth of Kentucky and the uncertainty of whether Turfway Park will be able to conduct live racing — or not — we have moved our handicapping glasses and notebook down to New Orleans for our centerpiece of action on Saturday.
Today will be the Louisiana Derby Preview Day and will feature some of the finest racing in all the free world this Saturday.
There are 14 thrilling races.
There are Stakes races galore.
There is a major prep for the KY Oaks and the KY Derby.
There are plenty of horses and betting options.
So, here we are in New Orleans. Virtually. And, here we are handicapping the best races of the day. Here’s our looks:
1st: 3-7-6/5-4-8/2-1…Rookery (3), a 3YO daughter of Hard Spun and trained by Wayne Catalano, will get treated with the Lasix for the first time, and comes into this race off three straight 2nd place finishes. Has burned some betting dollars in the past, and has found a way to hang and get beaten late, too. But the barn wins with .28% when a beaten favorite returns to the starting gate and with .10% when getting the anti-bleeder for the first time, too. Picks a HOF rider for the first time. Adds up for me. Famous Attraction (7) is a well-bred daughter of Into Mischief and the barn is winning with .21% when they convert from the turf over to the main track. This one came from the backside to just be beaten 2 last time out. A little better start, and this one could be a very tough out. Very tough out. Caribbean Capper (6) is another well-bred gal, this one by one of my favorite sires. Will make the debut here, and the barn wins with .20% of those making the first start in the MSW ranks. Sire wins with .16% with first timers, and the trainer is 3-1-2 in the last 9 starts. Sharp work here on Feb. 5, too. Don’t dismiss this one’s chances here. I bet the 3-7 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the 3-7 over/under the 6-5-4-8-2-1 in two smaller units.
2nd: 1-4-5/10/3-6/9-2-11/7…This is an allowance event that is set-up for only the Louisiana-breds. I will go to the rail horse and Ronnie’s Peso (1). This 4YO Afleet Alex filly has never missed the board in the first 4 career starts and is coming in off a very tough-beat 3rd last time out. Looked to have a real chance in that one before being “jostled” at the 1/8th pole. Rider has won with 1 of 2 for this trainer over the last month. Star Prado (4) could spice up the odds rack here. This one is 8-1 in the ML, according to my good friends at Brisnet.com. Ran a huge one last time out and the barn is winning at a .12% clip after 81 mounts this meet. Rider is talented, if not overly successful this winter. In 14 starts, has just one win, but the last effort suggests that she can rally late. Speak to Me (5) is a real contender, despite the fact that she is coming off her MSW win and will face winners for the first time. The trainer is having a super meet and wins with .25% of the last 40 when facing winners for the initial time. Gets a top rider up. Watch out here. I bet the 1-5 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the 1-5 over/under the 4-10-3-6-9-2-11 in two smaller units.
3rd: 8-1-3/2/4-5-7…Onerollofthedice (8) will be making the career debut for trainer Brad Cox, who is winning at a .25% rate here this meet. Barn wins with l18% of the last 502 to make the first start in the career. Works here are spot on. Dam of this one has 3 winners from 4 starters, including a Stakes winner. Adds up for me. Euphoric (1) has notched 2 seconds and a third in the first 6 career starts. Coming off a 2nd last time out, when racing with Lasix for just the second time. Gets a top rider up, who has won with .20% of his 288 mounts this meet. Work on Feb. 5? Spot on. Top notch. Lady Frosted (3) goes for one of the top young trainers in the game today. Ran a “better than looks” 5th in the career debut at Churchill Downs on Nov. 29. Despite a slow start, came with a late rally to make it respectable at the wire. Gets the barn’s go-to rider up today and will benefit from the addition of Lasix, too. Chance. I bet the 8-1 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the top 3 over/under the 2 in two smaller units.
4th: 2-8-1/3-5/6-9…Alejandro (2) is a 3YO son of Curlin and a homebred of the highly successful Stonestreet Stables. Ran second to the highly-regarded Caddo River (a possible KY Derby contender) last time out. Beaten 91/4 lengths that day, but this one was still, and clearly 2nd. Gets Lasix for the first time today. Gets a new rider up, too. Works are late strong and steady. Chance to move up the pecking order today. Run Classic (8) is trained by W. Bret Calhoun, one of the best in the game today. This will be the first try at a route of ground and the barn wins with .15% of those kind. Ran very well here on Jan. 16. Jostled and bumped around in the lane that day and still held a very strong 2nd. Look for more out of this one today. Ghostliner (1) looked to be in a strong position to break the maiden last time out, but spit the bit in the final lane strides. Parachute came out. Will need to find more late, but the breeding is there for this one to be a good one and the work here on Feb. 6 was solid. I bet the 2-8 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the 2-8 over/under the 1-3-5-6-9 in two smaller units.
5th: 6-9-12/4-11/1-1A/3-7/8-10…This is a MSW turf event for the 3YOs, and I will go with Hidden Enemy (6) in this spot. This 3YO son of Galileo is bred for the assignment, and cost $150,000 to purchase at the 2019 KEE September Yearling Sale. Nearly got the job done in each of the last two. Will be running late and closing fast. New rider is a huge, huge, huge move up and that may be all this one needs to make the circle. Sharp Rocket (9) comes from the barn of Brad Cox, and will be making the 2nd career start over the sod — which figures to be a tad giving and soggy. Ran a solid, but unspectacular one last time out. But gets the blinkers for the first time today and the barn wins with .24% of those. Trainer wins with .34% when racing over the sod for the 2nd time. Barn wins with .37% when routing for the 2nd time. And, the rider has won with .21% of the last 29 mounts for this barn, too. Adds up to? Contender. Global Empire (12) will be making the first career start for my great friend and ole’ pal — Louie Roussel. This 3YO son of American Pharoah has been training lights out here and looks well prepped to start the career. Barn wins with .14% in the first start. Chance at some nice odds. I bet the 6-9 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the top 3 numbers over/under the 4-11 in two smaller units.
6th: 3-9-5/2/6-8-4/7…This is a MSW event over the main track and will be contested at 11/16 miles. I saddle up with Mark Casse’s Dolder Grand (3), who is a 3YO son of Candy Ride and who cost $800,000 to purchase as a 2YO last year. In 4 starts to date, this one has a second and 3 thirds. Closing and close each time. Work here on Feb. 6 was nice, and the trainer wins with .25% with horses returning as a beaten favorite. My pick. Sainthood (9) ships in for the barn of Todd Pletcher. This 3YO nearly won last time out at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 9. Inched out at the wire. “Show” horse that day came right back to win the next time out. Barn wins with .25% with those making the 2nd career star and with .27% of those routing for the first time. Shippers? Win percentage is .23%. Chance. Fortified (5) comes from the barn of HOFer Steve Asmussen and will make the career debut here. This one cost $200,000 and the son of American Pharoah comes from a dam that has one winner from 2 previous starters. Works are solid. Barn wins with .13% when first time starters running at the distance of a mile or greater. Maybe? I bet the 3-9 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the 3-9 over/under the 5-2-6-8-4-7 in two smaller units.
7th: 1-4-3/5-7-2/8-9-6…Colonel Power Stakes…Manny Was (1) made his grass debut here on Jan. 16. Man. Oh. Man. What a performance. Came from dead last to win going away at the wire of that 5.5-furlongs event. Returns in a similar spot today and will have to have some racing luck and room late, but looks to be rocking and rolling. Work here on Feb. 5 was spectacular. Look for more good stuff here. Extravagant Kid (4) is the ML favorite, and why not? In 25 starts at this specialty distance, he has a record of 7-9-3. Will be making first start here, though. Last two outs produced very tough-beat 2nds. Lost by a neck in each of those. Has speed and will likely be in a nice stalking position when the real running begins here. Just Might (3) has run 2nd in the last two here, too. Speedster may trying to squeeze away a bit before Manny can begin his late run. Work here on Feb. 7? Great. Simply. Great. I bet the 1 to win/place/show and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the 1 over/under the rest of the numbers in another exacta, as well.
8th: 4-8-9/2-7-3/10-11…Defeater (4) is a 3YO son of Union Rags, and was also entered for the G2 Risen Star a little bit later and in this card. But? I think he will be pointed to this allowance event, instead. Comes in off a spectacular win here on Jan. 2. Came running late off a slow start to win by over 21/4 lengths. Motor-boating in the stretch. Trainer is having a superb meet, winning at the rate of .28%. Rider has won with .29% of the last 51 starts for this barn, too. Big shot. Gagetown (8) has run two straight 2nds, after winning the first career start for the barn of Brad Cox. Rider has won with .28% of the last 46 mounts for this barn operation, and the barn wins with .37% of those making the 2nd route start. This one is. Right here. Whiskey Double (9) will be making the 3rd career start. Won impressively in the debut at Churchill Downs on June 27 of last year. Big effort over a “Place horse” that came right back to win the next time out. Whiskey Double returned to run 3rd to O Besos — another runner in today’s G2 Risen Star a bit later. Look for more out of this one today. Son of Into Mischief stretches out to the route distance for the first time, and the barn wins with .17% of those kind. I bet the 8-9 across the b board and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the 8-9 over/under the 9-2-7-3/10-11.
9th: 9-7-11/3/5-6-4/2-1/8-10…Albert M. Stall Memorial Stakes…This running of the Stakes will be contested at 11/16-miles over the turf course. Secret Message (9) won the last time out here on Jan. 16. In two career starts here now, this 6YO mare by Hat Trick has a win and a third. Barn wins with .27% of those making the 3rd start off the layup. In 6 career starts at this distance, Secret Message has 2 wins and 2 thirds. Third start off the layup? Wins with .27%. Dalika (7) could be a tough out here. This 5YO mare has a ton of speed and will be returning as a beaten favorite against our top pick last time out. Barn wins with .23% in the third start off the vacation, and the jockey/trainer have teamed up to win the last two tries. Tuned (11) could add some real value to his mix. This 5YO British-bred is coming in here off a better-than-looks 4th in the G3 Marshua’s River at Gulfstream Park. Never raced here, but the barn wins with .18% when shipping in. Gets a top rider up. I bet the 9-11 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the top 3 numbers over/under the 3 in two smaller units. I will also key the 9-11 over/under the 7-3-5-6-4-2-1 in two smaller units.
10th: 4-2-1/7/6-3-5…G3 Mineshaft Stakes…What a race. What a field. In fact, one could make a case that this field is just as strong as the G1 Pegasus World Cup several weeks ago. The best of the best has to be Maxfield (4), who is still undefeated after 4 career starts. This son of Street Sense has started and stopped several times in the career. Coming off a layup since December now. But this one has proven to run very well fresh and has proven to be super good, too. Comes with a late run, each time. Can’t go against him here. Wells Bayou (2) won the Louisiana Derby here just a year ago. Since then, he has started just twice. Once in the G1 Arkansas Derby last year. Once in the G3 Louisiana Stakes here on Jan. 16. Flashed speed in each. Faltered late in each. But the barn wins with .27% when making the 2nd start off a layup, and the works for this one are spot on. Speedster will try to take them the entire way. May just be able to do it, too. Enforceable (1) was just spectacular here on Jan. 17 when he won an allowance event by over 8 lengths. This son of Tapit may have figured it all out, now. Look for this one to be either great, or not so great. It may be great. I bet the 4-1 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the top 3 numbers over/under the 7 in two smaller units. I will key the 4 over/under the “all button.”
11th: 8-6-4/7-2-11/9-1-5/10-3…G3 Fair Grounds Stakes…This is a 11/8-mile test over the soggy and yielding grass course. I will go right to the front end with Factor This (8). Last time this son of The Factor was tested over a yielding track, it came at Pimlico last October. Won that one by nearly 3. Over a soft grass course at Ellis Park last year, he won again. Looks to like a little give in the surface. Has speed to burn. Look out. Logical Myth (6) has won two in a row and has not been worse than second in the last 5 starts. Since adding blinkers six starts ago? Has 3 wins; 2 seconds and a third. Look out. Danceteria (4) will make only his seconds start stateside since being shipped to the US from Australia last October. Nearly won at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 13. Came with a rush to just get nipped at the wire. Big jockey change. Will roll late. I bet the 8-6 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the 8-6 over/under the 4-7-2-11-9-1-5 in two smaller units.
12th: 8-1/2-6/4-7/3-5…G2 Rachel Alexandra Stakes…This Stakes event — which will be contested over the main track at 11/16 miles — has suddenly become the ultimate prep for the Kentucky Oaks. And, it could be again this year. The leading contender for Saturday’s race is Time Column (8), who has run two huge wins in the first 3 starts. The only poor performance came in the G1 Alcibiades at KEE last October. Missed the break that day and then was rushed up to get into contention. Lost all energy late that day. But this one can stalk or can come from deep. The key is that this 3YO daughter of Frosted can come. Rider has won with .28% of the last 46 mounts fort this barn. Top work here on Feb. 7. Looks primed. Clairiere (1) ran up against Travel Column last time out — in the G2 Golden Rod Stakes at Churchill Downs on Nov. 28. This one made the lead late, actually, with a huge rally. Only gave up the lead and margin at the wire to the top pick. Daughter of Curlin should be better as a 3YO. We shall see. I bet the 8 across the board and then box the 8-1 in one exacta. I will key the 8 over/under the numbers listed. More with the 1-2-6. Less on the 4-7. Even less with the 3-5.
13th: 11-10-12/2-1-6-13/5-7-4-9/3-8…G2 Risen Star Stakes…Wish I was in NO for this one. Should be a real dandy. I will go to the far outside and saddle up with my top picks — led by Mandaloun (11), who is my “Key Play of the Day.” This 3YO son of Into Mischief ran 3 in the G3 Lecomte to start the new year. But? was wide and never able to get a real shot at the run-off speed that day. This one has returned out of the first career loss with real energy. Last work here on Feb. 6 was spectacular. Gets the blinkers for the first time today, too. And, that is a huge, huge, huge issue. Barn wins with .24% when adding the shades, and by all reports, it has sharpened this one up. A lot. Look out. I’m in. Santa Cruiser (10) is 15-1 in the ML, set by my great friends over at Brisnet.com. I think they are underestimating this one’s chances. I like the 3YO son of Dialed In. This one was bumped hard at the break in the G3 Lecomte and lost all chance to threaten. Go back to the career debut for this one. Ran 3rd against Essential Quality — my early KY Derby favorite. Big shot at a big price for me. Longshot Special. I don’t know if Keepmeinmind (12) will run here or at Oaklawn Park. Has been training very nicely for the 2021 debut, but that has been in Hot Springs. Won the 2020 finale in the G2 Kentucky Jockey Club. Barn can get them ready off the bench, but this field is much, much stronger than the last race. Threat, for sure. I bet the 11-10 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the top 3 over/under the 2-1 in two smaller units. I will also key the 11-10 over/under the 12-2-1-6-13-5. Finally, I will key the 11 over/under all the numbers I listed above.
Good Luck & All the Best / Gene