(Mayfield…We will dedicate any Pick 5 winner to the recovery of devastated city. I hope you will consider a donation, too.)

Total Day Results 8 / 2-0-5
2021 Overall 1,852 1852 / 692-654-865
Win % of Top Pick 37.37%
Payoff% of Top 3 Picks Overall 39.79%
2021 Top Pick in the Money Overall — 1,246-1,852 67.28%
2021 Top Selection ITM / TP 34-64 53.13%
2021 Top Selections Win / TP 21-64 32.81%
“Key Horses” @ TP 7 / 2-3-0 28.57% Win / 71.43% ITM
“Key Horses” in 2021 280/ 126-64-24 45.00% Win / 76.43% ITM
“Longshots of Day” @ TP 9 / 0-1-2 00.00% Win / 33.33% ITM
“Longshots of Day” @IGR (11-11-21) 21/4-1-0 19.095% Win / 23.81% ITM
“Longshots of the Day” @ SAR (8-28-21) 4/0-2-0 00.00% Win / 50.00% ITM
“Longshots of the Day” @ KY Downs 19/2-1-2 10.53% Win / 26.20% ITM
“Key Horses” @ Breeders’ Cup 2/1-0-0 50.00% Win / 50.00% ITM
“Longshots of the Day” @ Breeders’ Cup : 2 / 1-0-1 50.00% Win / 100.00% ITM

I know. I know. We recalibrated the ole’ system and we still only had 2 winners on the Thursday night card. So much for reinvention, right?

Well…I see some positives.

Well…I think we made some improves.

Well…I think we might be on the road to recovery.

But you know what they say about “wells,” don’t you?

They are a deep subject.

Although we had only two winners on the card, we did just miss the early Pick 5 carryover extravaganza and the return for 4 out of 5 got me even for the bet. In addition, we did nail exactas that returned $47.80, $13.50, $18.30 and $9.70 for each $1 played correctly.

I think we are getting closer.

I can feel it.

I can sense it.

Maybe tonight?

Well…maybe.

Here’s our looks:

1st: 1-9-8/4/3-11-2/10-7/6-5…We will go to the rail and to the #1 horse in the #1 race tonight. Hannity (1) is now a 7YO gelding, but is coming off a near-miss 2nd in the last race up at Hawthorne on Dec. 3. Has raced over the AW 11 times previously. Has only 1 win. But does have 4 seconds. Maybe this new rider can find the formula. Trainer is 2-1-0 in the last 4. Risky Town (9) drops to the bargain bin for the first time in while. Last time offered up for this sum, he won at Belterra back in June. Has been away and the barn does not fare well with coming off the bench. Only .02% in the last 50 away this long. Hmmm. Honorable Hero (8) sports a ton of speed and will be the one to catch on the front end here. Gets a clever rider, who has performed very well the 2nd half this year. Winning at a .21% clip in 576 mounts this year. Has 4 wins in the first 25 rides this meet. Chance. I bet the 1-8 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exactas. I will key the top 3 numbers over/under the 4 in two smaller units.

2nd: 2-8/10-5/3-7/1-6-1A/4-9…Tami Ann (2) nearly won the last time out here on Dec. 3. Ran a bang-up 2nd in that one after making the lead in the stretch. Should be fitter for this one and if she doesn’t bounce, she should be closing with a real purpose. Rider is only 3 for 35 so far this meet. Concern. But rode this one expertly last time out. One to beat. Good Alternative (8) is just that in this race. This 4YO Alternation filly has raced here twice before, with one 2nd place finish. Has a deep, late kick and will need some racing room. Can she find it? I bet the 2-8 across the board and then box these two in the exactas. I will key the 2-8 over/under the 10-5-3-7-1 in two smaller versions.

3rd: 1-3-4/2-5-8/7-6…I understand now that my top pick will be scratched from this perch. As such, I will tilt to Schenectady Star (3). This 2YO gelding drops another rung in the claiming ranks after a solid effort last time out at Gulfstream Park and over that AW surface. Look for improvement here against the likes of these. Top rider takes the reins. Nice. Midnight JJ (4) could improve off the last outing, when dropped to this level for the first time. Barn wins with .20% when routing for the 2nd time and with .25% when going from the traditional dirt surface over to the AW. Chance. I bet the 3 across the board and then box the 3-4 in the exactas. I will key the 3-4 over/under the rest of the numbers listed in two smaller units.

4th: 4-2-6/1-7/5-8/3-9…Alydarius (4) gets the nod here. The 6YO mare will make the first start for the new barn operation after the ship North from Gulfstream Park. New trainer wins with .22% on the first try. This one has been running over the different AW surfaces. Has a 1-0-1 mark in 7 previous tries. Should appreciate the drop to the bargain bin here. Has some speed. Needs to break well to use it. New rider can jump from the gate. L.A. Star (2) ran 2nd last time out and has hit the board on 4 of the last 5 outings. But over the AW? Zero for 5. Not even close. Hmmm. Seductive (6) has a productive 2-1-0 record in 8 previous runs here, and gets a new rider for the return to the gate. Off since August, but the barn can win off the bench. Look out here at a square price. I bet the 4-6 across the board and then box the top 3 numbers in the exactas. I will key the top 3 numbers over/under the 1-7 in two smaller units.

5th: 4-7-10/11/1-6-8-9-3/2-5-12…Lucky Us (4) gets my top pick here. This 3YO daughter of Palace Malice comes if off a nice 2nd at this same level at Churchill Downs on Nov. 10. Set the fractions for most of that one and should make the lead here. Gets a rider who has won with .15% of the first 27 mounts so far this meet, and should be hard to catch here. Sweet Spin (7) will get back to the AW surfaces, where she is a 1-0-1 in 3 previous starts here. Should like this level, too. Looks like she could be a tough out with a top rider up. My first “Longshot Special of the Night.” I’m all in here. Thirteen Stripes (10) is another longshot possible. Ran 3rd against tougher at Indy Grand last time out. Has never tried the AW, but could like it a lot. Chance. I bet the 4-7 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exactas. I will key the top 3 numbers over/under the 11 in two smaller units.

6th: 5-7-6/1/8-3/4-2…Bugle of War (5) is a 3YO son of War Front and sold at the 2019 KEE September Yearling Sale for a hefty $400,000. You can have him for a modest $15,000 here. Won at KEE in October and now drops below that asking price. Should fit here as a first-time gelding, too. Look out. I bet the 5 to win/place/show and then box the top 3 in the exactas. I will key the top 3 numbers over/under the 1 in two smaller units.

7th: 10-9-12/3-4-8/2-7/6-11/1-5…Top Gun Girl (10) gets the services of the meet’s best rider after breaking the MSW at KEE last time out for trainer Wesley Ward. Looks to be training lights out, too. Tough little allowance feature here, but I will make this one my first “Key Play of the Night.” I bet: The 10 across the board and then box the top 3 numbers in the exactas. I will key the 10 over/under the 9-12-3-4-8-2-7 in two smaller units.

8th: 6-1/8-5/10-12/2-3-4-7…Hidden Identity (6) will get my top spot in the night’s finale. Ran a huge one at this bargain bin level last time out at Woodbine. Wheels right back for the same price tag here. Looks like she will get a sales ticket in this spot, and in 6 previous tries over the AW, she is a 2-1-0 record. Gets a top rider. Look for this one to motor late. Bt expect this one to motor on, too. I bet the 6 to win/place/show and then box the 6-1 in the exactas. I will key the 6-1 over/under the 8-5-10-12 in two smaller units.

Good Luck & All the Best / Gene