Day Results 8/1-5-4
2019 Overall 1,457 1,457/507-530-649
Win % of Top Pick 34.80%
Payoff % of Top 3 Picks Overall 38.57%
2019 Top Pick in the Money –956 of 1,457 65.61%
Top Selection ITM / TP Holiday 9-16 56.25%
Top Selection Win / TP Holiday 4-16 25.00%
“Key Horses” @ TP Holiday 1-0-0-0 0.00%
“Key Horses” in 2019 216-83-43-22 38.43%

It was not a pretty sight at Turfway Park on Thursday night. Not for my top picks. We managed to boot home just a single winner on the 8-race card. Yet?

Yet, we managed to save both face and pocket book a tad with some nice exacta hits, if you were scoring at home. And, obviously, we are hoping that you were.

We managed to hit exactas that returned $26.80; a whopping $88.30 (and we suggested a double play there, too); and $18.70. All those returns were for a single $1 payoff. And, if you hit those? Then you hit OK for the night.

We were alive all the way until the final frame in the Pick 6 with our “A” selections. Dragon Drew was coming late and just missed at the wire, or we might still be dancing in the streets.

Might be.

1st: 2-7/3-9-8/6-10-11…Sofia’s Slugger (2) gets the nod here. This 2YO gelded son of Tapiture cost $60,000 at a 2YO sale earlier this year. Has never been close at the wire, to date, but drops from the $25,000 tag to the near-basement tonight. Got Lasix for the first time last time out. Barn hits with .30% of those getting treated for the second time. Barn has hit with .32% of the 401 runners this year. Knows how to spot them. Love the 6-1 ML odds, too. I bet the 2 to win/place/show and then box the 2-7 in one exacta. I will key the 2-7 over/under the 3-9-8-6 in two smaller ones.

2nd: 7-10/2-11-8/4-(14)/3-5-9…Floroplus (7) drops into the claiming ranks for the first time ever and goes to the bottom for this one. True fire sale. Is a deep closer that may like the all-weather surface for the first time. Has 4 wins in 13 starts, and has had serious trouble in the last two starts. Clean run tonight? Maybe it’s time. I bet the 7 to win/place/show and then box the 7-10 in one exacta. I will key the 7-10 over/under the 2-11-8-4 in two smaller ones.

3rd: 8-9-11/5-1/10…Tidal Effect (8) gets a slight edge in this spot. Drops from $50,000 tag level to the $15,000 category here. Winner of the race two back came right back to win. In 7 starts at this distance, this one has a win and 4 seconds. Blinkers go back on and the barn hits with .38% of them. Barn also hits with .24% of those that drop this much in one swoop. One to beat. Sunday Scaries (9) goes for a talented young trainer that has won with .23% of this limited runners this year. This one broke the maiden last time out in September. Moves to the all-weather, where she ran a good one at Presque Isle back in May against much tougher. Look for a solid effort and will close at this distance. Sea Shark (11) could have a big chance at a price, too. Work on Dec. 1 was solid and this one sold for $310,000 at the KEE September Yearling Sale in 2017. Now being offered up for $15,000. I bet the 8-9 across the board and then box the top 3 numbers in one exacta. I will key the top 3 numbers over/under the 5-1 in two smaller versions.

4th: 6-7-12/5/4-3-11-9/10-(13)…Bizzee Channel (6) is another from the barn of Larry Rivelli, who has had another super year. Has speed to burn and may be tough to catch at this one. Should improve with this shorter distance. But has not raced in 56 days. This one is my first Key Play of the Day. I bet the 6 to win/place/show and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the 6 over/under the 7-12-5-4-3-11-9 in two smaller versions.

5th: 9-7/2-8-10/11-5-12-1…Holiday Inaugural Stakes…Jean Elizabeth (9) is an Illinois-bred, but she has tremendous speed, too. Has raced over an all-weather surface on 11 occasions. Has a record of 7 wins, 3 seconds and a third to show for those efforts. Is 7-5 odds in the ML and will offer little true value, but she is truly the top performer in this event. I  bet the 9 to win/place and then box the 9-7 in one exacta. I will key the 9 over/under the 7-2-8-10-11 in two smaller versions.

6th: 12-9/7-6-10-(14)/3-1-11-(13)…Sequin (12) has 3 seconds in the 4 career starts, and looks tremendous in this spot tonight. This one cost $500,000 at a 2YO sale back in March. Only time off the board was in a G1 event. The barn hits with .34% of those that go from turf to all-weather surface. Work here on Nov. 22 was spectacular. Looks unbeatable here. My second Key Play of the Day. I bet the 12 to win/place/show and then box the 12-9 in one exacta. I will key the 12 over/under the 9-7-6-10-(14) in two smaller versions.

7th: 8-6/9-4-1/3-5/2…Memorable (8) ran a good one as the beaten-favorite last time out at KEE in October. In 7 lifetime starts so far, has a win, a second and a third when facing some really good ones. Will try the all-weather for the first time tonight, but has the breeding and the racing style to be a tough out in here tonight. Solid choice. Predator (6) broke the maiden in a cake walk last time out at Churchill Downs. Stretches out to a route for the first time, and the  barn hits with ./25% of those. Will offer a stern test and may be too tough to catch if given a soft lead. I bet the 8-6 across the board and then box the top 2 in the exacta. I will key the 8-6 over (only) the 9-4-1-3-5 in two smaller versions.

8th: 5-11-3/7-2-(13)/4-1…The last event of the night is a wide, wide, wide open affair, but I will give the edge to East and Union (5). This 3YO daughter of Into Mischief cost a hefty $200,000 at a 2YO sale last year. Has won $6,000+ since. Now, she is offered up for the $5,000 tag. Probably will get snared out of this one and may end up in the breeding shed, but she may just actually win this heat, too. Blinkers go back on. Barn hits with .06% of those dropping this far. Chance. Tay Town (11) is another dropper, going from $12,500 to the $5,000 tag tonight. Will need to improve, but the barn hits with .33% when getting this kind of class plunge. Chance. She’s Super Cool (3) has not raced since July. Of 2016. But ran 2nd in a MSW event then. Has returned from the long, long layoff to work bullets. Hard to imagine she is fully cranked off that long a time off, but she doesn’t have to be. Love the odds here, too. Upset Special of the Night. I will bet the 5-3 across the board and then box the top 3 numbers in the exacta. I will key the 5-3 over/under the 11-7-2-(13)-4-1 in two smaller versions.

Good Luck & All the Best/Gene