(Field Pass after the 2020 Jeff Ruby Steaks at Turfway Park / Photo by Courtney Snow)

Total Day Results 8/ 2-2-3
2021 Overall 404 404 / 132-139-165
Win % of Top Pick 32.67%
Payoff% of Top 3 Picks Overall 35.97%
2021 Top Pick in the Money Overall — 244-404 60.40%
2021 Top Selection ITM / TP 168-276 60.87%
2021 Top Selections Win / TP 93-276 33.70%
“Key Horses” @ TP 46 / 21-9-3 45.65% Win / 71.74% ITM
“Key Horses” in 2021 64 / 31-13-3 48.44% Win / 73.44% ITM

Turfway Park’s Selections for Friday Night:

1st: 7-5/1-6-4/3-2…Hulda (7) is a 3YO filly by Candy Ride and trained by one of Turfway Park’s newest and best trainers — Jonathan Thomas. This guy — who made a name and a game when he had Catholic Boy in his barn — has won with .42% of his 26 starters here this meet. When he gives a leg up to Chris Landeros? They win with .50%. They team up here on a horse that has never been closer than 13 lengths at the wire in the first two starts. But? But this one was “eliminated” on the first turn in the career debut in January and then took a “bad step” in the first turn last time out. If this one can get past the first turn? Look out. Adds blinkers for the first time and drops into the MCL ranks for the first time, as well. Barn wins with .24 and .33% of those kind, respectively. I give another shot here. Big time. Celestial Spin (5) returns to the same level where she has finished 2nd in the past two races here. Spikes a very nice work at KEE on March 4. Gets a new rider, who is red hot, by the way. The one to beat. I bet the 7-5 across the board and then box those two in the exacta. Sternly. I will key the 7-5 over/under the rest of the numbers listed in two smaller versions.

Pick 5: 7-5/3-6-1-9-2-5-8-4/5-3/1-10/5-3…$.50-cent tickets t = $64.00

2nd: 3-6-1/9/2-5-8/4…Celtic Mischief (3) ran a huge one at this price point last time out, and should be able to improve off that mark. Has speed, but normally doesn’t carry it all the way to the wire. Barn is winning at only a .09% rate and typically gets over-bet, too. Pass for me. Hopped Up (6) is an Indiana-bred who won here last time out for the $5,000 tag. Moves up a notch and the barn wins with .13% when trying to repeat in the claiming ranks. In 9 previous tries over the AW? Has a 1-2-3 mark. Hmmm. Call West (1) goes for a trainer who I know zero about or ever heard of in these parts. Has only 23 starts over the past two years and still looking for the winner’s circle. Has run 2nd here in the last two and that should give this deep closer an outside shot. Rider is under-rated, and can finish what he starts. I bet? Who knows. Got a dart. Got to spread out here, to be sure, in the Pick 5. Otherwise? Double your money by folding it in half and sticking it back in your pocket.

3rd: 5-3/8-4-7-2/1-6…Waris (5) is a first-timer for the barn of Jonathan Thomas. He wins with .18% of those that make the debut in the MCL ranks. Training very well and gets the best rider in these parts. Dam has a winner from 3 starters, and the mom was a Stakes winner. Adds up for me. Margaret Drive (3) ran a very nice 2nd here on March 6 at the same level. Led for nearly every inch of that one except for the inch that mattered — at the wire. Daughter of California Chrome will be the one to catch, again. I bet the 5-3 across the board and then box those two in the exacta. Sternly. I will key those 2 over/under the 8-4-7-2-1-6 in two smaller versions.

4th: 1-10/6-3-2/4-7/9-8…Floroplus (1) was a tout of ours the last time out and the 7YO gelding romped home in front by nearly 5 lengths. Has two wins in row here now and in 7 lifetime starts in Northern KY? Has a 4-2-1 mark. Have to put on top again for an under-rated barn operation, who wins with .27% when they won the last time out, too. Alien Season (10) is located at the other extreme of the starting gate, and will be closing late in this affair. If this 7YO gelding can find a clear path late? Look out. Ran 3rd to our top pick last time out. Was wide in that one. Gets the meet’s winningest rider up. Chance. I bet the 1 across the board and then box the 1-10 in the exacta.  I will key the 1-10 over/under all the numbers listed in two smaller units.

5th: 5-3/10-7-1/2-6-8-11/9/4…Royal Kitten (5) is a 3YO gelded son of Kitten’s Joy and trained by Wesley Ward for an owner that he has sued for lack of payment on his care. Interesting dynamic. Karma? But this one ran a huge one here off the layup last time out. Nearly won that one as the PT favorite. Returns here and the barn wins with .22% in the 2nd start off a comeback and with .29% as the beaten favorite. Gets a top rider. One to beat. Eagle Cap (3) is yet another for the duo of Thomas-Landeros. They will not be shut out, to be sure. This one is a first time starter and another who is working lights out. Cannot dismiss. Reminder. Cannot dismiss. I bet the 5-3 across the board and then box those two in the exacta. Sternly. I will key the 5-3 over/under the 10-7-1-2-6-8-11 in two smaller units.

6th: 7/5-1-4-2/8-3/6…The first “Key Play of the Night” comes here with Can’tbetemall (7). This trainer has posted a 4-1-0 record here in the first 9 starts and that computes to a win percentage of .44. Over the last 118 starts, she has won with .35%. This one nearly won here last time out when coming late, and gets the top rider back for another try here. In two starts here? Has 2 seconds. Might as well add a win. I bet the 7 to win/place/show and then key the 7 over/under all the numbers listed in the exactas.

7th: 6-1/8-7/5-3-2/9-8…Dabo (6) has run over this track 5 times in the past. Has only a third to show on the resume. But this one has been close in times past and ran a better-than-looks 4th here last time out. Before that, came very wide and very late to be 5th in a Stakes race here in early January. Doesn’t face those kind here and should muster a better trip coming off the “Z Pattern” in the last two. Closed two back. Flashed speed in the last. My pick at a square price. Haunt (1) is a super well-bred son of Ghostzapper who has often figured out a way to lose, rather than a way to win. Just missed here the last time out and that was a marked improvement over the first try with the AW surface. If he improves again? Look out. Trainer is having a nice meet, with 5 wins and 4 thirds in 19 starts. One to beat. I bet the 6-1 across the board and then box those two in the exacta. I will key the 6-1 over/under the 8-7-5-3-2 in two smaller units.

8th: 2-(13)/6-7-3-12-10/4-5-11…This is tonight’s finale on the eve of the Jeff Ruby Steaks Day card on Saturday. If the #13 does NOT draw in from the AE list, I will go with my second “Key Play of the Night” — Oak Room (2). This 4YO son of Into Mischief has run two 2nds in a row and gets a new rider for this one tonight. Barn has finally started to heat up in Northern Kentucky and the trainer wins with .23% of those that cut back from a route to a sprint. Returns as a beaten favorite, too, and the barn wins with .23% of those kind. If Paintsville (13) gets in, I must respect. This one goes for a trainer who has won with .22% of her 18 starters this meet and despite the massive loss last time out, this one drops all the way from the MSW ranks to the bargain bin. Now, my friends, that is a drop. Works have been good. So? I bet the 2 to win/place/show and then key the 2 over/under the “all button.”

Good Luck & All the Best / Gene