Day Results 7/2-0-3
2020 Overall 173 173/61-50-63
Win % of Top Pick 35.26%
Payoff % of Top 3 Picks Overall 33.53%
2020 Top Pick in the Money –116-173 67.05%
Top Selection ITM / TP Winter-Sprng 107-159 67.30%
Top Selection Win / TP Winter-Spring 57-159 35.85%
“Key Horses” @ TP Winter-Spring 24-4-9-5 16.67% Win / 75.00% ITM
“Key Horses” in 2020 25-5-9-5 20.00% Win / 76.00% ITM

We managed to cobble out 2 winners from 7 races at Turfway Park on Valentine’s Day Night. But we handicapped only 7 of the 8 races. We are in Hot Springs, AK this weekend for a little business and R&R. And, ran out of time before we were able to get the 8th and final handicapped on Friday night. Had a great group to speak to and converse with on Friday. What a delightful and enjoyable experience.

Great people. Polite people. Nice people.

Got to just love the South, don’t you?

Out of the 7 races we handicapped, though, we finished the night on a bang. Had the winner that returned $18.40 for each $2 played across the board and splashed an exacta that returned $72.20 for every $1 plunked down.

That gives us some spending money for today and tonight. And, what a day of racing. Enjoy the races at the Fair Grounds. I’ll be watching those Stakes on the TV, while enjoying the live action at Oaklawn Park.

Then, I will retire to some Turfway Park for the nightcaps.

Here’s are picks for Turfway Tonight:

1st: 8/2-10-9-7…My first Key Play of the Night comes in the first offering. I will go with Mister Carson (8), who is trained by one of my best friends who I have never met in person — Thomas Drury. I have enjoyed this man’s work from afar for a very long time. Kentucky based. Kentucky strong. And, he does it the right way. So far this meet, he has a 3-6-2 record in 22 starts, but I think he will finish strong. Starting right here. Mister Carson is a 3YO gelded son of To Honor and Serve and is owned in part by my great friend, Dr. David Richardson. What a class act this guy is. Top notch. The colt drops from the $15,000 tag to the $7,500 level tonight. Ran a good one before tiring in the late going on the stretch out to the route for the first time. Returns in a two-turn event tonight and the barn hits with .25% routing for the 2nd time. Trainer also scores with .33% of those dropping this much in one swoop, too. Dam of this one was a Stakes winner. Wishing the connections all the best. I’m jumping on board. I bet the 8 to win/place/show and then key the 8 over/under the rest of the numbers listed in the exacta.

2nd: 3-1/5-4-11/10-2-8…Stormy Pacific (3) is the firm choice here. Almost a “Key Play,” too. Comes from a barn, that is sneaky good. Returns as a beaten favorite, too, and the barn hits with .20% of the last 41 that fit that description. Has been awfully good of late, as well. Two wins and a near miss here last time out. Was in the 3-path in that one, too. Look for this one to be motoring late. Will need some racing luck. But good luck trying to beat this 9YO gelded son of Stormy Atlantic, too. Nuttin’ Faster (1) has raced here 4 previous times with only one 2nd to show on the resume. That came two starts back. Had dead aim on the winner and just couldn’t get by. Last time out, this one went off at odds-on favoritism. Ran a disappointing 4th — especially to those that backed him. Look for more tonight, but I think a “under” play is better. I bet the 3 to win/place/show and then box the 3-1 in one exacta. I will key the 3 over/under the 1-5-4-11-10-2-8 in two smaller versions.

3rd: 4/5-7/10-11/1-3-2…Vehement (4) is my second Key Play of the Day. And, just like the first, this one comes from the barn of Mr. Drury — one of the best young trainers around these parts. This 4YO son of War Front has not started since last August, when he was in the barn of Bill Mott. Gives away some race conditioning of late to some of the rest in this field, but this one has the best numbers. Hands down until the rider decides to shake them. Of the first 7 career races, he has not made an appearance in the winner’s circle yet — but does have 2 seconds and 3 thirds against much, much better competition. Goes for the ownership team of Claiborne Farm and Adele Dilschneider. Looking to snap that maiden. Looks to me that it happens tonight. I bet the 4 to win/place/show and then key the 4 over/under the numbers listed. But I use much more over the 5-7-10-11.

4th: 1-6/5-8-7-4/2…John’s Rock (1) is likely to face a monster today, but I think this 3YO son of Bernardini is up to the challenge. Definitely has the experience edge. Returns as a beaten favorite, and the barn hits with .29% of those kind. Cut back in distance will certainly help some, IMO. Will likely to come running in the turn. Barn has a 3-5-0 mark in just 18 starts this meet and is highly underrated. Look out here. Merchants of Cool (6) is the “monster.” Perhaps. Won here by 10 lengths last time out in only the 2nd career start for trainer Wesley Ward. Is nominated for the Triple Crown, too. Must like him a little. Has the speed and is likely to push from the get-go. May be gone. We shall see. I bet the 1 to win/place/show and then box the 1-6 in the exacta. I will key the 1-6 over (only) the rest of the numbers.

5th: 11-1/9-12/2-3-5/7-8-(13)…Another very nice MSW event on a card that is full of intrigue and good horses. I will give the edge to Bigmancan (11). This 3YO son of Man the Can is coming out of a race where he ran second, but the beat a horse by the name of Mo Mosa. The latter came back and won impressively here this week. Bigmancan has run 8 times and has only 2 seconds and a third. A bit on the inconsistent level and may hang a bit when the real running begins. But if he runs back the same race as last time out? Look out here. Hard Target (1) is the 3YO son of More Than Ready that banged and knocked with the “monster” in the last race out here. Speed vs speed in that one and this one gave way in the end. Lost by 10. But may be ready for a re-do tonight. Look out for the 9-12, too. First time starters may surprise at some nice odds. I bet the 11 to win/place/show and then box the 11-1 in one exacta. I will key the 11-1 over/under the 9-12-2-3-5 in two smaller versions.

6th: 1-2/7-4/5-8-9-6/3…Another nice allowance event, which will be contested at the flat, 1-mile distance. Rogue Too (1) is a 4YO daughter of First Dude and has won 4 times in a row and has 6 wins in 7 tries over this surface. Those are some high credentials for a barn that has won with .24% of the last 82 runners attempting to win off a previous win. Barn also scores at a .25% clip over the AW surface. This one is the speed and is likely to motor from the inside post. Miss Mosaic (2) is moving up to face winners for the first time after breaking the maiden here last time out at the distance. Beat a horse that came right back to win the next time out, as well. Over the last two starts, when treated with Lasix, this one has a near-miss second and a run-away, impressive win. Don’t dismiss here in a wide open affair. I bet the 1-2 across the board and then box those 2 in the exacta. I will key the 1-2 over/under the 7-4-5-8-9-6 in two smaller versions.

7th: 10-7-4/2-9-5/6-11-1-8…This is a Stakes-caliber field lining up for a high-end allowance race at the TP tonight. I will go with Naughty Joker (10). This 4YO daughter of Into Mischief is trained by Wesley Ward, who is winning at an amazing .34% clip at this current TP meet. Has a 15-7-7 mark in 44 starts. This SW gal ran 3rd here in December in the first start since last April. Won a Stakes over this track in March. Ran 2nd against the colts in a Stakes event as a 2YO, too. Has been training well over this surface. Should be much more fit for this one. Has the stalking style to be tough in this spot. New Roo (7) ran third to the top pick in that Stakes here last year. Since then, she ran 5th in the G3 Edgewood Stakes at KEE and then won a tough allowance event at Churchill Downs last June. Off since then. Barn hits with .26% off a layup, though. In 7 career starts, this 4YO filly has a 2-1-2 mark and has a win and a third in three starts over the AW. Should by lapped on the top horse from the start. The Upset Special of the Night just may be Twin Channel (4). This one is 8-1 in the ML, and may outrun those odds. Ran a nice 3rd here on Jan. 10, coming off a 7-month layup. Lost by less than 2 when rallying late that night. Should be much fitter tonight, and has a 2-0-1 mark in 4 starts over this surface. Look for this one to be a tough out, too. I bet the 10-4 across the board and then box the top 3 in one exacta. I will key the 10-4 over/under the 7-2-9-5-6 in two smaller versions.

8th: 9-3-1/(14)/(13)-6/11-10/2-4…A wide open affair to end a tremendous race card. If the AE horses get in, then you have to consider. If not, I will go with The Other Breeze (9) on top. This one came from way, way back to win last time out at huge odds. The meet’s top rider sticks on board and it was just five races ago that this one was contesting the likes of $30,000 claimers. May be able to repeat in this finale. Carin (3) won here at this level just two starts back. Couldn’t sustain the late run against tougher last time out, but does have a 3-1-1 mark in 8 starts here. I have to consider here. Gotsomemojo (1) was beaten as the favorite last time out, and the barn scores with .17% of those returning to the starting gate. In three starts here, has a 1-1-1 record. Another closer likely to find the best strides late. If the #14 gets in, I have to use in the mix, too. I bet the 9-1 across the board and then box the top 3 in one exacta. I will key the 9-1 over/under the 3-6-11-10 in two smaller versions.

Good Luck & All the Best / Gene