(New Year’s Eve at The Louisville Thoroughbred Society. Our best imitation of Aykroyd, Belushi and Candy.)

Day’s Results 8 /2-1-3
2023 Overall — 58 58 / 17-20-26
Win % of Top Pick 29.31%
Payoff % of Top 3 Picks Overall 36.21%
2023 Only / Top Pick in the Money Overall — 31-58 53.45%
2023 Only / Top Pick in the Money @ TP — 31-58 53.45%
2023 Only / Top Pick Wins @ TP 17-58 29.31%
2023 Only / “Key Horses” @ TP 6/2-1-1 33.33% Win / 66.67% ITM

(Stats to be updated after Turfway Park’s Friday night card)

Here’s our looks for Saturday’s matinee performances:

1st: 1-10/2-7/6/9/3-5-8/11/4…Link to Destiny (1) gets the nod in the ole’ lid-lifter at the new and improved Turfway Park on this Saturday afternoon. This 7YO gelding raced just twice in 2021 and just twice in 2022. Will make the 2023 debut here. Did run a very nice 4th here coming from way, way, way back on Dec. 7. If he can stick to the front traffic a bit closer? Look out. Gets the meet’s top rider up and the barn has won with .43% of the first 21 starts to the meet. One to beat. Fed Money (10) drops a few rungs on the claiming ladder and gets to the “bargain bin” for the first time. This barn wins with .40% of the last 20 to drop this much at one time. Rider has won with .22% this meet — not bad for the apprentice. Should love this level. I bet the 1-10 across the board and then box these two in the exactas. I will key the 1-10 over/under there 2-7-6-9 in two smaller units.

2nd: 1-8/2-9-4/6-10//3-5/7…Texas Gano (1) is the one to beat in this 1-mile trip over the Tapeta. This one has raced here 3 times before and will be coming late in the proceedings here. Rider has been up before and has a modest amount of success. Barn is 0-for-16 to start the meet. May get off the “duck” here. Stewards Rules (8) has run over this track 6 times, previously. Has a 1-1-0 record on the resume. Rider is 0-for-63 to start the meet. Ugh. I bet the 1 across the board and then box the 1-8 in the exactas. I will key the 1 over/under the 8-2-9-4-6-10 in two smaller units. 

3rd: 7-9/2/6-10/1-5-8/3/4…Enjoy the Music (7) is trained by a barn operator who is winning at a .31% clip this meet after the first 16 starts. Has won with .26% of the last 363 to make the gate. Good start. Rider has won with .36% of the last 14 for this trainer, too. Won the last time out and this trainer wins with .31% of the last 408 to return as a winner. Looks promising. I bet the 7 across the board and then box the 7-9 in the exactas. Sternly. Stern. Ly. I will key the 7-9 over/under the 2-6-10 in two smaller units. 

4th: 11-7/5-6/1-9-10/4-12/2-3-8…Sacred Rider (11) goes for a trainer who is off to a so-so start to this meet and the transition to the Midwest. This one reared at the start in the last outing and dropped the rider (who just happens to be the meet’s top jockey). Gets the apprentice now and that weight allowance will help. Pure speed here and that rarely holds up over this surface. Carom (7) picks up the transfer of the meet’s top rider. This one is now 8YOs and went 0-0-0 in 6 starts last year. Drops to a career-low price tag here for a barn that is 0-for-9 this meet. Interesting. But contender. I bet the 11-7 across the board and then box these two in the exactas. I will key the 11-7 over/under the 5-6-1-9-10 in two smaller units. 

5th: 10/7-4-5/3-9-11/2/6//1-8…The first “Key Play of the Day” comes here with Safe Travels (10). This 4YO daughter of Liam’s Map has a win in the last race here and the first over the AW surface. Came with a late rush to get the win. Runner-up came right back to win the next outing, too. Trainer off to an extremely slow start to this meet. Just 1 win (with this one) in the first 22 starts. I bet the 10 across the board and then key the 10 over/under the 7-4-5-3-9-11-2-6 in the exactas. 

6th: 3-8-1/5/4/6/2-7-9…This is a very nice allowance event with a purse over $76,000. I go with Lucci (3) in this spot. The 4YO gelded son of Not This Time is coming off a long layoff, and ran in Stakes in the past two outings. Barn does win with .25% of this type of a layoff, and gets the meet’s top rider up. Has won with .33% of the last 9 outings for this barn. Sharp work here on Jan. 7. Trainer has gone 4-3-0 in the last 10. Look out here. Look. Out. I bet the 3 across the board and then box the top 3 numbers in the exactas. I will key the top 3 numbers over/under the 5-4 in two smaller units. I will also key the 3 over/under the 8-1-5-4-6 in two smaller units. 

7th: 6/1-3-10/2-5-9-11//4//7-8…Likely Exchange Stakes…The next “Key Play of the Day” comes here with Kate’s Kingdom (6). This 5YO daughter of Animal Kingdom (who had a big win here, too), ran a huge one in the My Charmer Stakes last time out. Came with an inside-outside rush to the wire in the lane. Perfect placing in the zig-zag attack. But this is a 1/16-mile shorter and may present an issue on timing. Has won two in a row, though, and has hit the board in last 6 outings and 7 of the last 8. Looks formidable here. Very formidable. I bet the 6 across the board and then double down on the win wager. I will key the 6 over/under the 1-3-10-2-5-9-11 in the exactas. More with the 1-3-10 than the rest. 

8th: 12-9-(14)/10-7/1-5-8-11/2-3-13//6…The finale is a 11/16-mile affair over the AW surface, and I go with Freedom Machine (12). This one is trained by one of the top young trainers in the game today and drops to a career-low price tag. The New York-bred will make the first start for the new trainer, who wins with .29% of the last 35 to make the barn debut. Look out here. Could love this surface. Love. Amazon Queen (9) drops in class here, too, and goes for a trainer who has won 2 of the last 3 outings here. Blinkers come off and the barn wins with .22% when that happens. Chance. Decree of Love (14) has a shot, too, if the Declaration of War filly draws in from the AE List. Has hit the board in each of the last 3 outings and looks poised for a big effort. I bet the 12 across the board and then box the top 3 numbers in the exactas. I will key the 12 over/under the 9-14-10-7-1-5-8-11 in two smaller units. 

Good Luck & All the Best / Gene