Day Results 8 / 3-3-2
2021 Overall 128 128 / 42-45-50
Win % of Top Pick 32.81%
Payoff % of Top 3 Picks Overall 35.68%
2021 Top Pick in the Money Overall — 74-128 57.81%
2021 Top Selection ITM / TP 60-104 57.69%
2021 Top Selections Win / TP 33-104 31.73%
“Key Horses” @ TP 13 / 7-2-0 53.85% Win / 69.23% ITM
“Key Horses” in 2021 19 / 11-2-0 57.89% Win / 68.42% ITM

It was a rather strange night up at the “new and improved” Turfway Park on Friday night.

We struggled to find winners, and struggled to find the right combos for the exactas — which have been our bread and butter winners throughout the meet.

But?

What a night.

We hit the Pick 5, which rendered a nice payoff of about $6,000 for the .50-cent ticket combo.

We hit the first Pick 4, which paid another $3,000 or so for the .50-cent ticket combo.

So?

We celebrated at the Lake and watched some old episodes of “Burn Notice” on the TV and drank some cough medicine for this persistent malady.

We know how to party.

Here’s our looks at Turfway for Saturday. And, here’s hoping that we can keep the mojo working:

1st: 12-8-3/1-6-5/(13)-11-10-7/2-(14)…Amarin (12) will get her 2nd start since October of 2019 tonight for the barn of Thomas Humphries. This one ran for the first time in 15 months on Jan. 1. Ran very well before tiring very late in that 1-mile event. Now, will make the 2nd start off the layup and if that exercise did any good — and it should — she should be ready for more here. Daughter of Midshipman picks up a top rider here, too, who is on an absolute roll. I give the edge here. Moonlight Dancing (8) drops from the $15,000 level to half that price tonight. Just a couple of starts ago, ran a nice third against much tougher at Arlington Park. Drop in class should help here, and this one does show 3 thirds in 6 previous tries over the AW. Rider is having a very solid meet and this one may improve with a cutback in distance. Storm the Sazerac (3) comes from the barn of the highly successful Eddie Kenneally. Barn wins at a .13% clip this meet and will saddle this one for the first time. Drops from the MSW ranks all the way to the fire-sale price of $7,500. Barn wins with .25% when going MSW to MCL and this rider is as good as they come here. Chance. I bet the 12-3 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the 12-3 over/under the 8-1-6-5-13-11-7-10 in two smaller units, as well. In the Pick 5? I go with the 12-8-3-1-6-5/9-2-1-12-11-8-10/12-11-8-4-3-5/5/8-11-7-5-2. If that ticket is too rich for the blood, then I wold pare down on the first leg and the last leg. I will cover the single (race 4) with more selections in that race — and less in the others — in the Pick 4.

2nd: 9-2/1-12-11-8-10/(14)-3…Narrows Bridge (9) gets the call for me in this bargain bin affair. Drops from the $7,500 level last time out here to the bottom and that’s the cheapest this 5YO mare has ever been offered up for. Picks up a huge rider switch for this one and should be closing in the late going. In 9 previous tries here, this one has a second and two thirds. Annoula (2) goes for a barn that has had solid success in the limited number of runners here this meet. In 5 tries, has a win and a third. Ran 3rd at this same level last time out, and had to come from nowhere to do it. Needs to be a bit closer this time to have a legit chance. But in two previous tries over the AW? Has a second and a third. I bet the 9-2 across the board and then box those two in the exacta. I will key the 9-2 over/under the 1-12-11-8-10 in two smaller units.

3rd: 12-11-8/4-3-5/6-7-9-1/(14)-10…Joyful Praise (12) goes for a very respected barn operation and will get the third start off a layup. Ran very well here the two previous tries and has come with a rush late. If this one can get motivated a bit earlier and can find a clean path in the lane? Watch out. Barn wins with .23% on the third try off a layup. Kittenaire (11) is a first time starter from the barn of Wesley Ward, who has been winning at a .31% rate here this meet. With debut runners, this barn wins with .30% of the last 351 to meet the criteria. Gets a rider who has won one of two for the barn and the work pattern is OK. Barn has gone 5-3-0 in the last 13 tries here. Hot. Link in Front (8) ran 2nd at this same level last time out. Came from the outside and made a modest threat. Has been on vacation since that Dec. 9 effort, though, and he barn wins with .19% of those returning from that long a layup. Trainer does win with .21% in the MCL ranks. Chance. I bet the 12-11 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the 12-11 over/under the 8-4-3-5-6-7 in two smaller units.

4th: 5/7-12/1-10-9/8-3/2-4…Till Then (5) will get my first “Key Play of the Day” designation. This 5YO gelded son of Point of Entry won here on Jan. 14 by an easy and impressive 31/4 lengths. He loses that condition tonight and will face tougher, to be sure, but in 5 career starts to date, this one has two wins and a second. Barn wins with .20% of those that won the last race and in 14 starts here this meet? How about this resume: 6 wins, 2 seconds. That is a win percentage of .43%. I bet the 5 to win/place/show and then key the 5 over/under all the numbers listed.

5th: 8-11-7/5-2-12-1-4/10-3-(14)-9-6…Pour Girl (8) nearly won here on Jan. 14. Came with a nice run late and just missed the circle by a length. Gets a new rider tonight and should fit perfectly against these. The barn is 0-for-7 the last two years and has only two starts this meet. But this one does have some back class — especially over the turf. Flirty (11) could spice up the odds board a bit. This 6YO Uncle Mo mare has 4 wins in 8 tries here and over AW surfaces overall, she has a 6-2-2 mark in 15 starts. Last race was better than it looks. In and out effort. Rider error, IMO. But look at the race three back when given the proper encouragement? Hmmm. Lady Leah (7) won the last time out here in gate-to-wire fashion and this one has pure speed. Barn wins with .30% when trying to repeat in the claiming ranks and in 12 tries over an AW surface? This one has gone 2-1-2. Shot. I bet the 8-11 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the 8-11 over/under the 7-5-2-12-1-4 in two smaller units.

6th: 10-7-6/4/11-8-3-5/9-1…Screenwriter (10) comes from the barn of one of the best young trainers in the game today , and, better yet, one of the best people in the world today. Class act. This 6YO mare ran very well in the Dec. 31 effort here. Encountered all kinds of traffic at the quarter pole and lost all chance. Races before that, back in the summer, this one nearly won three in a row. In 18 lifetime starts, she has only one win. But? She has 6 seconds and 3 thirds. This one is by Ghostzapper and have you been following those kinds of mares lately? Someone is likely to buy here tonight.  My Sweet Baboo (7) is a nice ML price — according to my friends at Brisnet.com. Has not been out since March, but in 4 previous runs at TP, she has a win and three seconds. Daughter of Candy Ride, too. Another interesting play and/or claim prospect. Native Charm (6) nearly won here on Dec. 5. Had the lead late before giving it up at the wire. If she can duplicate that effort tonight? Watch out. Barn is sneaky good. Limited number of runners. But he sends out runners. I bet the 10-7 across the board and then box theta 3 in the exacta. I will key the top 3 numbers over/under the 4 in two smaller units.

7th: 4-6-10/5/1-7-3/9-8/2…Kaely’s Sister (4) comes from the barn of Eclipse Award-winning trainer Brad Cox, and has a win over this track in December. Broke the maiden at first ask by 2 easy and impressive lengths. Returns tonight with the benefit of Lasix and gets a rider who has a win in two previous tries for this barn operation. Homebred daughter of Maclean’s Music has some talent. I go right back to the well. Igloo (6) goes for the red-hot barn of Jonathan Thomas — who is winning at a .43% clip here this meet. This one won by over 7 lengths in the debut after rushing to the front right out of the gate. Speedster had a very nice work here of late, too. One to beat. Miss Stella (10) is another from the barn of Tommy Drury. Daughter of Orb lost by a nose in the debut, but was moved up to the win on a DQ. Training well. Top trainer. I have to use. Respect these connections too much. I bet the 4-10 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the top 3 over/under the 5 in two smaller units.

8th: 8-11-7/12-9/2-1/3-6/(14)-5…Samson Lee (8) will race for half of the asking price as he did last time out and it could be a real good night for the Drury barn. This trainer wins with .50% of those that get this kind of class relief all at once, and wins with .33% of those stretching out from a sprint to a route, as well. And, that is with a sample size of 39 horses. Should appreciate this class level. I go strong. I go here. Empty Holster (11) comes from the barn of Larry Rivelli, and he is winning at a .26% rate here this meet. Over the past two years, he has won with .28% of the last 329 runners. This will be the first time he gets to saddle this one, and the barn wins with .32% of those making the debut. First try over the AW, but has been training here. Helps. St. Paddy’s Daddy (7) will drop all the way from $25,000 to the $7,500 level tonight. Gets a top rider in these parts and should wake up a bit with this class drop. Looks to be a deep, deep closer. Will need some racing luck late. Chance. I bet the 8-11 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the 8-11 over/under the 7-12-9-2-1 in two smaller units.

Good Luck & All the Best / Gene