|2020 Overall 24||24/8-7-8|
|Win % of Top Pick||33.33%|
|Payoff % of Top 3 Picks Overall||31.94%|
|2020 Top Pick in the Money –16-24||66.67%|
|Top Selection ITM / TP Winter-Sprng 16-24||66.67%|
|Top Selection Win / TP Winter-Spring 8-24||33.33%|
|“Key Horses” @ TP Winter-Spring 4-0-1-2||0.00%|
|“Key Horses” in 2020 4-0-1-2||0.00%|
We nabbed a couple of nice winners in back-to-back races (5th & 6th) at Turfway Park on Friday night, but other than that it was a rather dismal performance. Kind of like the weather, mind you.
Our 3 “Key Plays” mastered only a couple of thirds.
We had only two exactas that returned a modest $10.60 and $8.20 per each $1 played.
And, for the most part, we were left wanting.
Wanting more — for the most part.
So, we are back tonight to finish off the week’s card. Here’s a glimpse at our picks:
1st: 11/2-5-4-7/9-1/8…The first Key Play of the Day comes in the initial contest of the night — with Analyze This Cat (11). The 4YO Overanalyze filly — who is still seeking the first victory — comes into this one off a nice 2nd place effort here on Dec. 26. It was her 2nd try over the AW surface for a barn that finally got its’ first win of the meet on Friday night. This one closed from the clouds in the last effort and was just unlucky when nearing the wire. That was in a race that covered 5.5 furlongs. Tonight’s event will be contested at 6 furlongs and this one could use the extra ground. If she can duplicate that effort, she will be tough to hold off. I bet the 11 to win/place/show and then key the 11 over/under the 2-5-4-7-9-1 in the exactas.
2nd: 10-5/6-1-4/2-7-3…Christian Miss (10) ran a nice second in her first start for the new barn operation last time out on Dec. 26, as well. Bet well in that one and stalked the leaders throughout. Gets the meet’s top rider to take the reins for the first time tonight. In 5 career starts, has a 1-1-1 record and has worked well over this surface, too. Looks well spotted here. Slippery (5) moves to a new barn operation for the first time tonight. Blinkers go back on, and that change has worked for this barn before. In 10 starts to date, she has a 2-4-0 record and the only work over this track was a bullet move. Must use for me. I bet the 10-5 across the board and then box those two in the exacta. I will key the 10-5 over/under the rest of the numbers in two smaller versions.
3rd: 10-5-1/4-7-3/6…Sunday Scaries (10) will be making her 3rd start off a layup, and this top barn operation excels with those types — winning at a .26% clip last year. Ran well after a slow start last time out. If the rider can get her a bit more motivated in the early going, she may be tough to hold off in the late going here. Barn has hit the board with 6 of the first 14 starters here this meet. Top notch. Taranto (5) won last time out on a DQ, when dropped to the bargain bin last time out. Now, bounces back up the claiming ladder a notch and must face winners for the first time, too. Loses her rider to our top selection. Tougher comp here. Tomahawk Kitten (1) has not been out since September, but does drop to half the price tag he ran out last time out. In 10 previous runs here, has a 1-2-3 mark. Could add some value to the exotics. I bet the 10 to win/place/show and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the 10 over/under all the numbers listed in two smaller versions.
4th: 7-6/5-1-8/4-3…Trainer Stephen Lyster may make it back-to-back trips to the winner’s circle if Bourbon Girl (7) runs anywhere close to the same race she threw at them here on Dec. 18. She put a pure “Z” pattern on them. Ran on the lead to win at Belterra on June 30. Came from deep off the pace to win here in the last. My old, reliable handicapping guru — “Pittsburgh Phil” — used to rave about the “Z” pattern. Here you go. This gal is on a 3-race win streak and just seems to be in a good place right now. Catty Krys (6) may be the horse to beat. The 6YO Discreet Cat mare has been facing tougher and ran a really good one here at a 1-mile distance on Dec. 13. She gets the meet’s top jockey in the saddle and will be motoring late, too. I bet the 7-6 across the board and then box those 2 in the exacta sternly. I will key the 7-6 over/under the rest of the numbers in two smaller versions.
5th: 8-4-9/11-6…Regal Look (8) has raced over this surface 5 previous times and still is looking for the initial win. But this 5YO Tiznow gelding does have a second and two thirds and will be dropping to the lowest price tag in the career tonight. This one shows a bit of a “Z” pattern, too. Two races ago, here on Dec. 5, this one closed from far back at 6.5 furlongs. Last time out, when bumped out to two turns, he went flashed early speed. Drops back to a sprint now. Look for a return to the late run. Haunted Mesa (4) drops in class and cuts back in distance. Both of those changes should help this Illinois-bred. Will make the first start of the AW, but figures with these types. I bet the 8 to win/place/show and then box the 8-4-9 in one exacta. I will key the 8-4-9 over/under the 11-6 in two smaller ones.
6th: 1A-1/9-8-2/6-10-4/5-11…The next Key Play of the Day comes here with both parts of the entry. Like them both. I give a slight edge to the Wesley Ward part of the group — Smarty Artie (1A). Gets the meet’s top rider and nearly won here on Dec. 21 in the drop in class. Now, returns at the same level and the barn hits with .33% over this type of surface. Also, wins with .18% of those making the 2nd start off a layup. Headline Kitten (1) is conditioned by Mike Maker, who is having a super meet here, too. This one is a first time starter, and the barn hits with .15% of those making the career debut in the MCL ranks. This one may be worth the $7,500 purchase price today. By Kitten’s Joy and out of a Exchange Rate winning dam. Hmmm. I bet the entry to win/place/show and hope that both can hit the board and give me a double payout. I will also key the entry over/under the 9-8-2-6-10-4 in two smaller versions.
7th: 5-7/4/3-6-8/2-1-9…No Interest (5) won here last time out when closing off the pace. Got up at the wire to win by a nose. Rider returns to the saddle and the barn has won with 2-out-of-5 when won the last race. Bred to like the plastic, and should be motoring again late. Separate (7) is 6-1 in the ML and may offer some real value here. Won here last time out against decent company. Barn hits with .25% of those returning off a win — and that’s with a 55-race sample size. If you toss the race two back, this one has 3 wins in a row. and has a 3-3-0 mark in 15 races here. One to beat. Upset Special of the Day for me. I bet the 5-7 across the board and then box those two in one exacta. I will key the 5-7 over/under the 4 in a rather stern way.
8th: 3-4-6/10/1/2-9…Kid Perfect (3) gets the class plunge of the day. Drops from the $16,000 level at Churchill Downs to the bargain bin here. Fire sale. This one has not been close at the wire in the last 3, but that was against much, much tougher. Won 4 races back and gets an OK rider to take the reins here. I am going in with both fists here. U S Marshal (4) won here at the $5,000 tag. Loses that condition, though, and moves up to face tougher here. Stay in Yo Lane (6) won a conditioned-claimer, too, in the last out. Now, has to move up. But that one has won 2 in a row and has hit the board in each of the last 7 races. Consistent sort. I bet the 3 across the board. Stern. I box the top 3 in one exacta. I then key the 3 over/under all the numbers in two more smaller sizes.
Good Luck & All the Best / Gene