Day Results 8 / 4-5-1
2020 Overall 1708 1708 / 607-587-747
Win % of Top Pick 35.54%
Payoff % of Top 3 Picks Overall 37.88%
2020 Top Pick in the Money –1,107-1,708 64.81%
Top Selection ITM / TP 25-42 69.57%
Top Selections Win / TP 16-42 38.10%
“Key Horses” @ TP 7-3-0-1 42.86% Win / 57.14% ITM
“Key Horses” in 2020 238-87-48-33 36.55% Win / 70.59% ITM

Not a bad way to kick off the handicapping week on Wednesday night, up at ole’ Turfway Park.

Had 4 winners out of the 8 races carded and nailed exactas the returned the likes of $53.80, $5.50, $48.30, $16.00, $61.80 and $9.50 for each $1 played. Hope you played. Hope you played more than the obligatory $1.

Our only Key Play of the Night did not fare well, but our one Longshot Special of the Night did finish second and returned $13.60 for a $2 play across the board. Exacta in that one still paid a handsome $48.30 for the $1.


Good night.

Do want to apologize for my lack of posting this week. I normally do a lot more. But a tough week. My 13YO Golden, who always sits in my office while I do my handicapping, now will have to sit in my lap. From afar. We lost her on Tuesday afternoon. Has rocked my world. To the very core.

Hope you understand.

Here’s my picks for tonight. Let’s get some winners across the line first:

1st: 12-2/8-10-3-1/4/7-9-5…Bow Maker (12) is our first Longshot Special of the Night. This 3YO daughter of Oxbow was running pretty well to begin the year up in Maryland and at Laurel Park. Was 2nd in a MCL $25,000 event in late February. But was off until late October, and has not returned with the same fervor, even with the drop in class. Finds the bargain bin tonight for a trainer that wins with .26% of the last 81 runners to drop this much in one swoop. Third start off the layup, the barn wins at a .24% clip, too. This is due day for this one. May show up at a price. Omi Ten (2) drops two rungs in the claiming ranks for this MCL $5,000 level, too. Barn wins with .33% of the last 48 runners to drop this much. Ran well over the turf at Indy Gand on Oct. 26. Starts for a new barn operation tonight for the first time, and they win with .15% on debut. Has 4 seconds and a third in the first 10 tries. The one to beat. I bet the 12-2 across the board and then box those two in the exacta. I will key the 12-2 over/under the 8-10-3-1-4 in two smaller units.

2nd: 1-5-4/(14)-(13)-10-8-6-3/7-12…We are going with two horses that we don’t know about over the rest of this crew that we know too much about. Ruffled (1) is a first-time starter for the well-respected barn of trainer Jonathan Thomas, of Catholic Boy fame. Barn has won with .18% of 184 starters this year and with .19% of those starting in the MCL ranks. This trainer also wins with .34% of the last 102 in the MCL ranks altogether. Draws the rail in the 6.5-furlong sprint. Don’t like tht. But has trained OK for the debut and gets a good speed rider up. Maybe. Nixon (5) is a 2YO son of Not This Time, one of the best juvenile sires in the world. Dam has 5 winners form 5 starters and the rider is red hot over the last week — going 5-6-1 in the last 16 mounts. Barn wins with 0-for-32 when debuting in the MCL ranks this year. That’s 0. For. 32. But works are OK, and that may be good enough here. Nip N Tuck (4) drops from the $15,000 tag to the $7,500 level here. Barn wins with .24% when dropping this much and with .23% when racing in the MCL ranks. Barn also wins at a .30% rate when switching from dirt to AW. Chance. I bet the 1-5 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the top 3 over/under the next two numbers that pop up on the starting gate. 

3rd: 1-10-9/5-6-(13)/4-2-3…Another one where we should try our skill at throwing darts at this board. Wow. Wide, wide, wide open. Guess I will saddle up with Artie’s Lady (1), another from the barn of Mike Maker and another apparent “cull” from the ranks of owners Ken & Sarah Ramsey. This 2YO son of We Miss Artie is a homebred and has not shown much in any of the first 3 career starts. Falls all the way from the $16,000 level last time to $7,500 today. That should wake this one up some. Work here on Dec. 5 was spot on. If he can duplicate that speed? May wire this group. I bet the 1 to win/place/show and then box the top 3 numbers in the exacta. I will key the top 3 over/under the 5-6 in two smaller units. “All button” for me in the horizontals.

4th: 10-(13)-(14)-4/9-12-7/8-3-2/1-5…Pass the darts. Please. Another wide open and difficult to decipher event. I will go with Can She Scoot (10) on top. This one ran poorly on the dirt last time out at Hawthorne on Nov. 1. Spit the bit and retreated fast. I will toss that effort with a return to the AW tonight. Barn  wins with .23% of the last 40 that he has shipped in and with .13% of those shifting from the dirt to the AW surface. Rider is having a solid-enough meet. Will be the one to catch on the lead. If either or both of the AE List horses gain entry? I use. Definitely. Both fit in this mix. If not, I will use Fort Marsh (4), as well. This one ships in from Hawthorne for a highly-underrated barn operation. Won the last time out. Loves the grass. May like the Tapeta. I bet the 10 to win/place/show and then box the top 3 numbers in the exacta. No matter who they are. I will key the 10 over/under the numbers listed in two smaller units.

5th: 8-6-12/10-3/9-1-11-(13)/5-7-(14)…My second Longshot Special of the Night comes here with Red Bee (8). This 2YO daughter of English Channel ran a much better-than-looks 5th at Indy Grand back in September in the career debut. Lost all chance at the start of that one and then nearly clipped heels and went down in the stretch when a horse came out on her. Winner of that race came right back to win the next outing, too. Barn wins with .23% on the second career start and the works are good enough to spot this one in here. Rider has teamed up with this barn for some good results in the past. Love the 10-1 ML odds. I’m in. Destinique (6) comes from the barn of Brad Cox, and drops into the MCL ranks for the first time tonight. Barn wins with .28% of those kind, and with .36% of those making the 2nd route race in the young career. Rider has won with .22% of the last 32 mounts for this barn operation. Looks to have some nice stalking speed to utilize, too. One to beat. I’ll Make It Coach (12) ran a couple of nice thirds at Ellis Park back in the summer. Caught some good ones in those events. Should fit better with these types, and the veteran rider is off to a very good meet here this Winter. Has a 4-1-3 mark in the first 18 mounts. Chance. I bet the 8-6 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the top 3 numbers over/under the 10-3 in two smaller units.

6th: 7-3-4/8-6-9/2-1/10-11…Anna’s Fast (7) faced some real tough customers in the last outing at KEE on Nov. 7. Hung in for much of that effort, but wilted late. Race two back at Churchill Downs was solid against Frank’s Rockette — a good one. In 6 previous tries, has 2 wins and a third. Works are solid. Gets a top rider here, who is winning at a .42% clip this meet. Has won with .34% of the last 35 mounts for this barn, too. Watch out. Domonette (3) has run three good ones in a row and the last time she was seen at this track? She ran a huge one against Jean Elizabeth in a Stakes event. Goes for really great friends of mine, and I will be rooting like heck for this one. Work on Nov. 3 was spot on and gets the saddle from a new barn operator tonight. Rider has dominated this meet in the past. Should catch hot soon. Ria Munk (4) has a shot in this spot, too. The 5YO mare won the last time out at Indy Grand and has a 2-5-2 mark in 16 starts. Gets the AW for the first time tonight. Be interesting to see if she can improve her stock over the new surface. I bet the 7 to win/place/show and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the 7 over/under all the numbers listed in two smaller units.

7th: 8-10/1-6/2-7-11-12/3-5-4-(14)-(13)…Naughty Joker (8) goes for the red-hot barn of Wesley Ward, who has won with 3 of the first 6 starters here this Holiday Meet. This one has run three thirds in a row and has a 1-0-2 mark in three career moves over the previous Turfway Park surface. Will be the 2nd start back since February. Works are good enough to spot this one well tonight. Gets the meet’s hottest rider, who is winning at a .42% clip. Barn wins with .35% when going from dirt to the AW, too. One to beat. Skygaze (10) comes from the barn of Mark Casse, who has a win and a second in three starts this meet. Rider is red hot, too, winning at a .31% rate this meet. Last time out this one won a big one at Woodbine. Over the AW surface there. Look out. Big shot at a square price. I bet the 8-10 across the board and then box those two sternly in the exacta. I will key the 8-10 over/under the 1-6-2-7-11-12-3-5 in two smaller units.

8th: 3-8/7-(13)-12/2-4/10-11-5…No Way Now (3) gets the career plunge drop from the $40,000 ranks to the $15,000 level, and the 3YO gelding may be a bargain at that price. Ran a solid 4th at Belmont Park last time out for $40,000. Ran good enough two starts ago, when the top 3 finishers in that one all returned to win the next time out. The work here on Nov. 25 should set this one up nicely. My first Key Play of the Night may not be great odds, but has a great shot. I bet the 3 to win/place/show and then box the 3-8 solidly in one exacta. I will key the 3 over/under all the other numbers listed in two smaller units.

Good Luck & All the Best / Gene