|2019 Overall 1,537||1,537/536-552-681|
|Win % of Top Pick||34.87%|
|Payoff % of Top 3 Picks Overall||38.36%|
|2019 Top Pick in the Money –999 of 1,537||65.00%|
|Top Selection ITM / TP Holiday 52-96||54.17%|
|Top Selection Win / TP Holiday 33-96||34.38%|
|“Key Horses” @ TP Holiday 11-6-1-0||54.55%|
|“Key Horses” in 2019 226-89-44-22||39.38%|
The “Day After” is never as good as the “Day Of,” or, for that matter, the “Day Before.” Excitement has lapsed. Drama has waned. Another long year before Santa gets the leg up and gets another mount.
But there is one thing to get hyped about and again. It’s back to racing.
Tonight, the Thoroughbreds turn out in droves up at Turfway Park in Northern Kentucky. And, here’s a look at our top selections:
1st: 5-8/1-4-2/7…Native Flora (5) gets the call in the first race of the night. This 4YO Maryland-bred ran here on Dec. 11, and was a disappointing 7th out of 11 that night. Showed some quickness early on before fading about half way through that effort. But that was the first start in two months and against a level above these. Barn hits with .20% of those making the 2nd career start for the new trainer. Will go from a sprint to a route, and this barn hits with .22% of those, too. Gets a huge rider switch for this one, as well. Look for more out of this one tonight, despite the fact that he has only 1 win in 22 previous efforts. Crescent Warrior (8) got off an awful start in the last try — which came on Nov. 2 at Indy Grand. Was last early and often. Made a huge move late, but it was too little, and too late. The race before that, came with a better late rush and was third. In 6 tries over the all-weather, this one has 4 seconds and a third. Only 1 win in 20 starts, too. But…Does have 8 seconds and 2 thirds. So…I use in this bunch. I bet the 8 — take note — across the board and I key the 8 over/under the “all button.” Try to simply as much as possible here.
2nd: 7-10-9/4/1-5/8-6-2…Amani’s Kitten (7) will drop all the way from the $30,000 price tag to the bargain bin for this encounter. Barn has had only 1 previous horse drop this much. This one was a nice third against much tougher two races back in August. If there is anything left in this tank. Anything at all. Anything at all, I write. Then this son of Kitten’s Joy should be the one to beat here. Grade (10) drops a rung for this one for a trainer that hits with .13% on the all-weather surfaces. Ran good for awhile against tougher last time out and should enjoy the class drop tonight. Love the work on Dec. 6 before the last race. Lethal Levy (9) is 15-1 in the ML odds, and will get my first Upset Special of the Day designation. The trainer of this one lost the title when he moved from Hawthorne over to Mountaineer. Now, he’s back in the barn — again. In 11 lifetime tries, has a win and a second. Drops for this one today. Has been training here. Gets a new rider for the first time. Trying to find something positive in this one. I bet the 10-9 — take note — across the board. I box the top 3 numbers in the exacta. I will key the top 3 over/under the 4 in two softer versions. I tread lightly.
3rd: 4-1A-9/10/1-7-5/8/6-2-3…Artegon (4) gets the nod here. Used to be trained by Kelly Ackerman before he was claimed off her two starts back for the $4,000. Ackerman went right back in and claimed him back last time out for the same $4,000 tag. Over the last three starts, has a win and two seconds. In the last 5 starts, has 3 wins and 2 seconds. Good right now. Barn knows all the “keys” to this sedan. He has a 1-1-0 mark in 3 previous tries over the all-weather. Looks promising in this spot. Tale of Fame (1A) is one of two that will get the saddle from Genaro Garcia in this spot. This 4YO son of Caleb’s Posse nearly won here on Dec. 7. Came with a late rush and just got nipped at the wire. If he can find that late push again, he may wind up in the circle this time. Four Left Feet (9) has raced 38 times over the all-weather and has amassed a storyline of 7 wins, 7 seconds and 7 thirds. Tidy sum. Another closer will get a new rider for the first time tonight. Should be a threat late. I bet the 4-9 across the board — take note. I will box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the 4-9 over/under the 1A-10-7-5-8 in two smaller versions.
4th: 12-10/3-6/2-1-9…Girls Got Track (12) is coming off an impressive performance at Churchill Downs in the last outing on Nov. 17. Ran away from gate to wire and finished in front by over 5 lengths that day. Moves up in class tonight, but in 3 lifetime starts, this 3YO daughter of Declaration of War has 2 wins to the credit. Was claimed out of the last one. New barn hits with only .08% on the debut run, but the new connections do hit with .21% of those making the 3rd start off a layup. Like the jockey choice, although he is off to a rather deliberate start in the rankings here. Barn hits with .33% of those dropping in class off a purchase. Our pick. Bella Kristina (10) stumbled at the start of the last race at Churchill Downs on Nov. 20 and lost the jockey in the mix. But in 6 previous runs over the all-weather, this one has a 2-3-0 mark. And, that has come right here over this surface. Like the work on Oct. 28. Barn hits with .26% of those moving from the dirt to the AW, and with .22% of those running in the claiming ranks. Barn off to a great start here this Holiday Meet. Watch out. I bet the 12-10 across the board and then box those 2 solidly in the exacta. I will key the 12-10 over/under the rest of the numbers in two smaller versions.
5th: 3-2/11-9-6/(13)-(14)/7…Elsie’s First (3) will be making the second career start for a barn that hits with .19% of those making the second run. Got off to a very slow start in the debut. Came with a solid run while wide. Teaching moment. Gets a new rider who may fit this one just right. Like the work at KEE on Dec. 13. Looks poised. Pomp and Pageantry (2) will get the saddle from Wesley Ward’s team tonight. In the first 12 starters here this meet, the barn has a 4-2-1 record. Not a bad .33% win mark. Gets a rider who has won .60% of the 5 mounts he has had for this outfit this meet. Love the work on Dec. 13. Could be a tough out in this spot. I bet the 3-2 across the board and then box those 2 solidly in one exacta. I will key the 3-2 over/under the 11-9-6-13-14 in two smaller versions.
6th: 1-5/7-4/6/3-2…This is a really nice optional-claimer that is slated to go the sprint distance of 6-furlongs. I will give the nod to Well Spent (1), who will be breaking from the rail for trainer Stephen Lyster. This 2YO Hampton Court filly will be getting her first start for the new connections and the barn hits with .11% of the newcomers. But this one — who got off to a great start to the career — has been tearing it up in the morning at The Thoroughbred Center in Lexington since moving from the barn of Wayne Catalano. Could be a really nice one if she can pop out of the gate quickly and hold her spot on the rail. Has some speed and the winner of the last one came right back to score again the next time out. Anna’s Fast (5) is definitely the horse to beat. This 2YO filly by Fast Anna has not raced since running 16th at Royal Ascot back in June. But she is training lights out for a barn that is on fire, and knows how to prep one back off a layup, too. Works solid here. Gets one of the barn’s go-to jocks. Scored at first asking at KEE in April and drew off. She may freak again. I bet the 1 to win/place/show and then box the 1-5 in the exacta. I will key the 1-5 over/under the 7-4-6-3-2 in two smaller versions.
7th: 6-(14)-(13)/9-10-11-1/5-4-8/7-3-12…Speedy Solution (6) is a home bred for the connections of Ken & Sarah Ramsey, and is another one trained by Wesley Ward. This 3YO filly has not raced since Jan. 21 — when she was domiciled at Gulfstream Park. Faced some real good ones while down there. Go back three races in the form. Ran 43/4 lengths behind a filly by the name of Concrete Rose. That one just so happens to be a great one. Not good, mine you. A great one. If this one is anywhere close to being that good off the bench? I Play early. I Play hard. I Play often. I Play. I bet the 6 to win/place and then key the 6 over/under the numbers listed in the exactas and other gimmicks.
8th: 5-10-1/11-4-6-2/9-12…The final race of the night is a 5.5-furlong sprint over the AW surface for the fillies & mares 3YO & Up. I go to Anima (5). This 3YO daughter of First Samurai drops from the $15,000 category to the bargain bin and has never been close to this cheap before now. In 7 career starts, has 2 thirds. Likes to flash speed and then stop. Gets a new jockey for the first time and this barn hits with .23% of those that return as a beaten favorite and with .29% with those dropping this much in class. This is the 3rd start off the layup and the barn scores with .21% of them, too. My pick. Calico Rose (10) ran 5th here on Dec. 4. Bumped at the start of that one and never got truly untracked. Ran second just three starts ago, and started the career with a 2nd at Ellis Park. Could pop. The Ash Factor (1) will make the first start since finishing a distant 9th against much tougher at Churchill Downs on Nov. 2. Barn hits with .20% of those away from the gate this long, and will add blinkers for the first time today. Trainer is “sneaky good.” Watch out here at a price. Upset Special of the Night. I bet the 5-1 across the board — take note — and then box the top 3 numbers in the exacta. I will key the 5-1 over/under the 10-11-4-6-2-9-12 in two smaller versions.
Good Luck & All the Best / Gene