Day Results 8 / 2-0-3
2021 Overall 33 33 / 11-11-12
Win % of Top Pick 33.33%
Payoff % of Top 3 Picks Overall 34.34%
2021 Top Pick in the Money Overall — 22-33 66.67%
2021 Top Selection ITM / TP 17-24 70.83%
2021 Top Selections Win / TP 7-24 29.17%
“Key Horses” @ TP 3 / 1-1-0 33.33% Win / 66.67% ITM
“Key Horses” in 2021 6 / 3-1-0 50.00% Win / 66.67% ITM

It was an interesting night up at the “new and improved” Turfway Park. Just a couple of winners on the 8-race card, but the exactas? Wow. The exactas.

We did hit exactas that returned $31.30, $50.80, $82.30, $18.20 and $10.80  for each $1 played.

And, we hope that you enjoyed more than a $1 played on any, each and all.

But with those numbers, it really buoyed the night for us, and the ROI, for sure.

Here’a hoping for some more, and here’s a look at tonight’s card:

1st: 6-10/12-(14)-(13)/5-2-3-11/9-7…Gold Hawk (6) gets the slight nod in the lid-lifter tonight. This 10YO gelding by Empire Maker had a terrific 2020. Went to the post 7 times. Had 3 wins and 3 seconds. Has not raced since October, but won that one and has hit the board in the last 6 outings. Gets the meet’s top rider in the saddle. Looks tough for a barn that won with .28% of 313 runners last year. Speed Gracer (10) is a horse void of any speed. I don’t know about the grace part. But this late-closer will need some racing room in the lane. Gets a nice rider switch for this one and the new jockey is really starting to heat up here. This 7YO son of Lemon Drop Kid nearly won against tougher here on Dec. 19. Goes to the bargain bin for this one and may be a tough out. In 4 previous runs over the AW, this one has a second and three thirds. Needs a little luck late. I bet the 6 to win/place/show and then box the 6-10 solidly in one exacta. I will key the 6-10 over/under the 12-14-13-5-2-3-11 in two smaller units.

2nd: 5-11-6/8-10/4-1-1A-3/(13)-3/7…Dom the Bomb (5) is another from the barn of trainer Larry Rivelli, who had spotted a 3-3-0 record in the first 10 starts at his new winter home. This 9YO Illinois bred may enjoy the shorter distance in this spot and will most certainly attempt to take the field from the gate to the wire. Has speed. To burn. Gets a top rider, who has won with .43% of the last 7 mounts for this operation. In 16 races over an AW surface? This one has gone 8-2-3. Nice. One to beat. Air Force Jet (11) ships in from West Virginia, which has not been a good angle at this meet. Not at all. Don’t think a single one has made that journey and won here the next outing. Yet. But this trainer is red hot and this one returns as a beaten favorite. Barn wins with .24% of those kind. Ran in a Stakes event at Santa Anita about a year ago. Ran OK, too. Now, in for the bargain bin. Might like the company here. Torazo (6) is another dropper for this level. Is a deep, deep closer and will need racing room late. Veteran rider has started 1-for-42 here. Ouch. But this one has gone 4-2-2 in 13 previous starts over the AW. Chance. I bet the 5 to win/place/show and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the 5-11 over/under the 6-8-10-4-1-1A-3 in two smaller units.

3rd: 5-12/11-3-4-10/2-(13)/8-6…Jimmy’s Lifestyle (5) will be making the first start for a new barn operation after being claimed here on Dec. 18. Ran a very credible 2nd in that race, especially when you consider that this 5YO Florida-bred had been away from the races for over a year. The barn wins with .23% of those returning as a beaten favorite and with .44% on the 2nd start off a layup. But? The barn is 0-for-5 on the first start after a claim purchase. Still, this one looks the best and gets a hot jockey up, too. Irish Spirit (12) draws the outside post and must get away nicely to get in a good running spot. Does have some speed, though, and the trainer is winning at a .17% clip here, too. This one was claimed last time out at Churchill Downs in November. Nearly won that day against tougher. Drops in class off the claim, and the barn wins with .19% of those. Could push the pace scenario. I bet the 5 to win/place/show and then box the 5-12 solidly in one exacta. I will key the 5-12 over/under the 11-3-4-10-2-13 in two smaller units.

4th: 12/10-9/3-7-8/4-11/(14)-2-1…Samson Lee (12) is my first “Key Play of the Night.” This 4YO son of Hakassan is trained by one of the best young trainers in the game today, and is dropping from the $30,000 tag to half that price tonight. Ran credible last time out when trying the AW for the first time. Race before, over the dirt at CD, was spot on. And, that was at this same price point. Rider has won with one of the last four for this barn, which is sporting a 2-1-1 mark in 10 races here since December. My solid pick. Asher’s Music (10) is listed at 20-1 in the ML, according to Brisnet.com. I would take a little of that action, too, even if he is half that price. Like his longshot chances to hit the board here. I bet the 12-10 across the board and then I key the 12-10 over/under the 9-3-7-8-4-11 in two smaller units. I will key the 12 over/under the “all button” in two smaller units. May plop another bet on the 12 to win, too.

5th: 1-(13)-10-7/11-12/4-5-6-9-8/3-2…What a nice race this has turned out to be. I will go with Catch a Thrill (1) in this 6.5-furlong sprint. The rail has not been the kindest of places so far this meet, but this one is shipping North from the warmer confines of South Florida and does have some speed to utilize early. Gets a hot rider, who has upped his win rate to .20% over the first 66 mounts. Over the last 4 races, has run 2nd each time. Against better, though. Will make the AW debut tonight. Honorable Memory (13) could spice up the odds rack if the 4YO Honor Code filly is able to make the starting gate from the AE List. Trainer is due and this one has been facing much tougher. Look for a run at the front if she can make the race, and I love the odds here. Hey Kitten (10) is my next “Longshot Special.” This 4YO is set at 20-1 in the ML by the Brisnet.com handicappers. Gets a top rider in the irons and comes from a barn that has gone 1-2-0 in six starts here. Has not been out since August. But works are sneaky good. Chance? I bet the 1 to win/place/show and then box the top 3 numbers — no matter who they are. I will key the 1 over/under the 13-10-7-11-12-4-5 in two smaller units.

6th: 6-9/1-8-11/2-10-7/4-5…Mo Zone (6) drops from the $18,000 level all the way into the $8,000 price category tonight. Barn wins with a whopping .31% when it drops this much at one time. Two races ago, this one ran a real good one. Not real engaged when moved to the AW last time out. Has been working over this track, though, and rates another chance off the back class moves. Maligator (9) is another from the barn of Larry Rivelli, who I think does a super job of getting horses placed in the right spots. This one drops in class and was super over the AW at Presque Isle just two starts ago. In 9 starts over the AW, to date? Has a 4-3-0 mark. One to beat. I bet the 6-9 across the board and then box these two solidly in one exacta. I will key the 6-9 over/under the 1-8-11-2-10-7 in two smaller units.

7th: 9-7/3/2-4/6/5-8-1…Anna’s Fast (9) returned to Turfway Park on Dec. 10 and found the change of venue to her liking. This 4YO filly — who cost a whopping $470,000 at a 2YO Sale in 2019 — roared to the front and stayed there all the way to the wire. Rider — who  has won with .29% of the last 21 mounts for this barn operation — returns. Only three times this one has not finished in the money has been in Stakes races. Work here on Dec. 30 is good enough to make this one keen again. Jeannie’s Beepbeep (7) is all speed, too, and the top two picks may be their own worst enemies if they cannot stop a speed duel. This one won here on Dec. 9 and has not been worse than 2nd in the last 6 outings. In 10 lifetime tries? Five wins. Four seconds. Nice record. Has 3 wins in 4 tries over the AW, too. Here we go. I bet the 9 to win/place/show and then box the 9-7 solidly in one exacta. i will key the 9-7 over/under the 3-2-4-6 in two smaller units. I will also box the 3-2-4-6 in one “saver.” Just in case the top 2 burn each other up.

8th:1-7/3-4/2-8-11-10/9-12…This is a wide, wide open affair to end the night. If you are looking to play the horizontal, you may want to consider the “all button” in the finale. Up for grabs. If you are on a limited budget, like me, I will focus on the top 4 numbers here — led by Honey Bourbon (1). This one is void of much speed, and will need some racing luck late. But gets a hot rider to take the reins and that has to help here. Barn is 0-0-0 in 8 starts, and that’s not a good thing. But this one is dropping from the $15,000 category to the bargain bin. Chance at this level. In 7 previous runs over an AW, does have 2 wins. Rathrluckythngood (7) drops to the bottom tonight, as well, for a trainer that has been more than a bit chilly. This filly does have a win over this track in the past, although will get a new surface here. Jockey is solid and this one may have found just the right spot. I bet the 1-7 across the board and then box those two in the exacta. I will key the 1-7 over/under the 3-4-2-8-11-10 in two smaller units.

Good Luck & All the Best / Gene