|2020 Overall 32||32/10-10-12|
|Win % of Top Pick||31.25%|
|Payoff % of Top 3 Picks Overall||33.33%|
|2020 Top Pick in the Money –24-32||75.00%|
|Top Selection ITM / TP Winter-Sprng 24-32||75.00%|
|Top Selection Win / TP Winter-Spring 10-32||31.25%|
|“Key Horses” @ TP Winter-Spring 6-1-2-3||16.67% Win / 100% ITM|
|“Key Horses” in 2020 6-1-2-3||16.67% Win / 100% ITM|
We finished up last week’s handicapping action with a couple of wins out of the 8 races on Saturday night. Not so good.
But our top pick hit the board in all eight events. Very good.
And, we had exactas that returned the likes of $10.40, $17.70, $12.40, 14.00, $35.20 and $10.20 for each $1 played. Very, very good.
So, all in all, we had a profitable finish to the week.
Now, we are hoping to keep up the momentum as we endeavor into the first week of 3-night programs — one each on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Post time begins at 6:15 p.m. ET.
Here’s what we got for you on Thursday. Let’s roll:
1st: 4-7/1/9-10-8-2-3… Rulelikecleopatra (4) started for the first time in 7 months when she ran a very credible 3rd while racing 6 furlongs here on Dec. 21. Barn hits with .15% of those making the second start off a layup, and with .26%, overall, when racing over an all-weather surface type. Like the way this one has been working here, as well, and the new rider could have a really good time with this one under him. Jockey has won 4 of the last 10 rides, dating back a week. Lots to like here. British Invader (7) is a Brit-bred who will be dropping considerably off a 10th place finish in the last outing on Nov. 3 at Churchill Downs. Faced much, much tougher that day. And, will get a new rider in the irons tonight. Barn has a 0-for-6 record when dropping this much in class and going to the bargain bin. But this filly has the breeding to enjoy the AW. In 14 previous races, this gal has a 3-2-0 mark in 14 starts. Plausible here. I bet the 4-7 across the board and then box those two solidly in one exacta. I will key the 4-7 over/under the 1 in a nice cover, and then key the 4-7 over (only) the rest of the numbers listed.
2nd: 8-1-9/6/2-3-4-10/5/7…Do Not Enter (8) could be a nice mid-range price selection in this tilt. This 9YO gelded son of Keyed Entry was claimed off a very good Chicago barn operation just two starts ago in September. After a bit of a break, ran here after that 3-month hiatus and ran very well on Dec. 12 before tiring very late and finishing 4th. Set all the fractions that night and they were brisk. Gets a new rider for this one and the work at Hawthorne on Jan. 3 was purely maintenance in direction. The one before, though, was very nice. In 13 career starts over the all-weather surface, this one has a 9-0-2 mark. Nice. Very nice. Dream Saturday (1) won here on Dec. 31. Wheels right back into action on a 9-day notice. Barn hits with .21% of those that won the last claimer, and the rider returns for the mount here. Moves up a bit in class, but should be able to handle this modest inch-up the ladder. Has speed and can lay a bit off the pace, too. Versatile sort. In 37 fast dirt races, this one has a 10-4-5 record, too. Love the versatility. Mannford (9) will get a rider tonight who is 0-for-19 over the past six weeks here. This Ohio-bred ran in a restricted Stakes event just two back. Now being offered up for a modest price of $8,000. Has over $208,000 in earnings. Ran 3rd over the AW at Presque Isle just three starts ago and that was against much, much tougher. Has enough back class to give this one a serious look. Work over this track in early December. Spot on. I bet the 8-1 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the top 3 numbers over/under the 6 in two smaller versions.
3rd: 7-1-10/9-2/4-6-8…Town Drunk (7) has not been out since October, but the barn can hit off the bench with those that are away from the gate this long (.17% winners). Has been training nicely for the return. Look at the work on Dec. 8. Ran over the AW in 2018. Not close then, but that was against so much tougher, hard to compare. Should fit nicely at this level. If he can duplicate the October form? Look out. Has stalking speed and gets a new rider up for the first time. Barn has 2 winners in 10 starters this meet. Statesboro (1) could spice up the odds rack in this one, at the 6-1 ML odds. Won last time out here on Dec. 11. Moves up the class order after losing that condition. But this 4YO son of Majesticperfection just may love the AW and the work here on Nov. 27 was spot-on, too. I use. Yondering (10) has not raced since February 2019 at Tampa Bay. Long time between drinks of water. But he has been working steadily for the return at the Skylight facility near Louisville for a top barn operation. Has faced tougher in the career, and should fit with these. Fit? If he is, will be tough with the meet’s top rider up. Tobacco Road (9) has never been offered up for this low a price tag — ever. Was 2nd in a Stakes race at the Fair Grounds about a year ago. And, 12-1 odds? I have to use a little here, and has to be my Upset Special of the Day. Lots of ways to go in this one, but here’s how I bet it: I bet the 7-9 across the board and then box the 7-1-9 in one exacta and the 7-10-9 in another. I will key the 7-9 over/under the 1-10-2-4-6-8 in two smaller versions.
4th: 5-9/3-6-8/4-2…Thirsty Cowgirl (5) drops to the lowest level in the last four starts for a barn that had a rather cool 2019 year. This one has 15 lifetime starts and only the one win. But…does have 4 seconds and 4 thirds on the resume and has hit the board in 6 of 9 starts over the AW before now. Will be traveling the best in the late going and the stretch out to the route for the first time should help this 4YO daughter of Stay Thirsty. Cooler Schedule (9) has only 1 win in 13 starts. That came over an all-weather surface at Arlington Park and against tougher than these, in all probability. Has never been offered up for this low a price tag and the barn has had success in the past in the second start off a layup. Has faced the best competition to date, and should like the drop here. New rider has 6 wins in just 32 mounts this meet. Figures to be close from the get-go. Detour (6) moves up to face winners for the first time, but rates a chance. In 6 starts over the AW, this one has a win and a third. The Illinois-bred has been facing tougher, too, and the additions of blinkers seems to have helped. Like the work since the win. Chance. I bet the 5-9 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the 5-9 over/under the 3-6-8-4-2 in two smaller versions.
5th:8-4-2/11-9/6-(13)-(14)/12-3…What a nice MSW event carded tonight for the 3YO fillies going a flat mile over the AW surface. This is a two-turn race on this configuration, and it should help some of the pedigrees that suggest more ground. The leader of this group just may be the KY-bred filly Grey Swallow, who is an Irish-bred son of Daylami. This one is out of an A.P. Indy mare. Home-bred for Calumet Farm, too. Ran a “learning”race on debut here Dec. 13. Dropped out of sight and contention early in the 6-furlong sprint and came running with a purpose late. Barn hits with .18% of those making the second career start, and the trainer does exceptionally well at this track, too. This one will be serious and a threat with any education from the inaugural start. Shelly’s Gem (4) ran a similar race here on Dec. 13, as well, and actually nipped our top pick in that event. Had all kinds of issues early on in that one. Rallied and came late, as well. Breeding suggests that a two-turn mile may be to her liking, as well. One to beat. Kitten Empress (2) may be the real sleeper in this group. Didn’t show a lot in the debut run at Churchill Downs in late October. That was against much better and the runner-up that day came right back to win. Works have been encouraging for a top barn operation that has gone 0-0-0 in the first 6 starts here this meet. Due. Gets the meet’s top rider in the irons, too. Threat. I bet the 8 to win/place/show and then box the top 3 in one exacta. I will key the 8 over/under the 4-2-11-9-6-12-3. If either or both the 13-14 draw in from the AE List, I use those with the 8, as well.
6th: 3-9/5-4/6-2-1…Mr Everything (3) has not run since July 13, but the connections thought enough of this 3YO gelded son of Mr. Speaker to start him out at both Gulfstream Park and then Saratoga. Ran a little in the first the mid-turn. Ran a little on the front in the last outing. Both of those over the sod. Now, shows up 6 months later and will try the AW for the first time. Barn hits with .21% coming off the turnout, and with .26% of those dropping from the MSW ranks to the MCL level for the first time. Also, the barn hits with .33% of those that go from turf to the AW surface. Adds up. Rider has hit with .39% of the 18 mounts for this barn, too. Love the Christmas Eve work over this track. My pick at a low price. Alfred (9) nearly won at this level here on Dec. 7. Nipped at the wire by 1/2-length in first try for this barn operator. Trainer has only 1 win in 23 starts since racing moved to Northern Kentucky the first of December. But does have 5 second and 3 thirds on the card. This one could be a tough out if he can repeat the effort. I bet the 3 to win/place/show and then key the 3 over/under all the numbers listed in the exacta.
7th: 4-7-3/2/8-6-1/10-5…Super nice field set up on paper to run over the plastic. I think the top 3 numbers all have a legit chance to be there at the wire. Harmony Victory (4) has hit the board in each of the last 3 races against tough competition. Was the favorite in all 3 of them, and won the race three back. Has stalking speed, and should be close throughout. Barn has won with 1 of 2 that returns as a beaten favorite. And, the trainer has a 2-0-1 record in the last 5 races here. Overall, has won with .22% of the nine starters this meet. Straitouttapopcorn (7) loves to race over this track. In 4 previous tries, has 2 wins and 2 seconds. Should be sitting on a big effort tonight. Third start off the layoff, and the barn hits with .25% of those. Came with a rush here on Dec. 11. Should be a tad sharper for this one. In 7 career races over AW surfaces, she has a 3-3-0 record. Nice. Arch of Troy (3) will be making the first start for the barn of Mike Maker, after being switched from Jason Servis. Has been facing tougher, too and the work here on Jan. 4 was spot on. Hot rider jumps aboard. Look out for this one. I bet the 7 to win/place/show and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the top 3 over/under the 2-8 in two smaller versions.
8th: 5-11-2/4/10-3-1/6…Take Charge Cacky (5) drops from the $30,000 price tag to just half that for this MCL event. Blinkers come off, too. Has enough speed to be a contestant here, especially with the drop. Barn hits with .14% of those losing the shades. Maybelle (11) could spice up the odds rack here. This one, 8-1 in the ML, has not run since last March. But drops considerably for this effort and will get the blinkers for the first time. Trainer is having a super meet, winning with .27% of the first 15 starters. Rider has hit with .24% of the last 21 mounts for this barn, too. Deep closer may be ready off the bench. Twelve Monarchs (2) ran well at this level last time out. In 2 previous runs over the AW, this 4YO Monarchos filly has 2 seconds. Sire line does well with the AW, and should fit with these kind, too. Chance. I bet the 5-11 across the board and then box the top 3 numbers in one exacta. I will key the top 3 over/under the 4-10 in two smaller versions.
Good Luck & All the Best / Gene