Total Day Results 8 / 1-4-1
2021 Overall 1,844 1844 / 690-654-860
Win % of Top Pick 37.42%
Payoff% of Top 3 Picks Overall 39.84%
2021 Top Pick in the Money Overall — 1,241-1,844 67.30%
2021 Top Selection ITM / TP 29-56 51.79%
2021 Top Selections Win / TP 19-56 33.93%
“Key Horses” @ TP 5 / 2-2-0 40.00% Win / 80.00% ITM
“Key Horses” in 2021 278/ 126-63-24 45.32% win / 76.62% ITM
“Longshots of Day” @ TP 9 / 0-1-2 00.00% Win / 33.33% ITM
“Longshots of Day” @IGR (11-11-21) 21/4-1-0 19.095% Win / 23.81% ITM
“Longshots of the Day” @ SAR (8-28-21) 4/0-2-0 00.00% Win / 50.00% ITM
“Longshots of the Day” @ KY Downs 19/2-1-2 10.53% Win / 26.20% ITM
“Key Horses” @ Breeders’ Cup 2/1-0-0 50.00% Win / 50.00% ITM
“Longshots of the Day” @ Breeders’ Cup : 2 / 1-0-1 50.00% Win / 100.00% ITM

We are back for another week at the “New & Improved” Turfway Park and we have gone back to the “laboratory” this week to see if we can modify some of our numbers and get a better feel for what is happening over this Tapeta surface.

So far in this Holiday Meet, we are winning at a 33.93% rate, which is about 3.5% less than our yearly average. OK. Not that far off the mark…yet.

But our top pick is a woeful 51.79% — which is nearly 16% less than our yearling average.

Those numbers are alarming to me — enough — to send me back to the classroom and do a little more homework about what seems to be working; and, obviously, what is not.

So…here we go…we are mixing up a few of our priority numbers to see if it has an impact on our overall numbers.

And…

Here’s a look at our picks for Thursday night, and the opening Pick 5 — which has a nice carryover attached thereto:

Pick 5:

8-2-6-3-1 / 6-5 / 6-10-4-8-5-7 / 3-10-6 / 6-10 = $180 ticket. If that is too much for the Christmas pocketbook, then:

8-2-6-3 / 6-5 / 6-10-4-8-5-7 / 3-10 / 6-10 = $96. If that is still too much? Then…

8-2-6 / 6-5 / 6-10-4-8-5-7 / 3-10 / 6-10 = $72.

1st: 8-2-6/3/1-1A-7-5…Run With Grace (8) get the nod in the ole’ lid-lifter at the “New & Improved” Turfway Park on this Winter’s night. This 3YO filly drops to half the asking price off the last race here on Dec. 5. Ran OK in that one after a horrendous and terrible start, when she was bounced around leaving the gate. Fell to last after that stumbling beginning and lost all chance. Barn wins with 1-for-1 when dropping this much at once. Barn also wins with .22% on the 2nd start off a layup. Deep closer will need to get a bit more motivated in the turn this time, but could fire at the wire. Wicked Ecstasy (2) drops to half the price tag, too, bt this one ran very well at this price level in the two races before. Race at Churchill Downs on Nov. 17 was a winning effort. Lost by a nose at the wire. Has speed. Will be the one to catch. Trick Hat (6) drops out a MSW event here on Dec. 3. No chance in that one. But did run well just three starts ago against tougher-than-these at KY Downs. Chance. I bet the 8-2 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exactas. I will key the top 3 numbers over/under the 3 in two smaller units.

2nd: 6-5/1-10-7/8-9/2-4/3…Morethansoultitle (6) will get the saddle from trainer Larry Rivelli, who has gone 3-2-2 in the first 10 starts of this Holiday Meet. While impressive, those are about the right numbers this barn has cranked up all year long. Has won with .33% of 433 starts this year. This 3YO gelded son of More Than Ready is bred for the surface, and the trainer wins with .36% over the AW. Hottest rider on the grounds takes the reins. Look out here. Franco’s Team (5) goes for a trainer, whom I know very little to zero about. Barn has won with .15% of 168 starts this year. Looks like most of them have been on the East Coast. This one does have AW experience, with a 2nd in only previous start. That came here on Dec. 3. I liked the winner of that one. This one rallies from late and will need to get some racing luck and room. Threat. I bet the 6-5 across the board and then box these two in the exactas. I will key the 6-5 over/under the 1-10-7-8-9 in two smaller units.

3rd: 6-10/4-8-5-7/1-9/2…Bugle Barry (6) is a serious veteran of the AW wars, having run over those kind of surfaces a whopping 35 times already. Trouble is? He has won only 2 of them. That is not a good ratio. To be sure. But? He does have 12 seconds and 5 thirds. So? I use in the mix — especially in the “under” position. Gets a new rider, and that may help. Z U At the Races (10) goes for a barn that has won .22% of the 172 starts this year. This will be the 2nd start for this barn operation, after claiming this one at Hawthorne on Oct. 22. Ran OK in the first try, but now will move to the AW again. Has a 1-1-2 record in 6 starts over this surface. Gets a rider who has been hot all Fall, and should fit this one perfectly. I bet the 10 across the board and then box the 6-10 in the exactas. I will key the 6-10 over/under the 4-8-5-7-1-9 in two smaller units.

4th: 3-10/6/7-1-2/8-9/4-5…Inclusive (3) ships in from Florida for this try at the “bargain bin.” Will drop to a career-low price tag in this spot and will make the first start for a new barn. This barn wins with .22% with the newcomers. Picks up the meet’s top rider for this tilt. Lost by less than 2 against much tougher last time out. In 23 starts over the AW, this one has a 6-6-1 record. In 4 starts here? This one is 1-1-1. At this distance, this one has a win in five starts. Must use for me. High Noon Rider (10) won his first start for this new barn operator in his first try last time out. That came here on Dec. 2. Came with a nice rush in the lane to get that job done. Barn wins with .19% when it won the last time out and with .18% of the last 68 too make the 2nd start off the layoff. If he an duplicate the last race? Then a tough out here. I bet the 3-10 across the board and then box the top 2 in the exactas. I will key the 3-10 over/under the 6 in two smaller units.

5th: 6-10/11-2-5-7-8/1-4-9/3…This is a very nice MSW event that will be contested at the 11/16-mile distance. I saddle up with another #6 in this spot — Catiche (6). This 2YO filly is by the great runner Arrogate. Was 2nd in the debut over the AW at Woodbine on Nov. 21. Trainer is 2-1-1 in the last 6 starts and this guy has won with .30% of the 136 starts this year. Gets a rider who does well for this barn, too. Look out here, with any improvement at all. Barn wins with .16% when stretching out to the route distance for the first time. Valentina Day (10) is a 2YO daughter of Cupid, and comes in off a 3rd at Churchill Downs. Gets the meet’s top rider back up. Dam of this one was Stakes-placed and has produced 4 winners from the first 5 starters. I bet the 6 across the board and then box the 6-10 in the exactas. I will key the 6-10 over/under the 11-2-5-7-8 in two smaller units. 

6th: 5/1-2-6/3-4…The first “Key Play of the Day” comes here with Made In Italy (5). This 4YO, Irish-bred filly comes in off an impressive 2nd over the turf at Belmont Park in the last outing. In for starts in NA, now, this one has a third and a second. Comes late. Needs a clean run. Trainer has won with .27% of 11 starts this year. In 5 starts over the AW surface? This filly has a 2-1-0 record over the pond. I am in. I bet the 5 to win/place/show and then I will key the 5 over/under the rest of the numbers listed. More with the 1-2-6 than the rest. 

7th: 2/3-8-12-11/(1)-7/(1A)-5-10/4-6-13…The second “Key Play of the Day” comes here with Tiz Splendid News (2). This 3YO filly has been off since mid-April, bt that is not unusual for this barn operator. He wins with .24% in the last 342 that have been away from the gate this long. This one returns as a beaten favorite, too, and the trainer wins with .32% of the last 133 of those, too. Has speed. Can burn early and often. Cut back in distance off the last race should help this one’s chances, and she will get the services of the best rider in these parts. Simmer fractions would help. Sizzle fractions could hurt. I bet the 2 to win/place/show and then key the 2 over/nder the 3-8-12-11-1-7-5-10. More with the 3-8-12-11 than the rest.

8th: 4-8-2/1-10/3-9-11…The finale is a wide open affair, but I will give the slight edge to Niff (4). This 2YO Temple City filly moves back to the AW for the first time since she ran 3rd on the career debut at Arlington Park back in mid-July. This one picks up a top rider here, and this barn wins with .35% in the 40 races when shipping in. Will go from two sprints into a route event here, too, and the barn wins with .22% of those. Soddy Daisy (8) ran huge last time out when dropped to this price point. Could be poised for a big one. Millionaire Waltz (2) ran OK on debut and the “Place” horse that day came back to win the next time out. May like the extra distance in this spot. Rider change could help. I bet the 4-8 across the board and then box the top 3 numbers in the exactas. I will key the 4-8-2 over/under the 1-10 in two smaller units. 

Good Luck & All the Best / Gene