Day’s Results 8 / 3-1-4
2023 Overall — 74 74 / 22-24-34
Win % of Top Pick 29.73%
Payoff % of Top 3 Picks Overall 36.04%
2023 Only / Top Pick in the Money Overall — 40-74 54.05%
2023 Only / Top Pick in the Money @ TP — 40-74 54.05%
2023 Only / Top Pick Wins @ TP 22-74 29.73%
2023 Only / “Key Horses” @ TP 10/4-1-1 40.00% Win / 60.00% ITM

Here’s our looks at the new and improved Turfway Park, as it kick-starts the racing week on “Hump Day,” now equipped with comments.

I was moving on to finish up the work week on handicapping, when I got this email from one of my life’s greatest friends and most inspirational allies:

“Y know picks without comments are like a plain hamburger… it’ll sustain you but there’s no joy in the taste…”

So, I went right back to the PPs, and here you go. Thank my special friend Mark Drury, the next time you bump into one of life’s most precious people.

1st: 7-6/5-9/3-8-10/1/2/4…Crosstown Shootout (7) gets the nod in the ole’ lid-lifter this night at the new and improved Turfway Park. This 7YO gelding will make the first start for the new barn off the claim last time out. Barn wins with .11% of the last 36 of those types. Gets the meet’s top rider up and that’s a huge move up here. Second race off a layoff can’t hurt, either. I’m in. Dragon Drew (6) loves, loves, loves this place. In 16 starts here, this one has a 6-3-2 record. Has speed on top of speed. But the stretch out to 6.5 furlongs here is a concern. Has a 3rd in only previous try at this distance. Concerned. I bet the 7 across the board and then box the 7-6 in the exactas. I will key the 7 over/under the 6-5-9-3-8-10 in two smaller units. 

2nd: 3-7-9/1-11/12-10-8/2-6/4/5…Bless the Kitten (3) takes top billing here. This 6YO son of Kitten’s Joy has the breeding to love the AW, and has been rather successful here going 2-5-2 in 11 starts over this Tapeta. Has speed and that is not a preferred running style here. But gets a good gate rider and returns as a beaten favorite. Barn wins with .31% of the last 26 to fit that title. Can’tbetemall (7) goes for a trainer who has won with .22% of the last 110 starts. This one won last time out — at KEE in October. Moves to the AW here and has a tidy 3-4-0 record in 9 starts here, too. Like. Nip N Tuck (9) is a longshot possible here and what I need in terms of surgery to reduce this spreading waistline. Will flash some speed, too, and has a win in only previous try here. Rider is just 2-for-76 and that is a concern. I bet the 3-7 across the board and then box the top 3 numbers in the exactas. I will key the 3-7 over/under the 9-1-11-12-10-8 in two smaller units. 

3rd: 1-2/5-7-11-3-(14)/10-(13)/12/9/4-6…Frisco Line (1) gets the rail and drops off the win last time out for a barn that wins with a good rate of return. Barn has won with .37% of the last 38 to repeat in the claiming ranks. Has won two in a row and fits here. Look out. Con On the Run (2) will make the 3rd start off the layoff and the barn wins with .25% of the last 36 to do that. Has speed. Lots of it. Will use early and often. I bet the 1 across the board and then box the 1-2 in the exactas. I will key the 1 over/under the 2-5-7-11-3-14-10 in two smaller units. 

4th: 5-6/9-7-3//4-8/12/1…Spears Mill (5) goes for a top trainer, who just so happens to be 0-for-16 at this meet. Ugh. Due. Ran a huge 2nd here on Dec. 22. Any improvement off that debut will make this one hard to get. Missoni (6) goes for a trainer who is doing quite well overall, and here is 3-3-1 in the first 12 starts. This one nearly broke the MSW here last time out. Big jockey switch. Take note. I bet the 5-6 across the board and then box these two in the exactas. I will key the 5-6 over/under the 9-7-3 in two smaller units.

5th: 8-2-4/7-10-11-9-5/3-(13)/6-12…Who Runs the World (8) is a first timer for the barn of Brad Cox. Top trainer got off to a slow start here this meet, but has upped his numbers to 8-6-5 in the first 32 outs. That is a win % of over .25%. Nice. Last two weeks, he has teamed up with this rider to go 2-3-1 in the last 6 starts. Take note here. Public Garden (2) goes for a trainer who has gone 12-6-5 in the first 45 starts here this meet. This is a debut runner, too, but the City of Light filly should be ready and poised. Don’t dismiss this one. Do. Not. Granny Law (4) is a third first-time starter to make my list here. This trainer wins with .12% on debut and gets the meet’s top rider up. Sharp work on Jan. 13 at KEE. Chance. I bet the 8-2 across the board and then box the top 3 numbers in the exactas. I will key the 8-2 over/under the 4-7-10-11-9-5 in two smaller units. 

6th: 1-3/2-5-6-7/4-8…Gun It (1) is my first “Upset Special of 2023.” This one is listed at 8-1 in the ML by my friends at Brisnet.com. The 7YO figures better than that, to me. Has speed and needs a good, clean break from this rail post. And, needs to convert to the AW in the first try over the synthetic. But? Gets a clever rider and has speed. Look out here, of fresh off the bench. Barn wins with .19% off the break. Bad Beat Brian (3) is the horse to beat, IMO. This one has faced some serious foes of late. Ran in a G2 just two starts ago and lost by only 2 lengths. Wow. Will be tough, tough, tough here. Must use. I bet the 1-3 across the board and then box those two in the exactas. I will key the 1-3 over/under the 2-5-6-7 in two smaller units.

7th: 3-5-1/4/11-8/2-6-7/9-12/10-(13)-(14)…With Bells On (3) has been off since last July. Was in the barn of HOFer Todd Pletcher back then. Moves to the first start for a new barn operation, which is 0-for-21 with debut runners. But this one has been working very well and gets a hot rider. May improve with the shorter distance here and has some nice back class. Worth a shot at these odds. Worry Free (5) goes for a top owner/breeder operation and the barn is well-respected, as well. Won last time out here to break the MSW on Dec. 1. Came from well off the pace to do that. Loses the meet’s top rider here, though, and that is interesting. Scenic Masterpiece (1) is a veteran who has now raced 10 times. Has only 1 win, but 4 3rds on the resume. Ran here last out and was 6th. Ugh. But was beaten less than 2 and had all kinds of traffic issues. New rider up and the apprentice is doing quite well — winning at over .22% rate. I bet the 3-5 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exactas. I will key the top 3 numbers over/under the 4 in two smaller units. 

8th: 10-4-1/11-(13)-6/9-5-(14)/3-8-2…The night’s finale is a 6.5-furlong event for the MC $30,000 level. I go to the outside and saddle up with Proud Performer (10). This 3YO Oscar Performance filly gets Lasix for the first time and a new rider, too. Should fit this spot and role quite well and may be a very tough out. Well bet in the MSW debut last November. Look out. Yoga (4) is a long-shot possibility. Will make the debut here and is training very well over this AW surface. Gets a rider who is starting to click a bit. Dam of this filly has 6 winners from 7 starters and 1 Stakes winner, already. Pedigree is there. Queen Tapiture (1) was a misfire last time out, but look at the race two back. Was 2nd at this same level. I use. I bet the 10 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exactas. I will key the 10-4 over/under the 1-11-13-6-9 in two smaller units.

Good Luck & All the Best / Gene