Total Day Results 8 / 3-2-5
2021 Overall 388 388 / 128-134-158
Win % of Top Pick 32.99%
Payoff% of Top 3 Picks Overall 36.08%
2021 Top Pick in the Money Overall — 234-388 60.31%
2021 Top Selection ITM / TP 158-260 60.77%
2021 Top Selections Win / TP 89-260 34.23%
“Key Horses” @ TP 43 / 19-8-3 44.19% Win / 69.77% ITM
“Key Horses” in 2021 60 / 29-12-3 48.33% Win / 73.33% ITM

We are back in action for the final week of this year’s Turfway Park Winter / Spring meet. Saturday’s finale will include a bevy of Stakes events — highlighted by the 50th running of the Jeff Ruby Steaks.

Thanks be to Jeff Ruby and his pioneering restaurants for taking up the baton and running with the sponsorship of this Stakes event, which has meant so very much to Northern Kentucky and the famed racetrack that resides there. Only good things will come in the future with the complete rebuild of the “New & Improved” Turfway Park — which is now fully underway.

A new track surface has already been added by the ownership team at Churchill Downs. A state-of-the-art Historic Racing Venue is now being planned and an entire new grandstand and clubhouse will be rising from the ashes soon.

A dirt track is still being planned to be planted on the inside of the Tapeta course, and there is finally a sense of both peace and prosperity for the area’s racing enthusiasts.

This week will be end the current meet. But we will begin something just as important. A dream. Here’s to dreams.

And, here’s our looks at the Wednesday card:

1st: 3-6-1/4-5/2-7…Trickizar (3) is one of two prime contenders in the lid-lifter for trainer Rey Hernandez. The barn is clicking at a .12% win rate this meet, and that is with 42 starters so far. This one ran a credible 4th last time against $18,000 claimers. Time before that, though, this 6YO mare won at this level over this surface. In 5 starts here? Has 3 wins and a second. Looks to be a prime contender in this spot for me. Natoma (6) is my first “Upset Special of the Night.” This 4YO Fort Larned mare comes in off a win here on Feb. 4. That was at the bargain bin price tag of $5,000, though, and she must step it up to face tougher in this spot. Does have two wins in the last three starts here, and gets the best rider in these parts up for the journey. Threat at a solid 6-1 ML price. Our Closure (1) is the “other” Hernandez piece in this spot. This 7YO mare was picked up three starts ago. Moved up in class in each of the last two outings and ran stubborn 2nds in each. Trainer wins with .21% when making the 3rd start off a layup and should fit nicely with these. Top veteran rider is back in the saddle. In 4 career starts here? Three seconds. I bet the 3-6 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the top 3 over/under the 4-5 in two smaller units.

Pick 5: 3-6-1/2-8-4-6-7/1-7-3-6/2-7-6-1-8/6…$.50-cent ticket = $150

2nd: 2-8-4/6-7/3-5/1…Las Ramblas (2) drops back in class to the level that she won at here two starts ago. Was ambitiously placed last time out and just couldn’t keep her feet moving as fast as the ones she was running against. But in 10 starts here, this one has 2 wins and 2 seconds and the barn wins with .23% of those in the claiming ranks — over the past 447 starters. Gets a top rider who piloted her to the victory to starts ago. Return to glory? Bridge Dancer (8) has run two good ones in a row, and the last one here on Jan. 16 was a stubborn 2nd against the same likes as these. Barn has had a rough winter finding the winner’s circle here, but is due a little good luck. In 9 starts over an AW surface, this filly has a 1-3-2 mark. Chance. Fiona Power (4) reminds me of the lovely character on the old TV show “Burn Notice.” Name recognition, I guess. This 4YO filly won the last time out, but was disqualified and placed 8th for drifting out in the late stages. Same rider returns for a trusting trainer, who has just one win in 19 starts this meet. Rider? Well, he is 4-for-95. Hmmm. I bet the 2 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the top 3 over/under the 6-7 in two smaller units.

3rd: 1-7/3-6/2-8/4-5/9…Hot Heels (1) gets the nod here, despite the fact that the trainer is 0-0-1 in 5 starts and the veteran rider has just 11 wins in 133 mounts. This one ran very well here on debut on March 12. Tired late in that one, and now cuts back to 6 furlongs. Shorter distance could help. Broke the far outside in the previous run. Now, gets the rail. Let’s see if that helps this one, who did flash a bit of speed in the inaugural run. Miner’s Gem (7) is another from the barn of Rey Hernandez, who is emptying up the stalls before the meet ends here on Saturday. This one drops form the MSW level to the $30,000 tag. Barn wins with .13% when hitting the MCL ranks for the first time. Gets a new rider, and this one is well-bred for this type of surface and race. Look for this one to have something to say before the end. I bet the 1-7 across the board and then box the 1-7 in one exacta. I will key the 1-7 over/under the 3-6-2-8-4-5 in two smaller units.

4th: 2-7-6/1-8/4-9/3-5…Eight Ain’t Enough (2) was claimed last time out for $5,000 and will make the barn debut for a trainer that wins with .11% when making the debut for the new connections. This barn is winning at a .22% clip this meet, and that is with 18 starts, to date. Gets a solid rider change for this one and is coming off two impressive wins in a row. Barn wins with .38% of those that won the last outing. My pick. No Bang No Boom (7) was claimed last time out, as well. This one exits the Wesley Ward barn and goes to a solid NY-based operation, which has caught fire here of late. Over the last two weeks, this trainer has gone a perfect 2-for-2. This 5YO gelding is a speedster and should break running. Will face tougher here, but appears that he has the talent to fit. Federal Law (6) comes from a top barn operation, which is winning at a .21% rate from the 66 starters this meet. This one ran at this level last time out and finished a “better-than-looks” 4th in that one. Was caught in-between horses for much of the race, and that is the worst place to be. If he can wiggle a better trip? Threat. I bet the 2-6 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the top 3 over/under the 1-8 in two smaller units.

5th: 6/9/5-7/1-1A-4-2-8/11-10…This is the final leg of the Pick 5, and I will go with a single and my first “Key Play of the Night” — Europa (6). The barn has been a bit on the chilly side all meet long, winning at only a .09% rate with 32 starters. But this one ran a huge 2nd last time out — when caught very wide for much of the proceedings. Does like to come from off the pace and will need a little better racing luck, but the meet’s top rider gets the job again and may be able to negotiate a cleaner run in this one. Barn wins with .25% of those on the 2nd start after a claim purchase. Looks primed here. I bet the 6 to win and then box the 6-9 sternly in the exacta. I will key the 6-9 over/under all the numbers listed in two smaller units.

6th: 3/4-1/2-6-5…My second “Key Play of the Night” comes in this spot with Lady Edith (3). This 3YO Street Boss filly goes for one of the game’s best young trainers and ran a huge one last time out considering the layoff. Has been working great and the barn wins with a whopping .32% of those that return to the gate as a beaten favorite. Barn wins with .33% of those getting Lasix for the 2nd time, too. In the 2nd start off the layup? Barn wins with .28% of the last 67 to fit that category. Adds up for me. I bet the 3 to win/place/show and then key the 3 over/under the “all button.” I also key the 3 over/under the other numbers listed in two more exactas. Love the 3 here.

7th: 8-4/6-7/5-1/3-2…Lanier (8) gets the slight edge in this spot in what shapes up to be a very well-balanced and exciting field of study. This 9YO gelding likes to flash speed, and that does not always pan out over an AW surface. But this one has raced here 12 times, and has a record of 2-4-2 to show on the resume. Gets a rider back that finished a very close 3rd on him just two starts ago. Returns as a beaten favorite here, and the barn wins with .27% of the last 44 of those. My pick. Eskenforit (4) will get his third start for the barn of Tommy Drury. Figures that this one should be ready for his best effort. Barn wins with .28% of those making the 2nd start off a layup, and with .27% in the allowance ranks. Boxed down inside last time out and never was able to stretch the legs much. Look for more at a square price here. I bet. I will use the 8-4 across the board and then box those two in the exacta. I will key the 8-4 over/under the 6-7-5-1-3-2 in two smaller units.

8th: 1-11-10/3-6/2-4/5-8/7-9…I will go to the rail horse in the finale — Magna G Force (1). This one has plenty of speed and likes to use it early and often. With a clean break and under the best rider in the ranks, this one should be able to carve out a smooth trip all the way around. Has won two of the last three outings here and in 4 career starts over this track? Has 3 wins. My solid choice. I bet the 1 to win/place/show and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the top 3 over/under the 3-6 and then key the 1 over/under all the numbers listed in two smaller units.

Good Luck & All the Best / Gene