The Pressbox Ends Up Churchill Downs’ Meet with 36% Winners / 68.3% ITM From Top Selections

Day Results12-6-2-5
Top Pick Win %36.00%
Top Pick ITM % 239-35068.30%
Payoff % of Top 3 Picks at CD40.00%
2018 Overall 947354-352-417
Win % of Top Pick37.40%
Payoff % of Top 3 Picks Overall39.50%

The Churchill Downs Spring / Summer race meet did not start off too well for us here at The Pressbox.

Well, that is a bit of an understatement.

On Thursday before “Derby Week,” I arrived at the emergency room at Baptist East with a second battle of blood clots, which had bridged both of my lungs. Needless to write and/or say, but the vast majority don’t survive a single battle of this health emergency and magnitude, much less a second. So, when the doctors told my lovely bride that it may be advisable for me to call my children and have a “conversation,” the last thing on my mind was my current handicapping rate of success. I was trying to beat the favorite, and rally from well behind. Just to stay alive.

But we did. And, here we are. Still standing. Still breathing. Still living. And, still handicapping. That’s the biggest win of the meet for me, for sure.

We didn’t get off to the greatest of starts at the real betting windows, though. We had only one winner on Oaks Day. I think Churchill Downs had 117 races carded that day, or it seemed like it. We had one winner. And, that came very late in the day. Like the last race.

Derby Day was not a whole lot better. But a little. Then we returned the following week with just one winner on the first Thursday day/night twilight card. Wow. Talk about digging yourself a considerable hole.

But after Saturday’s racing was completed, we had upped our winning percentage to a meet-high 36%. Our top selections for 358 races that we handicapped this meet, hit the board a truly amazing 68.30%. And now, after the meet is concluded, our 2018 statistics don’t look too shabby at all.

The last three days of the meet were amazing. Really. On Thursday, we won 5 of 8 races. On Friday, we hit for 8 of 11. And, on Saturday’s closing day card, we closed with three straight winners to finish with 6 winners for the 12 races. In the final 31 days, we tallied and touted 19 winners. That’s a 61.3% win rate. Wow.

So far this year, we have touted 947 races on this site. We have compiled a 37.40% win percentage. And, we are looking up for the rest of the year.

At this point, we will take a bit of a daily break. We will handicap some of the races at Arlington Park for the rest of the meet, and will do all the races at Saratoga. Some of those will be “free of charge,” as has been our practice from the very beginning. And, we will add a dose of Del Mar in the mix, too.

Soon, though, we will be providing some of our best races, and “Best Bets,” on the site for purchase. Look forward to adding that component to the site.

Until we meet again, have a great day and live this life like it may be the last day ever. I am. I know. I am lucky.

The horse broke well today,” Gaffalione said. “I had the horse inside, Dunph, going to the lead and then (Gun It) showed a little bit of speed. When I saw they were intent on going I just tried to get him back and got him to relax. He came back to me nicely and settled well down the backside. Got a little keen going into the far turn and wanted to move a little early. But I didn’t want to take too much away from him so I tried to sit as long as I could. He was waiting on horses down the lane but I kept him at task and there was plenty of horse there.”

“Mark (Casse, the trainer) and his team have done a great job,” Gaffalione said. “They’ve had a ton of confidence in this horse the whole way. It’s just an honor to be able to ride the horse. He’s just so professional, trains great and he’s a pleasure to be around.”

Tyler Gaffalione, Rode of War of Will to victory in the G2 Risen Star Stakes at the Fair Grounds
  • Gene McLean

    Gene McLean

    Gene McLean began his professional career in 1977 as a sportswriter and columnist for the Lexington Herald-Leader in Lexington, Ky., and was recognized as one of the state’s best writers, winning the prestigious “Sportswriter of the Year” honor in 1985. Now the President and Publisher of The Pressbox, McLean sets ...

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