2019 Fall Meet Totals Wagered: $8,680.00 Cashed: $7,080.55 Net Profit: -$1,599.45 ROI: -18%
Race 1 $0.50 Pick 5 2,5,6 with 1,10,12 with 2,3 with 3 with ALL ($108)
Race 3 $20 to Win on #3 PERUVIAN APPEAL (3-1 ML) $10 Exacta Box 2-3-7 ($60) $20 Double 2,3 with 3 ($40) I always start with the Mike Smith mount pickups at Keeneland, and this filly has a nice closing kick that will suit Smith's patience. Those California based jockeys seem to have an advantage on dirt sprints and this NW2x allowance level should be an easy bar to cross for this Brad Cox runner.
Race 4 $500 to Win on #3 COMPLIANT (3-1 ML) $20 Exacta 3 over 2,7 ($40) $20 Double 3 with 3,6 ($40) Not only is this my Best Best of the Day, but it is also my Best Bet of the Meet! This Kitten's Joy is bred for this turf route and her runner up finished last time out would have been a good enough race to win 95% of the MSWs. So basically this is a NW1x dropping in class to a MSW lol. Johnny V just needs to make sure he doesn't get caught inside in a traffic jam and then can not fall off when the colt accelerates down the stretch.
Race 6 $0.50 Pick 5 3,6,7,8,10 with 3,5,7,10 with 2,9,12 with 1,3,9,11 with 5,7,10 ($360)
Race 8 $20 to WPS on #9 OH SO TERRIBLE (10-1 ML) $10 Exacta Box 2-9-12 ($60) $1 Trifecta Box 9 with 2,4,8,11,12 ($60) After a couple of unsuccessful graded stakes tries up at Arlington, the connections have wisely stepped this horse back down to a level where she can be more competitive. She has been drilling her workouts and should be fresh off of a decent 3rd at Kentucky Downs.
Race 1 $0.50 Pick 5 2,3,5 with 1,3,4,6,9 with 8,10 with 10 with 1,4,5,7,8,10,12 ($105) Lost
Race 4 $20 to Win on #10 COLD SMOKE (3-1 ML) Lost, 2nd $5 Exacta Box 2-10 ($10) Lost This colt didn't fire at all in his debut at Indiana Downs from the tough 1 hole, but has been steadily training since and takes a drop in class here to the maiden claiming level. Throw in Joel Rosario picking up the mount, and you have a likely winner.
Race 6 $100 to Win on #7 JILTED BRIDE (4-1 ML) Lost, 2nd $10 Exacta Box 7-8 ($20) Lost $20 Double 7 with 4,9 ($40) Lost $0.50 Pick 5 2,4,7,8,11 with 4,9 with 1,4,7,8 with 2,4,10 with 3,7,9 ($180) Lost This Asmussen filly is the best of the horses in here with a prior start. First-time starters win less than their fair share in the Keeneland Fall meets, so her experience is an edge. She ran an acceptable 3rd in the race, showing some ability to rally. She likely graduates today.
Race 8 $10 Double 1,8 with 4,10 ($40) Lost
Race 9 $20 to WPS on #10 TURF WAR (12-1 ML) Lost, 12th $5 Exacta Box 2-4-10 ($30) Lost $1 Trifecta Key Box 10 with 2,4,7,9,12 Lost $20 Double 4,10 with 3,7 ($80) Lost Mr B is hot with two straight days of Longshot Bet of the Day winners, so let's stay hot. While some may fret over the stretchout to 1 1/4 miles here, this is a well-bred, Euro-imported turf horse that should handle the longer distance. Chad Brown and Joel Rosario will always give you a good chance-- they are connecting at a 41% win rate at Keeneland on the turf.
Race 10 $20 to Win on #3 SHE LOVE ME (10-1 ML) Lost, 8th $1 Trifecta Key Box 3 with 1,2,5,7,9 ($60) Lost The class jump is curious, especially off of the layoff. These are non-winners of two lifetime, so none of these have really found where they belong. With a good break, this gelding is a good candidate to take them wire-to-wire.
Race 1 $0.50 Pick 5 1,11 with 3,6 with 2,5,6 with 1,2,3,5,9,10,11 with 2,3,7 ($126) Lost
Race 3 $20 to Win on #2 TAKE CHARGE D'ORO (3-1 ML) Lost, 5th $10 Double 2 with 1,10 ($20) Lost
Race 4 $20 Double 10 with 3,7 ($40) Lost
Race 5 $100 to Win on #3 LITTLE RED FROG (7-2 ML) Lost, 5th $0.50 Pick 5 3,7 with 1,4,7,8 with 6,7 with 3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11 with 2,8 ($144) Lost Race 7 $20 to Win on #6 LETSSTAYPOSITIVE (3-1 ML) Lost, 2nd $10 Exacta 6 -7 Lost $20 Double 6,7 with 6,10 ($80) CASHED FOR $440.00 This filly scratched on Wednesday in a similar condition race, although today she joins a field full of boys. Not sure why the morning line was 8-1 on Wednesday, but 3-1 today. Maybe the smaller field? It has taken a while for Wesley Ward to bring this one back from her debut win here in the Spring meet, but all looks well now with a string of decent works, including a gate work. Look for her to pop out from the gate and never look back.
Race 8 $20 to WPS on #10 MARZO (15-1 ML) CASHED FOR $540.00 $5 Exacta Box 6-10-11 ($30) Lost $1 Trifecta Key Box 10 with 4,5,6,9,11 ($60) CASHED FOR $656.10 This 1 1/2 mile race on the turf is very competitive and I believe the place to find a longshot. Mr K disagrees and has picked likely favorite, Focus Group, as his Best Bet of the Day. While that runner has the experience at this longer distance and a grade 2 win, the horse needs a fast pace to close on and he might not get that and be too far back. My Longshot Bet of the Day will be more involved early, and while the ability to stretch out another 4 furlongs is unproven, I like where Maker is taking this gelding in the second start after claiming him from Brad Cox.
Race 1 $0.50 Pick 5 6,7 with 6 with 4,6,7,8 with 1,5,6,7,11 with 4,10 ($40) Lost
Race 2 $20 to Win on #5 CALIFORNIA NIGHT (3-1 ML) SCRATCHED $10 Exacta Box 5-6 ($20) SCRATCHED $20 Double 6 with 4,8 ($40) Lost A California-like field of five here on a Keeneland mid-week card features a lot of winning horses for a claiming race, but this colt has been racing against better competition on the East Coast. He's been rested since the Saratoga meet and has been working well up at Belmont. I expect Castellano to have him on or near the lead early.
Race 3 $20 to WPS on #4 SUNSET PAULA JO (15-1 ML) CASHED FOR $422.00 $1 Trifecta Key Box 4 with 2,5,6,7,8 ($60) CASHED FOR $220.60 This filly has been operating at the lower level tracks in Ohio and West Virginia mostly, but has caught a similarly weak field here where her speed figures are competitive. I don't see a lot of other early speed in this race, and I expect her to steal the race on the front end.
Race 4 $0.50 Pick 5 1,5,6,7,11 with 4,10 with 2,6 with 4,5,6,9 with 5,7 ($80) Lost
Race 6 $20 to Win on #11 LETSSTAYPOSITIVE (8-1 ML) SCRATCHED $5 Exacta Box 2-6 ($10) Lost $1 Trifecta Key Box 11 with 1,2,3,5,6 ($60) SCRATCHED $20 Double 2-5 ($20) Lost It has taken a while for Wesley Ward to bring this one back from her debut win here in the Spring meet, but all looks well now with a string of decent works, including a gate work. At 8-1 odds, I am willing to take a chance she can repeat her last race where she showed a lot of talent.
Race 7 $100 to Win on #5 EMARAATY (7-5 ML) Lost, 2nd $1 Trifecta Box 4-5-6-9 ($24) Lost $20 Double 5 with 5,7 ($40) Lost I wasn't thrilled with his last race at Saratoga in the Grade 2, but you can't doubt Chad Brown and Javier Castellano here. They are winning at a 53% rate at Keeneland and I expect this horse to run much more comfortably today. Look for him to put away this field with a big run down the stretch.
Race 1 $0.50 Pick 5 1,3,4,7 with 2,4,6 with 2,7,8,12 with 2,7 with 1,8,11 ($144) Lost
Race 3 $20 to WPS on #12 THIRSTY BETRAYAL (15-1 ML) Lost, 11th $1 Trifecta Key Box 12 with 1,2,7,8 ($36) Lost $10 Double 12 with 2,7 ($20) Lost Michael Tomlinson only brings his horses over to Keeneland when they have a good shot. He is an average 12% winning trainer overall, but wins at double that rate at Keeneland. This horse has had success on an artificial surface, which can translate well to turf. The gelding's lone turf start was a bust, but that was at a higher class level than today, and I expect a much better showing in this starter allowance. James Graham is an upgrade and should have this one running well down the stretch.
Race 4 $20 to Win on #2 MALIBU PRO (3-1 ML) CASHED FOR $64.00 $5 Exacta 2 over 1,7 ($10) Lost Mac Robertson has been colder than a Canterbury nightcap so far at Keeneland this meet, but he has some runners today that can turn around his luck. This gelding drops into a claiming race here after competing in optional claimers for the past year. In preparation for this start, he has shown two very nice workouts at Keeneland and seems ready to run well. She be in the front pack early if he is on his game.
Race 5 $20 to Win on #12 QUEEN BESS (12-1 ML) SCRATCHED $1 Trifecta Key Box 12 with 1,2,8,9,11 ($60) SCRATCHED $0.50 Pick 5 1,2,8,9,11 with 4,5,6,10,12 with 1,5,7,9 with 1 with 3,4,7 ($150) CASHED FOR $32.55 This is a wide open two-year-old race, and should offer some nice payoffs. This filly debuted in a turf sprint with a full field of 10, and finished a nice 3rd while racing in between horses, never a comfortable place to be for a 2yr old. With the outside post and the stretchout to two turns, I am expecting Declan Cannon to try to make the early lead if she breaks well. I would love 12-1 on a Tiznow filly.
Race 7 $20 to Win on #5 TWO DOT (12-1 ML) Lost $1 Trifecta Key Box 5 with 1,3,6,7,9 ($60) Lost One of only two in this field with a previous start, which is a major advantage. Now, his seven starts might start to bring some doubt that he will always be a maiden, but the owners have continued to keep this one out of the claiming ranks and even put him in a stakes race. So are they stubborn or do they see potential? I think it's the latter and that they are close to a win after being in the money in 4 of 7 starts. There is always the chance of one of the firsters being a beast (watch the toteboard for clues) but if the track is favoring off the pace runners today, I think this one rolls by the inexperienced horses.
Race 8 $200 to Win on #1/1A HOTSHOT ANNA/AIKEN TO BE (8-5 ML) CASHED FOR $320.00 Hotshot Anna scratched out of a Grade 3 turf sprint here on Friday, where she seemed to have a decent shot, so today's $80k allowance level seems like an easy grab if she stays in. Aiken to Be seems likely to scratch because of this pivot, but is very capable if she stays in.
This feels like the toughest card of the meet so far. Rather than spot plays, I suggest multi-race wagers including so rolling Pick 3's and Doubles. For those wanting a bigger score, the Pick 4 and Pick 5's should have big payoffs today, so a larger than normal ticket makes sense.
Race 1 $0.50 Pick 5 1,2,6 with 1,5 with 1,4 with 1,2,3,4,6 with 3,5,6,10,11 ($150) CASHED FOR $395.75
Race 2 $0.50 Pick 4 1,2,5,9,10 with 1,4 with 1,2,3,4,6 with 2,3,5,6,10,11 ($150) Lost
Race 6 $0.50 Pick 5 8,9,12 with 1,3,6,7,10,11 with 3,4,9 with 3,6,8 with 1,4,5 ($243) Lost
Race 7 $20 to WPS on #6 CUESTION DE TIEMPO (15-1 ML) Lost, 7th $5 Exacta Box 1-6-7 ($30) Lost $1 Trifecta Key Box 6 with 1,2,3,7,10 ($60) Lost $10 Double 1,6 with 3,9 ($40) Lost $0.50 Pick 4 1,3,6,7,10,11 with 3,4,5,9 with 3,4,6,7,8,9 with 1,4,5,9 ($288) Lost I don't think this horse's name translates into Blue Prize (winner of the Grade 1 Spinster), but hopefully trainer Ignacio Correas IV has more Keeneland upsets left this meet. At least half of this field seems to need to either be on or near the lead to win, so I looked for the horse most likely to close well into a hot pace. This gelding also used to be an early pace type, but seems to have transitioned to stalking of late. Or maybe it is just losing. But jockey Corey Lanerie takes over and is starting to return to his former Keeneland form. With a late run, I think he gets to the winners circle this time.
Race 8 $100 to Win and Place on #9 CURATE (3-1 ML) CASHED FOR $180.00 $10 Exacta 9 over 3,4 ($20) Lost $20 Double 9 with 3,8 ($40) Lost This is the gelding's first start after a claim by Steve Asmussen, and he steps up slightly to the $50k level here. The horse has done well at Keeneland, winning a NW1x allowance here last fall and then just missing by a nose in an optional claimer in the spring. He has only had 8 lifetime starts, not starting until late into his 4yr old season, so I think he still has room to improve. There is enough mystery here, that I'm hopeful that the price will hold near 3-1.
Race 1 $20 to Win on #11 ALEX OF ICE (3-1 ML) Lost, 4th $0.50 Pick 5 1,2,6,8,10,11 with 2,3 with 3 with 1,3,4,8 with 1A,2,4,5,8,9 ($144) Lost High percentage barns like Brad Cox's don't let non-productive horses stick around for long. They find the claiming level that either gets them sold or gets them a win. This gelding crossed the finish line first last out at Ellis Park, but didn't break his maiden because he was disqualified for interference and was placed 2nd. So know we get a drop to Keeneland's bottom level maiden claimer. Now that he has been in Cox's barn for 2 1/2 months, the trainer should have him ready to get an official win out of the way today against what looks like a weak bunch.
Race 2 $0.50 Pick 4 1,2,3 with 1,2,3,6 with 1,4 with 1A,2,4,5,8,9 ($72) Lost
Race 3 $100 to Win on #3 GRAY MAGICIAN (8-5 ML) CASHED FOR $160.00 $20 Exacta 3 over 1,6 ($40) Lost $20 Double 3 with 1,4 ($40) Lost This Kentucky Derby alum (finished 19th this year) is a long way from being a Grade 1 horse, but a NW2 allowance should be an easy task and the confidence builder he needs. I'm encouraged that a hot jockey like Castellano takes over here, because this looks like one of those horses that doesn't like to be in the lead, which is a problem when winners are the ones that need to cross the finish line first (ahem except in this horse's race on May 4th at Churchill Downs). So a little worried about him hesitating to draw off, but the class is too much better than these others.
Race 4 $20 to Win on #1 HAT TIP (4-1 ML) Lost, 5th $5 Exacta Box 1-4 ($10) Lost I worry a little bit about a bounce after such a strong speed figure last out, but I am siding with the idea that the connections have figured out that this filly loves the turf. She doesn't have a turf pedigree, but her three race winning streak show that it is a good match for her closing kick. If she can save ground along the rail and find a hole in the stretch, I think she will mow them all down.
Race 6 $0.50 Pick 5 1,5,9 with 5,10 with 2,9 with 8,11 with 1,2,3,9,10,12 ($108)
Race 7 $20 to WPS on #5 BIZZEE CHANNEL (8-1 ML) 3rd, CASHED FOR $48.00 $10 Exacta Box 5-10 ($20) Lost $1 Trifecta Key Box 5 with 1,10,11,12 ($36) Lost $20 Double 5,10 with 2,9 ($80) Lost $0.50 Pick 4 5 with 2,4,6,7,9,10,11,12 with 3,8,11,12 with 1,3,9,10 ($64) Lost I am fond of the turf pedigree with this English Channel gelding out of a Mizzen Mast mare. Although he has faded in previous starts at the turf mile, Larry Rivelli is a quality trainer who is likely to have been prepping this horse to unlock that pedigree and either conserve energy better on the front end or stalk a little bit more when the pace is sharp.
Race 8 $20 to Win on #2 MUTAKAAMEIL (3-1 ML) Lost, 7th $5 Exacta Box 1-2-9 ($30) Lost $20 Double 2,9 with 11 ($40) Lost This Chad Brown colt has been off since last November and is making his 3yr old debut today. He comes from a good barn, has a top trainer, and has posted a good workout over the Keeneland track. New York shippers statistically win more than their fair share at the October Keeneland meet. In the last three Fall meets, 10% of the horses have been NYRA shippers, but they have won 16% of the races. That impact value compares favorably to horses who last raced in Kentucky -- those make up 45% of the fields and 49% of the winners. And that leaves the remaining tracks (and first-time starters) making up the other 45% of the field, but delivering only 35% of the winners.
Race 10 $20 to Win on #3 SUMNER (7-2 ML) Lost, 3rd $5 Exacta Box 3-9-10 ($30) Lost Trainer Joe Sharp is a master of the claiming game. He wins at a 24% clip in training races, his favorites deliver at a 41% rate, and he wins 32% in the second race after a claim. Now this one hasn't worked off as he expected. He claimed him at Churchill last fall and didn't get what he expected clearly. Dropped him in class immediately to try him on turf (was taken off) and the horse eased, didn't finish the race, and hasn't raced since. He is bringing the horse back at a bottom level here, probably because he can. People will be hesitant to claim him based on the layoff, but Sharp can qualify for starter allowance here at the $8,000 level. If the horse is rehabbed, he has the proven ability to step up in class from here.
Race 1 $0.50 Pick 5 2,4,6,7,8 with 1,3,8,11,13 with 1,2,3,5 with 7,10,12 with 5 ($150) CASHED FOR $4.35 The Wednesday selections were flat out off, but staying with the game plan here. Be there for the get back!
Race 2 $0.50 Pick 4 1,3,8,10,11,13 with 1,2,3,5 with 7,10,12 with 1,4,5 ($108) CASHED FOR $57.60 But a backup plan just in case...
Race 5 $20 to Win on #5 THANKS BE (3-1 ML) Lost, 9th $5 Exacta Box 1-4-5 ($30) CASHED FOR $128.50 The superstar trainer Chad Brown wins at a high percentage because he always places his horses at winnable class levels, not in over their head. A European runner that still qualifies for this NW1x/2L allowance even having won at Ascot sounds like a layup.
Race 6 $0.50 Pick 5 1,2,4,7 with 2,3,6,8,9 with 1,2,3,8,10 with 3,9,11 with 3 ($150) CASHED FOR $1,788.90 Are we still chasing these??
Race 9 $20 to WPS on #11 GREAT WIDE OPEN (8-1 ML) Lost, 7th $10 Exacta Box 3-9-11 ($60) Lost $20 Double 3,11 with 2,3 ($80) CASHED FOR $84.00 This handicapper without a clue sees nothing but blue skies for this old gelding. He struggled with the pace pressure when stepping up to tougher levels in the last couple of tries, and there is a chance that the decline is beginning. But a freshening, class drop, and couple of good works might suggest otherwise. It was only a year ago that this one ran 2nd in a Grade 1 at Keeneland.
Race 10 $100 to Win on #3 CAIRO CUTIE (3-1 ML) CASHED FOR $180.00 $20 Exacta 3 over 2,7 ($40) Lost $1 Trifecta Box 2-3-4-6-7 ($60) CASHED FOR $60.20 Trainer Todd Pletcher wins 40% in class drops from MSW to MCL, and he and John Velazquez have teamed up to win 4 of their last 9 at Keeneland. So while the 0 for 7 lifetime for this filly is a long losing streak for these connections, it looks like they are giving up the illusion of this some day being a stakes caliber horse (she was the beaten favorite in her debut) and just going for the win (and likely losing her at the claiming box).
Race 1 $20 to Win on #8 TREASURE TROVE (6-1 ML) Lost, 3rd $0.50 Pick 5 ALL with 3,8,9 with 1,4,5 with 2,8,10 with 2 ($108) Lost Jockey Corie Lanerie was a dismal 4 for 92 in last year's Fall Meet here, but he already picked up two wins on Sunday, so perhaps he is finding a better groove this meet (or better horses). This first-time gelding takes a mild class drop today and if the track is favoring off the pace runners like it was Sunday, then this horse will have the perfect post position and profile. Looking for a price here, but felt the need to go ALL in this leg in the Pick 5. Any of these seem like a legit contender.
Race 2 $20 to WPS on #8 MUNGOJERRIE (12-1 ML) Lost, 7th $5 Exacta Box 3-8-9 ($30) Lost $20 Double 3,8 with 5 ($40) Lost The rare agreement with Mr K on the Long Shot of the Day means you probably won't get 12-1 on this first-time starter. Even though most firsters win infrequently, trainer Arnaud Delacour (a former assistant of legendary turf trainer Christophe Clement) has 3 wins in his last 10 starts at Keeneland and ships this one in from Fair Hill with a string of steady works.
Race 3 $20 to Win on #3 AUGIE (6-1 ML) SCRATCHED $5 Exacta Box 1-5 ($10) Lost This is another race here on the undercard that has a very well balanced field and you should insist on a fair price. This horse has a big pace profile advantage over the field, and I expect a front running style. The consistency of being is the money 13 of 16 times is a good indication, but he has tended to get outfinished. Worth a chance that he is good enough to win this time.
Race 4 $0.50 Pick 5 2,5,6,8,9,10 with 1,2,6,8,10 with 4,7 with 1,4,6 with 11 ($90) Lost Yes there are two Pick 5 today that overlap.
Race 5 $100 to Win on #2 RAMSEY SOLUTION (4-1 ML) Lost, 7th $10 Exacta Box 2-6-10 ($60) Lost $20 Double 2 with 4,7 Lost Trainer Wesley Ward is well known for his success with first-time starters at Keeneland, with a 34% winning percentage for those debuting. Johnny V is buying in on this runner so the top connections are complete.
Race 8 $20 to Win on #11 SMART WARRIOR (6-1 ML) Lost, 7th $10 Exacta 11-4 Lost This Canterbury shipper comes here racing with the maiden claimers today and that should provide enough class relief for a gelding with good pace ratings. The smart bet.
Race 1 $0.50 Pick 5 1,3,6 with 2,3,4,5 with 8 with 1,2,3,5,7,9,12 with 3,6 ($84) Lost
Race 2 $20 Exacta Box 4-5 Lost $0.50 Pick 4 4,5 with 6,8,10 with 1,2,7,9,12 with 2,3,4,6,8 ($75) Lost
Race 3 $20 to Win on #8 STRUT THE RING (3-1 ML) Lost, 7th $5 Exacta Box 2-8 SCRATCHED This old guy showed an affinity for Keeneland last spring, winning twice in the April meet as favorite. He didn't show his normal stretch run during his last two starts, but his recent works have been good, suggesting he has been freshened and I expect a return to Keeneland against a weaker bunch here will do the trick.
Race 5 $20 to WPS on #3 GRANDARIA (8-1 ML) CASHED FOR $128.00 $5 Exacta Box 3-4-6 CASHED FOR $45.50 This daughter of Curlin out of an AP Indy mare certainly brings the pedigree. She has been improving in every start, and seems on the verge of grabbing a big breakout win. This non-winners of 2 allowance seems like the perfect spot and if she gets a decent pace to close into, I expect her to rally to cross the wire first.
Race 6 $100 to Win on #9 TEMPERS RISING (2-1 ML) Lost, 2nd $20 Exacta 9 with 2,4 ($40) Lost $20 Double 9 with 2,3 ($40) Lost $0.50 Pick 5 2,4,9 with 1,2,3,5,9 with 2,5,6 with 1,5 with 1,2,4,10 ($180) Lost This filly has been in-the-money in both of her starts with speed figures that should place her at a clear advantage against this relatively weak field. She picks up jockey Javier Castellano, who has been white hot this opening weekend, and he should have her well positioned for a strong stretch move that gets her the maiden win.
Race 8 $20 to WPS on #2 GEAR JOCKEY (15-1 ML) CASHED FOR $64.00 $5 Exacta Box 2-5-6 ($30) Lost $1 Trifecta Key Box 2 with 5,6,11,12,14 ($60) Lost $10 Double 2 with 1,5 ($20) Lost Here we have an 0 for 2 maiden trying to score in a Grade 3 race, which is both a tougher than necessary challenge and a big vote of confidence by the connections. But a big speed figure as runner-up last out at Saratoga suggests that this is exactly where this colt fits. Even in defeat, this horse ran a race at the same surface and distance as today's race that, if repeated, will bring home the win today. This looks like that Rusty Arnold longshot that wins at least once every Keeneland meet.
Race 1 $20 to Win on #4 DROP A HINT (6-1 ML) Lost, 4th $0.50 Pick 5 1,2,3,4,5,8,10 with 8 with 3,6,7,9 with 3,7 with 2,6,10,11 ($112) CASHED FOR $25.20 In the past three Keeneland October meets, there have been 146 2 year-old races. Do you know what percentage of those have been won by a first-time starter? Only 16%. The sharper, precocious two-year olds have already broken their maiden by now. Those firsters remaining by October tend to be later developing horses that could use some experience first. So in today's opening race where 9 of the 13 entered are debuting, I go with this horse that has been battling much tougher two-year olds up at Saratoga this summer.
Race 2 $20 to Win on #8 GOTHAM GALA (2-1 ML) CASHED FOR $58.00 $5 Exacta 8 with 1,4 ($10) Lost $10 Double 8 with 3,6 ($20) CASHED FOR $228.00 This filly has been drilling some nice workouts over the past month after coming off of a game finish last out where she just missed by a nose. I love it when big name jockeys like Javier Castellano jump aboard a horse for a lesser known trainer that has been running at lesser known tracks. When they make that choice rather than fulfill an obligation, it's a good bet that they expect to be in the winners circle.
Race 3 $5 Exacta Box 3-6-7 ($30) CASHED FOR $107.50 A fun competitive race that should yield some decent payouts
Race 6 $20 to Win on #3 IMPRIMIS (2-1 ML) Lost, 3rd $0.50 Pick 5 3,4,9 with 1,3,5,6,8 with 4,6,7,11 with 10 with 4,6,7,12 ($120) A two race losing streak is a major slump when your career record going into it was 7 wins in 9 starts. Look for Paco Lopez to return this one to the winners circle today, just as he did here in a similar race last April. Although this gelding is a little bit prone to stumbles and traffic problems -- something most closers experience -- I expect him to outclass this field. An Ascot hangover can explain the duller effort last out, but a sharp work on the turf since gives me the green light.
Race 7 $20 to Win on #1 OURS TO RUN (7-2 ML) Lost, 5th $5 Double 1-11 Lost This sprinter proved she belonged in a Grade 2 last time out at Saratoga, finishing a good 3rd when wide. She has been freshened by trainer Larry Jones since then, and a ground saving trip today could make the difference.
Race 8 $50 Double 11-10 Lost Let's just take the chalky double with Rushing Fall and Gouverneur Morris and pay for our Breeders Cup flight to go watch them at Santa Anita...
Race 9 $100 to Win on #10 GOUVERNEUR MORRIS (5-2 ML) Lost, 2nd $20 Exacta 10 over 1,8 ($40) Lost Who spells governor like this?? You're killing me on the spell check! Well actually the horse is named after one of our founding fathers that wrote the Preamble to the United States Constitution. Do you know who this horse's sire is? Yep, Constitution. Isn't horse racing cool? And oh yeah, this horse might become the next superstar in horse racing. He dominated the field in his debut race at Saratoga this summer, winning by 9 lengths with ease despite being bumped at the break and racing wide. L-O-C-K
Race 10 $20 to WPS on #7 DIAMOND OOPS (30-1 ML) 2nd CASHED FOR $218.00 This gelding scratched out of yesterday's Grade 2 Phoenix Stakes dirt sprint to race in today's Grade 1 Shadwell Turf Mile. Maybe it's just Breeders Cup experimentation for a horse that has never tried a turf mile. Or maybe the trainer, who has been working the horse on the turf in the mornings, thinks the horse is doing really well and feels confident taking the Grade 1 shot again with him now. In the G1 turf sprint at Belmont, he raced wide and ran one-paced, so I can see the stretch out working. It's a large field of talented horses, but I think anything near 30-1 odds would be a gift.
Race 1 $20 to Win on #5 GOT MY MO (5-1 ML) Lost, 10th $0.50 Pick 5 5,11 with 2,7 with 1,4,5,11 with 3,5,7 with 3,4,5,8,10,12 ($144) CASHED FOR $43.20 This gelding had a five race winning streak at some lesser Canadian tracks snapped when trying a one-turn mile at Churchill last out. I think the turn back to a more traditional one-turn distance will be a winning move. I don't think a pace setter's trip is required if he can't make the easy lead, but he needs to be close to the pace.
Race 3 $20 WPS on #11 NEVER EVEN CALLED (12-1 ML) Lost, 5th $20 Double 5,11 with 3,7 ($80) Lost This Chicago shipper is a pretty consistent check casher, but hasn't won since the spring. The key to this race will probably be the pace and I expect this horse to be on or near the lead. The #7 horse, V Tach M.D., is the likely pace competition.
Race 4 $20 to Win on #7 VOLGOGRAD (12-1 ML) Lost, 6th $1 Trifecta Key Box 7 with 1,2,3,5,6 ($60) Lost I'm going with another Arlington import here, taking a shot at another horse that should offer a decent price. The big class jump will scare most off of him, but he has early speed and the 1 1/2 mile distance can tend to lull the closers to sleep, waiting for a front runner to back up that then keeps on rolling.
Race 6 $0.50 Pick 5 1,5 with 6 with 1,2,3,4,6,7,10 with 4,7 with 2,3,4,6,9,10,16 ($98) Lost Starting with some big tickets on day 1. Let's see how it goes!
Race 7 $100 to Win on #6 CRAFT WOODS (2-1 ML) CASHED FOR $210.00 $5 Exacta Box 6-7-10 ($30) Lost $10 Double 6 with 4,10 ($20) Lost Debuted last time with a 2nd place finish at Kentucky Downs in a large 12-horse field. The blinkers go on today and it will take a big effort to match the speed ratings this filly will likely blaze. Not too worried about any of the first-time starters, but it's always smart to watch the toteboard at Keeneland.
Race 8 $20 to Win on #10 ZIPP ON BY (30-1 ML) Lost, 7th $1 Trifecta Key Box 10 with 3,4,6,7 ($36) Lost Well, you can't accuse Mr. B of being a chalk eater...how about a 30-1 ML pick for this $250k, grade 2 stakes! Yes, he is is stepping up in class even though he lost by 10 lengths last spring at Keeneland in a optional claimer. But this guy can sprint, and there is a good chance that some of the bigger name competitors in this race are either in decline or perhaps trying to get by with a lower effort Breeders Cup prep. You should at least get some exciting moments here.
Race 10 $20 to Win on #10 ACROSS (4-1 ML) CASHED FOR $80.00 $1 Trifecta Key Box 10 with 3,4,6,9,16 ($60) CASHED FOR $90.60 She debuted as a favorite last out at Indiana Grand, and even though she finished a solid 2nd in a 12-horse field, I expect you may get decent odds for what I think is the most likely winner.