Gene McLean's Picks

Friday, August 12, 2022


1st: 1-4/5/2-6/3...Barrett (1) gets the nod in the ole' lid-lifter at the "Pea Patch" on this Friday kickoff to the weekend. This 3YO daughter of Vancouver is bred top and bottom for the grass. Ran solidly at the $50,000 level at Gulfstream Park back in November of 2021. Has been off since late December. Works are promising and the drop in class should help immensely here. Gets Lasix for the first time, too. Barn wins with .16% of the last 83 to get the anti-bleeder. Sweet Truffles (4) ran 3rd here at this same level last time out. Still was beaten 4 lengths. Gets to the grass for the first time and the dam has thrown a sod winner. Barn wins with .08% when trying the grass for the first time. I bet the 1 across the board and then box the 1-4 in the exactas. I will key the 1-4 over/under the 5 in two smaller units.

2nd: 7-6-4/1-5/2-3...Uncle Nick (7) nearly won last time out and drops another couple of rungs in the claiming ladder here. Returns as a beaten favorite, too, and this barn wins with .21% of the last 14 to do that. Rider, whom I know zero about, piloted this one to the 2nd last time out. Gets from the mud to a fast track (maybe), and that could help, too. Triple Chrome (6) goes for one of the hottest barns on the grounds. Trainer has gone 6-3-3 in the 14 starts this meet. Husband takes the reins again and this one could improve off the last outing. Private Connie (4) ran well at this level two starts ago, but the barn is 0-for-10 this meet and has won with .07% this year. Ugh. I bet the 7 across the board and then box the top 3 numbers in the exactas. I will key the 7-6 over/under the 4-1-5 in two smaller units.

3rd: 1-2-4/3/5-6...This is the 2nd race on the day that is carded for the turf and this one will be contested at the 1-mile distance. I will line up with Candace O (1). The barn is ice cold this meet, after an ice-cold meet at Churchill Downs, too. Chilly summer in this case. But this one won here the last time out and now has a 2-1-2 record in 8 career starts. Loses that condition and must face tougher here, but worth a shot with the new rider, who is having a solid meet. Jezebel's Kitten (2) looks to be the best mare in this event. The. Best. Ran in two Graded Stakes just a few starts ago. But? This one has not won a race in either 2022 or 2021. If this one can get kick started a bit earlier? She may romp. Sister Annie (4) has tons of speed and will go right to the front in this event. Won on the grass just three starts ago -- going gate to wire. I bet the 1-2 across the board and then box the top 3 numbers in the exactas. I will key the top 3 numbers over/under the 3 in two smaller units.

4th: 4-6/5-2/1/3-7...Awesome Charger (4) is the ML favorite and should go off as the PT favorite, as well. Has not raced since March and goes to a new barn operator, who does with with .25% on the first try after a claim purchase. Gets the blinkers for the first time and the barn wins with .22% of the last 116 to get the shades. Barn is 0-for-4 this meet. May end that drought here. Pro de Moro Moro (6) could pull the upset here. Trainer is having another solid year and wins with .20% when adding the blinkers. Trainer also wins with .27% on the 2nd career start. Should improve here with a top rider taking the reins. I bet the 4-6 across the board and then box these two in the exactas. I will key the 4-6 over/under the 5-2-1 in two smaller units.

5th: 7-(12)-9-10/5-2-3/(14)-(11)-(13)/4-1-6/8...This is the 3rd turf event on the day and I will line up with Cajun Blast (7) -- who ran a very nice 2nd here in an off-the-turf event here on July 10. Lost that one by a head at the wire. The "Show" horse has already come back to win the next outing. Gets a top grass rider up for the occasion again. Look out here. Oscar Eclipse (12) could be a threat if he draws in from the AE List. Check to see if some scratches occur to allow the entry. Bluff City (9) comes from a mare who has thrown a turf winner so far. Gets to the turf for the first time here and the barn wins with .22% when making this surface switch. Mr Bingo (10) comes from a dam who has 2 turf winners. Should like this move to the sod. Upset possible. I bet the 7 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exactas. I will key the 7 over/under the 12-9-10-5-2-3 in two smaller units.

6th: 4-8/3-6-5/2-7/1-9...Meraj (4) nearly won the career debut here on July 8 and figures to be a tough out in the 2nd career start. Barn wins with .21% of those kind. Solid work here on Aug. 1. Rider has won with .23% of the last 40 outs for this barn. Adds up to a tough one here. Last Cookie (8) is a first timer for the barn of Brad Cox. Comes from a powerhouse breeding operation and the dam has produced 4 winners from 5 starts -- with 2 Stakes winners. Have to offer up a chance. I bet the 4-8 across the board and then box these two solidly in the exactas. I will key the 4-8 over/under the 3-6-5-2-7 in two smaller units. 

7th: 7-1-10/8/(1A)-9-2-4/(11)-(12)/3-6...This turf event -- which will be contested at the 5.5-furlong sprint distance -- is wide, wide, wide open. Lots of options here. Spread race in the horizontals for me. I give a slight edge to My Crazy Neighbor (7) and this will be my first "Upset Special of the Day." Listed at 6-1 in the ML and this son of Into Mischief comes from a Distorted Humor mare. Did run well here n July 8. If he takes to the sod? Could be well spotted. Twirling Roses (1) ran a super 2nd here at this same level and distance on July 16. If he can duplicate that race? Look out. But this one was nearly 12-1 odds in that event, too. I bet the 7 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exactas. I will key the top 3 numbers over/under the 8 in two smaller units.

8th: 2-(14)-1-10/11/3-5-9-12/7-8/(13)...The finale is another turf event and I will saddle up with Blue Devil (2). This son of Uncle Mo has run two solid races so far and the "Place" horse in the last outing came right back to win the next outing, too. Could be a "key" race. Work on Aug. 6 was spot on. Could be graduation day for this one. Grand Cay (14) would be a solid choice if this sone of Uncle Mo drew in from the AE List. Look to see if he makes the gate. Silver Blur (1) ran 2nd in an off-the-grass route here on July 10. Was right there at the wire. Barn wins with .14% in the first grass effort. Should be well-spotted and well-groomed for this one. Encourage (10) has solid breeding credentials here. Will race as a gelding for the first time and with the addition of Lasix for the first time, too. Combo could help. I bet the 2-1 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exactas. I will key the top numbers over/under the 11 in two smaller units.


Pick 5: (Races 4-5-6-7-8):

4-6 x 7-9-10 x 4-8 x 7-1-10-8 x 2-1-10

All Turf Pick 3: (Races 5-7-8):

7-9-10-5 x 7-1 x 2-1-10