Gene McLean's Picks

Sunday, August 7, 2022


1st: 2-4-7/6-9/3...True Jedi (2) gets in the ole' lid-lifter at the "Pea Patch" on this Sunday in a 5.5-furlong sprint over the sod. Out of the nine races carded on this day, 6 of them are scheduled to be on the grass. This 3YO colt is out of a Stakes-winning mare, who has thrown 2 turf winners. This one has been super close in two turf tries so far. Nearly won here last time out and returns here as a beaten favorite. Barn wins with .32% of the last 34 of those kind. Rider ships in with the horse, and has has gone 3-1-0. Pine Valley (4) moves to the grass for the first time and the barn wins with .18% of those trying a new surface. Returns as a beaten favorite, as well. May be better at this shorter distance. Sutherland (7) ran a big one last time out and gets the blinkers now, too. Barn wins with .19% of those kind of the last 89 to add the shades. This one may be a handful here. I bet the 2 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exactas. I double down on the 2 in the win column here. I key the 2-7 over/under the 4-6-9 in two smaller units.

2nd: 2-7-6/3-5-4/1...Coppelia (2) ran well in the first start off an extended layoff, and if this daughter of Not This Time improves off that effort, she will be tough here. Caught a muddy track last time out and ran well over that surface. Keep that in mind if the rains continue. Sharp works of late. Jungle Juice (7) has raced 48 times over the span of his career and has amassed a record of 7-5-6. Picks up a young rider who can boot and gets the apprentice allowance, as well. I toss the last one. Upandcomingstar (6) has run in two straight Stakes events and was not embarrassed. Drops back here and the rider has gone 2-1-3 in the last 8 for this barn operation. Has some talent. Threat. I bet the 2 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exactas. I will key the 2 over/under the 7-6-3-5-4 in two smaller units.

3rd: 10-(13)-11/1-6-7/3-9-(1a)/2-12...Somebody's Problem (10) ran well in the debut effort before tiring at the end. The barn wins with just .05% on the second try, but this one has trained well since the first effort and looks plenty fit for this try. Rider has won with .20% for this barn in the last 10 outs. Baby Got Backspin (13) figures if she draws in from the AE List. Ran huge on debut for a barn that does NOT crank them up for the get-go. Look out for this one. Star Pose (11) goes for a trainer who normally takes his time developing the youngsters, too, but this one ran much better over the slop here on July 9. Gets the apprentice back up. Could pop here. I bet the 10 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exactas. I will key the 10 over/under the 13-11-1-6-7 in two smaller units.

4th: 11/1-12/4-5-9/3-2/8...The first "Key Play of the Day" comes here with Miss Yearwood (11) -- if it stays on the sod. This 3YO Will Take Charge filly ran super in the Stakes at Churchill Downs on June 18. Moves to the sod for the first time here and the dam has not thrown a turf winner. Concern. But this one has faced the best in the past and looks to be a standout here with a clean trip. I bet the 11 across the board and then key the 11 over/under the 1-12-4-5-9 in the exactas. More with the 1-12 than the rest.

5th: 8-11-12/1-4-5-9/10...Sunny River (8) could be a superstar before it is all said and done and this one has actually cross the wire first, in the previous race. DQ'd from that one, but this daughter of Arrogate has some real talent. The runner-up that day came right back to win again. Look out here. This one comes in off a sharp work and looks awesome. My second "Key Play of the Day." I bet the 8 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exactas. I will key the 8 over/under the 11-12-1-4-5-9 in two smaller units.

6th: 1-4-10/2/6-7-8/3/5-9...Twin Spires Turf Sprint Stakes...This is a 5.5-furlong special and I go with Totally Boss (1) in this spot. Has run over a "good" turf in the past and won. Last time on a "soft" surface, he was 7th in a G3 at Kentucky Downs last September. If it stays on the sod, this one comes from well back and the inside post does NOT help. But this veteran has real talent and a win over the course, too. Love the last work. Call Me Midnight (4) tried the Triple Crown road this spring, after winning the G3 Lecomte Stakes over Epicenter. That didn't work out exactly and now he moves to sprints over the grass. That could be a concern, but did sprint very well here on July 10 and should have won that race, to be sure. And, the dam has thrown two turf winners in the past. Will be coming. Could be a new career on the horizon. All in Sync (10) could spice up the odds rack a bit. Won here in an "off-the-turf" Stakes on July 10. Beat Call Me Midnight that day. Should not have. But did. I bet the 1-4 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exactas. I will key the 1-4 over/under the 2-10 in two smaller units.

7th: 2-9/4-8-7/1/6-10/3...Centennial Distaff Turf Mile Stakes...What a nice field has been assembled for this one, and here's hoping that it can stay on the "green." I will go with Turnerloose (2) in this spot. Moved to this location after it was determined that the Arlington Million Day program would have only 2 grass races. Ran 7th in the KY Oaks in the last race. Not a bad performance, either. Last time one turf was in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies. Has a win at KY Downs on the sod. Versatile sort and very talented daughter of Nyquist. I go here. All. Day. Long. I bet the 2 across the board and double down on the win bet. I box the 2-9 in the exactas. Sternly. And, I key the 2 over/under the 9-4-8-7-1 in two smaller units.

8th: 5-3-10/2/1/7-8-9/6...Laguna Distaff Turf Sprint...Elle Z (5) gets the nod here for me. This one has raced here 3 times previously. Has a win and a 2nd. Comes if off a tough-beat 2nd at Horseshoe Indianapolis and has real speed to carry here. Returns as a beaten favorite and the rider has won 3 of the last 5 for this barn. Look at the work pattern on this one. Looks poised for a big effort. Brooke Marie (3) caught a very difficult field in the last Stakes event. Stalker could be in a great position turning for home. New rider has won with .22% of the last 18 for this barn. Tobys Heart (10) has tried two straight G3s in a row, and was overmatched in both of those. Drops back here and that may be the ticket. Ran huge three races ago, and the G2 performance four back was spot on. Could run a huge one here. I bet the 5-10 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exactas. I will key the 5-10 over/under the 3-2-1-7 in two smaller units.

9th: 3-2/1-12/9-10-(14)/6-11...Evan Williams Turf Mile...We finish the day with an outstanding turf Stakes that we hope remains on the sod. If so, I go with Mr Dumas (3) in this spot. He is coming off a powerhouse performance in the Stakes at Canterbury. Ran very well against some good ones in the two races before. Having a super year with a 2-2-1 mark in 5 starts. Gets a hot rider up for a super hot barn. Adds up for me. Kitodan (2) could spice up the odds rack, considering that he is 10-1 in the ML. Ran much better than it looks in the last out and won the previous when on the grass. Better on the sod, where he has 2 wins in 4 starts. Had hit the board in 6 straight until last outing on dirt. Big shot, IMO. I bet the 3-2 across the board and then box these two in the exactas. I will key the 3-2 over/under the 1-12-9-10 in two smaller units. 




Pick 5: (Races 1-2-3-4-5):


2–4-7-6-9 x 2-7-6-3-5-4 x 10-11 x 11 x 8 



Pick 5: (Races 5-6-7-8-9):


8-11-12 x 1-4-10 x 2-9 x 5-3-10 x 3-2



All Turf Pick 3: (Races 7-8-9):


2-9-4-8-7 x 5-3-10 x 3-2