Gene McLean's Picks

August 21, 2022


1st: 5-2/8-4/6/7/1-3...Gathering Storm (5) gets the nod in the ole' lid-lifter at the "Pea Patch" on this Sunday. This 2YO daughter of Goldencents ran well before tiring over a muddy track here on July 31 in the career debut. Went off as the prohibitive favorite in that effort. Barn wins with .31% of the last 424 to return as a beaten favorite. Trainer is 7-4-0 in the last 20 starts here and is winning at a .26% rate this meet after 31 starts. Gets a top rider, who is winning at a .19% clip this meet. One to beat, IMO. Cloudy Bay (2) could be a nice upset possibility here, at 8-1 in the ML. This daughter of Preakness winner Cloud Computing will make the career debut for a barn operation that is winning at a .33% clip this meet. Dam of this filly has produced 4 winners from 6 starters and has a Stakes winner on the ground, too. Sharp work here on Aug. 13. Lots to like. Lots. I bet the 5-2 across the board and then box these two sternly in the exactas. I will key the 5-2 over/under the 8-4-6 in two smaller units.

2nd: 7-5/8-4/1-3/2-6...Big Sport (7) will move from the dirt to the turf here after a nice 41/4-length win over the main track here on July 22. Barn has been hot all meet and is winning at a .38% rate. Trainer picks up the husband for the ride, again. Over the last 10 starts? This 6YO gelding has 7 wins and 3 seconds. Nice. Very nice. But? Never won on sod. Interesting. Cyril's Boy (5) is 0-for-2 on the turf, too, but this one has run well of late. Won three starts ago against much tougher. Gets a top rider up and warrants a look. I bet the 7 across the board and then box the 7-5 in the exactas. I will key the 7 over/under the 5-8-4-1-3 in two smaller units.

3rd: 7-6/1/8-10/4/2-3-8/5...Bourbon Heist (7) has started 11 times already and has yet to find the winner's circle. Has disappointed as the PT favorite in 5 of those, too. But? Ran very well and came with a late rush here on July 31. Steamrolling late. Stretch out to the route distance should help. Barn wins with .24% of those returning as a beaten favorite, too. Trainer's son-in-law takes the reins again. Look out late. Chasing Rainbows (6) comes from the Brad Cox barn operation and ran well in the only race on the resume, to date. That was back in May. Now, stretches out to the route off the layoff. Barn wins with .24% off the rest break; .30% going a route for the first time; and .28% on the second career start. Love this rider, too. I bet the 7-6 across the board and then box these two sternly in the exactas. I will key the 7-6 over (only) the 1-8-10 in a smaller unit.

4th: 5-6-3/1/4/2...New Roo (5) is a 6YO mare now for one of the top young trainers in the game today (young, right?). This gal has run up against some good ones in the two starts this year, but I can forgive those efforts. Has a win and a second in three starts here and looks well-spotted for this return effort. Lindalevesolta (6) drops in class for this 2nd career start in NA. Will stretch out here, too. Look for a lot more out of this Group Stakes winner in Argentina. Threat here. Guana Cay (6) has been outstanding since being claimed for $20,000 last year. Has 3 wins since then for the new connections and fits with this group nicely. Coming off an easy win at "The Shoe." I bet the 5-6 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exactas. I will key the top 3 numbers over/under the 1 in two smaller units.

5th: 9-8/3-5-10/6/7...This is a 1-mile event for the sod and I will saddle up with No Comment (9). This 3YO Kantharos filly is owned by my great friends at Allied Racing and trained by one of the best in Bret Calhoun. Comes in here off a really nice effort here on July 30. Came very late and just ran out of ground and time in the one. If the rider can motivate this one a bit easier? Watch out. Barn wins with .28% of beaten favorites. Maysville Miss (8) set all the speed figures in the same race that our top pick ran in, as well. This one just got tired at the wire time. Could benefit from that first route race and have more stamina this time around. Rider switch here is big, and the work on Aug. 12 was outstanding. Look out. I bet the 9-8 across the board and then box these two sternly in the exactas. I will key the 9-8 over/under the 3-5-10 in two smaller units. 

6th: 8-4-2/9-10/6-3-7/1/5...Magnificent Mile (8) is our first "Upset Special of the Day." This one is listed at 8-1 in the ML and the first time starter could pop with a big one here. Dam has 2 winners from 3 starters and a Stakes winner. This one is working very well for the first run, too. Rider is having a super meet, winning at a .23% rate. If pops from the gate? Look out. After all, connections paid a handsome $800,000 for this one. Counterspy (4) could spice up the odds rack, too. This one ran 4th and was beaten 16 lengths in the career debut. But? Was wide in that one after being well bet and has worked well since then. Actually, works are a tad better than the stable mate. Spanish Doubloon (2) is that aforementioned stable mate. This one is thought of better by the ML makers. Gets the blinkers for the first time and that could help and returns as a beaten favorite. Barn wins with .24% of those kind. Switches to the dirt and that could help this son of Malibu Moon. I bet the 8-4 across the board and then box the top 3 numbers in the exactas. I will key the top 3 numbers over/under the 9-10 in two smaller units. 

7th: 6-1/8-9/2-7-10/3/5/4...Supremacy (6) is another from the Cox barn and this one rates a serious threat here. Has been up at Saratoga. Now, returns home for this. Look at race at Churchill Downs two races ago. Super good. If he can find that form again? Look out here. Love this rider. He can race ride. Greyes Creek (1) drops from a G1 race at Belmont in the last start to this affair here. In 9 career starts over the sod, this one has 3 wins. But? Has not won since 2020. Long time between drinks. I bet the 6 across the board and then box the 6-1 in the exactas. I will key the 6-1 over/under the 8-9-2-7-10 in two smaller units.

8th: 5-9-1/(10)-(11)/4/6-7-8/3/2...The day's finale is a 5.5-furlong sprint over the sod and I saddle up with Master Game (5). This 3YO gelded son of Mastery will make the first start this the "major" equipment change. Ran very well in the career debut at Saratoga in 2021. Has faced some tough customers in all of his outings so far. Should fit better here and the cut back in distance may be spot on. My Road (9) will make the debut here and the breeding suggests he should relish this distance and this surface. Dam of this one has 2 turf winners from the first 2 starters. Works indicate this one has some speed, too. "Upset Special of the Day." I think It's a Bang Bang (1) warrants a look here, too. This one will get Lasix for the first time and the barn wins with a whopping .26% when adding the anti-bleeder medication. I bet the 5-9 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exactas. I will key the top 3 over/under the 4 in two smaller units.


Pick 5 -- Races 4-5-6-7-8:

5-6-3 x 9-8 x 8-4-2 x 6-1 x 5-9-1 = $.50-cent ticket costs $54


All Turf Pick 3 -- Races 5-7-8:

9-8-3-5-10 x 6-1 x 5-9-1 = $3 ticket costs $90