Gene McLean's Picks
August 26, 2022
1st: 3-6/8-4/5-7/2-9/1...We will kick off the final Friday of the 2022 "live meet" with a 1-mile turf event, and I will line up with Blame It On Paris (3). This 2YO daughter of Blame cost a reasonable $75,000 at the 2021 KEE September Yearling Sale. After a solid effort in the first try on July 31, this 2YO gal is now going to be offered up for $50,000 in the drop into the claiming ranks. This one had a super work at KEE on Aug. 18. Trainer is having a solid year, winning at a .21% rate after the first 140 starts. Gets a veteran rider back up. Barn wins with .28% on the 2nd route race, too. Diamond District (6) could improve with the move to the grass for the first time. This Forest Camp dam has thrown 3 turf winners and has 7 winners from 9 starters, so far. Look for this one to show big time improvement. I bet the 3 across the board and then box the 3-6 in the exactas. I will key the 3-6 over/under the 8-4-5-7 in two smaller units.
2nd: 6-3-1/4/2-5...Inspeightful (6) drops to a career-low price tag here and should improve with the class plummet. Has not shown much in the career so far, but this may be softest field assembled here all meet long. I go here off the solid work on Aug. 13. Has not raced in a year. Barn does win with .23% off an extended layup. Not fired up about it, but the best of a weak group? Fox Creek Lady (3) is 8-1 in the ML and could be the first "Upset Special of the Day." This 4YO Jack Milton filly ran super at this same level just two starts ago. If she can duplicate that effort? Watch out. Yellow Creek Road (1) drops from the $30,000 level all the way to the $10,000 tag here and that may propel this one to new heights. Trainer is 0-for-12 this meet and has won with only .07% of 43 starts this year. Ouch. I bet the 6-3 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exactas. I will key the top 3 numbers over/under the 4 in two smaller units.
3rd: 1-6-5/4-7-3/2...Missed Opportunity (1) ran well last time out and has two solid starts in as many tries in 2022. Work on Aug. 13 was spot on and this one has the look of one on the improve. Glamorous Days (6) is a 3YO daughter of the great Ghostzapper and the dam was a Stakes winner back in her day. This one gets Lasix for the first time and the barn wins with .19% of those kind. Worth a big look here to see if she passes the eye test. Bella Runner (5) could spice up the odds rack here a bit, too. Listed at 10-1 in the ML and this daughter of Gun Runner looks like the rest since March may have helped. Works are on the improve. I bet the 1-6 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exactas. I will key the top 3 numbers over/under the 4-7 in two smaller units.
4th: 3-1-6/2/5/4/(7)...Credibility (3) ran in the Breeders' Cup at Del Mar last November. Didn't perform well in that turf event, but this one was 3rd in the G2 Bourbon Stakes at KEE last October to Tiz the Bomb (who ran in this year's KY Derby). Has a win in the first start this year -- back in January. Work here on Aug. 19 was spot on. Like the rider here, too. Vintage Print (1) has run in Graded Stakes before, too. But the last race is the one that catches the eye. He woke up in that one and nearly won here on July 15. If he can repeat that effort? Barn wins with a whopping .35% when returning as a beaten favorite. On a Spree (6) was claimed last time out for $20,000. Won that one for his 2nd victory lap in a row. Has run 3 good ones in succession. This barn wins with .19% in the first try after a claim purchase. Chance. I bet the 3-1 across the board and then box the top 3 numbers in the exactas. I will key the top 3 numbers over/under the 2-5 in two smaller units.
5th: 5-1/3-8/2-7/(9)/6...This 5.5-furlong sprint over the sod is for the 2YOs, and I will saddle up with Hezmorethanready (5). This son of More Than Ready has run two solid races in a row and the cut back to the sprint distance here should help this one immensely. Ran 2nd at 5 furlongs just two starts back. Has speed and plenty of it. Mendeavour (1) could be the best of the bunch, but the rail is a tough spot for a first-time starter. If this son of Mendelssohn can break well and get out to a comfortable spot in the early going? Could keep going. All the way to the wire. I bet the 5-1 across the board and then box these two in the exactas. I will key the 5-1 over/under the 3-8-2-7 in two smaller units.
6th: 6-1/3-5/4-7/2...Here Mi Song (6) has hit the board in 7 of 11 lifetime starts and the barn wins with .22% in the 3rd start off the layoff. Ran better than it looks on paper in the Jeff Hall Memorial Stakes here on July 24. Before that race, this one had hit the board in 5 straight efforts. Consistent sort may find that extra gear here. Kavod (1) is a speedster who was pushed onto the KY Derby Trail earlier this year. Don't think he ever wanted to go that long. But he's been on vacation since May 7 when he was 8th in the G2 Pat Day Mile. At this sprint distance? He has 2 wins in 3 starts. May gas it from the rail. I bet the 6-1 across the board and then box these two sternly in the exactas. I will key the 6-1 over (only) the 3-5-4-7 in a smaller unit.
7th: 7-12-11/6-1/5-4-8-9-10-9-(13)/2-(16)-3...Acrimony (7) will make the career debut here and this daughter of Gun Runner looks like a handful. Working fantastic and the sire produces 20% winners in their first start. Really good gate rider takes the mount and he should be able to motivate this one from the gate. Look out here. I love the looks of this one. Frigid Lady (12) ran well behind Justa Warrior last time out. That one came right back to win a Stakes here recently. Won it easily and in style, too. If this one improves off that last race, she could be a tough out here. Little Prankster (11) cost $425,000 to purchase at the KEE September Yearling Sale last year and the sire has produced .18% winner on the first start. Dam has a winner from 1 starter, to date. Nice work on Aug. 20 at Churchill Downs. Looks ready to pop. I bet the 7-12 across the board and then double down on the win bet with the #7. I will box the top 3 numbers in the exactas, and I will key the 7 over/under the 12-11-6-1-5-4-8-9 in two smaller units.
8th: 3-7/8/5/2-4-6-1...The final race on the day is another turf event at the 1-mile distance. I give the edge to American Mayhem (3). This 3YO son of Maclean's Music goes for a barn that has won with .24% of its' starters here this meet. Trainer has gone 4-1-5 in 17 starts. Like this one. A lot. Britain's Kitten (7) ran well over the mud last time out, but in two turf starts so far? Has a 2nd and a 3rd. Looks to like the green better. Gets a good grass jockey for the journey, too. I bet the 3 across the board and then box the 3-7 in the exactas. I will key the 3-7 over/under the 8-5-2-4 in two smaller units.
Pick 5 -- Races 4-5-6-7-8:
3-1-6-2-5 x 5-1-3-8 x 6-1 x 7-12-11 x 3 = $0.50-cent ticket costs $60
All Turf Pick 3 -- Races 4-5-8:
3-1-6-2-5 x 5-1-3-8 x 3 = $3 ticket costs $60