Gene McLean's Picks
Friday, August 5, 2022
1st: 4-7-9/10-5/6-1...Ms Merrabel (4) gets the nod in the ole' lid-lifter down at the "Pea Patch" along the banks of the riverside. This 3YO Karakontie filly raced a nice 2nd against cheaper last time out and that was off the grass course in Cincy. Should fare better over the sod, considering that the dam has thrown 2 turf winners already. Gets a solid gate rider for this trip. Chance. Fox Creek Lady (7) is 10-1 in the ML and warrants a shot here at a nice price. Ran well here against cheaper last time out. Hot rider takes the mount again. Looks very well spotted and is my first "Upset Special of the Day." The "Show" horse looks like My Zip Zip (9) to me. This one ran 3rd last time out, but finished behind our 2nd pick. The PPs say that the blinkers are "off." But? Form shows that she did not wear blinkers the last time, either. Questionmark. I bet the 4-7 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exactas. I will key the top 3 numbers over/under the 10-5 in two smaller units.
2nd: 3-1A-1/7-6/5/4-2...Mr Creed (3) gets the slight edge in this one. This 3YO colt drops all the way to the $16,000 level, even though he has run tough against better. Has been away since the last day of December. Barn wins with .19% coming off the bench. Gets a good gate rider for the trip over this sod. If ready? Watch out. Nineties Country (1A) is part of an entry that could punch a lot of tickets in here. Both parts have a shot, IMO. This one rates a little better with the drop in class. Has a win here, too. Barn goes .22% win with two sprints into a route race. Arrow Strike (1) has a shot, too. Won the last time out and was claimed. Barn wins with .18% in the first try off the purchase. Chance. I bet the 3-entry across the board and then box these two sternly in the exactas. I will key the 3-entry over/under the 7-6 in two smaller units.
3rd: 7-3-6/2-5-4/1...Scotch No Rocks (7) will make the grass debut here for a barn that wins with only .09% in first efforts on sod. But this one ran huge at this same price level last time out and has run well against tougher in the past, too. Rider has won with .24% of the last 38 for this barn operation. Looks speedy enough to give this one a shot at the distance. Sailor's Return (3) ran a super race after losing tons of ground at the beginning of the last effort. Came with a flurry. Drops in class for this one and returns as a beaten favorite. All good things. But? Barn is 0-for-7 with beaten favs this year and this one is 0-for-13 on the turf, too. Hmmm. Thach (6) will drop into the claiming ranks for the fist time and will go a route for the first time, as well. Gets a rider having a nice meet and the barn is 4-0-1 in the last 9 starts. Hot. Hot. Hot. I bet the 7-6 across the board here and then box the top 3 numbers in the exactas. I will key the 7-6 over/under the 3-2-5-4 in two smaller units.
4th: 4-1-2/5/8-6/7/3...Twice as Sweet (4) will make the racing debut here for the Godolphin Stables. Barn is red hot right now, and is winning at a .27% rate this meet after 15 starts. Rider has gone 2-2-3 in the last 8 mounts. Hot. Sharp workout on July 30 here. Looks promising. Adalinda (1) ran super in the career debut here on July 9. Just missed at the wire. Huge odds that day. Won't get that price here, but the one to beat, IMO. Aunt Shirley (2) will make the debut here and the sire is hitting at a .31% rate on first time outs. Sharp work at KEE in final prep. Ready, it seems. I bet the 4-1 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exactas. I will key the top 3 over/under the 5 in two smaller units.
5th: 10-9-1/1A/3-4-8/7/11-6-5/2...Palatial Times (10) gets my top billing here, in a wide, wide, wide open affair. This one ran well in the grass debut at Horseshoe Indianapolis last time out. Nearly won coming way off the pace with a late surge. Gets a top gate rider here and if this one can overcome the slower start? Look out. Draft Capital (9) has 4 wins in 9 starts and is 3-for-7 over the sod. Gets a new trainer for the first time and the HOF barn wins with .16% on first ask. Has been facing much, much, much tougher. Falls to the $7,500 tag here? Interesting. Duchossois (1) rates a shot for a barn that is winning at a whopping .46% rate this meet. That's right -- .46%. Won last tim out in the slop, but should relish this grass course. Try here. I bet the 10-1 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exactas.
6th: 1-7-2/6/3-5-8-9/4-10...I normally stir clear of the rail horse when making the career debut. Especially with a 2YO. But this one is a pupil of Brad Cox and has been working lights out. Tremendous in the a.m. Gets a good gate rider and may pop and go. Sire line suggests two turns, as well. Could be a good one. A real good one. Rungius (7) ran better than it looks on paper in the career debut. The "Place" horse in the debut came right back to win the next outing, as well. New rider up here and may want to be outside of horses rather than stuck down on the inside, this time. Look for more out of this one -- who cost $200,000 at the 2021 KEE Sept Yearling Sale. Inspeightoftrainer (2) ran very well at Churchill Downs in the career debut. Any improvement off that performance may propel this one to the circle. Hot trainer has gone 2-1-0 in the last 7. I bet the 1-7 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exactas. I will key the top 3 numbers over/under the 6 in two smaller units.
7th: 9-6/(13)-(15)-(16)/2-4-8/5-11-12/10-(14)...This is a 1-mile turf event and what a nice field has been assembled here by racing secretary Dan Bork. I give the slight edge to my second "Upset Special of the Day" -- Britain's Kitten (9). This 3YO son of Big Blue Kitten comes in off some nice races against tough hombres -- like Best Actor just two starts ago. That one should have won the G3 Indiana Derby in his last out. Grass races are very solid for this one, too. Love the 2nd by a nostril at Churchill Downs and the 3rd at KY Downs. Look at this one. Again. Uninvited Guest (6) ran well here over the slop last time out. Was a very game 3rd at Churchill Downs before that. Three races back was 2nd to Hawk of War, who won the next outing, as well. Solid credentials. Sharp work on July 28. I bet the 9-6 across the board and then box these two in the exactas. I will key the 9-6 over/under the AE List horses of 13-15-16 and then use the 2-4-8 if the AE horses don't get in.
8th: 10-7-1A/4-8/1-5-9/3-2...The finale is a very nice MSW event for the 3YOs & Up. I go to the outside and saddle up with Stand for Freedom (10). This one ran huge coming from way, way, way back in the last outing. Gets a new rider here and needs to get motivated a bit earlier in the proceedings. But looks to have talent. Barn wins with .18% when going from two sprints into a route. Laytown (7) could easily be the best of this group, too. First timer comes from the Godolphin breeding program. Has worked very well and the rider has won with 2 of 3 for this trainer of late. Love the sons of KY Derby winner Nyquist. Threat. Huge threat. Film Star (1A) didn't fire in the debut at Churchill Downs. But cost $300,000 and is in the barn of Brad Cox. Strong connections and this one is training better, too. Chance. I bet the 10-7 across the board and then box the top 3 numbers in the exactas. I will key the top 3 numbers over/under the 4-8 in two smaller units.
All Turf Pick 3 (Races 3-5-7):
7-3-6 x 10-9-1-1A x 9-6
Late Pick 5 (Races 4-5-6-7-8)
4-1-2-5 x 10-9-1 x 1 x 9-6 x 10-7-1A-4-8