Gene McLean's Picks
Saturday, August 6
1st: 2-5/3-1/4...Lily's Woofy (2) gets the nod in the ole' lid-lifter at the little "Pea Patch" in West Kentucky on this Saturday. The 4YO is an Illinois-bred and will be dropping to the $16,000 level here. That is the lowest price tag this one has run for and the barn wins with .15% when falling into the claiming ranks for the first time. Has 2 thirds in 3 starts this year, but was 3 wins for 8 last year. Apprentice rider named for the occasion. Could have gone other places to race. Shows up here. For a reason? Catchusifyoucan (5) could be the first longshot to make a name on this day. This 3YO daughter of Practical Joke drops from the $30,000 level to this posting here. Makes the 2nd start after being claimed two starts ago for $10,000. Barn is having a super meet and a very solid year. Wins with .22% on the 2nd time out. Rider is just 2-for-34 this meet. Hmmm. I bet the 2-5 across the board and then box these two in the exactas. I will key the 2-5 over/under the 3-1 in two smaller units.
2nd: 12-3-7/(13)/9-4-1/2/5-10-11...Cause Celebre (12) ran a much-better-than-looks 4th in the career debut on July 16. Left at the gate in that one. But this daughter of Gun Runner came with a flurry late to lose by less than 3 at the wire. Work on July 30 was spot on. Look out here at a square price. Twentytwenty Hoax (3) is 0-for-16 to begin the career, but does have 4 seconds and 2 thirds on the resume. Ran well over the sod here last time out and could get a piece here. Boogie Baby (7) is 12-1 in the ML and will make the career debut for one of the top young trainers in the game today. Love that one of my favs is now training horses for CJ Thoroughbreds, too. Could group of people on the same team now. Daughter of Speightstown was purchased for $200,000 at the 2019 KEE September Yearling Sale. Few hiccups along the way, but looks like ready to start the career now as a 4YO. Barn wins with .14% on first ask. I bet the 12-7 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exactas. I will key the top 3 numbers over/under the 13, if that one draws in from the AE List. If not? I will key the 12-7 over/under the 3-9-4-1-2 in two smaller units.
3rd: 3-10-9/1A-7-11/1-4-6/12-(13)-(14)...Retained (3) ran a super one in the career debut. Just couldn't muster the big run late to get the job done. Trainer has won 4-of-9 over the last two weeks and puts a speed rider back in the irons here. Barn wins with .25% when returning as a beaten favorite, too. Has a big shot here. Jace's Road (10) is a highly-touted son of Quality Road who is owned in a partnership of two powerhouse groups. Working great for this inaugural run and the barn wins with .17% on first chance. Dam of this one has a winner from 2 starters. Look out. Sundance (9)has been working well, as well, and this one cost $800,000 to purchase at the 2021 KEE September Yearling Sale. Dam was a Stakes winner. Chance to pop. I bet the 3-10 across the board and then box the top 3 numbers in the exactas. I will key the 3-10 over/under the 9-1A-7-11 in two smaller units.
4th: 12-6-9/8-2/3-5-11/4/1...Golden Sights (12) is another from the barn of Brad Cox, and this one will get the blinkers off and the grass on here. Barn wins with .20% of the last 111 to go to the lawn for the first time. Barn wins with .25% of the last 51 to lose the shades. Barn wins with .28% on the 2nd start off a layoff, too. Top gate rider takes the assignment. Should be close to the front here. Arrobatic (6) is very well bred for top connections and the barn wins with .25% of the lat 1,831 on the sod. Look for this daughter of a Stakes winner to be on the muscle late. Querobin Dourada (9) could add some spice to this odds rack. Listed at 8-1 in the ML. Comes in off a fantastic 2nd here over this sod last time out on July 16. If she improves at all, look out. I bet the 12-6 across the board and then box the top 3 numbers in the exactas. I will key the top 3 numbers over/under the 8-2 in two smaller units.
5th: 1-9-10/5/6/4-2-3...Jet Setting (1) could give the Brad Cox barn a big Saturday in KY, as if he has not had those before, right? This one is a first timer from a dam who has thrown 4 winners from the first 5 starters. Works are spot on and gets an aggressive rider for the first trip. I normally don't saddle up with the rail horse on debut, but this 2YO is very well bred and has the a.m. works to support. Sheza Shiining Star (9) has been out twice already and has two 4ths on the resume. Has faced some good ones in those first two outings. Gets to a route distance here for the first time and the barn wins with .19% of the last 367 to do that. Like this rider choice, and he has won with .20% of the first 20 mounts this meet. Moon Magic Chrissy (10) has two straight 3rds on the resume and may be able to do better with the first route dirt race. Hot trainer has gone 2-2-1 in the last 6 starts. Rider has won with .21% of the last 19 for this barn operation. Chance. I bet the 1-9 across the board and then box the top three numbers in the exactas. I will key the top 3 numbers over/under the 5 in two smalller units.
6th: 4-1-7/(10)-5/2/6-8/9...This is a turf event going 11/16-miles, and I will saddle up with Hawk of War (4), who just gutted out a nose win here on July 15. That gave this sone of Declaration of War his 3rd straight trip to the winner's circle. In three starts here now, he has a 1-1-0 mark. Top rider, who is winning at a .23% clip this meet, gets a return to the reins. Barn has won with .20% of the last 711 who won the last race. Risk Manager (1) was nipped by the nostril hair of the top pick last time out. Back in April, this one won at Gulfstream Park, too. Love the switch to this rider. Look out here. Light Fury (7) will get his first start in the new barn. Trainer wins with .19% of the last 42 to make the barn debut. Barn also wins with .27% of those returning to the gate as a beaten favorite. I bet the 4-7 -- take note -- across the board and then box the top 3 in the exactas.
7th: 1-10-9/3/7-6-2/5-8...R.A. "Cowboy" Jones Overnight Stakes...This is a 1-mile event to honor one of the longest running jockey shows in the history of this great sport, and a great champion for the little "Pea Patch" throughout the years. The race comes up super tough, too, just like the man that the race is named in honor of, and for. I will go with my biggest "Upset Special of the Day" -- Injunction (1). This one is 12-1 in the ML, but I think fits this race perfectly. Most of the top runners in here are not true "milers." This one has a win in 5 starts at the distance, but has 3 seconds on the resume, too. Last time at the mile distance, the one ran a very game 2nd to Three Technique in the Knicks Go Stakes at Churchill Downs. Super race. Won a mile allowance at Churchill Downs last November, too. Can stalk, and may get the first jump on these guys. Helium (10) ran very well to be 2nd in a Stakes at Horseshoe Indianapolis last time out. Lost to a good one there in Mr Wireless -- who won both the Indiana Derby and the West Virginia Derby in back-to-back races in 2021. This one has the speed to be dangerous here at a square price, too. Mailman Money (9) is another longshot who I think is dangerous in this spot. Has only one start this year and ran a solid 3rd to Fulsom at Churchill Downs on June 25. That was a Stakes-caliber field. Works since have been very good. This one has talent. Lots of it. Take heed. I bet the 1-9 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.
8th: 3-2-7/11-1-10-8/9/4/12...The finale is a 1-mile turf event and this may be the most difficult race on the card to handicap. Wide, wide open and full of some nice horses, if they can develop a bit more. I give the slight edge to Rochambeau (3). This one ran 7th in a Stakes event at Canterbury last time out, but was huge in the 6 races before. Talented trainer is a bit chilly this meet, but don't overlook this one here. Wake Surf (2) is 8-1 in the ML and could pop here. Has run three 5ths in a row this year. But two of those were in Stakes races and against good company. Has worked very well coming into this one. Chance. Red Hornet (7) has run three 2nds in a row and been right there each time. May want to hang a bit, and will get the blinkers for the first time. Barn wins with .12% of those kind. May help. But may just be a "hanger" too. I bet the 3-2 across the board and then box the top 3 numbers in the exactas. I will key the 3-2 over/under the 7-11-1-10-8-9 in two smaller units.
All Turf Pick 3: (Races 4-6-8):
12-6-9-8-2 x 4-7 x 3-2-7-11-1
Pick 5: (Races 4-5-6-7-8):
12-6-9-8-2 x 1-9 x 4-7 x 1-10-9-3 x 3-2