2018 Spring Meet Totals Wagered: $4,920.00 Cashed: $3,800.00 Net Profit: ($1,120.00) ROI: -23%
Race 4 $100 to Win on #6 LOVE THAT LUTE (5-2 ML) SCRATCHED Mr. K is choosing the other Norm McKnight runner in here (not coupled because owners are different), and it is a closing day head-to-head showdown of Best Bet of the Day. My colt of choice was claimed last out and McKnight wins 35% off of the claim. Furthermore, he wins 42% when his horse finished 2nd in the prior race, so those stats combined tell you that he knows where he can put in a horse to win. He is stepping up in class slightly, but has the early speed to get away from this small field.
Race 7 $50 to Win on #5 CEDUNA (12-1 ML) Lost, 5th I think the jockey agents have been handicapping the races better than me lately, and too many times when I see a horse I like this meet, I look at the jockey and they are winless as Jack Gilligan is here. But this horse is probably the best in the race, and might be the favorite if an A-list jockey were aboard. This horse broke his maiden at first asking -- despite jockey losing the whip and the lead before digging back in to re-rally for the win. Then he jumped to stakes company -- OK Turfway stakes company -- and bobbled at the start which compromised his chances. The switch to turf adds a new element, but if the horse can repeat the speed of his debut race with a less troubled trip, then he looks like a longshot winner.
Race 3 $200 to Win on #2 EL CHARRO (8-5 ML) Lost, 5th This horse had an active Oaklawn campaign with 5 starts, but unfortunately no wins. He was in the money 4 of those 5 times, so I think today's class drop to a claiming race will really benefit this fit horse. Trainer Brad Cox and jockey Florent Geroux has combined for an incredible 48% winning percentage at Keeneland,
Race 4 $20 to Win on #9 WAR BALLAD (20-1 ML) Lost, 8th The ML odds seem a little bit steep to me considering that this filly went off at 5-1 in an identical race here just 15 days ago. Yes, the horse got torched by 16 lengths, but it was a slow start and she has been working well in the mornings. The blinkers come off today, so that might correct the problems from the debut race. I will give her another chance and view her coming back again in the same meet as a sign of confidence.
Race 5 $20 to Win on #2 MOUNT CALVARY (20-1 ML) Lost, 3rd and #7 MOOOSE (30-1 ML) SCRATCHED This turf sprint seems like a wide open affair. Mount Calvary might be a little bit overmatched from a class perspective, but he was won 3 of his last 6 and finished in the money every time. He has some prior experience in turf sprints, and I think he has the speed figures to compete with this group. Mooose was obviously overmatched in the Grade 2 Shakertown here this meet, last place by a mile, but has also had success in some cheaper races. His pace figures suggest he can perhaps steal the race if he breaks well on the front end.
Race 7 $50 to Win on #9 CLASSY MUSIC (10-1 ML) Lost, 7th This filly showed some guts in her last race here, running near a very quick pace, shuffling back, and then fighting for a 3rd place finish. I think the stretchout and move to the turf will coincide with a change in strategy where McPeek will look for Lanerie to take the filly to the lead early and try to play catch-me-if-you-can.
Race 9 $20 to Win on #6 SPORTSWEAR (6-1 ML) Lost, 5th This colt went off as the favorite in a MSW as a 2yr old debuting at Saratoga last summer, as you would fully expect with one of the babies of the superstar sire, Frankel. Although this colt's two races haven't shown any promise, Neil Howard has been working him out often today he might finally be ready to run and spring a mild upset.
Race 3 $20 to Win on #10 BAYTOWN GLORY (15-1 ML) Lost, 7th Owner/trainer Paul McEntee hasn't made much of a splash yet at Keeneland. He is 0 for 8 this meet and probably belongs back at the second tier tracks with his small string of horses, many named Baytown. But this colt has a couple of gate works under his tack and the talent should be pretty good coming out of the breeding operations of Dixiana Stables. I think the Ward horses are beatable here, so I'm a stab with a big price longshot.
Race 4 $80 to Win on #9 SWEET ELLA (10-1 ML) Lost, 7th Losing at Turfway Park by 18 lengths last out for these chronically-losing connections will scare off most traditional handicappers. But if she can recapture some of the form she showed in the Todd Pletcher barn in the previous two years, she certainly has the class to handle this weak NW1x allowance group. Getting back onto the turf today could be the magic formula. Her last win was on the turf at Gulfstream.
Race 6 $60 to Win on #8 TWEET KITTEN (10-1 ML) Lost, 4th This horse is coming off of a very long 2 year layoff, now in the barn of Mike Maker. This comebacker is meeting the minimum allowance conditions of a NW3, which should be manageable if the horse still has the same health and class. The horse is 2 for 2 lifetime at Keeneland and has been training consistently. In his prior races, this horse was usually the favorite or the second favorite. Today's price will be longer because of the layoff, but if you have any confidence that the trainer is bringing him back ready, then 10-1 would be a great price.
Race 7 $20 to Win on #8 ONE FINE RIDE (6-1 ML) Lost, 9th This gelding has lost by double-digit lengths since breaking his maiden last year, but as a Gulfstream shipper with Corey Lanerie aboard, he might get some attention with the bettors. Today's competition in this claiming race should be a lot softer than what he has been facing and I think he will be more comfortably near or on the lead as he was in his maiden win.
Race 8 $100 to Win on #5 BRIELLE'S APPEAL (9-5 ML) CASHED FOR $190.00 This filly is lightly-raced but has the look of a turf sprint specialist. Al Stall appears to be showing a lot of patience with her, taking just a slight step up the class ladder here even after an easy 5 1/2 length win last out. She has gotten the lead in each of her three starts, and while she might not have it as easy today, I expect her to stick close to the front and power down the stretch.
Race 1 $100 to Win on #2 INDIAN LOVER (7-2 ML) Lost, 3rd This colt hasn't yet come back to his form of last year when he was collecting checks at Delaware Park, but I think with today's class drop he will dominate this field in his third start off of a layoff. He has been working well for Larry Jones since coming to Keeneland, and I like Gabriel Saez taking the mount here. If he returns to form, he wins easy here. You will know soon after the break -- if he is on or close to the lead early, he's a winner.
Race 6 $50 to Win on #9 COME ON DOVER (12-1 ML) Lost, 9th It isn't often that you get a longshot chance after a horse wins his last race by 10 lengths, but that's what you get here. Of course it was a maiden race, and a cheap one at that. And it was a small field that was on a sloppy track that was off turf and therefore against horses that might not be suited for the surface. But I will take the chance that a light bulb when on for this 3yr colt, because they can mature quickly at this age. And the last two workouts have been really good. And Kenny McPeek doesn't bring horses to Keeneland that aren't well meant. Race 9 $20 to Win on #12 COLONEL'S PRIDE (4-1 ML) Lost, 10th I'm bookending the card today with Jones/Saez. This one gets some class relief dropping from MSW to MCL and had a sharp workout here at Keeneland. Turf-to-dirt looks like a good angle for this inexperienced horse.
Race 4 $180 to Win on #1 HIGH FASHION STAR (12-1 ML) Lost, 3rd High Fashion Girl is where my money goes, and this pick is all the way vogue. Crazy to think that old Calvin can take this first time starter up the rail and beat the #8 horse who figures to be the heavy favorite, but the filly has a nice gate work and seems well prepped for today. U might have 2 much cash 2 hold after you win. I'm the money man!
Race 8 $200 to Win on #1 ONE LINER (8-5 ML) CASHED FOR $320.00 How do you make a small fortune betting on horses? Start with a large fortune. I bet on a horse and it came in at 10-1. Unfortunately all of the others come in at 12:30. Ortiz isn't going to horse around here with this Pletcher colt. Expect a ground saving trip behind the leaders, and then a move on the turn.
Race 10 $180 to Win on #8 BOOTS (12-1 ML) Lost, 7th $40 to Win on #11 DIME DROPPER (15-1 ML) Lost, 4th Boots showed some early speed in is first race off of the layoff earlier this meet at the same MSW level. With any improvement, he can surprise the others which is a group that might stay maidens for a while. It wouldn't surprise me if Albarado starts to heat up late in the meet. Dime Dropper is a first time starter that has been working well in the mornings and has decent pedigree.
Race 3 $100 to Win on #1 NEW LEGEND (5-2 ML) Lost, 5th The Gulfstream MSW races are the top of the food chain during the winter and are much higher class levels than those at FG or OP. So with this likely favorite finishing 3rd in all three attempts in Florida, that should prove to demonstrate plenty of the needed talent to handle this field. The breeding for this Korean-bred colt is a little bit unknown, but Menifee and Smarty Jones are underused sires. Dale Romans and Corey Lanerie inspire additional confidence.
Race 5 $40 to Win on #1 OATER (10-1 ML) Lost, 5th I never seem to learn my lesson taking these horses with B-list jockeys, but I will try the 0 for 20 Declan Cannon. If the instructions are simply "go to the lead", I don't mind taking an unheralded jockey on an early speed horse. They don't have to be a great strategic rider. And after all, these guys get a lot of practice working horses in the morning, so they should have a good clock in their head on the front end. This horse is 0 for 17 lifetime, so he better be bringing some new to the game today. And he is stepping up in class! He probably thought he had it won with a 9 length lead last race, but he got caught. So today it is new jockey, new trainer, new class, new distance, new track. I will wager it will be a new outcome also at a big price.
Race 3 $100 to Win on #5 PORTFOLIO MANAGER (2-1 ML) CASHED FOR $210.00 Tom Amoss is a high percentage trainer who excels in the claiming & allowance ranks, and certainly could run this one at a higher level, but owners go to him to win now. The turf sprint last out was a necessary first race off of a layoff, but it should be all systems go today in this 7 furlong dirt race. No need to diversify your opinion here.
Race 4 $80 to Win on #7 BAYTOWN LINDY (20-1 ML) Lost, 9th $20 to Win on #12 NORTHERN BEAUTY (12-1 ML) Lost, 2nd I'm going to take another swing today in these 4 1/2 furlong 2yr old sprints to try to beat the favorites, likely the Wes Ward trainees. Baytown Lindy already raced this meet and could improve with a better break. Jack Gilligan aboard will ensure a price that is huge. Northern Beauty is a well-bred first time starter that has a couple of decent gate works under her belt.
Race 5 $20 to Win on #2 MUTATION (10-1 ML) Lost, 7th and #6 ROMEO O ROMERO (12-1 ML) Lost, 8th Another split decision here. Mutation has been trying to step up in class lately, but his sprinting success on Turfway's poly might translate well to a turf sprint. He already raced this meet in a contested speed duel where he was challenged every step of the way through a fast pace and still kept fighting after being headed. Romeo O Romeo is a former graded stakes/Derby trail horse that has been off form for a while and is looking to revive what has been an inconsistent, injury-prone career so far. This race seems like a good spot to take a chance on some longshots with potential.
Race 6 $20 to Win on #2 PURE SUGAR (5-1 ML) Lost, 2nd This shipper has been overmatched in her California races, but has been working well since coming to Keeneland this spring. This class drop seems like a big one that probably gets the job done if the likely favorite #7 Go Stellaire, 0 for 13, falters with ice cold jockey, Robby Albarado, 0 for 22. Newly assigned trainer, Sally Schu, takes the blinkers off today for the #2 horse.
Race 7 $20 to Win on #8 SHACKLED (10-1 ML) Lost, 9th A poor start in his debut race, where he hesitated and steadied, can be discarded. He has had a couple of nice workouts since, and returns to the same challenging MSW level. A Maker/Leparoux horse at Keeneland would have been the odds on favorite a couple of years ago, but that duo has been cold lately. But I think this could be the spot where they might turn things around.
APRIL 18 Keeneland packs a lot of top quality racing into its short meets, but Wednesday cards tend to look like what you find at other mid-level tracks -- 3 claiming races, three maiden races, and two allowance races today. Pretty ordinary. But from a betting standpoint, today looks like a great opportunity to support some longshots, as most favorites seem pretty beatable here. So today I will be firing hard, with recommeded Win bets in every race. Here are 7 longshots that have a good shot and a Best Bet favorite that should still offer a decent price:
Race 1 $20 to Win on #3 ROLIN WITH OLIN (15-1 ML) Lost, 6th This horse was fairly successful in East Coast allowance company last summer for Jamie Ness, but moved to the Kordenbrock barn and the wheels fell off. Jim Corrigan claimed him at what could could be a bargain price of $10k and has had him away from the races since November. Julie Burke becomes the 9th different jockey in 9 races, but I'm sure her instructions are fairly simple: go to the lead and don't let them catch you. These are low percentage connections, but that will only make the odds go higher for this cheap speed horse.
Race 2 $40 to Win on #8 A BAG OF MONEY (15-1 ML) Lost, 7th Cheap speed is going to be a consistent theme today, and while it may only result in a winner or two, the prices should be big enough to make a profit on the day. After showing absolutely nothing in his debut race on the turf at Fair Grounds, this gelding came back on the dirt to flash some early speed at 88-1 before folding. Since shipping north to Kentucky, he has posted a couple of nice workouts and looks set to improve again as he cuts back to 7 furlongs.
Race 3 $100 to Win on #11 BAYTOWN MACCA (20-1 ML) Lost, 2nd Like most 4 1/2 furlong sprints for 2-year olds here at Keneeland, the race is full of first-time starters and Wes Ward has the top two favorites. And while usually I just take one of his runners at the short price, today I want to try one of the few that already has a race under his belt at Keeneland this meet. At odds of 28-1, he finished 4th and did pass a couple of horses which is an accomplishment in these very short sprints. I think that experience will help and coming back on just 12 days rest (and I would love 12 days rest btw) indicate that the connections expect that she should really move forward off of that effort.
Race 4 $20 to Win on #5 MIKEANDCHICKDIDIT (10-1 ML) CASHED FOR $214.00 This $20k claiming level is a bottom level for this horse over the past couple of years, and he took the winter off. But he won here at this same level and distance last meet at Keeneland, so with a good recent workout I would expect him to run fresh and attempt to repeat that wire-to-wire victory.
Race 5 $200 to Win on #5 SANTA MONICA (2-1 ML) CASHED FOR $320.00 While most of my betting interest on today's card is cheap speed, for the turf routes I just see the European horse as dominant. This mare has kept better company back home, but only has 2 wins over 22 starts, so a move to the US seems like a wise decision to find some easier competition. This allowance race should be a much easier task and a Chad Brown/Jose Ortiz combo (a combo that is 4 for 8 at Keeneland) indicates that this isn't just some throwaway horse. Always a little bit uncertain for 1st time starts in US, but gets Lasix for the first time.
Race 6 $20 to Win on #1 FLOUT/STILL THERE (10-1 ML) CASHED FOR $126.00 Flout is the more interesting of the Dane Kobiskie pair to me, being a Speightstown first time starter. Both this race seems wide open to me, and I prefer to take the upside of a couple of first time starters rather than some horses that already have proven to be underwhelming.
Race 7 $40 to Win on #10 MAJESTIC MIST (8-1 ML) Lost, 7th This filly has won 3 of her last 5 races after becoming a dedicated turf sprinter, and although she looks to take a jump in class here, I think it shows confident that new trainer Marvin Johnson really feels she is good right now after a three month layoff.
Race 8 $20 to Win on #2 WILL GRACIE SHINE (10-1 ML) SCRATCHED By this point in the card, I'm hoping that playing the early speed horses has matched today's track bias and already fattened the bankroll. And here is another one of those, with this 9-yr old grandma Turfway mare stepping up in class.
Race 1 $200 to Win on #5 YANKTON (7-2 ML) Lost, 3rd He has been kind of one-paced in his two lifetime starts, but I think a stretchout move here to 1 1/16mi will allow Gabriel Saez to put him up front and control the pace. He gets a lot of class relief dropping into this maiden claimer.
Race 4 $40 to Win on #10 BEL CANTO (12-1 ML) Lost, 8th $20 to Win on #4 HIGH FASHION STAR (15-1 ML) SCRATCHED There aren't any world beaters in here, so going for a price makes sense. Bel Canto cuts back in distance after a terrible outing going two turns. High Fashion Star is a first time starter who drilled a 100.4 in a gate work at Fair Grounds. Should be great prices on both!
Race 5 $180 to Win on #10 JESS I AM (10-1 ML) CASHED FOR $450.00 $20 to Win on #7 VETTORI KIN (8-1 ML) Lost, 4th Jess I Am won that last time he tried the turf and has successful kept to form since while on the dirt at Fair Grounds. Trainer Brad Cox wins at a high percentage, so you would figure the horse can handle the slight class hike. Vettori Kin is a Brazilian-bred and might need more distance, to run his best, but he might be graded stakes caliber and would be a good backup bet.
Race 6 $40 to Win on #3 SHARED SILENCE (10-1 ML) Lost, 6th SS is new to Lexington but I expect her to put out her best with this field. Malcolm Franklin climbs back on her trying to get back to back victories. I expect her to be coming down the stretch like a freight train. APRIL 14
Race 1 $20 to Win on #9 URBANE LEGEND (10-1 ML) SCRATCHED and #5 SPANN LANE (10-1 ML) Lost, 4th I don't think that Urbane Legend liked the track at Fair Grounds, so I expect this filly, who was well bet in her debut, to dramatically improve today. Gabriel Saez, a top 5 jockey so far this meet, takes the mount. Spann Lane raced somewhat erratically in her debut race, but has a solid work since then and gets the services of up-and-coming jockey Adam Beschizza. Either of these fillies could pull the bracket-busting upset here in the opener with a vulnerable favorite in the 0-for-3 Big Blue Magic.
Race 2 $200 to Win on #5 RULER OF THE NILE (6-5 ML) Lost, 7th With some Pletcher/Velazquez runners you just need to take the odds-on money. Pletcher has a 38% winning percentage anyway in 2nd time starts, and this colt's chances tilt even higher. He is a well bred, late developing son of Pioneerof the Nile that rolled in his debut, winning by 7 lengths. Today's race is a reasonable progression for him -- NW1x allowance instead of a jump to stakes competition. I don't see any other horses that can match his talent in this field. Race 3 $140 to Win on #9 MUN UP (8-1 ML) Lost, 10th Trainer Angel Montano takes this one up in class for the 2nd time since claiming him. The colt was very rank last time when trying the turf for the first time, so a return to dirt here today could produce a better outcome. A solid workout at Churchill since suggests that there isn't anything off about the horse. There are plenty of others in here that have been in classier spots or have higher speed figures, but this horse has shown good early speed and I like the trainer's confidence in stepping him up.
Race 5 $20 to Win on #3 CAPTURE THE GLORY (20-1 ML) Lost, 11th The connections have put this colt in some challenging competition since he broke his maiden at Turfway over a year ago, his last win. I think today they have found his best level, NW1x allowance, and his best surface, a turf route. The poor record of the trainer and jockey seem to explain the long odds more than the ability of the horse. With more appropriate placement here and on the heels of a sharp workout, this one is worth a chance at the price, which certainly will be higher than 20-1.
Race 6 $20 to Win on #10 GRAHAM'S WAY (8-1 ML) Lost, 7th The colt was a beaten favorite in his debut race at Fair Grounds, but had an excuse after a slow break. He should be more prepared with that experience, and a string of good workouts suggests that he is ready to move forward in his second start. Blinkers on and a rider switch to the hot Jose Ortiz are good trainer moves that give extra confidence in improvement.
Race 8 $20 to Win on #10 GIRLS KNOW BEST (15-1 ML) SCRATCHED Lady Aurelia, the certain favorite, is a European champion horse that is 2-for-2 lifetime at Keeneland , but hasn't raced since finishing 10th in the Breeders Cup Turf Sprint as odds on favorite. Hopefully she is vulnerable again today off of the layoff and can be upset by a quick horse like Girls Know Best. Since moving to turf sprints in her last three starts, GKB has fit well with stakes competition and the mad dash of a turf sprint. If she can be quickest to the front today, I think Castellano is a jockey that can get her to dig in when challenged as he did in her last win in January.
Race 6 $40 to Win on #8 DYNATAIL (12-1 ML) Lost, 7th and #12 LET IT RIDE MOM (15-1 ML) SCRATCHED This is a super competitive, wide open turf allowance race, and the odds will be long enough to bet both of my top choices here. Dynatail has a very interesting breeding, sired by a horse that broke his maiden in the 2012 Breeders Cup Juvenile Sprint and out of a Dynaformer dam. So a sprinter with turf pedigree. So far, she hasn't been able to carry her speed far enough but against this level she could surprise. I would give a slight preference to Let It Ride Mom, who as the name suggests, has much more modest pedigree but should have a more favorable pace scenario here. The fractions will likely be quick enough to set this up for somebody with a strong late kick, and this filly can deliver those when the pace is quick and the traffic isn't a problem.
Race 7 $60 to Win on #1 LEINSTER (5-1 ML) Lost, 7th $20 to Win on #4 JEFAZO (10-1 ML) Lost, 9th This is another large field with plenty of contenders -- a key reason why Keeneland is such a betting-friendly track. Leinstar is in the D Wayne Lukas barn which can have occasional success here with young horses. The rail might not be ideal for him, but he should be very fit with a series of very consistent activity at Oaklawn this winter. The first time starter, Jefanzo, also could run big. He has been working a lot from the gate in the mornings and those sharp works could be what is in store in the afternoon.
Race 10 $600 to Win on #7 BELLA MOON (8-1 ML) Lost, 7th This is a larger bet at longer odds than the usual Best Bet of the Day, but I just think this filly has the early speed to take this one against a group of claimers that are either off form or have too much quit. Trainer Bernie Flint and jockey Shaun Bridgmohan are winning as much now as they did in the past, but both have been known to surprise at Keeneland meets.
Race 4 $100 to Win on #12 BLOCKADE (3-1 ML) SCRATCHED This colt's development is very typical of a Shug McGaughey runner: patient and continuously improving with each start. He finished a solid 3rd in his debut, then showed early speed in the next, then finished a nice 2nd to a runaway winner, and finally broke his maiden last out with a nice stretch drive. Despite trying winners for the first time here, he sports the top speed figures and is well bred for this turf distance. The outside post position isn't ideal, but Jose Ortiz will be able to ride him tactically as needed.
Race 5 $20 to Win on #7 PEARL OF THE NILE (5-1 ML) Lost, 7th While this might seem like a short price for a longshot, I expect the odds to drift higher to something like 8-1 or 10-1 as I think the favorite, Mizz Fabulous, will draw in a lot of the wagering. A lot of the appeal for the #7 horse comes from the class drop. After eight attempts at the maiden special weight level, she drops into a maiden claimer here, and I would expect improvement against the easier competition. She should find the pace less demanding this race.
Race 3 $100 to Win on #5 ALL OUT OF ACES (3-1 ML) CASHED FOR $350.00 This gelding has been off form the past few races and hasn't shown the same front end speed that he had shown last year at Delaware Park. But I am very encouraged by the class drop today down to a $20k claimer, and his health is confirmed by a couple of strong bullet workouts at Keeneland. In addition, Gabriel Saez took the mount and he is having a good meet so far. The 2 1/2 month break should be a nice little freshener for the horse.
Race 6 $40 to Win on #1 ETHYL ETHER (15-1 ML) Lost, 8th With temperatures in the upper 50's/lower 60's by post time, jockey Perry Ouzts will be fully defrosted from his normal winter climate at Turfway Park. This late developing filly will be ready to fire from the inside post position with Ouzts well-known success with early speed horses. Although she has never tried the turf, the Turfway poly experience should transfer well. She has been working very sharply in the mornings there giving all indications that her 7 1/2 length win last out is her moving to a new level rather than just a peak effort that could bounce.
Race 7 $20 to Win on #5 GETUPBABYGETUP (8-1 ML) Lost, 7th This filly got left in the dust by 30 lengths last time out at Oaklawn as the favorite, so some excuses certainly need to be given. In fact, all three starts at Oaklawn were disappointing, but it isn't a track that every horse likes. I will take some confidence in the fact that this filly broke her maiden as a first time starter in November at Churchill Downs and then the connections felt confident enough to immediately try a stakes race next time out. The mild class drop here probably helps and gets her back to the winners circle with a good trip.
APRIL 8 Race 1 $200 to Win on #3 STILLWATER COVE (3-1 ML) CASHED FOR $260.00 A Wesley Ward horse in a 2yr sprint isn't the sure thing it used to be. Why? Because he has been entering two and they aren't coupled. But this Quality Road filly looks like an all systems go speed ball and should dominate this. Very unlikely that the locals will let this one go off at the morning line odds.
Race 5 $200 to Win on #4 IVY'S COLLEGE FUND (8-1 ML) CASHED FOR $1,120.00 This filly's form has been pretty bad and she has slipped down to the $10k claimer ranks. A lot of people will look at the connections and assume that a Mahoning Valley shipper can't win at Keeneland, but these aren't Keeneland horses. If she can get a lead that isn't as contested as last time, she could sneak away from this low quality group.
Race 6 $20 to Win on #4 MASTER MERION (12-1 ML) Lost, 2nd Although Ward is more known at Keeneland for his 2yo sprinters, he also has some good older turf horses. This one has a four race winning streak, including stake wins at Kentucky Downs and Del Mar. Although he has been off since November, the workout pattern is good. I expect him to be fit and ready to run fresh off of that layoff in this spot.
Race 8 $20 to Win on #8 ULTIMA D (20-1 ML) SCRATCHED Very similar comments to race 6. Wes Ward turf horse coming off of a layoff. She was overmatched in the Breeders Cup, but should be ready to surprise this Grade 2 field.
Race 9 $20 to Win on #3 POTOMAC (8-1 ML) Lost, 2nd The bloodlines of Speightstown and Mineshaft haven't shown up yet in his race performances, but the big class drop looks like the connections are looking for a confidence boosting win. Jose Ortiz taking the mount boosts the confidence.
Race 2 $100 to Win on #5 TWEETING (2-1 ML) Lost, 4th Although she broke her maiden on the turf last summer, this Uncle Mo filly has really been falling into bad form since on the California turf courses. Putting her back on what I think is her natural surface, the dirt (or snow) against a weaker field of non-winners of 2 lifetime should be a good move. Now that she's in the barn of high percentage trainer, Brad Cox, I expect her to be well spotted today.
Race 4 $50 to Win on #4 PRIVATE EYE (15-1 ML) Lost, 4th This 3yr old broke his maiden here last fall at this same distance, and I think a similar fast closing move could be a winning one here. While the horse has good tactical speed, I expect Gabriel Saez, who won three in a row on Opening Day, will keep him in stalking position.
Race 6 $20 to Win on #1 HEARTWOOD (20-1 ML) and #10 FIRST PREMIO (12-1 ML) Lost, 7th & 8th This seems like a good spot to bet against the favorite, Limousine Liberal, who is an accomplished 6 year old gelding, but has been off since November. Heartwood runs into a lot of traffic problems, but if the colt can get a good ground-saving trip from the rail, he might fit in this spot. With a good workout here at Keeneland, you can imagine that he might be ready to surprise. First Premio is another with a big chance. He ran his fastest career race last out, and the colt really seems to be improving when looking at the workout pattern.
Race 4 $100 to Win on #13 HEAVEN'S CREATION (AE) (3-1 ML) CASHED FOR $240.00 This is an also eligble, so she only can get in the race if others scratch, but if so, it looks like a pretty soft spot for this maiden to finally get to the winners circle. She has always been well backed at the betting windows, but could be one of those horses who doesn't like to win -- she's been in the money in 6 of her 10 starts. She hasn't cared for the turf, but that could be a good move to shake things up, and with a switch back to dirt, a sharp workout, and a class drop from MSW on dirt, I think she would find a much easier time blowing away the field.
Race 5 $80 to Win on #5 MAUK'S TUFF (15-1 ML) Lost, 6th A Turfway Park shipper in a Keeneland allowance race with a no name jockey is easy to dismiss, but this filly has been working very well for her namesake trainer. She got a lot of experience as a 2 yr old, including stakes races, so with a consistent work pattern over the past month, she may surprise. She has been mostly an early speed type, so the pace scenario might make or break her, but she did OK after a bad break last race. Maybe she will have some versatility, and the price will be right.
Race 9 $80 to Win on #2 TIGERS RULE (15-1 ML) Lost, 6th Analyze It is probably the most talented colt in the field, but has the outside post and hasn't raced yet this year. That calls for getting a price with this Vickie Foley colt who has a better post position and did get a start and a win already this year at Fair Grounds . Kitten's Joy runners have quite a good history of success at Keeneland, especially on the turf. The horse just missed at Keeneland last meet in a big field with some bumping, and Rosario takes the mount today for the first time.
2017 Fall Meet Totals Wagered: $10,615.00 Cashed: $11,487.10 Net Profit: +$872.10 ROI: +8%
Race 2 $0.50 Pick 4 5,6,8 with 4,3,9 with 4,3,2,7,9,1 with 9,12,7,1,11 ($135) CASHED FOR $94.45 Closing day! Ready to finish it out strong.
Race 3 $10 to Win & Place on #4 PETTY GAMBIT (5-1 ML) CASHED FOR $37.00 $5 Exacta Box 3-4-9 ($30) CASHED FOR $92.00 This $15k maiden claimer is the bottom of the barrel for Keeneland races (a disturbing trend), but it does give some of the also ran jockeys a chance to get some purse money. This Corey Orm mount definitely fits at this level from a speed rating perspective and I think the turnback in distance will help him manage the early fractions. Somebody has to win this race!
Race 4 $10 to Win & Place on #4 BAPA'S PRIDE (6-1 ML) Lost, 8th $1 Trifecta Key Box 4 with 1,2,3,7,9 ($60) Lost This looks like a well bred first time starter by Quality Road out of a mare that has one winner from one starter already. While the barn usually doesn't fire hard in debut races, this one has been working consistently well in the mornings at Keeneland and might be ready to pop. Watch the tote board for further conviction.
Race 6 $50 to Win & Place on #9 MISS GRACER (3-1 ML) Lost, 3rd $10 Exacta Box 2-4-9 ($60) Lost I expect that this Uncle Mo filly will be the controlling speed switching back to dirt here . Corey Lanerie seems to be getting hot as this meet closes out.
Race 7 $0.50 Pick 4 9,10,8,2,6 with 8,2,1,3 with 5,2,6 with 5,2 ($60) Lost Let's hit this and take our money west next week!
Race 8 $20 to Win & Place on #8 STAR QUEST (8-1 ML) Lost, 3rd $20 Exacta Box 2-8 Lost $20 Double 2,8 with 5 ($40) Lost Sometimes there is one race in the past performances that is kind of a diamond in the rough, but shows a horse's potential of how good she can be. For this filly, I am looking at her maiden win at Churchill back in May. She kept within a few lengths of a blistering pace and then closed well for an easy win at 14-1. Now she just drilled a bullet work at Keeneland last week and in her 2nd start off of a layoff she should be closer to the pace this time and hopefully make a strong stretch rally like she did in her maiden win.
Race 9 $50 to Win & Place #5 HONORABLE DUTY (9-5 ML) Lost, Last $20 Exacta 5 over 2,6 ($40) Lost This is a nice Grade 2 appetizer ahead of the Breeders Cup action next week, and I think the winner will be the more formful Honorable Duty here who showed a classy, easy win off of the layoff in the Grade 3 Lukas last out. Lanerie will likely choose to sit just behind Neolithic who will likely tire at this 1 1/8 distance.
Race 2 $0.50 Pick 4 4,6,2 with 5,7,4 with 1,3,6 with 9 ($13.50) Lost Let's get this party started right!
Race 4 $100 to Win on #1 THIRSTFORLIFE (8-5 ML) CASHED FOR $180.00 $20 Double 1-9 CASHED FOR $62.00 He had a nice win here last fall against better and comes back with in good form for Casse/Albarado.
Race 5 $100 to Win on #9 DADDY IS A LEGEND (9-5 ML) CASHED FOR $160.00 $20 Double 9 with 2,8 ($40) CASHED FOR $84.00 Despite a big field, things look pretty chalky here for a field of 2yr old fillies. With a couple of turf starts already against what was probably tougher competition in New York, this filly should benefit from that experience today and make her daddy proud (Scat Daddy).
Race 7 $20 to Win & Place on #3 UNMOORED (15-1 ML) Lost, 8th $5 Exacta Key Box 3 with 6,9 ($20) Lost $1 Trifecta Key Box 3 with 1,2,6,9 ($36) Lost $0.50 Pick 4 3,9,6,1,2,11 with 9,7 with 8,3,1,9,4 with 5,3,4 ($90) CASHED FOR $245.00 The colt ran a decent race at Kentucky Downs last month, and those shippers have been hot at Keeneland this meet. Three very strong works since that race indicate fitness and sharpness right now, and he could show a lot ability down the stretch.
Race 10 $5 Exacta Box 3-5 ($10) Lost
Race 2 $0.50 Pick 4 7,1 with 1,2,7,8,9,3,5,6 with 7,10,8 with 2B,7,11 ($72) Lost The 2nd leg here (race 3) has a group of seven jockeys who have 5 wins in 186 mounts in the last 14 days. That's pretty brutal, but the is almost like a maiden jockey race, so maybe they get their chance with most of the good national jockeys vacating Keeneland this week. Go Julie Go!
Race 6 $50 to Win & Place on #8 VICTORY LANE (5-2 ML) CASHED FOR $70.00 $20 Double 8 with 1,8 ($40) Lost $0.50 Pick 4 8,7,9 with 8,1,5,2 with 10,5,12,9 with 2,7,6 ($72) Lost Trainer Shug McGaughey picks some good spots at his hometrack and this 2yo colt seems to be developing nicely toward a winning race. He showed good sprinters early speed in his debut at 6 furlongs, and then stretched out to 1 1/16 and closed with a mild gain. The blinkers go on today, and I get the sense that this horse has been properly prepped to put it all together together against a field that seems less talented.
Race 7 $10 Exacta Box 1-5-8 ($60) Lost $1 Trifecta Box 1-2-5-8 ($24) Lost $20 Double 1,8 with 10 ($40) Lost Trying to catch a price with a couple of longshots in the mix in a race that is more competitive than the odds will likely suggest.
Race 8 $10 Exacta Box 5-10 ($20) Lost $1 Trifecta Box 5-10-12 ($6) Lost $20 Double 10 with 2,7 ($40) Lost The #14 horse is an also eligible, but would definitely be the horse to beat if she is in. This #10 longshot has a good chance to run well with a good workout recently and a running style that could pick up the pieces in what will probably be a hotly contested pace.
Race 9 $20 to Win & Place #2 MONEIGH MOPROBLEMS (8-1 ML) Lost, 8th $10 Exacta Box 2-6-7 ($60) Lost $1 Trifecta Key Box 2 with 3,4,6,7,10 ($60) Lost Could you guess that this is an Uncle Mo son? Well ignore the cheesy name and just make note that Mr B and Mr K both agree that this longshot is the likely winner here in this MSW on the Turf. The horse has been away from the races since February and has now been gelded. But he seems to be training well including a sharp workout at Keeneland and a gate drill at Belmont this month. The Kentucky Downs shippers will get most of the play because that has been a good angle this meet, but this George Weaver trainee should be ready to roll at a price today.
Race 2 $0.50 Pick 4 2,6,7,5,3,1 with 8,5,2 with 4,1 with 3,1,5 ($54) CASHED FOR $62.40 Maiden races are the bookends here.
Race 5 $20 to Win & Place on #3 MAXIMUS LUCK (30-1 ML) Lost, Last $1 Trifecta Box 3 with 1,2,5,7 ($36) Lost $0.50 Pick 4 3,1,5,7,2,6,9 with 4,6,12 with 6,1,4,9,3 with 6,7,10 ($157.50) Lost The trainer is going with the Keeneland-debuting jockey that has been getting mounts at Mountaineer and Belterra, rather than Julie Burke, who rode him in his 40 length defeat the last time he was in Kentucky. Why in the world try this extreme longshot, after it lost by 27 lengths this month at Belterra? Well, I think it all starts with the idea that this horse was gelded since that last race. And since then, drilled a nice bullet work. And the stretchout in distance is one of this trainer's few winning angles. This might be a new horse that could get loose on the lead. Try your luck...
Race 6 $100 to Win on #4 EIGHT TOWN (3-1 ML) CASHED FOR $360.00 $10 Exacta Box 4-6-12 ($60) Lost $1 Trifecta Box 4-6-12 ($6) Lost $20 Double 4 with 1,6 ($40) Lost I love the Speightstown sprinters and this one ships in from New York after a MSW win. He has had a couple of fast workouts over the Keeneland track since getting here, and he fits well in this NW2L allowance. He seems like a grinder that has hang around and ascend to the lead as the early speed tires. Albarado has had some good rides this meet, and I like having him up here.
Race 2 $0.50 Pick 4 4,5 with 2,1,11,9 with 5,13,1,6,3,12,11,10,9 with 7,6 ($72) Lost Let's keep the streak going today
Race 4 $10 to Win & Place on #5 DREAMOLOGY (8-1 ML) Lost, 6th $5 Exacta Box 1-5-13 ($30) Lost This colt really has the pedigree to handle both the switch to turf and the stretchout to 1 1/16 miles today. In her debut race at Churchill at 5-1 odds, he had an awkward start but did well to advance position throughout the race. He has had a couple of good works since, and definitely looks poised to improve in his second start. The trainer/jockey combo aren't every day winners at Keeneland, but the can pop the occasional upset.
Race 6 $0.50 Pick 4 10,9,7,15,12 with 6,3,4 with 9,2,7,10 with 2,6,9,8,4 ($150) CASHED FOR $587.25 The late pick 4 is always a challenge at Keeneland
Race 7 $50 to Win & Place on #6 ONE THIRTY NINE (3-1 ML) Lost, 3rd $10 Exacta Box 3-4-6 ($60) CASHED FOR $184.00 $20 Double 6 with 2,9 ($40) Lost Albarado has really been riding well this meet and has handed me some crushing defeats, but today I am on his side and this colt should benefit from Robby getting on him. He has shown to be a good worker in the mornings, and his three races have been good experience builders. His 2nd place finish was 4 lengths ahead of the 3rd place finisher last out (in a field of 11), so he certainly ran a well enough to win at this level.
Race 8 $20 to Win & Place on #9 DADDY'S BOO (10-1 ML) Lost $10 Exacta Box 2-7-9 ($60) Lost $1 Trifecta Key Box 9 with 2,6,7,10 ($36) Lost $10 Double 9 with 2,6 ($20) Lost The name doesn't really sound like the name of a graded stakes winner. And when you have been the favorite in 9 straight races (winning 7 of them), I think the public is telling you that your horse should be trying something a little bit tougher. The recognition is that this is a really fast horse on the turf, and she could be dangerous on the lead here. The 1 1/2 mile distance is a big question mark, but the trainer only brings his horses down from Chicago that he thinks are live.
Race 2 $0.50 Pick 4 5,1,9,8 with ALL with 7,8 with 11,1,10,9 ($96) CASHED FOR $515.70 The 2nd and 4th leg seem wide open.
Race 4 $100 to Win on #7 KIRBY'S PENNY (6-5 ML) Lost, 2nd $20 Double 7 with 11,1,10 ($60) Lost $20 Exacta 7-8 ($20) Lost $10 Pick 3 7 with 11,1,10 with 5,11,4 ($90) Lost Keeneland doesn't have too many locks or singles, but this is probably my highest confidence Best Bet of the meet so far for what it's worth. She has won 4 of her last 5 races as she has climbed the conditions ladder, including two wins at Keeneland in the Spring. Her workouts have remained sharp since her last effort and she gets a top jockey today in Ortiz (5 wins in last 11 mounts). While all horses hit a class ceiling at some point, this filly is still among company that shouldn't pose a problem -- no multiple stakes winners in here. And he speed ratings suggest that there won't be any faster horses today, so I expect a pace pressing trip and an easy victory today.
Race 7 $0.50 Pick 4 2,5,7,9,11,12,13,1 with 8,9,1,11,4 with 8,11 with 9,1,5,7,3,4 ($240) CASHED FOR $202.20 An all filly pick 4! Need to see this ticket scratch down, but the payout should be in the thousands today.
Race 8 $20 to Win & Place on #8 SWEET STELLA (15-1 ML) Lost, 9th $10 Exacta Box 8-9 ($20) Lost $1 Trifecta Key Box 8 with 1,4,9,11 ($36) Lost $10 Double 8,9 with 8,11 ($40) CASHED FOR $182.00 One thing that trainer D Wayne Lukas is know for is putting young horses in races that are over their heads and this filly is no exception. She lost badly in all 3 graded stakes tries, which happened to be dirt routes -- the opposite of what she is being asked to do today in this turf sprint. So why today? She has always been a fast worker in the mornings, and a recent bullet work on the sloppy track could be a good sign. She did break her maiden on the turf here at Keeneland last year. Her last two races since a layoff have been sprints, and she gets an easier class spot here today than last time out. Often these turf sprints are won by turf sprint specialists, but there aren't really any of those in here (other than the AE's).
Race 2 $0.50 Pick 4 5,8,7 with 5,3,1,6 with 3,4,1,7,5 with 11,3,10,2,1 ($150) Lost
Race 4 $10 to Win & Place on #3 WISHIHADA (5-1 ML) Lost, 8th $5 Double 3 with 3,11 ($10) Lost $1 Trifecta Key Box 3 with 1,4,5,7 ($36) Lost Nice to see Geroux grab the opportunity to ride this Canterbury shipper. This is a horse with a lot of early speed, and I think she could steal the race in her first try for the barn of trainer Tammy Domenosky.
Race 5 $20 to Win & Place on #11 KENTUCKY KITTEN (8-1 ML) Lost, 9th $10 Double 3,11 with 2 ($20) Lost $1 Trifecta Box 3-10-11 ($6) Lost $5 Exacta Box 3-11 ($10) Lost There was a day where a Kitten's Joy colt, owned by Ken & Sarah Ramsey, trained by Mike Maker, on the turf, would have been the odds-on favorite. But today, even with the assignment of a top national jockey, the horse is likely to be a longshot. Sure a turf route is a tough debut race task, but this horse is bred for it and with a consistent tab of solid workouts, I expect this one to run like a champion.
Race 6 $50 to Win & Place on #2 COMMANDEERING (2-1 ML) CASHED FOR $60.00 $20 Double 2 with 8 ($20) Lost The last race out at Belmont was not great, but if you throw that race out, this horse is a standout that shouldn't find much challenge in finally breaking his maiden here (the #5 horse is really the only other threat). The stretchout to 1 1/8 miles is a good move by Pletcher because the horse has had a tendency to hang in a lot of his races. Look for a peak effort in his third race off of a layoff.
Race 7 $0.50 Pick 4 8,4,2,9 with 6,2 with 1,7,12,10,6,5 with 9,5,8,13,2,11,4,10 ($192) Lost This will probably scratch down to a more reasonable ticket.
Race 1 $50 to Win & Place on #3 IT'S THE TRUTH (8-5 ML) Lost, 4th $20 Double 3-3 Lost This filly has been bouncing around the mid-Atlantic tracks, operating from trainer Graham Motion's home base of Fair Hill Farm in Maryland. So this trip to Keeneland is a first, as is dropping this horse into the claiming ranks. She is a front-running sprinter stretching out today against a small field of mostly milers and two-turn horses. I expect her to have no problem getting the extra distance against this group of lesser quality fillies and expect the jockey's instructions will be to go to the lead and ride with confidence.
Race 2 $50 to Win & Place on #3 MARLINSPIKE (3-1 ML) CASHED FOR $80.00 $0.50 Pick 4 3,4,2,6,7 with 9,1,2 with 3,2,10,13,11,8 with 5,3,8,1,6 ($225) Lost This well-bred Tapit filly out of the 3 yr old filly champion mare Surfside was bet heavily of course in her debut race at Woodside, but got caught late as the even money favorite and finished 2nd. Since then, she has been working very well, including two bullet works and two 6 furlong workouts, which I always like to see. This should prepare her well for the stretchout to 1 1/8 miles today, and the longer distance should reflect some of her top level breeding.
Race 4 $50 to Win & Place on #3 MISS KATIE BUG (3-1 ML) Lost, 6th $10 Exacta Box 2-3-10 ($60) Lost The combination of Dale Romans and Robby Albarado have won 6 of their last 12 together at Keeneland, and this looks like another winning spot. This is one of the best 2 year olds in the Roman's barn and a bullet work at Churchill this week suggests it is all systems go. The route race and dirt-to-turf move are a little bit surprising to me, but I take it as a sign of confidence and a curiosity to know what this young filly can do.
Race 6 $0.50 Pick 4 8,5,4,10,3,9,2 with 4,5 with 13,6,2,3,7 with 10,3,9 ($105) Lost Left big money on the table yesterday with an unbelievable beat in the last leg of the late pick 4. If you didn't catch it, watch the race replay and see the aggressive, unnecessary "winning" move by the replacement jockey on the #2 horse only to have a beaten horse that was gassed come back to pass a horse that was even more gassed. I've seen a lot of races and it was surely something that happens 1 out of 10,000 races(about the same rate at which I criticize jockey's rides). Hoping for redemption today (which is foolish because horse racing never works that way).
Race 8 $20 to Win & Place on #13 MANITOULIN (8-1 ML) Lost, 7th $5 Double 13 with 2,10 ($10) Lost $1 Trifecta Key Box 13 with 2,3,6,7 ($36) Lost The outside post isn't ideal because it certainly puts this horse wide into the first turn, but I'm not too concerned because this horse has a closer's running style and a 1 1/2 mi distance is plenty of time to get good tactical position. While a graded stakes win here would be his first, the rest of the field is comparable and the is a good fit from a class level perspective. He won here at Keeneland in the Spring Meet and comes off of a nice win last out at Belmont. I think there will be enough speed in front of him for things to set up nicely for a sweeping move down the stretch.
Race 9 $20 to Win on #10 CHARM OFFENSIVE (8-1 ML) Lost, 7th $1 Trifecta Box 3-9-10 ($6) Lost
Race 1 $20 to Win & Place on #1 HEADLINER (12-1 ML) Lost, 6th $1 Trifecta Box 1-2-4-5 ($24) Lost $5 Double 1 with 3,6 ($10) Lost The good bloodlines haven't shown up yet in this Tapit gelding, but his dam produced a 3yo graded stakes winner. While he hasn't shown much on the track in his 3 starts, he keeps dropping in class, most recently at the challenging Saratoga, and faces his easiest field yet today. There are no published workouts since that last race two months ago, which is very intriguing, and I expect that today we will see a new horse.
Race 2 $0.50 Pick 4 6,3,5 with 4,1,3,5 with 3,4,7,6,9 with 1,3,7,6 ($120) Lost Wednesday cards mean shorter fields, but it is really tough to find singles on today's card.
Race 3 $10 to Win & Place on #4 SHADOW TRACER (12-1 ML) Lost, 3rd $1 Trifecta Box 1-3-4-5 ($24) CASHED FOR $23.60 $5 Double 4 with 3,4 ($10) Lost This colt ran second to the #1 horse here last Spring at 70-1 odds and then piled up 4 straight wins after that at lesser tracks. What he brings to the table consistently is early speed and he is kind of a limited to wire to wire wins. The challenge today is that the #2 horse to his inside also is likely to take the same strategy. But this horse has the advantage of showing that he likes Keeneland and if he does happen to get an uncontested lead, I wouldn't expect him to falter in this short field sprint.
Race 5 $50 to Win & Place on #1 WHITE GOLD (9-2 ML) CASHED FOR $80.00 $10 Exacta Box 1-3-7 ($60) CASHED FOR $149.00 $20 Double 1 with 2,6 ($40) Lost $0.50 Pick 4 1,3,7,6 with 2,6,9,4,10,7 with 12,1,9 with 5,9,2,3 ($144) Lost I struggled to land on a Best Bet today, so I decided to go with somewhat of a longer odds runner than normal. When I tell you that he is a beaten favorite last out at Belterra, you might think I have lost my mind, but the filly does have better speed ratings than the rest of the field and drops into the claiming ranks for the first time today for a high percentage trainer. With a good break and a clean trip, I think this horse will run away with it at a new price.
Race 6 $50 to Win and Place on #2 SIR SAHIB (2-1 ML) Lost, 3rd $20 Exacta Box 2-6 ($40) Lost $20 Double 2,6 with 1,12 ($80) CASHED FOR $2,108.00 This colt ran 3rd in his debut race last out in what has proven to be a key race, with both the winner and runner-up having gone on to win subsequent races. What will make this horse the likely favorite here in the strong closing move, picking up 8 lengths going very wide during the race. Since then, he has impressed in his workouts and seems ready for a peak effort today. My only hesitation is the pace scenario, which might not set things up for his big closing kick. The #6 horse here had a troubled start last out, but I think will show good early speed today and could be dangerous on the lead.
Race 1 $50 to Win & Place on #5 WHATEVERYBODYWANTS (2-1 ML) CASHED FOR $95.00 $20 Double 5 with 5,6 ($40) Lost This horse has gone off the rails over the past year, falling from being a graded stakes contender as a 3 yr old to a badly beaten favorite last out in a $20k claiming race. But he was claimed in the last race and seems poised for improvement under new trainer Robertino Diodoro. Workouts for the new barn suggest his health is fine, and the trainer has good winning percentages off of the claim (25%) and with beaten favorites (28%), suggesting the new connections know where to place a horse. Look for jockey Corey Lanerie to reacquaint this horse with the winners circle.
Race 2 $0.50 Pick 4 5,6,8 with 5,2,6,1 with 3,5,6,4,7 with 11,14 ($60) Lost Smallish fields, but a couple of longshots in here with a chance to make this playable.
Race 4 $20 to Win & Place on #3 MARENGO ROAD (10-1 ML) Lost, 4th $10 Exacta Box 3-5-6 ($60) Lost $10 Double 3 with 11,14 ($20) Lost No doubt that the big name classy horse in the race is Shining Copper, Mr K's best bet today, who finished 3rd in the Arlington Million in 2015 and then at the Breeders Cup Turf at Keeneland that year blew a 20 length lead and ended up losing by 21 lengths. But I will try to beat that 7yr old today with Marengo Road, a mid Atlantic shipper for Michael Trombetta. I would expect him to sit behind a front running Shining Copper and looks for him to attack on the stretch drive.
Race 6 $0.50 Pick 4 7,8,3,6,5,2,1 with 10,1,5,7,6,3,4,8 with 4,7,12 with 6,8 ($168) Lost Almost forgot to bet this until Mr K reminded me.
Race 7 $10 to Win & Place on #10 GALILIANCO (8-1 ML) CASHED FOR $103.00 $5 Exacta Box 1-5-10 ($30) Lost $5 Double 10-4 Lost $5 Pick 3 10-4-6 Lost It didn't seem like this filly liked the turf at all in her debut race at Kentucky Downs, so I look for a much improved effort on the dirt today. Wes Ward's ability to get 2yr olds to run well is something you can bank on at Keeneland, and a couple of good workouts on the dirt since the filly's last start suggest all is well. Also Mr K's longshot bet of the day and he has been hot this weekend!
Race 8 $100 to Win on #4 CORBY (2-1 ML) Lost, 3rd $20 Double 4-6 Lost The filly has had a bad case of seconditis during her career win only 1 win (by a nose) and 6 place finishes. But there is no doubt she is the fastest horse in the race, so how will they break this problem today? I think the route-to-sprint-to-route pattern is a good attempt. Just shaking up the normal cadence of a race might help improve her ability to finish alone. Only win money for me!
Race 9 $100 to Win on #6 GIRLS KNOW BEST (3-1 ML) CASHED FOR $260.00 This is a fast filly and she is coming into this race off of a career best effort. She will likely be the pace setter, but I don't view her exclusively as a needs-the-lead type. Win 4 wins in 8 starts, you know she knows how to find the wire. Today's $40k claiming level is well within her class ability.
Race 1 $5 Exacta Box 1-3-6 ($30) CASHED FOR $181.50 $1 Trifecta Box 1-3-6-8 ($24) CASHED FOR $333.60 $5 Double 3,6 with 9 ($10) Lost This is an open claiming race to start today's card and it is indeed wide open. #3 Hugh B. is cheap in class, but has the best early speed and should play a big role in the outcome. #6 Noshackleshere is still trying to find the right competitive level and drops in class today.
Race 2 $100 to Win on #9 LIGHTNING DOVE (3-1 ML) Lost, 2nd $20 Double 9 with 5,9 ($40) Lost $0.50 Pick 4 9,7 with 5,9,2,12,6,10,7,4 with 7,5,6,1,4 with 2,1,9,5,11,7,8 ($280) Lost This was a highly thought of Uncle Mo filly that never really made it happen on the track as a 2 yr old, and during this 3yr old season the connections have been consistently dropping her in class to find a winning level. And it looks like the claiming ranks is where that is. She has been off a couple of months and returns to Keeneland, where she broke her maiden. With some good workouts it seems like a smart move to try her back on the dirt for the first time in almost a year. And big time jockey Mike Smith gets out of the jocks' room early to ride this big potential filly who still has time to develop in a stakes horse. Race 3 $10 to Win & Place on #5 MISS BLUE DOT (5-1 ML) Lost, 4th $5 Exacta Box 5-9 ($10) Lost $5 Double 5,9 with 5,7 ($20) Lost This filly had a troubled trip last time out at the MSW level, where she might have finished in the money otherwise. The 2nd place finish two races back at the maiden claiming level was a good baseline to indicate that she at least belongs at this level. These experiences are often underrated when you have a field of some many first-timer horses that might be better bred and haven't lost. But this trainer wins at a good 19% clip with maiden claimers, and I will side with the race experience in this large field. Race 4 $10 to Win & Place on #7 CONQUEST WILDCAT (6-1 ML) Lost, 4th $5 Exacta Box 5-6-7 ($30) Lost You will get a price here because the trainer has been cold, but the class drop is a necessary move and will really put the horse in a more winnable situation. A 19 length defeat can bring some honesty to a barn, and this is a well bred sprinter that has put up winning speed ratings when at this level. This horse can handle a quick pace today, and I expect him to rate just behind the leaders and then finish well late.
Race 6 $20 to Win & Place on #11 LOUP (20-1 ML) Lost, 8th $10 Exacta Box 7-8-11 ($60) Lost $1 Trifecta Key Box 11 with 1,3,5,7,8 ($60) Lost A bullet work last week at Keeneland caught my attention -- a 59s 5 furlong work from the gate. Two year olds are not supposed to be doing that, but a look at this colt's dam, Avalanche Lady, shows some precociousness with three winners out of four starters and some big success as a two year old by Loup's half brother, Swipe, who ran 2nd in the Breeders Cup Juvenille at Keeneland and was multiple graded stakes placed. I am quite surprised at the 20-1 ML.
Race 7 $0.50 Pick 4 6,10,4,7,8,11 with 9,4,1,5,14 with 10,11 with 8,5,1,6,12,4 ($180) Lost You are going to need a big ticket today to take this one down.
Race 1 $100 to Win on #7 THE WEEF (7-5 ML) Lost, 3rd $10 Exacta Box 2-4-7 ($60) Lost $20 Double 7 with 6 ($20) Lost The filly race a nice 2nd last time -- just wasn't a match for the winner. But she showed good early speed and Geroux is back for a second try with this smaller barn trainer, Rodolphe Brisset, who also is currently the starting quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts. This filly looks to be clearly the best among the experienced runners here and has consistent workouts at Keeneland, so unless one of the first time starters blitzes her (not likely in a MCL), The Weef looks like a good way to start off a fun Friday card.
Race 2 $10 to Win & Place on #6 NITE OF THE HUNTER (5-1 ML) Lost, 4th $0.50 Pick 4 6,2,3,7 with 5,8,2,4,1 with 3,2,12,6 with 12,8 ($80) Lost This experienced claimer always shows good speed, but never seems to be around for the finish. But I like the trainer's move of claiming him at his bottom level last out and now stepping him up in class and cutting him back in distance. Throw out the last race as a beaten favorite and this horse would be the public choice in this race. This winner would be a nice start to the infamous 22% takeout, early Keeneland Pick 4.
Race 5 $100 to Win on #12 FLASH N' DANCE (3-1 ML) Lost, 2nd $20 Double 12-9 ($20) Lost $10 Pick 3 12-9-5 ($10) Lost What a feeling it would be to see this horse cross the line first in this full field of 12 (plus our AE's waiting to fill any holes). In her two prior races, she has shown that she can stalk or run on the front end. That versatility will be important given the outside post, but she should have the experience to rate well behind others.
Race 6 $0.50 Pick 5 9 with 5 with 3,7,9,1 with 10,8,1 with 7,3,4 ($18) Lost Let's try to single some chalks early and see what happens in the later legs.
Race 7 $100 to Win on #5 PROMISES FULFILLED (2-1 ML) CASHED FOR $220.00 $0.50 Pick 4 5,4,1 with 3,7,9,1,6,4 with 10,8,1,4 with 7,3,4,2 ($144) Lost The Keeneland October meet is packed with 2yr old maiden races, but here is fun one for previous winners. The likely favorite here was very impressive in winning his debut race in what might prove to be a faster time than we will even see today in this allowance race. It is hard to imagine anyone running with him in the early stages, so absent some unforeseen mishap, this colt should be 2 for 2 lifetime after today. Race 8 $10 to Win & Place on #3 ERVSAYSLETHERGO (12-1 ML) Lost, 7th $5 Exacta Box 3-7 ($10) Lost $5 Double 3-10 ($5) Lost You might need to take out a loan to bet all of Mr B's plays today! If you take out the last race from this horse's past performances, you can see the early speed, but with the cutback in distance I don't expect to see her on the lead. The trainer does well with the route to sprint moves, winning 22%.
Race 9 $5 Exacta Box 8-10 ($10) Lost $10 Double 10-7 ($10) Lost Out of the 14 North American thoroughbred tracks running today, the Buffalo Trace is the only graded stake race in America this Friday. With a full field in here, there are great odds to be had whether it is former Breeders Cup runners, shippers from 7 different tracks, or unheralded jockeys getting a chance to boost their career. Several handicappers will pass the opportunity to bet this race due to a boycott of Keeneland in protest of management increasing the takeout rate on several bets. Their boycott has appeared to be successful so far with handle declining materially so far this meet. I wish them luck in getting the industry to lower takeout rates. But for the wide majority of these protesters, their desired outcome of lower takeout rates will only cause them to lose less, not win more. Also, worth noting that you can get a DelMar shipper here at 30-1 ML odds in the #10 Indriya. She hasn't won in two years. Raises the old handicapper question: "Why is she here? And why did her no name jockey come here with her?"
Race 1 $10 Win & Place on #5 NO LIMIT (8-1 ML) Lost, Last $5 Double 5-6 ($5) Lost This is a pretty weak maiden race by Keeneland standards (well, you can kind of say the same thing about today's entire card), so I like this class dropper who has basically been overmatched in his prior three starts. His half sister is Grade 1 winner Birdatthewire.
Race 2 $0.50 Pick 4 6,8 with 2,9,10,5,6 with 5,2,4 with 6,4,7,5 ($60) Lost Cheap races, big prices. Playing a lot today to try to capitalize.
Race 3 $10 Win & Place on #2 COURT'S RULING (15-1 ML) Lost, 7th $5 Double 2 with 2,5 ($10) Lost Another class dropper (maybe). Hard to evaluate the races and although those Hazel Park and Mountaineer wins last year won't count for much with bettors, they are a clue that this horse still has a nice rally style when the class level is right. Jon Court -- no relation -- has his best chance of the meet to make a splash today.
Race 4 $50 Win & Place on #5 MYDRINKSELECTION (5-2 ML) CASHED FOR $80.00 $20 Double 5 with 4,6 ($40) Lost Trainer Mike Maker already wins at a nice 20% clip, but he wins at twice that percentage when trying for back to back claiming wins with a horse. Many claiming-oriented trainers tend to get too aggressive with placement, especially after a big 7 3/4 length win like this filly had last time out at Indiana Downs. But Maker realizes that the game is about cashing checks for his owners, and that peak efforts are usually not followed by another huge step forward and that when a horse is in good form, it is more profitable to put it in a winnable spot. So with a huge effort last time out, a bullet work since then, and just a mild step up in class, this horse looks ready to ring the register. Jockey Tyler Gaffalione needs to be careful not to get caught in a speed duel with the cheaper #2 horse.
Race 5 $20 to Win & Place on #6 HEZA KITTEN (10-1 ML) Lost, 4th $5 Exacta Box 4-6-7 ($30) Lost $5 Double 4,6 with 6,9 ($20) Lost It is kind of hard to imagine that you will get 10-1 odds on a Wesley Ward 2-yr old...Kitten Joy colt...in a maiden race...at Keeneeland...that happens to be the KP Longshot Bet of the Day...of BOTH Mr. K and Mr. B! Granted, there are a lot of big name trainers in here with some very expensive sales grads and well-bred homebreds. But Ward is an exceptional 24% winner with first time starters, and jockey Joe Bravo has the right experience and grit to handle this big field racing on the turf.
Race 7 $0.50 Pick 4 4,8,3,7,11,10,6,9 with 4,8,7,6,3 with 8,1 with 3,5,4,1 ($160) Lost Assuming your bankroll is still intact by now with all of the plays today, this late pick 4 should pay well enough to cover a bigger than normal ticket.
Race 2 $0.50 Pick 4 5,1 with 1,5,9,2,7 with 4,3 with 3,4 ($20) Lost Three 2-yr old races are part of this tricky pick 4.
Race 3 $20 to Win & Place on #1 CALL ME (8-1 ML) Lost, 4th It is usually pretty foolish to go against Wes Ward horses in a 2-yr old race at Keeneland, but this colt debuts today for another successful trainer, Brad Cox, who has a very solid 19% winning percentage with first-time starters. All of the dam's progeny have been winners. Looking for a price here in a group of marginal quality 2yr old maidens.
Race 5 $0.50 Pick 4 3,4 with 1,4,13,2 with 2,10 with 10,12 ($16) Lost
Race 6 $100 to Win on #1 C Z ROCKET (5-2 ML) CASHED FOR $190.00 $20 Exacta Box 1-4 Lost $20 Double 1-2 CASHED FOR $62.00 A big sweeping win in her debut race at Saratoga suggests that this colt is ready to make the quick jump up to an NW1x at Keeneland. He brought an $800k price tag in the sales, and shows the promise to recoup that fairly quickly. The workouts since the last start have gotten progressively better with the five week break suggesting that the big speed figure can be repeated. The other City Zip colt in here, #4 Zipp On By will probably be the one to catch, so we might have an exciting finish with two offspring of one of the best sprinting sires.
Race 7 $50 to Win & Place on #2 RUSHING FALL (3-1 ML) CASHED FOR $165.00 The Jessamine has an interesting mix of 2-yr old shippers from different tracks. I really value the quality of the NYRA shippers, and this filly's debut win on the turf at Belmont was super impressive. While certain to be the favorite off of that win and with the connections of Chad Brown/Javier Castellano, I expect this filly to have a rapid upward career trajectory and she should easily be up for this Grade 3 test.
Race 1 $100 to Win on #8 NORTHERN SCREAMER (8-5 ML) CASHED FOR $140.00 $20 Double 8 with 3,5 ($40) Lost It looks like the Ramsey/Maker connections didn't see much upside with this recent claim after she didn't run a step in first off of the claim at Kentucky Downs on the turf. So they have her back down into a $10k claimer on the dirt, which seems like a bigger drop than necessary and usually a red flag, but for these connections it is not. The Ramseys are always determined to be the leading owners at the Keeneland meets and are willing to drop these claimers way down in class to get an easy win, even if it means the horse getting claimed away. Look for Saez to have her prominent early.
Race 2 $0.50 Pick 4 3,5,2 with 8,4,7,3 with 3,1,5,4,7,6 with 1,10,15 ($108) Lost
Race 6 $20 to Win & Place #4 STORM ADVISORY (8-1 ML) CASHED FOR $68.00 $10 Exacta Box 1-2-4 ($60) CASHED FOR $391.00 $20 Double 4-5 Lost $0.50 Pick 5 4 with 5 with 13,3,9,1,4,8 with 6,8,11 with 4,5,6 ($27) Lost In a short field that is void of early speed, I expect this longshot to steal the race. Corey Lanerie gets the mount and he is usually a good judge of pace and should be able to milk things along.
Race 7 $100 to Win on #5 MIA MISCHIEF (1-1 ML) CASHED FOR $150.00 $20 Double 5 with 3,13 ($40) Lost $0.50 Pick 4 5 with 13,3,9,1,4,8,14,12 with 6,8,11,3,5 with 6,5,4 ($60) CASHED FOR $252.40 This is a very green, but talented 2 yr old who looked like she was going to run away with the win in her debut race, but then goofed around and got caught in the stretch. Asmussen puts his go-to jockey, Ricardo Santana Jr., on this time and he should more successfully get her to stay to the task. You never know what the first time starters will do at Keeneland, so watch the tote board for hot money, but this odds-on favorite looks too dominant.
Race 2 $0.50 Pick 4 4,6,5 with 9,6,1,11 with 6,2,11,8 with 2,5,8 ($72) CASHED FOR $1,120.50 These are probably the four most difficult races of the day, so hopeful to get a couple of prices here.
Race 4 $20 to Win & Place on #6 ECLIPSED MOON (15-1 ML) Lost, 6th $5 Exacta Box 2-6-11 ($30) Lost $5 Pick 3 6,2,11,8 with 2,5,8 with 4 ($60) CASHED FOR $1,463.50 A nice workout earlier this week caught my attention with this young colt, who had previously been an average morning worker but perhaps likes the Keeneland surface or maybe is sharp for his return to Kentucky. He tried the always competitive MSW level twice at Saratoga, and while he didn't hit the board, he had some excuses with bad breaks. I'm hopeful for a cleaner start this time, but this race is packed with early speed so I'm not too concerned about a slow start because he seems inclined to finish well. You always have to watch the tote board at Keeneland in these 2 year old races, but I'm looking for the upset here.
Race 5 $5 Exacta Box 2-5-8 ($30) CASHED FOR $593.00
Race 7 $50 to Win & Place on #4 ROCA ROJO (2-1 ML) Lost, 3rd $20 Double 4 with 4,11 ($40) Lost $0.50 Pick 4 4 with 4,2,9,8,3 with 7,2,8,10 with 14,11,7,9 ($40) Lost Today should be the day this mare gets her first Grade 1 win as the likely heavy favorite in the First Lady Stakes. I expect a patient, confident ride from Castellano as the speed from the outside sets the pace. On the far turn, this horse should show a closing kick that will drive her to the front for an easy win.
Race 8 $5 Exacta Box 2-4 ($10) Lost
Race 10 $5 Exacta Box 7-14 ($10) Lost
Race 2 $0.50 Pick 4 5,7 with 3 with 1,4 with 1,3,4,5,6,8,9 ($14) Lost Singling the Best Bet of the Day in Race 3
Race 3 $100 to Win on #3 COLONEL DAN (3-1 ML) Lost, 6th $20 Double 3 with 1,4 ($40) Lost $10 Exacta 3 over 2,6 ($20) Lost Obviously leaning pretty heavily on this claimer to get the meet started off right. While counting on a non-winner of two lifetime gelding might seem risky, I do expect that the connections have finally found a class level where this horse can compete and win his first non-maiden race. In fact, the trainer is a 28% winner with beaten favorites, which indicates an urgency to find that right level after a losing race. Jockey Corey Lanerie has tried different running styles with this gelding as the pilot in two previous tries, and I expect that he will have him a little bit closer to the pace today. The recent past performances say to me that this one is cycling up for a peak effort today. I expect Lanerie to be hot this meet with a lot of good assignments for many of the top Kentucky-based horses.
Race 7 $0.50 Pick 4 2,4,8,9 with 4,5,11 with 1,6,10 with 5,8,11 ($54) Lost Some nice longshot potential in the late Pick 4 today.
Race 8 $20 to Win & Place on #4 LOOSE ON THE TOWN (12-1 ML) Lost, 5th $10 Exacta Box 4-5 ($20) Lost $10 Double 4,5 with 1 ($20) Lost I have much respect for some very talented big name horses in this BC prep race like Limousine Liberal, which just missed winning this race last year by a nose, and Whitmore, a Kentucky Derby runner in 2016 (and Mr K's best bet today). But big names also let you get some other good horses at great bargain odds, and I think the juicy odds on this runner are worth a wager. The 6 furlong distance on the dirt probably suits this Speightstown gelding the best, and Saez is a talented jock who will put this horse on or near the lead early. The horse fights hard every race and is now racing the fastest races of his career and seems ready for a Grade 2 challenge.
Race 10 $20 to Win & Place on #5 IMPOSING WILL (15-1 ML) Lost, 9th $5 Exacta Box 5-8-11 ($30) Lost This is a very peculiar entry in this 1 1/2 mile turf route, because here is a 3yr old gelding who doesn't seem bred for either the surface or the distance yet is here today jumping up in class against older horses off of a win last out for a high percentage Arlington trainer and jockey. I know it sounds like I am giving you a lot of reasons why the horse is taking on too much, but sometimes those "Why are they here?" horses give you some of your biggest wins. I will give the connections the benefit of the doubt and guess that they have a shot that is much better than their odds will suggest.