2019 Spring Meet Totals Wagered: $10,779.00 Cashed: $6,681.00 Net Profit: -$4,098.00 ROI: -38%
APRIL 26 As we head into the final day of the meet, the ROI has been crippled this Spring by the chalky Pick 4's we've seen this meet and the lack of a big score. Today gives us one final at bat and I'm going for it.
Race 1 $0.50 Pick 5 1A,2,5,6 with 4,5,6 with 3,7,10 with 2,6 with 2,6,7,9,10,11,12 ($252) 4 out of 5 CASHED FOR $154.70
Race 2 $0.50 Pick 4 4,5,6 with 1,2,3,7,9,10 with 1,2,3,6 with 2,6,7,9,10,11,12 ($252) Lost
Race 5 $50 to Win & Place on #11 ALLONGE (15-1 ML) Last, Lost $5 Exacta Box 6-11-12 ($30) Lost $1 Trifecta Key Box 11 with 2,6,10,12 ($36) Lost $20 Double 11,12 with 2,5 ($80) Lost Joel Rosario picks up the mount on this Fair Grounds shipper, who ran two ho hum races down in New Orleans. Trainer Michael Stidham is a high percentage trainer with a knack for bringing home some longshot winners at Keeneland. This 3rd career spot is a typical place to see a big jump for a young, developing horse.
Race 6 $100 to Win & Place on #5 EXPLORER (8-5 ML) 2nd, CASHED FOR $130.00 $20 Double 5 with 4,8 ($40) Lost $0.50 Pick 5 5 with 1A,4,5,8 with 1,3,4 with 1,3,4,6,8,9 with 3,4,5,6,10 ($180) 4 out of 5 CASHED FOR $12.90 Vamonos! Grab your tipsheet and let's go. It is pretty rare to see a Baffert horse at Keeneland, but this late developing colt has sharp early speed and should wire this field. Don't forget your backpack--you will need it to carry home all of the dinero you are going to win on this one.
Race 7 $0.50 Pick 4 1A,4,5,8 with 1,3,4 with 1,3,4,6,8,9 with 3,4,5,6,7,10,11 ($252) CASHED FOR $251.40
Race 2 $0.50 Pick 4 5 with 1,2,3,4,7 with 4,6 with 2,4,8,9 ($20) Lost
Race 6 $50 to Win & Place on #1 JOHNNY UNLEASHED SCRATCHED $20 Double 1-4 SCRATCHED $0.50 Pick 4 3 with 4,5,6 with ALL with 4,6,8,9,10,12 ($63) Lost
Race 7 $100 to Win & Place on #4 SENSITIVE (2-1 ML) 2nd, CASHED FOR $140.00 $20 Double 4 with 1,9 ($40) Lost $1 Trifecta 4 with 5,6 with ALL ($12) Lost
Race 1 $100 to Win & Place on #3 STRUT THE RING (2-1 ML) Won, CASHED FOR $360.00 $20 Exacta 3 over 2.4 ($40) Lost $20 Double 3 with 4,5 ($40) Won, CASHED FOR $322.00 $0.50 Pick 5 3 with 3,4,5 with 11 with 2,4,5,7,11 with 1,3,5,6 ($30) CASHED FOR $248.30 This 7 year-old has a 40% lifetime winning percentage, including a gutsy win earlier this meet. Trainer Matt Shirer has been successful getting this horse to win at a higher class level than the previous trainer, and the horse looks ready to cycle to a career high speed figure today.
Race 3 $20 to Win & Place on #10 CLONGIFFEN (5-1 ML) SCRATCHED This is the only filly in the race with a previous start -- a 6th place, 15 length loss. She has a bit of a troubled trip so there was an excuse and this trainer has a good ROI when he brings them back quickly like this.
Race 5 $0.50 Pick 4 3,5,6 with 4,6,8,9,10,12 with 1,3,5,6,7,8 with 1,2,3,4,9,10 ($324) Lost Still waiting for the love to come around
Race 6 $50 to Win & Place on #9 TOSCANA (10-1 ML) Lost $5 Exacta Box 6-9-12 ($30) Lost $1 Trifecta Key Box 9 with 4,6,8,10,12 ($60) Lost I expect this filly to snatch the lead early and go wire to wire. Her dirt sprint races have shown she has that early speed, but some really good workouts on the turf indicate that she might prefer the turf surface. This one comes loaded with lots of positive ROI angles for this trainer, such as GP to Kee and sprint to route.
Race 2 $0.50 Pick 4 1,4,7 with 2,3 with ALL with 1,2,5,7,8 ($75) Lost Smallish fields in here, so hoping to catch a longshot today
Race 6 $0.50 Pick 5 1,2,9 with with 2,5,7 with 7,10,13 with 2,3,6,10 with 1,6,8 ($162) Lost Would have loved to single the #2 in the first leg -- fastest horse, but just doesn't like to win.
Race 7 $100 to Win & Place on #2 MOMINOU (5-2 ML) Won, CASHED FOR $490.00 $20 Exacta 2 over 5,7 ($40) Lost $20 Double 2-13 ($20) Lost $0.50 Pick 4 2,5,7 with 4,7,10,13 with 2,3,6,10 with ALL ($216) Lost It was tough to find a Best Bet today with the rain threatening scratches and surface changes. But this East Coast filly took a detour through Kentucky on her way home from Florida for a reason. She is a turf sprint specialist and there aren't many $83,000 allowance races for those types. She has early speed but doesn't necessarily need the lead. She should find this competition level a better fit than the stakes races she has been trying and should be sharp coming in second race off of a layoff.
Race 10 $50 to Win & Place on #6 INTO MOROCCO (8-1 ML) 5th, Lost $10 Exacta Box 1-6-8 ($60) Lost $1 Trfiecta Key Box 6 with 1,3,4,8,9 ($60) Lost This last race of the weekend seems like a real toss up, a MSW with lots of first-time and second-time starters, but without any Wesley Ward runners. I tend to shy away from first time starter 3 year olds -- the most talented have already raced by now, so these probably have had training or injury issues and are less reliable. This Dallas Stewart colt had a pretty uneventful debut back in February at Fair Grounds, racing wide and finishing a tiring 4th. But since coming to Kentucky, she has been working well in the mornings with some good 5f breezes at Churchill. I think she will show good early speed and be right in contention at the end.
Race 2 $20 Double 1A,8 with 2 Lost $0.50 Pick 4 1A,2,8,9 with 2,3,5,6 with 1,4,5,8,9,10,12 with 2,4,8,9 ($224) Lost Today looks like a lot of longshots. I predict an average winner price of over $10 today, so a bigger ticket is a good idea.
Race 3 $100 to Win & Place on #2 ROYAL CHARLOTTE (2-1 ML) Won, CASHED FOR $420.00 $20 Exacta 2 over 3,6 ($40) Lost $20 Double 2-10 ($20) Lost $1 Pick 3 2 with ALL with 9 ($11) Lost This late bloomer isn't the top pedigree filly in the Chad Brown barn, but she looked like a stakes horse in her debut win at Gulfstream. No reason not to pick up some allowance money while she still fits that NW1x condition.
Race 5 $20 to Win & Place on #9 BETTER BIZ (12-1 ML) Lost $5 Exacta Box 2-8-9 ($30) Lost $1 Trifecta Key Box 9 with 2,4,6,7,8 ($60) Lost $10 Double 8,9 with 5,10 ($40) Lost $1 Pick 3 2,8,9 with 5,6,10 with 2,3,9,10 ($36) Lost This first time starter has a nice work over the Keeneland track and get the services of Tyler Gaffalione, who has 3 wins yesterday. The West Coast-based trainer had a win yesterday too.
Race 6 $50 to Win & Place on #5 TOMMYTOM (15-1 ML) 10th, Lost $5 Exacta 5-6-10 ($30) Lost $1 Trifecta Key Box 5 with 6,8,9,10,11 ($60) Lost $10 Double 5,10 with 2,10 ($40) Lost $1 Pick 3 5,6,10 with 2,3,9,10 with 4,8,12 ($36) Lost Hopefully this longshot does better than the Mr B and Mr K's choice yesterday...The layoff since the Churchill meet doesn't bother me--this is a local horse for a small barn that doesn't go south and there isn't winter turf racing around here. So the layoff is time off-related, not rehab. I like specialists in turf sprints, and this horse is one, even though he does have a win on an off track. Just missed at this level by a 1/2 length last Keeneland meet, so no reason he should be 15-1.
Race 7 $0.50 Pick 4 2,3,9,10 with 4,8,12 with 3,5,8 with 1,2,4,6,7 ($90) Lost If you have any money left...
Race 1 $20 to Win & Place on #2 WILD ABOUT CANDY (5-1 ML) 2nd, CASHED FOR $42.00 $0.50 Pick 5 2 with 4,7 with 2,3,4,6 with 1,8 with 2,6,7 ($24) Lost This field is made up of horses that just broke their maiden and others dropping in class from allowance races. This McGee runner is the latter and with some easier competition today, I expect a lot of improvement. The recent works have been sharp and Leparoux, the only jockey to get a good effort from this horse, is back on. 5-1 would be a juicy price.
Race 2 $5 Exacta Box 4-7 ($10) Lost $0.50 Pick 4 4,6,7 with 2,3,4,6 with 1,8,10 with 2,6,7 ($54) Lost Might this actually be a 2 year old race where the Wesley Ward's can be beaten? I think that's a good bet.
Race 5 $50 to Win & Place on #7 GALLOVIE (8-1 ML) 7th, Lost $10 Exacta Box 2-6-7 ($60) Lost $0.50 Pick 5 7 with 1,3 with 4,5,6 with 4,8,13 with 3,5,7 ($27) Lost With all of the safety issues at Santa Anita this year, we are seeing a lot of those barns bringing horses to Keeneland, including this Euro import. She ran a troubled 3rd in her North American debut, but stands to improve in her second attempt going counter clockwise. The stretchout in distance to two turns will be no problem, and I'm looking for a sharp break from the outside post and a wire-to-wire victory.
Race 6 $0.50 Pick 4 1,2,3 with 4,5,6 with 2,4,8,13 with 3,5,7 ($54) Lost Still looking for that meet-making score...
Race 9 $100 to Win & Place on #9 HERMANO (9-2 ML) SCRATCHED $10 Exacta Box 3-7 ($20) Lost $5 Trifecta 9 over 3,5,7 over 3,5,7,8 ($45) SCRATCHED This horse is a bit of a mystery horse. You don't see many New Mexico-breds finding their way to Keeneland and the gelding has been away from the races for almost a year. But he was stakes-placed at Ruidoso as a 2yr old and braved a Santa Anita MSW as a 3yr old, so he might find this cheap field of maiden claimers today as easy competition. A strong gate work here last week tips you off that he is ready to one that big one today.
Race 2 $0.50 Pick 4 2,3,4 with 2,10 with 3,5,6,7 with 2,7,8,9 ($48) Lost With smallish fields and some good favorites, this doesn't seem like a big money maker, but might be the best way to be involved with the first half of a boring card.
Race 5 2,3,4,7,8,9 with 4,5 with 3 with 1,2,3,4,7,8,9,10,12 ($54) Lost Singling the Best Bet of the Day and going very wide in the last leg, which is where both longshots are most likely.
Race 7 $200 Win & Place on #3 STONE HANDS (5-2 ML) 3rd, Lost $20 Exacta 3 over 5,6 ($40) Lost $20 Double 3,5 with 1,3 ($80) Lost As a California sprinter, this John Sadler shipper has been flattening out in the stretch run frequently, but that has been against better competition than he will face today. It doesn't help when your jockey loses their whip, which is what Joel Rosario did in the last race as a beaten favorite. But the elite jockey is back aboard today for redemption. I think the plan will be to grab the lead early, which the sprinters profile will allow, and not make the horse have to come after horses late. He has a nice breeze over the Keeneland track and should be ready to go.
Race 8 $50 to Win & Place on #3 LOCAL HERO (15-1 ML) 10th, Lost $5 Exacta Box 1-3-7 ($30) Lost $1 Trifecta Key Box 3 with 1,2,7,8,9 ($60) Lost You could go plenty of directions in this 1 1/2 mile turf allowance, but this Oaklawn shipper in a good longshot choice. Mike Maker has taken on the training duties now that the horse has migrated to Kentucky, and sees this one as a turf horse even though recent experience has been on the dirt. The horse can show speed, but expect Leparoux to keep him off of the pace, conserve energy, and hopefully find some of the late stamina down the stretch.
APRIL 14 Sunday's forecast looks to be a very wet one, so I have handicapped the card with the expectation that the dirt track will be an off track and that there is a good chance that they will come off of the turf.
Race 2 $0.50 Pick 4 3,5 with 9,11 with 3,6,7 with 9,15 ($12) CASHED FOR $37.35 If you're looking for a single, #3 will be a tough favorite to beat in the first leg. Or get that good price in the 3rd leg with the Best Bet pick, #2.
Race 4 $100 to Win & Place on #2 COMMANDING CHIEF (6-1 ML) SCRATCHED $10 Exacta Box 3-6 ($20) CASHED FOR $145.00 It is rare to see a John Sadler-trained horse at Keeneland, especially a first time starter. This colt was scratched out of a tougher MSW race on Saturday, which I thought he might do well in. So with an easier spot here for a tag, I like him even more. Good works and the hot Joel Rosario aboard.
Race 6 $0.50 Pick 4 1,5 with 5 with 3,4,7 with 5,8,12 ($9) Lost The last leg is a turf race that will likely be moved to the sloppy dirt if the rain comes as expected.
Race 9 $50 to Win & Place #6 IM A PATRIOT (20-1 ML) SCRATCHED This is a Kitten's Joy gelding, who has yet to show his best in his short career. The breeding suggests he likes the turf, but even more so, if the race would get moved to the mud.
Race 2 $0.50 Pick 4 5,6 with 1,7,9,10,12 with 1,2,3,4,6,10 with 6,9,11 ($90) CASHED FOR $82.90 The ROI is suffering this meet from a low batting average on these Pick 4s. We have three of them today, so we will either sink deeper or climb our way out. All it takes is one or two good ones a meet.
Race 3 $20 to Win & Place on #1 I CAN DO ANYTHING (15-1 ML) 2nd, CASHED FOR $50.00 $5 Exacta Box 1-7-9 ($30) Lost $1 Trifecta Key Box 1 with 7,9,10,12 ($36) Lost This 5 year old Uncle Mo gelding maiden has been off for 1 1/2 years after finishing last in his only race at Saratoga. That right there tells you that you are going to get a good price today. So what to expect? The horse does appear to have early speed -- both that debut race and the way he has worked out recently suggest that. The pedigree is there and there has to be a good reason they are bringing back a 5 year old maiden after such a long layoff.
Race 7 $0.50 Pick 4 5,6,8,10 with 8,10 with 2,4,7,8,9,10 with 1,2,3,4,5,7 ($180) This is the all stakes pick 4 with some very familiar quality horses.
Race 8 $100 to Win & Place on #8 MORTICIA (3-1 ML) Won, CASHED FOR $490.00 $10 Exacta Box 4-8-10 ($60) CASHED FOR $134.00 $0.50 Pick 4 4,7,8,10 with 2,3,4,7,8,9,10 with 2,4,5 with 4,8,9 ($126) CASHED FOR $395.50 It has been 10 months since this mare has found the winners circle, but she is super consistent and has been in the money in all four of her Keeneland starts. She just missed last out, and now 2nd time off of the layoff I think a jockey change to Irad Ortiz will be the needed change to get her to finish with a little bit more of a close.
Race 11 $50 to Win & Place on #8 KULIK BEAR (12-1 ML) 2nd, CASHED FOR $155.00 $10 Exacta Box 4-8-9 ($60) CASHED FOR $360.00 This colt had a fine debut race in Tampa, showing good early speed for an unheralded trainer. His works since then have been very sharp, suggesting a move forward today. I think he will get overlooked on the tote board today and offers great value in a wide open race.
Race 1 $100 to Win & Place on #2 AIZHAI (5-1 ML) 4th, Lost $10 Exacta Box 2-5-8 ($60) Lost $0.50 Pick 5 2,8 with 2,3,8 with 4,7 with 7,12 with 4,8 ($24) Lost At this point in the season, the 4yr olds maintain an advantage over the 3yr olds and that gives an edge to this Buff Bradley colt over some other contenders in here. This will be his third since joining this barn and they are still trying to figure out where he belongs. The turf experiment didn't work, so it's back to the dirt today and there is also an equipment change, blinkers on. Those shakeups should unlock the puzzle today at a nice price against a fairly weak field of recent maiden breakers.
Race 2 $0.50 Pick 4 2,3,8 with 4,7 with 2,7,8,9,12 with 2,3,4,5,8,10 ($90) Lost The Pick 4's will be very tricky today and budget players should just avoid them or single two legs and go wide the other two.
Race 6 $50 to Win & Place on #2 WENTZ (10-1 ML) CASHED FOR $340.00 $5 Exacta Box 2-4 ($10) Lost $1 Trifecta Key Box 2 with 4,8,9 ($18) Lost $0.50 Pick 5 2 with 8,9,11 with 2,4,11 with 4,8 with 1,11 ($18) Lost This colt will try to take them wire-to-wire today and picking up Joel Rosario is a big plus toward doing that. Today is his first lifetime start at Keeneland, and he won't be the favorite as he routinely is at his mid-Atlantic home tracks, so you should get a nice price. A sharp workout here since arriving is a good signal that he has maintained his sharpness since a good win last out.
Race 7 $0.50 Pick 4 1,4,7,8,9,11 with 2,4,11 with 1,2,4,7,8 with 1,4,9,11 ($180) Lost Nothing would surprise me in this sequence other than a pick 4 payoff of less than $1,000.
Race 2 $0.50 Pick 4 2,3,6,7 with 1,3,5 with 1,3,8,10,12,13 with 1,2,5 ($108) CASHED FOR $564.75 This one will probably scratch down to a cheaper ticket.
Race 4 $100 to Win & Place on #10 FIREWATER JAKE (5-2 ML) 7th, Lost $10 Exacta Box 10-12 ($20) Lost A big field should keep the price fair -- at least for a Brad Cox horse. The colt proved he can win last out. He has plenty of early speed to take them wire to wire if the pace allows, but he also proved he can still run well by storming back for a good 2nd in a race back at Fair Grounds in December. Cox is 7 for his last 15 in bringing horses from FG to Kee.
Race 6 $50 to Win & Place on #3 FULL ORBIT (8-1 ML) 4th, Lost $10 Exacta Box 3-5-7 ($60) CASHED FOR $64.00 $10 Double 3,7 with 4,12 ($40) $0.50 Pick 4 3,5,7,8 with 2,4,12 with 1,2,3,6 with 1,9,10 ($72) Lost Trainer Buff Bradley is always good for at least one upset during the Keeneland meet, and this filly looks to be the one for it. She has shown good early speed in her two career races, and her training pattern seems to indicate she is prepared for a sharp effort here. Jumping from a maiden win to an allowance race at Keeneland is a big move, which I take more as a vote of confidence rather than an impossible hurdle.
Race 9 $50 to Win & Place #1 ROCK ON KITTEN (6-1 ML) 7th, Lost $10 Exacta Box 1-9 ($20) Lost $1 Tri Key Box 1 with 7,9,10 ($18) Lost Finding a Keeneland winner used to be as easy as looking for the red & white silks with the "R" on it, indicating a Ken & Sarah Ramsey horse. Typically trained by Mike Maker. And typically with the name "Kitten". While that hasn't been the lock it once was lately, the good news is that you can find value in the odds. Now, it is the Chad Brown horses that get overbet, like I think the #9 horse will be, a two time beaten favorite. The Ramsey horse had a troubled trip last time, but certainly has the turf pedigree and seems to be doing well since shipping up from Fair Grounds. Take the price on the Ramsey horse!
Race 2 $0.50 Pick 4 1,3,4,7,8 with 4,7 with 4,5,9 with 4,6,8 ($45) Some good competitive races in this sequence make this worth a large play.
Race 4 $100 to Win & Place on #5 DUCHES OF GRACE (5-2 ML) 2nd, CASHED FOR $180.00 $0.50 Pick 5 5 with 6,8 with 3,4,6 with 3,4,6,8,9 with 4,7,9 ($45) I recognize that my Best Bet is going head-to-head with Mr. K's Best Bet (#4). Who will be right you ask? Well based on a Twitter poll, 58% of followers expect that Mr B will have a better meet, compared to 42% for Mr K. So clearly, those in the know would side with Mr B's opinion.
Race 5 $0.50 Pick 4 4,6,8 with 3,4,6 with 3,4,6,8,9 with 2,4,7,9 ($90) Lost The early and late Pick 4's always overlap with the 5th race on these 8th race cards. It tends to usually make we want to go wider in that race because I don't want both bets sunk. But hopefully I can get by only 4 deep -- seems like a pretty formful turf race. I think the longshots will come in the last two legs.
Race 7 $20 to Win & Place on #3 CONTRIBUTING (12-1 ML) 7th, Lost $20 Double 3 with 7Lost Mr K's Longshot is also my top choice in this race. Trainer Brad Cox is winning an unbelievable 46% of his races in the last 30 days and this mare looks like a good candidate for another win. She is stretching out from her usual turf sprint stakes to try the longer 1 mile distance, and while it seems late in her career for that, the bloodlines are there for the speed & stamina needed.
Race 8 $100 to Win & Place on #6 SHADOW TRACER (8-1 ML) SCRATCHED $10 Exacta Box 7-9 ($20) Lost $1 Tri Key Box 6 with 2,4,5,7,9 ($60) SCRATCHED What attracts me to this Turfway horse slumming it among these higher profile trainers and warm weather shippers? Early speed. While he isn't the only one in here that likes the early lead, his previous times suggest an early pace edge.
Race 2 $50 to Win on #3 KEYED ON TOP (12-1 ML) 5th, Lost $0.50 Pick 4 3,4 with 1,3,11 with 2,3,5,6,9,11 with 1,3,7,8 ($72) This horse has had some success at weaker tracks around the region, and although his two tries to drop in at Keeneland have been flops, he has caught a pretty weak field here today. His speed figures are consistently better than the others. With a record like 13-5-1-0, you see that he wins a lot, but doesn't run 2nd or 3rd much. He either has it or he doesn't. He goes blinkers on today, so perhaps that might be a good way to keep him focused on the task.
Race 5 $50 to Win & Place on #1 TWO BIT KID (12-1 ML) 10th, Lost $10 Exacta Box 1-3-8 ($60) Lost The colt's 3yr old debut at Mahoning last out was a dominating 12 length win and I willing to bet he comes back with another impressive performance. The unheralded connections started him here at Keeneland in the MSW sprints last spring, so they must have seen talent early on. He didn't break the maiden last year, so they tried him in a softer spot at Mahoning and he flashed that potential again. I think the momentum keeps rolling today.
Race 6 $0.50 Pick 4 3 with 2,4,5,7,8 with 1,3,4,7 with 1,6,7,9 ($40) CASHED FOR $153.20 It would be nice to close out the opening weekend with finally hitting one of these pick 4s!
Race 8 $100 to Win & Place on #1 CLAUSE (3-1 ML) 8th, Lost $10 Exacta 1 over 3,7 Lost $10 Double 1 with 9 Lost After an impressive maiden-breaking debut, Chad Brown is wasting no time jumping this filly up to graded stakes. Chad makes a lot of good decisions and Juddmonte Farms makes a lot of good horses. Some times you just have to recognize that a favorite can be an overlay, which 3-1 would be.
Race 2 $0.50 Pick 4 4,5,11,12 with 1,3,4,10 with 1,2,6,9 with 1A,5 ($64) The wagering options are enormous today, so you can roll doubles and pick 3's all day long with our tipsheet. But there weren't a lot of spot plays in the first half of the card for me -- either not enough confidence or not enough price. But I think this Pick 4 is a good way to build some bankroll for the big stakes races on the back half of the day.
Race 6 $50 to Win on #3 PROFORMA (20-1 ML) SCRATCHED $0.50 Pick 5 2 with ALL with 4,8 with 3,4 with 2 ($26) The horse has been off since November and 7 furlongs today is longer than he normally goes, so I'm sure those concerns, certainly legit, are why the odds will be juicy today. But he does have a Grade 3 win and he has been drilling his workouts at Fair Grounds, so I think he will be fit and capable. Joey Bravo was riding at Aqueduct yesterday and today is his only mount here, so I wouldn't think he would make the trip if the horse was going to run poorly.
Race 7 $50 to Win & Place on #2 RICHARD'S BOY (15-1 ML) Last, Lost $0.50 Pick 4 1,2,3,4,5,6,11 with 4,6,8,9 with 3,4 with 1,2,7,10,11,13 ($168) The 7yr old gelding only has 1 win in his last 21 starts, but 10 2nd place finishes. Place pool is a solid bet, but put some win money on him too. I think he will like the Keeneland turf and might bound out of the gate to grab the lead. Albarado is an aggressive rider, who is known to pull upsets on horses like this. It would be a good story and a good way to kick off my all stakes Pick 4.
Race 8 $0.50 Pick 4 4,6,8,9 with ALL with 1,2,6,7,10,11,13 with 3 ($98) This is the one day of the meet where you get three swings at the pick 4. And I particularly wanted to play this one using my longshot bet of the day as the 4th leg anchor.
Race 10 $100 Win & Place on #2 VEKOMA (9-5 ML) CASHED FOR $400.00 $20 Double 2-3 Lost $1 Trifecta 2,10 with 2,7,10 with 1,2,6,7,10,11,13 ($30) Lost It pains me to pick the favorite in the Blue Grass, but I didn't see a ton of competition for the Candy Ride colt out of a Speightstown mare. Speed is still the name of the game in North American racing, and there are only a couple of other horses capable of making the jump to the kind of figure that will win this race. After two impressive wins as a 2 yr old, his Fountain of Youth 3rd place finish was just OK but a good experience for his first time around two turns. Picking up a high demand rider like Javier Castellano on the Derby Trail, especially on a day when the Wood and the Santa Anita Derby are running, is a good endorsement of the horse's talent and prospects.
Race 11 $50 to Win & Place on #3 ART OF ALMOST (8-1 ML) CASHED FOR $160.00 $10 Exacta Box 3-5-12 ($60) CASHED FOR $302.00 I think this Woodbine shipper will like the stretch out to two turns here for her 3yr old debut. The outstanding Dansili bloodline certainly would suggest that and she raced very evenly in all three starts, even in a couple of large fields, so she might benefit from some pace differentiation that a longer race allows. Go Paco!
Race 1 $50 to Win & Place on #2 ART BUFF (5-2 ML) 2nd CASHED FOR $55.00 $20 Double 2-9 Lost This old maid debuted as a 4yr old filly just last month at Gulfstream on the turf and never showed much after a slow start. Now she drops from a tough MSW race to a much easier maiden claiming spot here. With a good gate work last week, I think she is ready to ship well and fire with perhaps a better start and some early speed. Jose Ortiz gets to the paddock early today to take this mount. Blinkers on for the Bodemeister filly.
Race 2 $0.50 Pick 4 9 with 1,2,8 with 1,2,3,4,5,6,11 with 2,7,8,9 ($42) Lost Singling what should be the better Wesley Ward filly in the first leg here.
Race 3 $50 to Win on #1 AMOS (8-1 ML) 4th, Lost $5 Exacta Box 1-2 ($10) Lost $10 Double 1,2 with 3,5 ($40) CASHED FOR $41.00 I see a lot of the positives I like to see with first time starters: regular weekly works, a recent 6 furlong work, gate works, and a work on the track. The breeding looks solid and Jose Ortiz should be a good pilot on this one. The favorite (#2) will be tough to beat, but Keeneland is the place to look for value.
Race 6 $50 to Win on #1 SISTER'S CREED (10-1 ML) 3rd, Lost $5 Exacta Box 1-5-9 ($30) Lost $0.50 Pick 5 1,9 with 2,7,8,12 with 3,8,10 with 1,6,10 with 2,4,5 ($108) Here is another attempt to try to beat a heavy favorite (Mr K's best bet #9). Not sure why the favorite has been off since September, and with a poor work at Keeneland, looks vulnerable to me at a short price. Sister's Creed has been off forever -- she's a first time starter. She's been working consistently for McPeek, and while he and Leparoux haven't been the top dogs at Keeneland as they once were, this one has some buzz and I expect that the odds board will show some of that local backside money today. It would be a good way to kick off a nice P5 sequence.
Race 7 $0.50 Pick 4 2,7,8,12 with 3,8,10 with 1,2,6,7,10 with 2,4,5 ($90) Lost A ticket that either replaces your dead Pick 5 ticket or helps you spread more in the last two races.
Race 9 $50 to Win & Place on #9 HAWAIIAN NOISES (10-1 ML) SCRATCHED $1 Tri Key Box 9 with 1,2,6,7,10 ($60) SCRATCHED Ward scratched this horse out of the turf sprint stake race on Thursday for this spot. With the gate scratch of front-running Gladiator King, it would have been interesting to see if Hawaiian Noises could have been a pace challenger in the sprint. But it is certainly a vote of confidence from trainer Wesley Ward to go with the Grade 3 try here at 8 1/2 furlongs. It seems certain that Bejarano will have her on the lead. I'm not entirely sure she will prove to be a good turf horse, but she really showed a gutsy effort in her rainstorm stakes win at Turfway last out and she has a great shot to stretch out and steal the race.
Happy Opening Day! One of the challenges of today's card will be the abundance of also-eligibles (AE). There are at least 18 horses that will scratch today, and the AE's are morning line favorites in 3 of the 8 races today. Our tipsheet does include several of the AE's, as they are the best horses in many of the races. Make sure to grab the early scratches on your lunch break. With all of those pending scratches and the unknown of day one, I will not bet a lot of races, but the late pick 4 does look like one that might get you a four-figure payoff. Otherwise, just going to start the meet on the turf course with my Best Bet and Best Longshot and see how things look for the dirt track tomorrow.
Race 5 $20 to Win & Place on #9 BIRD'S EYE VIEW (6-1 ML) Lost $5 Exacta Box 4-9 ($10) Lost $0.50 Pick 4 1,2,4,9 with 1,2,3,5,8,10 with 8,12 with 7,9 ($48) Lost This gelding has been off since a poor showing in the Fall Meet last October, but has spent time in Florida and is coming home today with a series of good works on the Tampa dirt course. Saez has been winning races at a 30% clip the past two weeks.
Race 7 $20 to Win & Place on #8 GLADIATOR KING (8-1 ML) SCRATCHED This colt already has 12 starts and 4 wins as a young 3 year old, including multiple Grade 2 experiences. He has shown good early speed in those contests, and today returns to a turf sprint, where he had a nice 3rd place finish in a stake race at Gulfstream. He seems much more effective at this shorter distances, and yet should have built up some stamina that may help in what should be a hot-paced race. The low percentage connections don't get a lot of good horses, but are known to generate some good longshots with the few good ones they have.