Keeneland Stakes Saturday
The second day of the Keeneland meet is chocked full of Stakes. We have five stakes on the day culminating in the 9th race with the Shadwell Turf Mile. Hopefully you played our picks yesterday and walked away with some playing money for today. Let’s do more of the same today and get home some winners.
The 2nd race is a 100000 Optional Claimer going 7 furlongs on the dirt. This race although only a six-horse field attracts some great fillies and mares. The 6-Kathballu is the morning line favorite at 9/5 for Kenny McPeek and Florent Geroux. However, I’ll look inside in this one with the 1-Lake Ponchatrain. 5/1 on the ML and comes into this one off a win in the Pink Ribbon at Charles Town. She ships into this one fairly soon off her last effort, but she’s running third off the layoff and gets Corey Lanerie. I think we get a decent price so I’ll play the 1-Lake Ponchatrain.
We kick off today’s stakes with the Grade 2 Woodford Stakes. This is a sprint on the Turf with a nine-horse field. I think there are a handful of horses who can win this one and I’m just glad it’s not a part of the Pick 4. I’m going to look inside with the 1-Conquest Panthera. This horse seems like he wants to sprint and not touch any routes. He’s won his last three starts at distances under a mile and I think this is what he does best. He’s 7/2 on the ML, but this is my lock of the day. He gets the distance he wants, Mark Casse is having a great start to the meet after yesterday, and I think this trip sets up for this horse. I’ll go with the 1-Conquest Panthera.
Race 6 is our second stakes of the day with the Grade 2 Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes. An eight-horse field that kicks off the All-Stakes Pick 4 the heavy favorite is the 4-Finley’sLuckyCharm and deservedly so. This horse is in the best form of her life; her only blemish on her record in her last four was a loss by a neck to PaulasSilverLining on a good track. She’ll get a fast track today and is definitely one to beat. However, I wouldn’t play any exotics without the 2-Vertical Oak. She comes into this one off a HUGE effort in the Prioress Stakes posting a Brisnet figure of 106. You would assume she loses a step here and can’t repeat that effort, especially since she seems to like the sloppy tracks. I’ll use her in my All-Stakes Pick 4, but I’ll be pleasantly surprised to see her win.
Race 7 is the Grade 1 First Lady going a mile on the Turf. A seven-horse field featuring some great turf fillies and mares. I’ll go with the 3- Dona Bruja. Coming into this one off a second in the Beverly, she’ll get a shorter distance here and I like her closing style. She’s one that doesn’t need to be on the lead unlike a handful of other horses in this one. Look for her and the 4-Roca Rojo to come closing late and I think she’ll have a little more gas in the tank. I’ll play her to win at anything better than 9/2 and I’ll use both her and the 4 in my Pick 4.
Race 8 is a major Derby preview race. The Grade 1 Claiborne’s Breeder’s Futurity; a Breeder’s Cup Qualifier Race for two-year old’s. There is a lot of hype surrounding the 9-Free Drop Billy a member of the youth loaded Dale Romans barn. He comes from the same connections as J Boys Echo the runner in last years Derby. He posted a blazing workout at Churchill last weekend and comes into this one looking great. I think he is definitely the one to watch in this field, but I can’t single him. The 4-Ten City comes into this one off two straight third place finishes and is also coming into this one off a good workout. He gets Corey Lanerie here and I still think with a good trip is capable to win here. Another horse I’ll use is the 7-Givemeaminit this third time starter has yet to break his maiden, but he was a near miss in the Grade 1 Hopeful in only his second start. This horse looks like one that is just getting better race after race and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him lose his maiden status here. I’lll use 4,7,9 in my Pick 4. As well as an exacta box 4,7,9.
Race 9 is the million-dollar Grade 1 Shadwell Turf Mile. A fourteen-horse field featuring some of the best turf horses in the world. 8-Miss Temple City won this race last year and I think she repeats. She comes in off a win at Kentucky Downs and we know she loves this track. She has raced here four times and has won her last two and her previous two were seconds. She’s raced almost everywhere and has looked good in various tracks across the country and even outside this country. She likes to be near the lead, but not off it and if 10-Heart to Heart gets in front of her I think she can stalk and run off. As much as I love this horse I’ll use one more in the 2-Divisidero. Julien Leparoux and I love this horse’s running style. He’ll be flying come late and very well could get up for the wire. I’ll use both in my pick 4.
All-Stakes Pick 4: 2,4/3,4/4,7,9/2,8 Cost: $12
Price of the Day: Race 2: 1- Lake Ponchatrain
Lock of the Day: Race 5: 1-Conquest Panthera