Aaron Hayes on Keeneland’s Opening Day Card

Race 1.    4½Furlongs.Mdn 60k

Selections 5-3-2

(5) Strike Play is trained by Wesley Ward who is king of the 2 year old maidens at Keeneland. He had a bullet workout going 3F in 34.3 on Mar. 30thand should be primed to go.

(3) Zip’s Secret also had bullet workout going 35.1 in 3F on Mar. 31st Trainer James Chapman is winning at 30% with 1st time starters.

(2) True Saint registered a bullet workout going 4F in 48.4 on Mar. 24thand has the rail with Corey Lanerie aboard.


Race 2.     6½Furlongs.™OC  62500n2x

Selections 4-1-5

(4) Golden Domer running style suits this race nicely. He has speed to his inside so he can sit right off the pace. Florent Geroux rode him to a 2nd place in their last race going 6F at the Fairgrounds. He also has two races over the Keeneland surface finishing with a 2nd and a 3rd place.

(1) Kibry’s Penny ran 2nd in her last race at Keeneland, however that was 5 months ago. If the layoff isn’t a concern, his inside speed can carry him gate to wire. This distance fits him well, where he won a year ago by 10 ½ lengths over this surface. He’s also 2 for 3 at Keeneland and 5 for 10 lifetime.

(5) Nineteenth Street returns back to dirt after a non threatening effort on the grass at the Fairgrounds. He registered a nice bullet workout on Mar. 28th going 4F in 48.0. He’ll be sitting near the pace turning for home.


Race 3.     4½Furlongs.Mdn 60k

Selections 10-6-3

(10) No Bang No Boom has the duo of Julio Garcia and Wesley Ward. I’m not too trilled about the outside post but his speed should carry him over.

(6) Myhotrodlincoln trainer Todd Fincher is winning at 25% with 1st time starters. He has 2 decent workouts at 3F & 4F.

(3) Del La Hoya worked out in 3F in 36.0. Jose Valdivia Jr is winning at 21% and in the money 54% with sprint races.


Race 4.     1 1/16 Mile.™MC 20000

Selections 10-5-6

(10) Resonate ran a game 4thplace on her 1st race back from a 7 month layoff. She should be fit and improve on her 2nd start back. This class dropper will be sitting in a nice position right off the lead when they turn for home.

(5) Valiant Reason finished 3rd vs tougher in her last race, but hasn’t ran since Nov 26th. She has flashed early speed and has recorded 2 third place finishes and a second place out of 5 races.

(6) Stylitude was 2nd best in her last start at Gulfstream. She stretches out in distance off a 2 month layoff and has three 2nd place finishes in 5 races.

Keeneland gate

Race 5.     7Furlongs.™OC  75000n1x

Selections 3-2-1

(3) Belles Orb is coming out of the 150k Suncoast at Tampa Bay with a 6th place finish. She didn’t fire at all going a 1 mile and 40 yards. Cutting back in distance going 1 turn probably suits her best.

(1) So Refined is also coming out of the same race as Belle’s Orb where she almost wired the field. She’ll have the lead once again and with the cut back in distance, her early speed will give her a good chance to go all the way.

(2) Devine Mischief broke her maiden in her last race winning by 6 ½ lengths at the Fairgrounds. She received a high Bris speed rating of 88 in that convincing win. Look for her to sit right behind the leader, So Refined, until Adam Beschizza gives her the green light to go.


Race 6.     1 1/8 Mile.(Turf)Alw  76000n1x

Selections 3-7-10

(3) Business Expense will be sitting towards the back of pack, looking for the long stretch run down the Keeneland turf. He missed in his last race finishing 3rd by a length at Gulfstream. Jose Ortiz is back aboard with Chad Brown training winners at 27% who’s been away 90+ days.

(7) Devamani has been on the shelf since Sept 16, but this overseas shipper shouldn’t have a problem going the distance. This will be his 2nd shortest distance run since his maiden debut at 7 ½F. He drops in class and has only missed the board once in 7 lifetime starts.

(10) Soglio failed as a favorite in his last start but ran a game 3rd place. Hasn’t ran since Feb. 18th where he sat off the pace but couldn’t close into the winner. Tyler Gaffalione gets his 1st ride on this horse who’s in the money 68% of the time.


Race 7.     6½Furlongs.Mdn 74k

Selections 3-1-2


(3) Corot had the lead late in her maiden debut but settled for a 3rd place showing. He ships in from Woodbine and tries dirt for the 1st time. His morning works have been nice with 3 of his last 4 have been bullets. Also cuts back to  7F from a 1 1/16 mile.

(1) D Squared was well bet in his debut. He sat 3rd but couldn’t close into the leader and ran 2nd best. He received an 88 Bris speed rating which is the fastest out of these maidens. He has 2 nice workouts 6 days apart and should be sharp for his 2nd career race.

(2) Almithmaar lost by a head in his debut start going 6 ½F at Gulfstream. Jose Ortiz will likely be on or near the lead when the gates open. Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin is winning at 26% with shippers.


Race 8.   6Furlongs.™OC  80000n3x

Selections 8-9-1

(8) Miss Kentucky is my best bet of the day. She has good tactical speed and will sit right off the speedsters to the inside of her.Javier Castellano stalked her foes and edged away to win her last start by a neck. 3 races back, she won her only race at Keeneland with a similar running style.

(9) Shar Ran had a complete clunker in her last race that you can draw a line thru. The previous race before that, she recorded a 95 Bris speed rating in a 4 length win at 7F at Gulfstream. She has a nice workout going 5F on Mar. 31 over the Churchill surface.

(1) Wheatfield didn’t close well in a 5 ½ F race on the turf at the Fairgrounds. She looks to improve returning back to dirt. Luis Saez draws the riding assignment who won the riding title at Gulfstream. She’ll be well off the pace and can close into the leaders with a hot contested early pace.


Race 9.     1 1/16 Mile. (Turf) Transylvana-G3

Selections 1-8-12

(1) Maraud won his last race, G3 Palm Beach, by sitting 2ndand edging passed his foes.  He beat Speed Franco and Therapist, who happened to run 1st and 2nd in the 150k Cutler Bay last Saturday at Gulfstream.  He has 3 wins out of 5 starts with two 3rd place finishes.  He’ll be forwardly placed with Johnny V aboard and in prime striking position as they turn for home.

(8) Captivating Moon closed from 12 lengths off the pace to finish 2nd by 1 ¾ lengths.  Adding the extra distance will definitely help this closers chances coming down the long Keeneland stretch. His only finish off the board was the G3 Bourbon at Keeneland last year where the race was taking off the turf.

(12) Analyze It has 2 consective wins going wire to wire, winning those races by an average of 5 ¼ lengths. The outside post does give me a pause for concern to where as the 12 post is 4-92 on the turf with at least 12 runners.  He should be able to cross over and get to the lead because there isn’t much speed in this race. Chad Brown has given him 4 months off and looks to keep this colt undefeated in his 3rd career start.


Race 10.     1 1/16 Mile. Clm 10000

Selections  2-8-7

(2) Promises To Keep threw in the towel early in his last start at Turfway. Without any early speed in this race, he will have the lead all to himself. I’m looking for him to steal this on the front end and wire this field with the lack of pace signed on for this race.

(8) Baku Dancer has run four very good races of late and has hit the board in 7 of his last 8 contest. He should be sitting off the leader and will be in contention when they turn for home.

(7)  Liberty Lane won going wire to wire 2 races back by a neck. He’s a boom or bust horse with 4 wins out of 12 starts with no other placing.


Follow Aaron Hayes on Twitter at @AHaze24


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