Paul Hundley’s Thursday Keeneland Analysis

KEENELAND SELECTIONS & ANALYSIS THURSDAY APRIL 12, 2018

BY: PAUL HUNDLEY (@vapaul67)

Hello everyone and welcome to the Thursday Edition of Keeneland Selections/Analysis. Unfortunately on Sunday my column laid a big old goose egge in the win column, hoping for better today. On with the show!

RACE 1: 3-7-1

This $40K Claimer for 3 and up was written as a non winners of 3 lifetime for older or 3 yeard olds, but since there are no 3 year olds entered, it’s essentially a $40K Claimer n3L  for 4 and up. 3-DC NINE won last race in dirt debut by 2 1/4 lengths at Tampa. Has fired 2 bullets coming in. Is in for the tag today for first time, an odd thinng coming off of a win, but Trainer Michael Tomlinson is 4 of last 20 with a horse 1st time in a claiming race. Should be very close to pace or even on the lead. 7-Donwell is also making his first appearance in the claiming ranks for Tom Amoss, who hits an astounding 33% doing such. This one is an even more curious case as to why he’s in for a tag after winning a n2L allowance at Delta Downs. Will probably be stalking the pace. Corey Lanerie is on for the first time, and is off to his usual hot start. 1-Gorse could challenge the top choice for the early lead. Throw out last race because of the sloppy track, unless of course today’s race is as well. Trainer Jordan Blair 28% Claiming and Geroux is 30% in route races.

RACE 2: 2-3-4

2-DRAGIC was my top pick for Race 1 Sunday before scratching and I will stick with her again today. Her dam is former Grade 2 winner LETGOMYECHO who has produced 5 winners in 7 starters. Comes in off three 4 furlong works for Wesley Ward, who is dominating these early  baby races here as usual. 3-Lady Apple’s trainer Mark Hubley is 21% FTS, Dam Miss Mary Apples has 8 winners in 10 starters and 2 stakes winners. Very nice work on March 31 for the 5 furlong distance. 4-Miss Mahalia has a trainer i know little about in Timothy Austin, but Uncle Mo is 17% with FTS and her Dam Saintly Speech has scored a win with 6 of her 7 runners. Also has a 5 furlong work to her credit.

RACE 3: 4-6-2

This is a 6 furlong sprint for 3 year old $30K Claimers.  4-FORT WISE TREATY is in for a tag for the first time for Brad Cox(23% 1st time claiming) and he’s 26% 2nd off a layoff. Does have a win at the 6 furlong distance, albeit at Turfway. Also goes turf to dirt. 6-Joopster could possibly make it a double(my favorite word in a bar) for Wesley Ward. Ward is 31% with claim repeaters. 2-Artegon destroyed them last time at Mountaineer, and that speed figure just seems shady to me, since it is way higher than any other race he’s had. However, if that figure was legit, everyone else will be running for 2nd as this one will be gone. Will have early pace pressure though. Not high on morning line favorite Tres Equis.

RACE 4: 12-3-8

Entry level Allowance on turf going 8.5 furlongs for sophomores. 12-BLOCKADE was highly touted even before his debut last summer at Saratoga and his return effort to the races at Gulfstream in February showed glimpses of that hype as he was able to break his maiden as 2/5 choice. Was also first time lasix that day. Does face winners for the first time. 3-One Fast Ride was 4th/12 beaten 5 3/4 lengths last out in a $75K Stakes. Should be more seasoned in this 2nd go around versus winners. Don’t care for the fact this is his 3rd different rider in as many starts. 8-Sniper Kitten broke his maiden in his last start and has the Corey Lanerie/Mike Maker duo behind him. Out of Kitten’s Joy, will appreciate more distance today.

RACE 5: 7-5-6

Maiden Claimer for Fillies and Mares going the tricky 7 furlong distance. 7-PEARL OF THE NILE is entering the Maiden Claiming ranks for the first time for Tim Glyshaw. Last time she ran in a dirt sprint race ran 2nd of 11, beaten 1 length but 2 lengths ahead of 3rd at a big price that day. Should be close to or on the lead early on. 5-Catkins is another who is in for a tag for the first time. Wayne Catalano is 20% first time maiden claiming and she gets Jose Ortiz aboard for the first time. Goes turf to dirt and route to sprint. Maybe the changes will help. 6-Silver Soiree could be dangerous if allowed an uncontested early lead. Also drops from MSW and goes turf to dirt. I know Mizz Fabulous is the ML Favorite and has ran the highest last race speed figure, but I get the feeling she wants 2 turns. Will let her beat me.

RACE 6: 3-7-2

For a meager $100K you could own a couple of these in this $100K Optional Claimer for 3 year olds. 3-EXCLAMATION POINT is my top pick, period! No question mark about it. Is 2 for 2 in career and cuts back from 2 turns and the 1 mile distance. Has good early speed, which fits my speed and cutback angle. Unfortunately won’t be much of a price, but as they say; you can pick your horse but you can’t pick your price. 7-HE HATE ME  also cuts back from 1 mile in the Miracle Wood at Laurel. The place horse that day also ran 2nd in the Gotham to Enticed. Puts Blinkers on for Horacio DePaz, who is 5 of 11 doing so. 2-Kowboy Karma is ML Favorite and had a rough break in the Lecomte back in January, made an early middle move before weakening. Good race.

RACE 7: 1-7-4

Very nice 2nd level Allowance for turfers going 1 mile. 1-KRAMPUS has won 3 of his last 4, and should be able to save ground breaking from the rail. As long as he can find an opening in the stretch I feel confident he should blow them away in the stretch as I believe he has the best closing kick. 7-Keep Quiet(My wife’s favorite thing to say to me, though she doesn’t phrase it quite like that) just missed in 1st start off a 16 month layoff for Mark Casse(19% 2nd off layoff) and should be more fit today. Is a former Grade 3 winner. 4-Snap Decision comes in off a 6 month layoff, longest of career. Out of money only 2 times in 10 race career. I’m surprised they keep the blinkers on today as when they added them last race did absolutely nothing for him. But what do I know?

RACE 8: 9-10-4

Another Entry Level Allowance for sprinters. 9-DAPPER SAM romped by 10 lengths over small field last out, now facing winners for the first time and cuts back in distance. Always wary of horses who break their maiden by many lengths and then face winners for the first time, but at least he won’t be the favorite today. Has a bullet work coming in. 10-Spikes Shirl is another cutting back in distance, and is 2nd off the layoff for Dallas Stewart(24%) who is also 30% route to sprint. Puts the blinkers back on. Should be coming late. 4-Lenstar chased a ridiculously fast pace last time at Gulfstream. Does have 2 ITM  finishes at today’s level. Luis Saez will have him in a stalking position. If it’s an off track then upgrade Zipp on By, otherwise I am not sold on him today.

RACE 9: 9-1-11

The finale is for Maidens going 1 mile on turf. 9-V J’S BET almost took debut gate to wire at Tampa 2 months ago. Trainer Anthony Gravitz is 24% 2nd career race. Her Dam has 3 turf winners from 6 runners so far. 1-Show Girl ran evenly paced last out but thinking post switch to rail helps save ground. Did beat 8 horses that day. 11-Dabinett is a FTS  for Chad Brown(19%) and comes in sporting several turf works. Dam has produced 6 turf winners from her previous  9 runners. Jose Ortiz aboard.

VALUE OF THE DAY: V J’S BET(8/1) RACE 9  

VULNERABLE FAVORITE ALERT: TRES EQUIS(2/1) RACE 3, MIZZ FABULOUS(5/2) RACE 5, ZIPP ON BY(3/1) RACE 8

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