Keeneland Picks: Analysis of a Lovely Late Pick 3

Florent Geroux has had his share of winners at Keeneland over the years. See how he figures in J.N. Campbell's Friday Late Pick 3!
Florent Geroux has had his share of winners at Keeneland over the years. See how he figures in J.N. Campbell's Friday Late Pick 3!

A Keeneland Friday inaugurates Maker’s Mark Mile Day! This is Bourbon Country in Kentucky, and favorite son Henry Clay always said that it oiled the wheels of government to keep everything moving!

Speaking of the Maker’s Mark Mile, you can check out my Preview from earlier in the week by scrolling through our “Features” Section on the website. has a complete rundown of the field!

Despite some weather that is rolling through the Bluegrass Region, which might impact the Haggin Turf Course, it is a fine slate in which to handicap. Today, I have another juicy rolling Pick 3 that promises to offer some major value.

By the way, our ‘Cappers Challenge continues, and you can follow our progress as our Editor, Lead Handicapper, and Turf-man try to rack up as many Win-Place scores as they can!

Join us throughout the April Meet for the very best that Keeneland has to offer!

Keeneland Picks - Friday, April 9, 2021
  • Keeneland Picks
  • Picks (Sean)
  • Picks (J.N.)
  • Picks (Neil)

Keeneland Picks

  • Race 1:
  • Race 2:
  • Race 3:
  • Race 4:
  • Race 5:
  • Race 6:
  • Race 7:
  • Race 8:
  • Race 9:
  • Race 10:
  • Most Likely Winner:
  • Best Value Play:

Picks (Sean)

  • 1-6-3-4
  • 6-1-7-2
  • 4-8-9-11
  • 10-1-4-8
  • 12-3-2-1
  • 1-5-6-4
  • 3-9-8-7
  • 3-5-1-6
  • 6-8-3-1
  • 9-7-1-6
  • Caramel Swirl (Race 10)
  • Ride a Comet (Race 9)

Picks (J.N.)

  • 2-5-6-3
  • 5-6-2-4
  • 9-8-6-3
  • 8-4-1-9
  • 4-1-5-11
  • 5-1-4-6
  • 4-6-8-11
  • 6-7-2-5
  • 6-5-4-3
  • 9-1-2-5
  • Spice Is Nice (Race 6)
  • Sweet Queen Bee (Race 4)

Picks (Neil)

  • 6-3-2-1
  • 1-4-2-5
  • 10-4-6-3
  • 12-1-4-5
  • 5-1-2-6
  • 4-5-1-6
  • 8-6-10-9
  • 1A-6-4-3
  • 8-3-5-6
  • 7-9-2-1
  • Campanelle (Race 7)
  • Lets Take It Izzy (Race 4)
Horse Racing Entries


LEG 1: (Race 8: Dirt, 6½F, ALLW81, 4+)

To start this lovely Late Pick 3, we head out on the dirt for an ALLW contest that is sure to be competitive and a high-octane affair. I really think with spots like these, where no entry has won a race at this level, I want to focus on those that are clearly on the make. In other words, I want to steer clear of entries that have failed in this company. I would rather go up than revert or maintain . . .

My top pick is Luis Saez’s mount for Arnaud Delacour—Growl Tiger #6. This colt, out of sprint sire monster Speightstown, has 4 lifetimes, and the last one was a frontrunning win at Tampa. That track always gets short shrift when compared to shippers from Gulfstream. Delacour has a major southern base @TAM, and there is something extremely efficient about the way he conducts spot placement. Getting Luis Saez is a solid choice too. His riding is hot, hot, hot, especially over the past few days.

Just in case Saez slips up, I want to include 3 others that will help bolster our chances. The reason is that I have a “Single” coming up, and it will help get us there. So, let’s include Gozilla #2, Answer In #5, King Snake #7. That should cover us! On with the show . . .

Selections: 2/5/6/7 (4 Deep)


LEG 2: (Race 9: Turf, 1 Mile, Maker’s Mark Mile (G1), $300k, 4+)

The Maker’s Mark Mile is a celebrated race when it comes to Keeneland during their April Meet. It is a true test of speed, positioning, and jets-go, as the runners enter the top of the lane. If you can be on the lead, that might seem like the place to be, but perhaps retaining that final burst for when it counts, is the way to play it. This may not be a sport that is called “jockey racing,” but as pilots, they can have a major impact on a race like this one. Settling is absolutely necessary when it comes to races on the grass.

I like several entries here, but my top selection goes to Mark Casse’s Ride a Comet #6. This 6-yr-old has some excellent class lines, and came back in 2020, after taking the previous year off, with a strong pair of performances at Woodbine. He is a true miler out of Candy Ride (ARG), but it is really his dam I like even more, Appealing Zophie (former Asmussen runner with major class). Last out in the Kilroe Mile (G1) at Santa Anita, he didn’t take to shipping in, and lost to Hit the Road #2, who is drawn in here. I am willing to line that one, and I think that Casse brought him back to his FL Training Center with a new plan. The works look sharp, and I think the world of Tyler Gaffalione’s evolving ability on the sod.

As we construct this ticket, some others than can provide some insurance, just in case, does decidedly not include Chad Brown’s Raging Bull #8. This veteran of many wars is going to be a short price, and I am thinking he is coming off the shelf into a difficult spot. Instead, let’s look to the classy Somelikeitbrown #3 (who I prefer, if we are looking at layoffs), Sacred Life #4 (who gets turf wizard Castellano), and Darain #5 (who Brad Cox is upping the ante after a score in a FG ALLW51k).

Talk about a nice race, and what we will need to watch is how the weather develops overnight. Some “give” in the ground could make the difference as “Good” heads towards “Soft.” Is everyone paying attention?

Selections: 3/4/5/6 (4 Deep)


LEG 3: (Race 10: Dirt, 7F, MSW79k, 3F)

We have arrived at the finale, and here is my chance to play my “Single,” which I have been holding onto with patience. I do not see how anyone among these young fillies is going to beat the Godolphin homebred enter here, Caramel Swirl #9. She has battled some good company 4x already in the MSW division, and she has proven she can ship, running at 3 different tracks since back in October. Getting Junior Alvarado back aboard is a gem of an idea. There is no doubt that when you support a Bill Mott-trainee, you are getting a fabulously conditioned runner. Out of Union Rags, her running style does not have to have the lead, so if her jock can keep her close, she has an excellent chance to wrap up breaking her maiden. The icing of icing is that Mott takes the “Blinkers Off,” a sure sign of confidence in a young horse like this one.

Selections: 9 (Single)


.50 P3 TICKET COST: $8.00

Enjoy some action from Lexington, Kentucky! The tradition of Keeneland continues…

Keeneland Picks, Entries & Results
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