Keeneland Picks: All-Turf Pick 3 the focus on April 22, plus the Doubledogdare S.

The Friday Keeneland card is strong, with a number of betting options ... including the All-Turf Pick 3, and the featured Grade 3 Doubledogdare S. on the dirt. Check out these free selections from turfwriter J.N. Campbell!
The Friday Keeneland card is strong, with a number of betting options ... including the All-Turf Pick 3, and the featured Grade 3 Doubledogdare S. on the dirt. Check out these free selections from turfwriter J.N. Campbell!

Keeneland Picks - Friday, April 22, 2022

  • Race 1: 7-2-4-5
  • Race 2: 1-8-12-9
  • Race 3: 2-9-3-1
  • Race 4: 6-5-8-7
  • Race 5: 5-11-6-8
  • Race 6: 7-6-2-3
  • Race 7: 11-6-3-12
  • Race 8: 5-10-8-4
  • Race 9: 4-1-3-6
  • Race 10: 3-7-9-2
  • **Most Likely: Salvaje #5 (Race 5)**
  • **Best Value: Reigning Spirit #5 (Race 8)**

If there is a horse racing destination on your Thoroughbred list that you have not visited, then it must include Keeneland! If you want to catch Live Racing, you had better hurry because we are already deep into Week 3, with only 7 racing days left. 

Great competition remains though, as we have a number of superb "stakes" races left (including today's G3 Doubledogdare S.), and undercards that offer major price opportunities when it comes to betting. Turfwriter J.N. Campbell has your free picks, plus analysis, so let's get going!

At we have you covered, including all of the action! It is a good time for some of the best that North American racing has to offer. Stay tuned! If you're looking for picks elsewhere around the country this Friday be sure to check out our free Horse Racing Picks via the gold button below. Don't forget to follow us on Twitter ... Horseracing_USA !!!

Horse Racing Picks

$3 Keeneland Turf Pick 3 Wager: (Races: 5-8-10)

Leg 1: (Race 5: Turf, 5½F, ALLW110kn1x, F& 4+)

Today’s Keeneland Turf Pick 3 begins and ends with sprints that are sure to perplex. Of course, you could just err on the side of caution, and go with the Wesley Ward-trainee. No one could object because this Keeneland-based conditioner already has a ton of wins during the Meet. He will probably earn yet another title, and it is deserved. Six Feet Apart #11 was running down at Gulfstream Park most recently, and the filly never had the chance to try the grass because it was an off-track on both occasions (she won at short prices). John Velazquez has not ridden her since last summer, but he and Ward work well together. The versatility of The Factor just continues to bear out. Despite all these plaudits, I am actually much more interested in Cherie DeVaux’s Salvaje #5, a filly by Kantharos that looks the part. Breaking from the 5-hole, she should get a stalking-type of trip with Brian Hernandez in the irons. He is the only rider to pilot this filly in 4x, so I like the fact that there is connectivity to past form. Even though she failed as the favorite down at the Fair Grounds her past 2 races, I think coming into this sprint, she has the experience to get the job done. She is rested, having not competed since late February, but that means that DeVaux has had the opportunity to make some adjustments. If Hernandez can steer clear of some mid-race traffic, I think he can sweep down the lane for the score.

1st Choice: 5

Backup: 11


Leg 2: (Race 8: Turf, 1½, ALLW120kn2x, 4+)

Going short … now, we are going long … With a pack gate for this distance test, it will be an intriguing one to handicap. Out of these 11 older males, I am pretty interested to see how Chad Brown’s Risk Taking #10 adapts to the grass. Owned by Klaravich, he was on the Derby Trail last year as a 3-yr-old colt. His best performance to-date is still a score in the G3 Withers S. Maybe he will take to the grass on the Haggin, but maybe not. Certainly, having Flavien Prat aboard is a major plus, and so is the connection through blood to Medaglia d’Oro (sire) and Distorted Humor (dam side). I want to use this one, but on top; instead, I think that going with Al Stall’s entry is worthy of consideration. A gelding by War Front, this 5-yr-old named Reigning Spirit #5 has a dam named Upperline that was stellar at running distance races on the Haggin for Mike Stidham. Go look up her run in the 2012 Bewitch (G3), if you do not believe me. Her offspring is not only well-bred, but he comes to Keeneland off of a nice ALLW Co. score at the Fair Grounds going 1 1/8th … If you can accomplish that … you can go 1½ … Stall’s numbers are sharp when it comes to this stage of a horse’s form cycle (3rd), and the choice of Colby Hernandez is superb. There is no way this accomplished jockey is going to come away from the Keeneland April Meet without a win. Races like these are not about speed figs; rather, you need a runner that can settle early, and then make a major run at the top of the lane. War Fronts … they know how to do that.  

1st Choice: 5

Backup: 10


Leg 3: (Race 10: Turf, 5½F, MSW100k, F&M 3+)

The maidens will be on display in this turf dash, as we close out this $3 ticket. Another full-field is up … this time it has 12 going, plus 4 AEs … Once again, Wesley Ward probably has the presumptive favorite in Musical Design #7. A sprinter through and through, especially with her connections to Maclean’s Music, I would expect Irad Ortiz to have her close to the front when this one goes off. Ward is just a master when it comes to teaching young horses to break, and if you go watch the film of her only race, you will see that she tried in vain to surge to the lead at Gulfstream Park in the end. Losing by a nose on debut is not too shabby, and I am sure she will be close to that point once again. I am not too crazy about her price though (2/1 on the M/L), so I am going to look for some value elsewhere. Michael Tomlinson is a trainer that does not have an expansive stable, but it does have quality to it. He had On the Rise #3 down at Gulfstream over the winter, and this daughter of Upstart ran pretty well in a sprint going 5F against 5 others. She was second in that MSW60k, and I think she can improve coming to Keeneland as she looks to break her maiden. With Tyler Gaffalione aboard, I think she has a great chance. I am not sure she will be 5/1, but here’s to hoping. The Hatfield folks would be pleased, as would the former governor of Kentucky, Brereton Jones who bred her.

1st Choice: 3

Backup: 7


Spotlight Race of the Day: (Race 9: Dirt, 1 1/16th, Doubledogdare S. (G3), Purse, $300k, F&M 4+):

It will be an upset if any female can take on Todd Pletcher’s Malathaat #1 in her 1st start as a 4-yr-old. Last year, we all watched in awe as she earned an Eclipse Award for Champion 3-yr-old Filly. It was deserved … A visually impressive daughter of Curlin, she ran up against a tough Japanese competitor in the BC Distaff (G1). Now, coming back to the track, it will be interesting to see how her ’22 campaign develops. Regular rider, HOF-er John Velazquez will be aboard, and if she is anything like she was last year … she wins. As I see it, the only other alternative in this spot is Brad Cox’s Bonny South #4. Now a 5-yr-old mare, this daughter of Munnings won this race last year against 5 others. That was a hard-fought battle that afternoon, and it looks like she will be up against a tough group once more. Jockey Florent Geroux knows how to handle this Juddmonte homebred, and she clearly still has gas left in her tank. Who will be sharpest out of these 2 runners … the upstart, well-decorated Pletcher entry? Or Cox’s mare, who tries to defend her title? It will be interesting … here is the wager, using both entries, plus the rest of the field …

Wagering Recommendation: $2 Trifecta Wheel, 4 w 1 w 2/3/5/6


Horse Racing and Keeneland … in April? Is there anything better? Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter … Horseracing_USA !!!