Keeneland Picks: Maker's Anchor, Cash a Late Pick 4, Guaranteed 300k

Mike Maker (photo courtesy of Coady) holds the ace in the Grade II Elkhorn Stakes. It serves as a lynchpin for J.N. Campbell's Late P4 ticket. Have a read below . . .
Mike Maker (photo courtesy of Coady) holds the ace in the Grade II Elkhorn Stakes. It serves as a lynchpin for J.N. Campbell's Late P4 ticket. Have a read below . . .
Keeneland Picks - Saturday, April 17, 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)

  • 6-2-5-1
  • 5-3-2-4
  • 10-6-9-4
  • 4-5-7-1
  • 10-9-5-4
  • 2-5-6-8
  • 2-4-5-1
  • 2-5-7-6
  • 7-2-6-10
  • 8-6-3-1
  • Royal Mesa (Race 8)
  • North Dakota (Race 9)

Picks (J.N.)

  • 4-2-6-1
  • 2-5-3-4
  • 2-6-10-9
  • 1-7-4-6
  • 12-4-5-8
  • 3-5-6-4
  • 8-2-4-9
  • 1-6-2-5
  • 1-6-2-10
  • 11-8-3-6
  • Cross Border (Race 9)
  • Violenza (Race 7)

Picks (Neil)

  • 6-5-1-2
  • 3-5-4-1
  • 5-8-9-1
  • 8-4-1-7
  • 9-8-10-4
  • 3-8-5-1
  • 10-1-2-6
  • 1-7-3-2
  • 5-7-1-2
  • 7-3-5-8
  • Ashaar (Race 2)
  • Monarchs Glen (Race 9)

Sadly, the final Saturday at Keeneland arrives, and it is tough to fathom that we are already heading towards Closing Day next week. In that vein, let’s enjoy it while it lasts . . .

As we have throughout this April Meet, we have a complete rundown of the fields, with select analysis. Check it out! Today, I will be playing the Late Pick 4, which promises to offer some major value with a guaranteed $300k stake in the pot.

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!

If you're looking for picks elsewhere around the country on Sunday, be sure to check out our Free Horse Racing Picks via the gold button below.

Horse Racing Picks


LEG 1: (Race 7: Turf, 5½F, ALLW83k, F&M 4+)

My affinity for turf sprinting continues, as we open up this Saturday sequence. Nothing like it . . . Truths that are self-evident include the reminder that mastery of this format is short-lived, and you can easily find your supreme confidence “turf dashed,” so-to-speak. In order to provide a bulwark against slumped shoulders, it is best to probably go as deep as possible. Even though we lost a day on the soggy bottomed Haggin on Wednesday, we did get a couple of days after, which can provide some nice indicators. Check the forecast before you handicap, just in case. Friendly reminder . . .

One of my top selections for this ALLW Co. is Jonathan Thomas’ entry—Brooke Marie #2. If you are not familiar with this conditioner, you need to remedy that quickly. A former steeplechaser, he rose through the T-bred training ranks and paid his dues. A couple years back he had a runner called Catholic Boy that rose to the upper echelons of the sport—won the Travers (G1) @theSpa. I like this sprinter not only because Luis Saez is aboard, but also because Thomas has brought this mare along carefully since he took over from the Clement Barn back in 2019. She has major ability, and is just rounding into form. This is a stakes caliber sodbuster, who will be on the divisional radar towards the back half of the year. Watch . . .

A couple of others that I want to consider, just to round out the ticket on the engine are Wesley Ward’s Chili Petin #4, who gets the hot Johnny V. This is a “Royal A” alum who is just beginning her 2021 campaign. If she fires, and she will, the pair could be very dangerous. I also like a couple of longer-priced runners, Violenza #8 from Ian Wilkes midst, and Strong Odor #9 who hails from the Maker Barn. They both offer value, and I cannot resist a daughter of the sire Violence. I cashed a major ticket on this one last year at Kentucky Downs, 17/1. She disappointed @KEE last October, but I wouldn’t underestimate her. The same could be said for Maker’s entry. She is a filly with an adequate turf dam, and the add of Gaffs is a rider upgrade. Her efforts moving into ALLW races from MC events at Turfway was a + sign.

Whew . . . are we done yet?  

Selections: 2/4/8/9 (4 Deep)


LEG 2: (Race 8: Dirt, 1 1/16th, AOC80k, 4+)

Here is a high-level AOC that couldn’t be tougher. It might appear to have a prohibitive favorite in Bill Mott’s South Bend #3, but I am not so sure. This now 4-yr-old colt is making his first start of 2020, and maybe his PPs from last year truly reflect what the Pandemic did to horse racing. He ran primarily in turf events under Stan Hough down at Gulfstream the first part of the year, before being shipped off to Mott in June. The HOF conditioner then sent him along the abbreviated Derby Trail. A Travers (G1) 4th was followed by a 15th place in KYD146 over Labor Day. Then Mott switched him back to the turf and he ran poorly in the Belmont Derby (G1). After sitting the bench over the winter, he now comes to Keeneland ready for action? I don’t see it, even with Joel Rosario aboard.

I am so confident he will not win, that I am leaving him off my ticket. Instead, let’s include everyone else because there is some much better value and for that matter, form. Tops on my list is Morey Barn member, Final Jeopardy #1. I love that he comes out one of those Oaklawn Park ALLW107k races. That is like running in a nice “Non-G” contest of sorts. Martin Pedroza is 2/2 on the board at Keeneland, and maybe his hot hand will continue. Look at that work on 12 Apr @KEE, 4F-.46! Go, go, gadget stopwatch! Others in this bunch that could easily win include Keeneland horse-for-the-course, Royal Mesa #2, and the 2020 Queen’s Plate Champ from Canada, Josie Carroll’s Mighty Heart #6. Talk about some firepower. This kind of inclusive strategy should help us move on . . .  

Selections: 1/2/4/5/6/7 (6 Deep)


LEG 3: (Race 9: Turf, 1½, Elkhorn S. (G2), $200k, 4+)

I will not say that the 3rd portion of this LP4 run is a simple “Single,” but I do feel confident about mine. The Grade II Elkhorn Stakes begins and ends with Mike Maker’s Cross Border #1. He is the best horse in this distance turf race, and should win. I am supremely confident that will happen, especially with Tyler Gaffalione riding for the Three Diamonds veteran. A couple of races back, he acquitted himself well in the Gulfstream Park Pegasus World Cup Turf (G1), finishing 3rd behind sod king, Colonel Liam. That was at odds of 14/1, and he followed that up with another 3rd in the Pan American (G2) on the same course. Gaffs was aboard then, and this distance is one that he can excel in. Others in here will take money, but I am banking on Maker’s Keeneland record to pull his charge through. A New York bred that is fit as ever, and long overdue for a win, in my opinion.

Selections: 1 (Single)


LEG 4: (Race 10: Dirt, 6F, St.Opt.Clm10k-5k, 4+)

We are destined to end this sequence with a tricky little sprint that has some careful crafted conditions. It is sort of a “catch all” type race that has a mix of differently-skilled runners. I want to find a pair of entries that tick different boxes. That way, I have myself covered if one type fails to score. Jose Delgado is a Tampa specialist with a major stable there. He shipped High Five Cotton #8 into Keeneland and ran him in an OC10k 7F sprint earlier in the Meet. I like a “runbacker,” since it reflects the trainer’s confidence. Since I covered part of the TAM Spring, I watched this son of High Cotton on numerous occasions. Several times it looked like something always stymied his progress. He got Antonio Gallardo, one of Tampa’s leading riders, so he should have won much more than he did. I think this spot will suit with Luis Saez aboard once again. He needs to seal the deal down the stretch.

Along with Delgado’s hard-knocker, let’s also include a first-out starter from Marianne Scherer’s outfit (she is also the owner). State Treasurer #11 might be one to shy away from since his new conditioner doesn’t possess that many in her midst. But don’t look at what is current . . . wind the clocks back to the last trainer and you find one Karl Broberg (End Zone Athletics is his company btw . . .). In other words, this 7-yr-old was his responsibility, and the gelding ran extensively against state-breds down at the Fair Grounds. Some of those performances were very good at the Clm5k-level. If you look who the rider was, Colby Hernandez’s name pops up. He gets the call here once again at Keeneland. Broberg kept this one’s fitness high enough, that I think this entry is a wash-and-wear. Put a saddle on him, and send him out to the MT.

Those 2 should provide a nice contrast to one another, and give us a shot at some major value. Off to the races with this affordable ticket!  

Selections: 8/11 (2 Deep)


.50 LP4 TICKET COST: $24.00

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


J.N's Keeneland 2021 Results
  • Date
  • Daily Winners / Places
  • Daily Biggest Winner / Place
  • Daily $
  • Overall $


  • April 2
  • April 3
  • April 7
  • April 8
  • April 9
  • April 10
  • April 11
  • April 14
  • April 15
  • April 16
  • April 17
  • April 18
  • April 22
  • April 23
  • April 24

Daily Winners / Places

  • 0 Win / 1 Place
  • 3 Win / 3 Place
  • 0 Win / 4 Place
  • 1 Win / 3 Place
  • 3 Win / 4 Place
  • 0 Win / 3 Place
  • 1 Win / 1 Place
  • 1 Win / 2 Place
  • 1 Win / 4 Place
  • 1 Win / 2 Place
  • 1 Win / 2 Place
  • 1 Win / 4 Place
  • 2 Win / 4 Place
  • 2 Win / 2 Place
  • 2 Win / 2 Place

Daily Biggest Winner / Place

  • $7.20 (Place - R9)
  • $5.80 (Win - R7)
  • $4.20 (Place - R4)
  • $22.80 (Place - R5)
  • $16.00 (Win - R4)
  • $4.80 (Place - R11)
  • $2.40 (Win - R1)
  • $22.60 (Win - R6)
  • $6 (Place - R9)
  • $9.40 (Win - R9)
  • $13.60 (Place - R3)
  • $25.20 (Win - R4)
  • $9.60 (Win - R7)
  • $5.60 (Win - R9)
  • $6.80 (Win - R4)

Daily $

  • $7.40
  • $23
  • $13.20
  • $41.80
  • $42.40
  • $10.80
  • $4.60
  • $35.60
  • $23.00
  • $16.60
  • $26.40
  • $46.60
  • $27.20
  • $17.40
  • $19.20

Overall $

  • $7.40
  • $30.40
  • $43.60
  • $85.40
  • $127.80
  • $138.60
  • $143.20
  • $178.80
  • $201.80
  • $218.40
  • $242.80
  • $289.40
  • $316.60
  • $334.00
  • $353.20
Keeneland Picks, Entries & Results