Keeneland Picks: Late Pick 5 takes center stage on April 23

A Keeneland Saturday ... The Late Pick 5 is the place to be with a strong card, and betting options aplenty. Check out this ticket that J.N. Campbell has put together!
A Keeneland Saturday ... The Late Pick 5 is the place to be with a strong card, and betting options aplenty. Check out this ticket that J.N. Campbell has put together!

Keeneland Picks - Saturday, April 23, 2022

  • Race 1: 1-4-6-5
  • Race 2: 8-7-1-10
  • Race 3: 8-2-5-7
  • Race 4: 6-2-4-9
  • Race 5: 8-5-9-7
  • Race 6: 5-1-3-8
  • Race 7: 6-9-1/1A-5
  • Race 8: 5-3-7-4
  • Race 9: 1-5-4-7
  • Race 10: 9-1/1A-4-3
  • **Most Likely: Faith's Reward #5 (Race 6)**
  • **Best Value: Take Charge Ro #6 (Race 7)**

If there is a horse racing location on your Thoroughbred GPS, 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 a handful of days left. 

Great competition remains though, as we have a number of superb "stakes" races left (including today's Grade 3 Ben Ali S. and the G2 Elkhorn 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 Saturday 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



LEG 1: (Race 6: Dirt, 7F, MSW100k, 3F)

The Late Pick 5, which is sure to bring some major value, begins with this 1-turn sprint from the chute on the MT. I know Brad Cox is bringing the heat this Saturday, but I am not sure that backing the Elm Racing homebred, Casa de Goat #1, from that inside post position on debut is such a sparkling idea. Young horses can have trouble when they are forced to exit a gate near the temporary rail. Instead, being drawn towards the outside helps with focus, and can be a much better spot. Taking a chance against Cox, and Flavien Prat might be playing with fire, but I am willing to look elsewhere. I landed on Steve Asmussen’s Faith’s Reward #5, a homebred from the former governor of Kentucky’s stock. Brereton Jones knows his business, and this filly was up against some tough company in a couple maiden races at Oaklawn. She was up against Ice Orchid, and that one was tough to tangle with for sure. The addition of Gerardo Corrales is a superb move by the HOF trainer, and he is awfully good when it comes to sprint-types. If this daughter of Uncle Mo can get to the lead, the race could be hers.

Selections: 5 (Single)


LEG 2: (Race 7: Turf, 1 1/16th, ALLW130kn3x, F&M 4+)

Switching to the Haggin Turf Course for this route event, we have a strong field of 10 assembled. Thinking broadly … and not focusing on a poor “last out performance” is in-order. If Brendan Walsh’s coupled entry makes it in, I am sure that I Hear You #1 and Keeper of Time #1A will take money. The former is an alum of a couple of tough Fair Grounds “Non-G” grass races, while the latter was most recently in SoCal at Santa Anita for the G2 Buena Vista S. Neither did particularly well, but they have some races prior to these that make them intriguing. I want to use them on my ticket (we will have to wait to see which one Tyler Gaffalione rides …). As far as a top selection, I am willing to give Brian Lynch’s Take Charge Ro #6 a chance, especially since the mare by Will Take Charge was up against it in the G2 Hillsborough at Tampa Bay last time. Her work at Churchill and Gulfstream speaks to the fact that she can handle some tough competition, and with Luis Saez in the irons, she will be piloted by an aggressive rider that knows how to handle traffic in the lane. One other entry that appears ready for a score is Brad Cox’s Saranya #9. A daughter of The Factor, she has not been seen since the Valley View S. (G3) at Keeneland last fall, but she could be sharp off-the-bench. With a past history that speaks to that ability, plus Cox-Prat together on the grass, it makes for a potent combination. Let’s use this lot, and I am sure 1 of them will cross the wire in the lead.

Selections: 1/1A/6/9 (3-Deep)


LEG 3: (Race 8: Dirt, 1 1/8th, Ben Ali S. (G3), Purse, $300k, 4+)

Part of a “double feature,” the Ben Ali S. is a fixture this time of year during the back half of the Meet. The 1 1/8th is a 2-turn roadblock for many runners, but we have some entries in here that have traversed the territory. It is great to see Canadian Horse of the Year, Mighty Heart #2 drawn in for Josie Carroll, but I am concerned about his level of fitness. He has not been seen since mid-December, and I am skeptical that James Graham can get the job done. Woodbine horses can run outside of Toronto, but there are some other directions to go in that might be more inviting. When it comes to my choices, I much prefer Brad Cox’s well-travelled Warrant #5, and Shug McGaughey’s Scalding #7. Cox sent his colt by Constitution out to Santa Anita for the Big ‘Cap (G1), and he ran as well as he possibly could against Express Train. Now, coming back to Kentucky, the 4-yr-old should enjoy both the cutback, and reuniting with jockey Flavien Prat. As for Shug’s entry, this talented son of Nyquist is coming in hot … with 3 wins in-a-row. The Challenger (G3) was an impressive victory back at Tampa, and if he can build on that score (Javier Castellano makes the trip to Kentucky to ride), then the sky is the limit for this one. One other entry that deserves some respect is the former Derby Trail-er, and Godolphin homebred, Proxy #3. Mike Stidham made some noise with this well-bred son of Tapit as a 3-yr-old, and it is great to see him come to Keeneland. He was 2nd in the New Orleans Classic (G2) in late March, when the Fair Grounds was closing up shop. No one was going to beat Olympiad that day, but Stidham’s colt made a run at it. Including him here makes a ton of sense … Let’s head to the Haggin next!

Selections: 3/5/7 (3-Deep)


LEG 4: (Race 9: Turf, 1½, Elkhorn S. (G2), $350k, 4+)

This year’s version of the Elkhorn S. came up extremely tough, and with a number of directions to go in, you could make a case for almost anyone in here. When it comes to a particular “style” on the turf, very few can match the early pace control ability of McLean Robertson’s Two Emmys #3. A gelding by English Channel, he has a pair of signature frontend victories in the last running of the Grade 1 Arlington Million (renamed the Mr. D. Stakes), and down in New Orleans in the Muniz Memorial S. (G2). James Graham is going to have hope that he has a free hand on the “engine.” I do not see it happening, based on the competition that is drawn-in, and that past history tells us closers can win. When it comes to a top choice, my play is Mike Maker’s Bemma’s Boy #1. This is a deep turf router that did not compete in ’21, and it was only this year that this gelding by Into Mischief returned to the turf. Maker pairs once again with Paradise Farms, one of his best client relationships, and he could be ready for this distance test. Not only are the bloodlines there, but he has proved to be sharp in a couple of races at the Fair Grounds. The addition of Umberto Rispoli is welcome, and this former SoCal rider is still looking for his 1st win of the Meet. That could happen soon … A couple of other entries that entice … I would not leave out, Brian Lynch’s Phantom Currency #4, and Bill Mott’s well-known traveler, Channel Maker #5. They get top jocks, and have the gears to conform to any pace scenario. What a difficult Grade 2 this one is …

Selections: 1/4/5 (3-Deep)


LEG 5: (Race 10: Dirt, 7F, AOC80k, 3)

Wrapping up this ticket on Saturday, we have a group of sprinters that will be trying to vie for the lead down the backstretch. Playing a horse that likes to come from “off of it” appears to be the way to go. My top pick, and “Single” is Dallas Stewart’s B Sudd #9. A son of Jimmy Creed, this homebred was up against tough company at Oaklawn in an OC100kn1x. The fractions were pretty stiff in that 6F sprint, and David Cabrera was just trying to keep up. A pair of good ones in Cogburn (Asmussen) and Ignitis (Lukas) hit the board in front of him. He fired a bullet in training, and clearly came out of that race with some fitness behind him. Stewart and his crop always get underestimated, and I am a sucker for a homebred. The offspring of “Jimmy C” have done well over the past year, and that should continue. With Flavien Prat in the saddle, this colt has a great shot to get home at a square price … anything above 7/2 qualifies as an overlay … It is “Single” to start, and “Single” to end what promises to be a “value-laden” Saturday at Keeneland!

Selections: 9 (Single)


Ticket: 5 / 1/1A-6-9 / 3-5-7 / 1-4-5 / 9


Enjoy it while it lasts! Best of luck on another fabulous Keeneland this April in Central Kentucky!

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