Keeneland Picks: A Pick 3 Sunday

Irad Ortiz has already ridden some winners this April Meet. Now, another Keeneland Sunday gives us another opportunity at some wonderful racing. Check out our Handicapping Battle, and all of our picks!
Irad Ortiz has already ridden some winners this April Meet. Now, another Keeneland Sunday gives us another opportunity at some wonderful racing. Check out our Handicapping Battle, and all of our picks!

A Keeneland Sunday comes to Bourbon Country in Kentucky, and favorite son Henry Clay always said that the lovely brown liquid “oiled the wheels of government to keep everything moving!” An apt phrasing, I should think.

As we have throughout this April Meet, we have a complete rundown of the fields, with select analysis. Check it out! Despite some weather that has rolled through this past week, some nice racing was still accomplished. Today, I have another juicy rolling Pick 3 that promises to offer some major value. Be sure to check the course conditions once the scratches and changes are released. Significant rainfall hit Central Kentucky on Saturday. They may be off the turf.

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.

Keeneland Picks - Sunday, April 11, 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:
  • Most Likely Winner:
  • Best Value Play:

Picks (Sean)

  • 4-5-2-1
  • 5-2-3-4
  • 4-8-7-3
  • 3-7-5-8
  • 3-2-1-4
  • 7-9-8-1
  • 2-8-6-9
  • 4-2-1-6
  • 5-4-7-2
  • Club Car (Race 8)
  • How Lucky (Race 3)

Picks (J.N.)

  • 4-5-3-7
  • 4-5-1-6
  • 9-3-8-7
  • 9-7-4-3
  • 5-1-2-4
  • 3-7-8-6
  • 4-2-6-8
  • 6-2-1-4
  • 6-7-4-5
  • Bourre' Trick (Race 6)
  • Beachwalker (Race 7)

Picks (Neil)

  • 4-5-2-3
  • 1-2-6-5
  • 5-9-3-8
  • 3-5-4-8
  • 5-2-4-1
  • 6-7-8-3
  • 8-12-2-1
  • 1-4-2-5
  • 2-7-4-5
  • Noren (Race 5)
  • Hot Dame (Race 3)


LEG 1: (Race 7: Turf, 1 1/8th, ALLW81k, 4+)

The Late P3 on the Sunday card has a nice group of older horses who have never won at this level. That makes for some interesting opinions, or in other words, some great opportunities to score. Do you look for ones that are trying to get back to the turf after running on the AW? How about playing the pedigree angle? Or further still, what about those that have run at Keeneland before. I like the idea of finding a “Single” right from the start when we construct a ticket like this one. Do not mean it will happen!

It is going to be tough to argue against picking Chad Brown’s entry on top—Starting Over #8. After all, he is easily the classiest runner based on his PPs that include some very good competition at the “Graded” level. Of course, this is his first start under Brown, after being with the Falcone Barn. Having Irad Ortiz ride, one of the world’s hottest turf jockeys, makes this choice even more formidable.

I do not want to stake my lot on this “Single” right from the word “go.” So, in that spirit, I think adding 3 others makes complete sense. Joel Rosario is a hot rider, and he gets together with Shug McGaughey to ride Juulstone #2. With 2 major attributes that raise the eyebrow, one is that this colt won a contest at this very distance 2-back at Gulfstream Park. That was an impressive performance, living up to his short price. The other tick in the box is being a son of American Pharoah. Those runners take to the grass just fine.

Adding to this pair, I also want a few backups. Let’s make sure and put these on the ticket, especially since I have a “Single” coming. I like Mike Maker’s Glynn County #6 (Three Diamonds Farm), and Robert Medina’s Beachwalker #4 who is new to his outfit at a hefty price. Combined with the 2 others I previously mentioned, that should give us a good chance to advance to the next part of the sequence.     

Selections: 2/4/6/8 (4 Deep)


LEG 2: (Race 8: Dirt, 6F, AOC80k, F&M 4+)

The middle part of this trio is not going to be an easy one to play, but I think I have a solution after considering all the angles. This might appear straightforward, since it only has a 6-horse field. Looks can be just that . . . just accepting the “favorite” will not do. I see several in here that spark an interest.

Even though the “King of Keeneland,” Wesley Ward has a pair entered in this contest, I do not like either of them on top. Sure, Palace Avenger #2 hasn’t missed the board since 2019, but he is coming off the bench, and could be vulnerable. Irad Ortiz isn’t perfect, so we shouldn’t be afraid of him. The other Ward horse, a filly called Anna’s Fast #5 is one of those Royal Ascot runners who came back to the US, and has done little when it comes to running in higher-level classes. She gets John Velazquez, but I don’t think that will make much of a difference.

If I had to pick a winner, I am impressed by Bret Calhoun’s Ain’t No Elmers #6, which though grammatically incorrect, sparks an interest because she is a 4-yr-old with some important class lines. Last Sept-Oct she put together 2 solid races at Churchill, and at Pimlico in the Miss Preakness (G3). Even though her latest 2021 effort was poor, she was up against Ward’s Kimari. That horse just won last weekend at Keeneland. Calhoun will have this daughter of Goldencents ready!

Just to round out the ticket, I also want to add Kelly Breen’s Call On Mischief #1, who was in some salty Aqueduct “Non-G” races recently, and also Club Car #4, from the barn of Ben Colebrook. The latter is a mare that was involved in some Laurel Park 100k action that looks pretty inviting. I feel good about this as insurance.

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


LEG 3: (Race 9: Turf, 1 1/16th, MSW79k, 3F)

The final leg of what was another stellar week at Keeneland, promises to be a rousing turf race on the Haggin. It is going to be a tough race because so many of these runners are first-time starters. Knowing grass bloodlines and training angles can sure assist. I want to find a “Single,” and I think I have one. The Ginger Queen #6 sparks the notion, trust in Motion. Herringswell Stable is headed by Graham Motion, and he already has put together a nice Keeneland Meet. Here is a fellow who relishes the chance to compete whenever and wherever.

This time around I am backing his entry because I think this one has all the ability in the world. I want to be in on the ground floor and tell everyone now that she has the potential to be his next great filly. She has the bloodlines through Teofilo (IRE) and Royal Blue Star (IRE) that are loaded with talent. The best news is Javier Castellano will serve as guide. His choices as a lawn jockey are just superb, and I would challenge anyone to name another rider who can match his talent over the past 2 decades.

My choice is to simply “Single” her in this spot. I do not normally advise such a course, but this is the spot to do so. The triangle of Motion, Castellano, and this filly’s pedigree appear persuasive.    

Selection: 6 (Single)


.50 P3 TICKET COST: $8.00

Keeneland Picks, Entries & Results