A Sunday at Keeneland ... If you are looking for a unique wager, then maybe you should try the new Keeneland Turf Pick 3 play. The $3 minimum wager will comprise the final 3 turf races of the day, and offer the low takeout of 15%. Should be a solid bet for all your grass fans out there, as 2 of the 3 contests (Indian Summer/Bourbon) are Breeders' Cup Challenge Series races. What a day!
If that wasn't enough for you, on the docket this afternoon, we also have as the "feature" the Grade 1 Spinster. This mainstay offers entry into the Breeders' Cup Distaff (G1) ... "Win and You're In" ... quite the purple and white celebration, don't you think?
At Horseracing.net/us we have you covered, including all of the wonderful Keeneland pomp and circumstance! 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 Sunday be sure to check out our free Horse Racing Picks via the gold button below.
Looking for a top pick in this initial leg of the KEE Turf P3, I am pretty keen on the cluster of runners that are drawn to the outside. Al Stall’s Social Dilemma #10, Jeff Hiles’ Silky Warrior #11, and Brendan Walsh’s I Hear You #12 all have some interesting upside. Co-owned by MyRacehorse and Spendthrift, Stall’s runner switched to the turf earlier this year. Though the filly is still looking for her 1st win on that surface, she has competed in a number of ALLW Co. contests at the Fair Grounds, Churchill, Ellis, and most recently at Kentucky Downs. Though jockey Miguel Mena is not that proficient when it comes to navigating the grass, he can spring an upset now and again. The position in the form cycle is her best attribute.
As for Hiles’ entry by Declaration of War (an excellent turf sire) this filly stepped up and won at Kentucky Downs in one of their super high-level MSW Co. contests. Making the move from Colonial Downs turned out splendidly, and even though Adam Beschizza is going to have to ask for a major response in here, it could happen. The bloodline and fitness level seem well-placed. As for the presumptive favorite, Walsh’s barnmember tried to “run on” down @KD, but the 4-yr-old out of Street Sense missed the board. That was her trainer’s 1st race with her because she was a former charge of Mike Stidham’s. Now that Walsh knows what kind of hand he has, I think the Bradley Thoroughbreds runner is wrapped with a strong class bow for this Keeneland run on the Haggin. Getting Irad Ortiz to ride (who is in-town to ride from Belmont), is excellent news. Could be a nice bet …
1st Choice: 12
Backup: 10, 11
LEG 2: (Race 8: Turf, 5½F, Indian Summer $200k, 2)
One of the latest and greatest additions to Keeneland’s Fall Stars is this race, the Indian Summer. A win here will propel the lucky one all the way to the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Sprint (G1) at Del Mar next month. One would think that this contest is tailor-made for local trainer Wesley Ward. After all, his specialty is 2-yr-old turf horses. In this spot, he has a pair of female turfers “taking on the “boys,” and going for purple/white glory. Out of Kaufymaker #2 and Avery Jane #7, the latter is the one that most will be watching. By Midshipman, this Hat Creek Racing filly is undefeated on the dirt at Keenland, Churchill, and Saratoga. Her last race, the Skidmore $120k, was supposed to be on the turf, but it was rained off. As Ward takes the “Blinkers Off,” it will be interesting to see how Tyler Gaffalione chooses to ride her early … send her or sit just off the lead? She is full of power, and her fitness level is strong enough to be of use in this spot. Still, with no grass experience, the real question is can he take to the surface?
My sense is that the other half of Ward’s uncoupled entry is much more desirable. Owned by Greg Kaufman, this well-traveled filly went to Royal Ascot to run in the Coventry S. (G2) back in June—finishing a respectable 8th. She returned and ran in a tough spot at Kentucky Downs in the Juvenile Sprint 500k. Her 3rd place was, I am sure, a disappointment to horseplayers, who thought she was a lock to win. Now as she sheds John Velazquez and gets Irad Ortiz, this Jimmy Creed 2-yr-old looks ready for action. Going Ward, 1-2, might not seem like a poor plan, but one other that entices is HOF trainer Mark Casse’s Diamond City #10. Ridden by veteran Julien Leparoux, the DJ Stable colt won nicely last time at Woodbine going 5F in a “Non-G” turf sprint. The Shackleford offspring seized the lead with authority at the top of the lane, and did not look back. Coming down to Keenland for this spot is an excellent plan, and he has the ability to take a step forward against the Ward pair.
1st Choice: 2
Backup: 7, 10
LEG 3: (Race 10: Turf, 1 1/16th, Bourbon S. (G2), $200k, 2)
More Breeders’ Cup implications are afoot in this tough race for freshmen turf routers. I love this race each year, but it always turns out to be a handicapping challenge. When it comes to the top 2 spots in here on the tote board, it will most assuredly go to Kenny McPeek’s Tiz the Bomb #12 and Brian Lynch’s Red Danger #10. Both were winners during the short but sweet Kentucky Downs Meet back in September. I have no doubt that either of them can step up in distance and win here at Keeneland.
Using them seems to be a must, but I actually like a longer-priced runner out of this bunch. Ever since he broke his maiden 1st out back at Saratoga, I thought Mike Maker’s Stolen Base #2 was extremely talented. Even though the colt by Bodemeister failed to hit the board, next out in the Saratoga Special (G2), he rebounded nicely on the turf for the first time @KD. Even though he could not catch Steve Asmussen’s Heaven Street #11, that does not mean he cannot improve at Keeneland. The price will be magnificent, and once again, as they did on Saturday, Maker employs Flavien Prat. That could be the difference when it comes to shooting down the lane.
St. George Stable has a rip-roaring mare in their midst that is, in my opinion, the best in the country. Letruska #4 is big, strong, and powerful, dragging grooms around the Paddock like ragdolls. She already has 3 BC Distaff (G1) tickets to her credit, and I wonder if that means she can bring more of her posse to watch her run at Del Mar? Regardless of how she travels, her entourage includes the excellent Fausto Gutierrez, who continues to manage her schedule extremely well. The trainer has watched her rattle off 5 wins this year, and if it weren’t for Florent Geroux aboard Shedaresthedevil in the Azeri (G2) at Oaklawn, she would have another. I doubt seriously that there is anyone drawn in this race that can match her stride for stride. The real question is how does Gutierrez want expert rider Irad Ortiz to handle her? Maybe this race is seen as a work for Del Mar, or a chance to get her “cranked” for the Distaff? Questions abound ...
Whatever the case, the only means to make some scrum on this race is play against her. An Exacta with “All” on top over this mare, seems to be the only way to go. Best I can say … she is beyond being a “deserving favorite.”
Wagering Recommendation: $2 Exacta Wheel, 1/2/3/5/6/7 w 4