The second week of the Keeneland meet kicks off on Wednesday and the turf pick three yet again contains another competitive graded stakes race within the sequence. While the first three installments of this new wager paid under $1000 for the winning tickets, it’s only a matter of time before a large price blows up these payoffs.
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- Leg 1 (R4): 7-1-3-6
- Leg 2 (R6): 2-5-6-10
- Leg 3 (R8): 8-3-10-12
Leg 1: Keeneland Race 4 – AllowanceN2X 88k Purse
I’ll try to get through this first leg of the pick three with only two on the “A” line. Both halves of the entry look pretty formidable with Stand Tall (#1) looking the stronger part. She might be the class of the field and her extended route races were the best on her form. First Course (#1A) doesn’t win very often, but has a win over the course and distance that jumps off the page. However, my top pick is going to be Honor Hop (#7) for Brian Lynch. She might just be rounding into her best form for an underrated conditioner. Her last race at Kentucky Downs was a powerhouse effort and the third place finisher came back to just miss in an allowance here on Sunday. I also want to include both Mike Maker runners on the backup line in Enjoyitwhilewecan (#3) and Peter’s Kitten (#8). Both are unexposed at this distance and Maker has a propensity to get the most out of his runners when they stretch all the way out. Finally, I wouldn’t want to be completely knocked out by Cat’s Pajamas (#6) for Graham Motion as she just missed against a stakes-quality foe in Lovely Lucky the only time she tried three turns.
Leg 2: Keeneland Race 6 – AllowanceN2X 88k Purse
I’ll try to take a stand here with Naval Laughter (#2) hoping she can wire this field of allowance foes. I don’t think the morning line of 10-1 will hold up, but maybe some value can be acquired by playing into her in a blind pool such as this bet. She was beaten a long way in the Beverly D. last time at Arlington, but there are no Santa Barbara’s or Mean Mary’s among this bunch. Her Modesty win was a legitimately fast race and she beat a solid group. Empress Eleanor (#5) ran into Tuned (GB) over the summer at Colonial who has gone on to multiple stakes victories since and a mile might be her best distance. Arm Candy (#6) is just a three-year-old and has a win over the course from the spring. Finally, Sun Summers (#10) gets some class relief here and can compete on her best day.
Leg 3: Keeneland Race 8 – G2-Jessamine Stakes 200k
The Jessamine is an absolute war to close out the card and all the pick sequences including the turf pick three. You have to think Turnerloose (#3) is the horse to beat for Brad Cox after a dominant display of talent in the big stakes at Kentucky Downs last month. I’ll be using her prominently, but there’s enough other speed in here that I’d want to have some coverage. If this pace heats up I really like the looks of Queen Judith (#8) especially if we get something close to the morning line price of 15-1. She showed a nice closing kick to break her maiden at first asking for Mark Casse over yielding Kentucky Downs turf and has plenty of stamina breeding to handle this slight stretch out in distance. Misthaven (Ire) (#10) overcame a bit of trouble to take down a similar field of maidens in impressive fashion and is kin to the talented Bobby’s Kitten. Finally, I want to keep Dressed (#12) on side for Wayne Catalano. He was bet like the race was already run last time at Kentucky Downs and drew off against a well-matched field. Flavien Prat gets aboard and he’s shown to be adept at any turf course in the country. Other maiden breakers Decree of Love (#9) and Boxing Day (#13) will be backups for me as the fields they faced are a touch below the ones the aforementioned runners took down.