Keeneland $3 Min Turf Pick Three Analysis – April 10th, 2022 – By Michael Domabyl

Opening weekend at Keeneland closes out with a solid 9 race card which includes a very competitive Turf Pick 3 sequence. After taking down the pool with the “All A” ticket yesterday in this space, we’re back for another try to build on the already lucrative weekend.

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  • Leg 1 (R5): 10-11-2-8
  • Leg 2 (R7): 7-2-1-6
  • Leg 3 (R9): 3-7-5-6 

Leg 1 (3:08pm): Keeneland Race 5 – AllowanceN4X 140k Purse

The Turf Pick 3 starts with a very competitive turf allowance for many stakes-faced animals. While the shorter-priced horses on the morning line can certainly win, I feel strongly that they will be overbet relative to their true win chances. While Monarchs Glen (GB) (#1A) had a tough trip last time and can move forward for Mike Maker, the fact he’s coupled with Mr Dumas (#1) who I do not want any part of coming from the synthetic, makes him unappealing as a wagering interest. I also have to be against Highest Honors (#7) who will surely attract money simply due to the Chad Brown factor. While he looked good transitioning to the turf last time, this field is much tougher and he’s going to be a short price. I landed on Eons (#10) as my top pick. His win in the Buckland Stakes last summer at Colonial Downs has proven to be a very productive race as Pixelate went on to win an expensive turf mile at Kentucky Downs later in the fall. Furthermore, he showed an explosive turn of foot when he gets some pace to run at which I foresee happening this afternoon. While the running line of his return effort looks poor on paper, he actually had some subtle trouble at the start and was headstrong for much of the race. I see that race as just a starting-off point for the year for him and he gets a huge rider upgrade to Flavien Prat for this race. I can’t let Megacity (#11) beat me in this spot either. While the pace could be on the quick side, he projects to be the speed of the speed and his win two back was a dominant effort over extremely similar conditions to what he’ll face today all the way down to the rating of the turf course. Another goofy longshot to throw in is Sole Volante (#2) who turns back to a distance more to his liking. His three-turn stakes try wasn’t bad at all last time behind Abaan and Temple and although it’s been a long time between drinks for this once promising colt, his speed figures are right in line with what it would take to win. Finally, I have a bit of a soft spot for Hawkish (#8) who goes out for Jimmy Toner in this spot. He got a good trip and ride last time out, but the horse who defeated him in Mira Mission came right back to win in a G3 and Hawkish is the type of horse who has always shown flashes of talent and if he wins at 15-1 I want to be cashing.

Leg 2 (4:12pm): Keeneland Race 7 – Palisades Stakes 200k Purse

The middle leg of this sequence features the return of Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint winner Twilight Gleaming (Ire) (#7) and she’s a favorite I’m willing to lean on rather than play against. She’s already proven her ability to take down the opposite sex by virtue of her last two wins including one that proved she can handle some soft ground. The most impressive piece of her form is the fact that in the aforementioned Breeders’ Cup, she was the only runner up on the pace early that finished in the superfecta. She possesses excellent gate speed and while there are some other runners that like to be forwardly placed, she seems like the quickest early. The only aspect that gives me a touch of uneasiness is the fact that trainer Wesley Ward is deciding to take the blinkers off, but the fact that Ward scratched his other runner gives me more confidence in his primary entrant.

Leg 3 (6:20pm): Keeneland Race 9 – Maiden Special Wt 100k Purse

We close out the card with a full field of turf maidens and there are quite a few interesting runners. Wouldn’t it be apropos if Ridley’s Major (#11) (named for Augusta National Chairman Fred Ridley) breaks his maiden on Masters Sunday? Although he’s the morning line favorite, I do not see him as the most likely winner of the event. I think Chad Brown saw him spinning his wheels over the Gulfstream Park turf course this winter and thought that’s enough…we’ll bring him back at Keeneland. However, he didn’t show that much in his debut to suggest he has any major edge over this field. I’m very interested in the well-bred son of Uncle Mo going out for Shug McGuaghey in Trending (#3)His race two back produced the fastest number in the field and while it looks on paper that he took a step back last time, there was a weird moment in the race that is not noted in the comment line. Coming out of the far turn, he lost all his momentum and had to restart his run. I’m not sure what caused the balking, but it probably cost him the race as he was finishing well down the lane. He seems like the grinding type that can handle this extended two-turn route and can be forwardly placed in a race without much speed. I think Calloway Peak (#7) makes a ton of sense also. Out of the G2 winning turf route mare Filimbi, I think he’ll take a step forward on the Keeneland turf course as he didn’t seem to like the dirt kicking up at Gulfstream in his last start. He galloped out well after losing contact with the field and seems like another one that will relish the 9.5 furlongs. Other interesting players worth including are Vintage Year (#5) who switches to turf second out for Rusty Arnold, Piccadilly (#6) who is bred for turf routing and finally gets a chance over that surface, and Remote (#8) who could find himself on the front end and has plenty of pedigree to handle the distance.

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