It’s amazing that it is already closing week at this Keeneland spring meet and that means only three more chances to take down the popular Turf Pick 3. Remember in order to bet the sequence it’s set up as a separate track in the ADW wagering menu and has a $3 minimum and 15% takeout.
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- Leg 1 (R4): 9-8-12-7
- Leg 2 (R6): 9-10-1-8
- Leg 3 (R8): 4-10-7-5
Leg 1 (2:36pm): Keeneland Race 4 – Maiden Special Wt 100k Purse
The all-turf pick 3 kicks off with a full field of lightly raced turf sprinters. While it’s dangerous to play too much against Wesley Ward in these types of races, I’m willing to use both of his debut runners only defensively. I’m focusing in on four other contenders hoping to get this P3 started with a price. The most logical of them is Georgetown Road (#7) for Brendan Walsh. While her dirt starts have been average at best, I foresee her taking a step forward on grass as the Walsh barn does good work switching to turf and her dam did her best running over that surface. Devious (#12) is one of many runners in this field that like to be forwardly placed but could be the speed of the speed. Based primarily out of Oaklawn, the Moquett barn isn’t known for turf runners, but has proven capable in the past with SW Firecrow as well as a record of 3/28 (12%, $2.18 ROI) going dirt to turf sprint. Peligroso (#8) is another interesting alternative to the short prices. She showed a new dimension getting caught in a fast pace last out and now switches to turf for Jack Sisterson who has been known to strike at a price. However, with those two speeds signed on plus the Ward firsters, I’m looking for a runner who can win if this pace collapses. Never At All (Fr) (#9) looks hopeless on paper coming off a seven-length defeat on the dirt at MVR, but I see that race as merely a prep. Her turf sprints from early last year put her right in the mix and she holds a maturity edge over many of her rivals as a four-year-old. The low-percentage connections ensure a solid price and I’m hoping she can sit and make one run. I’d also suggest watching the board and include any firsters who look to be taking some play.
Leg 2 (3:40pm): Keeneland Race 6 – AllowanceN2X 120k Purse
The second race of the sequence is the feature on the Wednesday program and I think it will be tough to get around the short prices on the line. Of them I prefer Floriform (#9) who tries to channel the same fortune as Petricor (GB) who won for the same team of Rosario-Mott-Juddmonte in the last race on Sunday. He really took a step forward in the speed figure department in his first start at four and the G3-Tampa Bay Stakes has proven to be a key race with the winner Shirl’s Speight parlaying that to a win in the G1-Maker’s Mark Mile. Cellist (#1) exits that same race and probably had the tougher trip of the pair, but I’m not as fond of his prior efforts or the human connections. If there’s one longer price I’m willing to upgrade it is Monition (#10) for Cherie DeVaux. This gelding made a splash by winning both of his first two races before running into the talented Never Surprised in his stakes debut. While it appears he was with the flow of the race in his Fair Grounds return, I like that he possesses tactical speed in a race where many of the key contenders are midpack types. Some distant backups I’ll include are likely pace-setter Continental Coins (#4) on the return to turf, the logical Skyro (#5), Buy Me Candy (#7) who has facing been facing tougher, the well-bred Be Here (#8) for top connections, and Palazzi (#12) who ran well in a stakes at Keeneland last spring when pace compromised.
Leg 3 (4:44pm): Keeneland Race 8 – Maiden Special Wt 100k Purse
The sequence concludes with yet another full field with this one containing twelve turf routers. I’m going to lean pretty heavily in my picks on Brad Cox’s Spare Cash (#4). She was undoubtedly best in her last effort over the Turfway synthetic as she pressed a fast pace and was still game to just miss while separating herself from the third-place finisher. She might even prove to be better on turf as her dam was a G3 winner over that surface. The other horse I want to make sure is on plenty of tickets is Diva Ready (#10) who goes out for the prestigious Augustin Stable. She has a fantastic turf route pedigree by More Than Ready out of a G2 winning mare and Jonathan Thomas has stellar numbers with first-time-starters in turf routes hitting at 18% with a $2.10 ROI. I’m dangerously leaving off Saffron Moon (#9) who is sure to take plenty of action with Flavien Prat up from the barn of Chad Brown. However, there isn’t much turf pedigree and Chad normally tries that surface early on if he thinks one under his care will take to it.