Keeneland $3 Min Turf Pick Three Analysis – October 20th, 2021 – By Michael Domabyl

Fresh off an “A-A-A” hit in the #TurfPick3 on Sunday, we coming roaring into week three of the Keeneland meet chasing another score. There is a short field in the middle leg but the other two races seem wide open with some vulnerable short prices.

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  • Leg 1 (R4): 3-5-11-12
  • Leg 2 (R6): 3-4-6-2
  • Leg 3 (R8): 11-12-1-7

Leg 1: Keeneland Race 4 – AllowanceN1X 86k Purse

The sequence kicks off with a wide open allowance race for turf sprinters. Despite not being the morning line favorite, I think Super Design (#3) is the horse to beat going out for Wesley Ward off a facile debut win at Kentucky Downs. He showed a unfamiliar dimension of a Ward horse first time out and that was the ability to sit behind and pass horses and I think those tactics could suit him well in a race where many runners will look to be forwardly placed. He’ll be my top choice but there are other interesting alternatives. The 2-1 morning line favorite is Cheeky Chaps (#7), but at anything close to that short of a price, I’d let him beat me. Both the jockey and trainer have had Keeneland meets to forget at this point and I don’t fully trust that latest Beyer speed figure. I’m interested in what we’ll get from Maxi Boy (GB) (#5) who is 15-1 on the morning line coming in for his first domestic start. His races in Europe line up well with this class level and Paulo Lobo’s has been ultra-live over the past two months. It’s tough for the turf sprinters in Europe to translate their form to America where there is an abundance of pace, but this one is too interesting to pass up at a price. I also think Continental Coins (#11) is interesting getting on turf for the first time. The dam was better on the grass than dirt and this colt has been gelded and given time to grow up since last running as an early-season three-year-old in the spring. If he translates his form to this new surface and just takes a small step forward with natural development, I think he’s a player. Hope and Dignity (#12) will need to take a step forward, but his lone turf try was arguably his best effort and he could get a good trip perched outside the other speeds.

Leg 2: Keeneland Race 6 – AllowanceN4X 88k Purse

The conditions of this allowance race are structured in a way where graded-stakes caliber horses can still remain eligible and that was exactly the case with likely favorite Daddy Is a Legend (#1).  However, she’s now listed as a scratch as it appears George Weaver isn’t going to wheel her back on short rest. While I would’ve played completely against Dominga (#4) if the favorite remained in the race, I’ll use her defensively in here now since there aren’t too many other places to go. Her last was disappointing and she’s never defeated a runner of Daddy Is a Legend’s quality at any point in her career, but this field is significantly weaker with that runner out. My top pick is now Pass the Plate (#3). At times this filly has been sluggish in the early stages of her races leaving way too much ground to make up and if she does that again here, she’ll be without a chance as there isn’t much pace signed on. However, she’s proven to like the local grass and if the field is bunched turning for home, she might have the best turn of foot in the field. I tried to make a case for Princess Causeway (#2) or I’llhandalthecash (#6) with their apparent pace advantage, but there’s a chance they compromise each other’s chances on the front end and ultimately believe the other two fillies have been racing against better.

Leg 3: Keeneland Race 8 – Maiden Special Wt 84k Purse

The wager concludes with a full field of juvenile fillies going long on the grass and I believe the conversation has to begin with Already Charming (#1) who returns for Brad Cox off a no show effort last time at Kentucky Downs. I think it’s worth drawing a line through that race as she got very unsettled in the gate beforehand causing a delay to the start of the race. Based on her performance, one could argue she shouldn’t have been allowed to run, but perhaps that dirties her form a bit and she’s plenty talented to wire this field if she continues to show the same early foot. I don’t think she’s anything close to a cinch in this spot, especially since in her debut she got to set a moderate pace. Florent Geroux stays loyal to his Brad Cox connection and sticks with the rail horse, but I think the filly he rode last time could wind up the winner. Twin Cause (#11) got some experience under her belt over the stamina-building Kentucky Downs course and Brendan Walsh is super dangerous with his second-time starters in turf routes. The other filly I want to use on the “A” line is the Zambak (#12) going out for Brian Lynch. While it’s no bargain to break from the outside post as a first time starter going two turns, this filly is bred to be a good one. Her dam won a stakes going long on the Keeneland turf and has thrown nothing but productive route horses in Layla Noor and Plamen. The other horse I want to use on a backup line is Jaccaci (#7) who gets to the turf now coming in off a dirt sprint prep. This seems like a move with intention from Kenny McPeek and she sold for a lot of money for a Gormley filly off the back of what must’ve been an impressive sales work over the synthetic training track at Ocala.

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