Three bulky fields of turf affairs comprise today’s #TurfPick3 sequence including the G3-Sycamore Stakes going three turns on the Keeneland sod. It features the return of Two Emmys who won the race formerly known as the Arlington Million last out, but I think he might be vulnerable at a short price when dynamics are less in his favor.
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- Leg 1 (R6): 11-12-7-8
- Leg 2 (R8): 11-1-10-4
- Leg 3 (R10): 5-1-8-2
Leg 1: Keeneland Race 6 – AllowanceN3X 93k Purse
A full field of turf sprinters are set to contest the opening leg of Friday’s wager and it features another Wesley Ward comebacker that will prove tough for this field if he shows up with his “A” game. For Maven (#12), that is a questionable prospect overall, but he’s two-for-two over this course and distance and has the speed to get out in front and not look back. I’ll use him prominently, but think the logical alternative to his direct inside is a worthy adversary. Carotari (#11) disappointed at short odds last time out but that was over a Parx turf course that had taken a good amount of rain and I’m willing to forgive that no-show. The fact Brian Lynch wheels him back in just under four weeks is a positive sign and he has the edge over the prospective favorite in terms of 2021 form. I think Holiday Stone (#7) is interesting on a backup line. This hard-knocking seven-year-old has run his best races at Keeneland and would benefit if they spar on the front end. Bad Beat Brian (#8) might be finding his best form for Mike Maker and he picks up the services of Tyler Gaffalione who has been riding lights-out this meet. Johnny Unleashed (#10) has done his best work over the Keeneland turf course and looked prime to pull off an absolute shocker in the G2-Shakertown in the spring before tiring in the lane. If he’s able to harken back to his local efforts, he could spring the upset at a price.
Leg 2: Keeneland Race 8 – G3-Sycamore Stakes 150k
The conversation of the G3-Sycamore has to begin with Two Emmys (#12) who notched a career-making win in the G1-Mister D. Stakes over the horse that’s probably the best American hope in the BC Turf in Domestic Spending. However, circumstances were undoubtedly in his favor that day as he was able to set a historically slow pace on his way to the upset. He could get loose again today, but its no bargain to get over from that outside post before the first of three turns and he’ll be a tiny fraction of the price he was on the second Saturday in August. The logical alternative is Glynn County (#1) for Mike Maker and Tyler Gaffalione. He’s well posted to the inside and was against the race flow in that aforementioned Mister D. He ran well behing Imperador and Arklow in the G2 at Kentucky Downs and to me is the most likely winner in a well-matched field. However, I landed on a horse that I’ve been chasing for some time and hopefully he’ll reward me for my loyalty today. Kentucky Ghost (#11) lost as the favorite over this course last time, but he didn’t get a picture perfect ride to say the least. He ended up pretty far back early and was forced to make a wide, sustained bid on the far turn before just missing getting his win picture taken. I’ve always thought he still has some untapped potential and I’ve like all seven of his efforts in his four-year-old campaign. The stretch-out in distance is a question mark, but I think the price will be right to try him here. The two I’d use as backups would be Ry’s the Guy (#4) who ran a good second over a similar distance behind Serve the King who came back to run well in the Turf Classic at Belmont and Another Mystery (#10) who flashed some ability that might point to the fact he’s up to this level when out on the west coast last year.
Leg 3: Keeneland Race 10 – Starter Allowance (50k) 43k Purse
The wager concludes with an interesting starter allowance affair that features a favorite that might be tough to handle. Lucy’s Cakes Fly (#5) ran well from a disadvantageous post and has looked talented in both her two turf starts for Mike Maker. She should work out a good trip as Gaffalione has done for so many of his mounts this meet. She’s no doubt the horse to beat but I think you’d want some other coverage in this race. I think Amortization (Ire) (#1) is interesting as a daughter of the prolific European sire Kingman. She won at first asking for the George Weaver barn something that’s not easy to do coming from Chad Brown’s operation. Maybe this is the start that gets Ricardo Santana Jr off the duck at the meet since she’s well posted to the inside. While I’ll be happy if I’m alive to those two runners, ultimately I decided I have to throw in Silky Warrior (Ire) (#2) and Princess Nina (#8) in as backups. The former drops in out of an allowance field that was tougher than the one she meets today and her two races prior were good efforts. The latter is interesting for a trainer that hits at a high percentage and has back races that more than stack up to these other fillies.