Only three days left in the Keeneland Fall Meet which means only three more opportunities to take down this Keeneland Turf Pick 3 after the one-day hiatus yesterday. With rain in the forecast the rest of the week it will be interesting to see just how many of these events stay on the grass
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- Leg 1 (R3): 6-2-7-8
- Leg 2 (R6): 3-2-4-1
- Leg 3 (R8): 9-6-2-3
Leg 1: Keeneland Race 3 – Maiden Special Wt 84k Purse
It will be important to watch the board and see if any of the firsters take money in this opening leg of the turf pick three. The horse to beat is Lady de Peron (GB) (#2) for Ed Vaughan off a very good second at Kentucky Downs behind impressive maiden winner Breaker of Chains who will return in a tough edition of the G3-Valley View Stakes tomorrow afternoon. Ed Vaughan’s barn has been having a banner year and I’ll use her prominently, but there are other ways to go in here. Copacetic (#7) goes out off a long break for the dangerous Chad Brown barn and while she’ll likely be overbet, it would be unadvisable to oppose these types for this barn, they just win. She’s got tactical speed to be forwardly placed, is well-bred, and attracts the services of the meet’s leading rider. However, my top pick is going to be Scarabea (#6) for Jack Sisterson. She made a move into a hot pace last time in a race that’s proven to be productive finishing behind eventual Virginia Oaks winner Flippant. The Sisterson barn usually brings them along slowly and this filly has an impeccable pedigree being by American Pharoah whose progeny have really taken to the grass out of the G3 winning mare Starstruck for these same owners. A couple firsters I’ll throw in without seeing the board would be Lady Brielle (#1) and Frosty Diplomacy (#10) as both Al Stall Jr and Brendan Walsh do a nice job with first time routers which is normally a tough proposition. Finally, Epona Bay (#8) is also worth a look in this wide open event as this daughter of the aforementioned American Pharoah gets to the turf for the first time for a barn in Kenny McPeek that’s been live all meet.
Leg 2: Keeneland Race 6 – AllowanceN4X 93k Purse
I’ve always been a fan of Alms (#3) who displayed immense talent early on rattling off four consecutive victories to begin her career. I’ve also always been of the opinion that she could turn out to be a very good turf sprinter as evidenced by the fact she came up a bit leg-weary in the stretch in her two losses. The layoff is a question mark, but these connections wouldn’t be bringing this graded stakes winning filly back to the races unless she was doing well and I think she’s more talented than the rest of this relatively exposed field and will single her and try to get more coverage in the other two legs.
Leg 3: Keeneland Race 8 – AllowanceN2X 88k Purse
The nightcap features horses coming in from a lot of different directions, but I landed on the one who seems to be coming in from the classiest races for the hottest barn. Vintage Print (#9) has been knocking heads with some of the upper echelon of this division with horses like United, Smooth Like Strait, and Somelikeithotbrown lining his past performance. He might need some pace to run into, but this well-bred colt goes out for a barn in Paulo Lobo that has been red hot in the last 60 days or so. I’d also want to use Own Agenda (#2) for Cherie DeVaux who also does a phenomenal job with her turf routers. HIs last turf start was solid behind stakes horse Monarchs Glen and would also have an advantage if this race got washed off the turf. Tarantino (#6) is super interesting getting back to the turf as a lightly raced three-year-old that showed some promise on the Derby trail. The meet’s leading rider Tyler Gaffalione winds up here for a barn that can strike off the layoff on the grass. Absam (#3) is super logical as well exiting a race behind Cavalry Charge who came back to win here on opening day, but like I mentioned Gaffalione winds up elsewhere. Early speed has done well on turf, but it’s not always easy to peg which horse will get the lead. That’s why I’ll keep both Dyn O Mite (#1) and The Last Zip (#7) onside as backups in case one lets the other get an easy advantage.