Keeneland $3 Min Turf Pick Three Analysis – October 30th, 2021 – By Michael Domabyl

It’s closing day at Keeneland and we are less than a week away from the 2021 Breeders’ Cup. I think by all accounts the Keeneland Turf Pick 3 has been an unequivocal success and has been a fun addition to the wagering menu as we come upon it’s last offering until it hopefully returns in the spring.

  • I joined Spencer Luginbuhl to handicap the entire pick five sequence on the In The Money Player’s Podcast
  • Eric Solomon and I tackled the late pick five for the ITM Plus subscribers.
  • Follow me on Twitter: @michaeldomabyl


  • Leg 1 (R2): 3-2-11-1 DIRT (2-8-10-3)
  • Leg 2 (R5): 9-10-5-8 DIRT (10-1-13-3)
  • Leg 3 (R8): 9-11-2-5

Leg 1: Keeneland Race 2 – Maiden Special Wt 84k Purse

On Turf: I’m not sure we’ll end up getting the 7-2 morning line on Pearl Earring (#3) if they stay on the grass, but regardless I think she’s a very likely winner on that surface. I think she’s been facing better fields than the rest of them with her debut producing multiple runners in the Miss Grillo and the filly that beat her in the most recent start, Customer List, is a very promising Chad Brown trainee. Pearl Earring is a half sibling to the good stakes horse for Godolphin in Pixelate. Poronui (#2) could be a factor on either surface, but I’d make her just a backup on turf. Kenny McPeek doesn’t always have them cranked up to win at first asking and there’s enough turf pedigree there to think she’ll handle the surface switch. Bee Right (#11) goes out for the dangerous duo of Tyler Gaffalione and Mike Maker and has the right to take another step forward off a wide trip at Kentucky Downs. Finally, Sign and Seal (#1) has some positional speed that she can use to her advantage especially from that inside post.

On Dirt: I’d upgrade Poronui (#2) to my top selection as she’s out of G1P dam Dothraki Queen and has already been a route of ground on dirt. Heavenly Hellos (#8) has respectable dirt form and experience over a wet track. The pedigree on Charlottes Way (#10) doesn’t scream turf and her dam won her debut.

Leg 2: Keeneland Race 5 – AllowanceN1X 86k Purse

On Turf: This race is much more interesting if it stays on its intended surface since almost all of these juveniles broke their maiden on the grass. Brendan Walsh sent out a good looking colt to win last Saturday named Santin who had a very similar looking running line to North County (#9). They both broke their maidens at Indiana Grand over suspect groups, but they did it the right way with this filly powering away to a four-length win while handling some give in the ground. Maybe the ship in from Indiana will scare some people off and we can get something near the 12-1 morning line. Bhoma (#10) made the switch to turf last time and while the ninth place finish might not inspire confidence, there’s more to that running line than appears on paper. She was one of four horses up near a quick early tempo and only Turnerloose, the 4-5 favorite, beat her across the wire. Since she ran well against the race flow in a G2, I think she’s formidable in this allowance event. Both Brad Cox trainees aren’t without a shot with Yin Yang (#5) being the more fancied of the pair. However, of the Cox barn’s eleven wins on the meet through Thursday, only one came over the lawn so perhaps there’s some value in only using these runners defensively. Decree of Love (#6) scratched out of the Jessamine and has shown up here which must mean she’s still doing well. Her Kentucky Downs score has proven to be productive with both the second and third place finishers returning to run well since.

On Dirt: Bhoma (#10) still rates high marks if the race washes off since her maiden score was over the main track. I’d also want to use Sparkle Blue (#1) for Graham Motion since she’s proven to be equally as capable on either surface which is something that cannot be said about most of the runners in this field. As the main track only in the group, Zing (#13) would certainly be well-backed and has a win over a sealed track. Tyler Gaffalione would jump aboard and he would need to use all his immense riding talent to work out a trip from the outside post.

Leg 3: Keeneland Race 8 – Bryan Station Stakes 150k

While there is expected to be  inclement weather in the area, the fact that this race is the last turf race scheduled to be run in Lexington until April and that it is a stakes race, I’d have to think they’ll keep it on the grass. That would be a fortunate development for bettors because there are a ton of different ways to go in this affair. My strongest opinion is that I’m against two of the shorter prices on the morning line in Like the King (#6) and Yes this Time (#3). The former comes in off a nice third place effort in the G3-Saranac behind two runners that came back to run 1-2 in the Hill Prince at Belmont last weekend. However, Like the King has been with the race flow in all his recent efforts. Furthermore, as of Friday morning despite being tied for the lead in the trainers’ title race, Wesley Ward has yet to win a race this meet over 6.5 furlongs on either surface. As for Yes This Time, I just don’t see the edge he possesses on this field that makes him the co-ML favorite with Camp Hope (#11) who I think has way more upside. That McPeek runner dominated a field setting a fast pace earning a speed figure that would win many graded stakes races. I’d certainly suggest using him on almost every ticket, but there is other speed in this race that could cause him problems. If they do cook on the front end, I’m looking for a successful return to the races for Scarlett Sky (#9). He was super impressive over this course winning the Transylvania in the spring behind a dawdling pace and something obviously went amiss in his last start which preceded the layoff. McGaughey has good numbers off this kind of a break and Joel Rosario is the rider I want on a runner like this. Dreamer’s Disease (#12) is a threat to wire the field if he can get back to his Better Talk Now and the turf is carrying front-runners like it has been the past couple racing days. Charles Chrome (#3) has improved with every start and scratched out of an easier spot to run here, although Joel opts to ride my top pick. Then, there are two crazy longshots I’d like to throw in as backups and underneath in verticals. In Effect (#2) ran too well in the G2-Hall of Fame for me to let him go off this big a price in this field and not have some dollars running through him. Finally, Hush of a Storm (#5) is going to be 5-6x the price of Like the King despite beating him on the square the last time they met. If he takes to the grass and improves as a late-season three-year-old he can rock the toteboard.

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