There’s a 10 race card at Keeneland which will get the weekend started. There continues to be full fields and strong allowance races in the Late Pick-5 sequences. A pair of big longshots helped trigger a $107K payoff in yesterday’s Late Pick-5. As usual, racing will start at 1:00 (ET) and the Late Pick-5, which starts in Race 6, will start around 3:40 (ET).
Best Bet: Race10: #5 Mesaoria (6-1, ML)
Best Price Stab: Race 6: #6 Legerity (20-1 ML)
I’ll typically be covering the Late Pick-5 sequence from this exciting meet on the ITM Blog, along with posting some updates and thoughts from time to time on Twitter @EricSolomon718. Feel free to reach out!
|Race||Top Pick||A||B||C||Wagering Menu|
|6||6||5,6,11||12||PK5, PK3, DBL|
|7||5||5,7||10||PK4, PK3, DBL|
Fillies and mares sprint six furlongs in a wide open $50K starter allowance race for horses that also qualify for the N1X condition. Legerity (#6) feels like good value at 20-1 on the morning line. She overcame a stumbling start last out to get into third when facing conditioned $50K claimers going seven furlongs at Churchill. Two starts back she finished 7th when running on turf at this level at Ellis. She ran two credible races prior to that on the main track at Churchill. She’ll need to step up her game a little bit, but she can compete at this level. Sparkle of Hope (#5) and Code Name Kate (#11) were separated by less than a length on the wire when facing $50K N2L claimers last month at Churchill. Sparkle of Hope has run well in her last three dirt races, all of them coming at Churchill. Geroux has been riding well and I think there’s room for improvement from this filly who should be well placed. Code Name Kate has come back nicely after a six month break. She ran a solid third at Horseshoe Indianapolis in August and went on to score in that aforementioned N2L claiming race in her most recent start. Her only start on this oval wasn’t very good, but it came on a sloppy track. She has a pair of nice works since her victory and should be able to contend with this group. On deeper tickets, Shaniah (#12) is the lukewarm favorite on the morning line. She’s only won once in 14 career tries, but she’s hit the board in her last four tries in Kentucky and Virginia. Legerity finished ahead of her by a narrow margin when they squared off in June. She’s another player, but on the morning line, there’s better value to be had.
This is a very blue-blooded two year old maiden special weight field where seven of the twelve runners sold for over $100K at the sales. Weyhill Road (#5) was the most expensive, selling for $1.6 million. Perhaps that hefty figure shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, as all four of the dam’s starters have been graded stakes winners. This Quality Road colt is a half to Girvin, Midnight Bourbon, Pirate’s Punch, and Cocked and Loaded. Two of them, Cocked and Loaded and Girvin, were debut winners, with Cocked and Loaded winning on this course. The works are solid for this one who could be any kind. Seas of Normandy (#7) is a much more modest homebred for Larry and Cindy Jones. He was a little green, but he put forth a solid effort in his debut when finishing third at Churchill. He drilled a five furlong bullet work that was the fastest of 41 workers last week at Churchill. I think he could contend with these. On deeper tickets, I’ll take a chance by using Unclecharliesgift (#10) for Nick Zito. It’s been over five years since Zito has won with a two year old first time starter, but his stable has shrunk over the last several years and he hasn’t had the quality of runners that he used to. The dam of this runner, Truly Gifted, did foal a debut winner (Scarred). The sire, Uncle Mo, hits with 14% of his two year old debut runners on the dirt. His works are solid and I think he has the potential to go off at odds greater than his 20-1 morning line figure.
This is a salty N3X allowance race for fillies and mares going about 1 mile and 1/16 on the turf course. This race runs through Scotish Star (#6) for Todd Pletcher. She’s a lightly raced five year old mare who is a Group 1 winner in Argentina and Grade 3 placed in North American on the main track. She returned to the races after an 11 month break at the end of August at Saratoga. She was making her first start since being moved to Pletcher’s barn and her first career start on the turf. She waited patiently behind a runaway early leader and pulled clear decisively in the stretch. She looks like a horse that could move forward off that last effort and could easily be stakes bound at Gulfstream over the winter. Sunny One (#8) will be the other one that I’ll use in this race. She didn’t make it in to an allowance race on yesterday’s card where she would have been a heavy favorite. She was 5th in her last start behind Dalika at Kentucky Downs, beaten only two lengths in the Grade 3 Ladies Turf Stakes. She was very good when clearing the N2X condition on this course back in April. James Graham has a longshot winner on turf in the last two days, winning with Aboukir Bay ($44.50) on Wednesday and Fancy Martini ($111.00). He’ll take the assignment on this Dialed In filly today.
Three year old fillies go 1 mile and 1/16 on the main track in this optional $125K claiming/N2X allowance race. The three shortest prices are all coming out of the Seneca Overnight Stakes at Churchill last month where Falconet (#9) finished 2nd, Skratch Kat (#4) finishing 3rd, and Cocktail Moments (#3) finishing 5th. However, there’s not much separating this trio as they finished within less than two lengths of each other at the wire. I’m not going to try, but I’m expecting a better performance from Cocktail Moments, who will be my tepid top pick. She makes her third start off the layoff, and may have slightly bounced last out after wheeling back in 19 days after a monster score in N1X company in the slop at the Spa. She was a distant second to Nest on this course in the spring in the Ashland, and she should be able to sit a nice trip with her tactical early style. Falconet is likely to find herself on the front end, but she may have to work a bit to get there from post nine. She’s never been worse than second in five career starts for Todd Pletcher. Tyler Gaffalione has ridden her in each start and he’ll be back aboard today, while locked in a three way tie for first atop the jockey standings. Skratch Kat lacks early speed, which certainly makes her more pace dependent than the other two. However, she was rolling late to get into third last time out in the aforementioned Seneca Overnight Stakes. There are some horses that could make life difficult on Falconet early on though, and that would definitely be to her benefit.
The goal is get myself alive to Mesaoria (#5), who will be my main horse in this maiden special weight contest for fillies and mares going about 1 mile and ⅛ on the turf. She makes her first start since the end of January for Graham Motion. She was moving well late when she finished 4th in her debut at Aqueduct last November. She was slow to get into stride that day, but looked like she was figuring some things out late. She was closer to the front end while prompting a moderate pace in her second career start at Gulfstream. She tired late to finish 3rd that afternoon. Motion has good numbers with horses off the layoff and she’s been working well at Fair Hill. His horses have been very live at this meet and I think she’ll be able to handle the longer distance today. Tiffany’s Mo (#11) will be the one that I’ll use as a backup on some deeper plays. Her two turf races are far superior to her four dirt races. She was a part of an aggressive pace last out at this level at Kentucky Downs last month. She faded to 4th, but still ran well . Her only other try on the grass was decent Dale Romans doesn’t win many races on the turf, so that may help her price float above her 12-1 morning line. If that is the case, I see her as a live longshot that would be offering decent value.
Pick-5, $36 Ticket
I’ve been chasing this wager all meet long, and while I don’t think we’ll see another $107K payout this afternoon, I do think this ticket has the potential to pay nicely if we can connect. Mesaoria (#5, R10) is an aggressive single in a race where there are few standouts. I think there’s so interesting longshots sprinkled through this sequence as well as a few races that figure to be formful.