See below for analysis on the Friday card for Keeneland. Sorry for the delay, i just realized that my post last night, didn’t go through. I cut and paste the text from my phone, so it might not look the same, but we’ll give it a go.
DBL, PK3, PK5,
DBL, PK3, PK4
A: 2, 5, 6, 12
Race 6: Top Pick: 12
It’s not very creative, but I think Wesley Ward is going to be very tough to beat with the classy gelding, Maven (12). He’s run two of his best career races on this course, absolutely dominating a similar field at this level back in April. He traveled to Royal Ascot where he was overmatched in Group 1 company there. He came up short in the Lucky Coin at Saratoga upon returning to the races last month. I think he runs his best races when the ground is a little softer. He’s never hit the board on hard and firm courses that he caught at Saratoga and Kentucky Downs in the past. There was a little bit of rain in the area yesterday, and with cooler temperatures forecasted today, the course should be exactly where he likes it. Conversely, the second choice,Carotari (11) doesn’t seem to have the same burst of energy on courses that aren’t hard and firm. He ran very well at long odds two back to be second in the Grade 3 Troy at Saratoga. He regressed on a softer (and beat up) course at Parx last out at short odds in the Turf Monster. I think he’s vulnerable on a deeper course and will be playing against him. Bad Beat Brian (8) is one that I will upgrade though, after running a solid second at Kentucky Downs in his most recent start. He was claimed by Mike Maker when he was shipped to Del Mar this summer after a solid spring and winter campaign in Kentucky and New Orleans. He sat closer to the pace last out when stretching out to 6 and ½ Furlongs. I think he’s best suited as a closing sprinter a 5 and ½ Furlongs though, and he’ll likely get a decent pace to close into. He may be gaining late to make things interesting. Matta (13) will need help to draw in to the body of the field, but he’s another one that is live if he does get to compete. He won back to back allowance contests at Laurel and Saratoga before running a close 4th in the Laurel Dash at the beginning of the month, beaten less than a length. He’s a lightly raced five year old gelding that continues to improve. Ricardo Santana is named to ride, however, he’ll likely ride first call on Boldor (1) for Asmussen.
Race 7: Top Pick: 10
It’s Friday, and that means that there’s a $200K guarantee in the Late Pick-4 Pool. There’s also a very short priced favorite that seems to tower over this maiden special weight field for fillies and mares three and up. Chad Brown sends out Goodnight Olive (10) for her first start since running a big race to be second in her debut back in March at Gulfstream. She made it back to the work tab at Belmont in September, and has worked well enough to start in this spot today. She was buried on the rail in her debut so starting from post 10 should be a welcome change. Of the other horses, there are some first time starters and some that have had several chances to break their maiden. None of the others with experience have done enough to interest me. Of the first time starters, perhaps give a look to Seeking Spirits (6) for J. Reeve McGaughey. She had a blowout work here last week, going four furlongs in 47:4, which was the 5th fastest work of 113 that worked that distance that morning. She’s sired by Orb out of a Peace Rules mare who was a ten time winner.
Race 8: The Grade 3 Sycamore Stakes: Top Pick: 1
A field of 12 has assembled for this 12 Furlong turf marathon race, which has turned into a unlikely rematch between the first and third place finishers of the Grade 1 Mister D Stakes (Formerly the Arlington Million). Two Emmys (12) upset that race at 27-1 after setting dawdling fractions on the front end, and holding off Domestic Spending in the stretch. He’s been off since that race and is now being asked to go a quarter mile farther than he’s ever gone before. As a son of English Channel, the 12 Furlong distance should be within his range, but whether or not he can do that still remains to be seen. Glynn County (1) is exiting The Grade 2 Kentucky Turf Cup at Kentucky Downs where he finished a game third behind Imperador and Arklow. He dueled hard in the long stretch of that race, tiring a bit after the uphill part of that course. He was beaten three lengths by Two Emmys last out, but there’s reason to believe that he can close that gap with the added distance. He was a winner with allowance company at this trip back in June at Churchill. I think the last race for him will prove helpful in the late stages of this race, while his rival is trying to get the distance for the first time. I think these are the two that are the most logical in this race. Two that have some upset potential are Another Mystery (10) and Ry’s The Guy (4). Another Mystery hasn’t quite been as sharp this year as he was in 2020 when he was running for Michael McCarthy. However, he used the Black Tie Affair Stakes on the Mister D. undercard as an opportunity to right the ship, winning easily as a short priced favorite. He tried the Tapeta with graded stakes company up at Woodbine last month, where he finished last of five, beaten by a nice Mark Casse horse. He’s put forth quality efforts at longer distances in the past, so I could give him a shot at 15-1 or greater. Ry’s The Guy got back on turf in the John’s Call at Saratoga for the first time in over a year, and he looked like he was appreciative of the surface switch, finishing a game second that day. He’s never won at this 12 Furlong distance, but he’s offered up solid efforts. He’s likely to sit a good trip, stalking Two Emmys, who seems to be committed to going to the front from his wide draw.
Race 9: Top Pick: 5
I’m against the morning line favorite, Overbore (7) in this race. We broke his maiden in the Tremont back in June after two races where he was the beaten favorite here and at Churchill when facing inferior fields. He was a distant third to his stablemate, Averly Jane, in the off the turf Skidmore. He drops in class to optional claiming/allowance company, but he faces two serious runners in Tejano Twist (5) and Sonnyisnotsofunny (9). Tejano Twist finished in front of Overbore when they met here in April. Since then, he’s continued to get better while slowly stretching out in distance. He broke his maiden on the dirt at Colonial in August. He tried the turf in stakes company there at the end of their meet, and finished a game second. He couldn’t quite get to the leader last out when he was a beaten favorite in the Kip Deville Stakes at Remington. He’s bred to be good at one turn, and a good effort here could set him up nicely for a race like the Steel Valley Sprint at Mahoning Valley next month. Sonnyisnotsofunny debuted like a good thing, dominating a maiden special weight field at Ellis Park in July in his only start. Mike Maker teamed up with leading rider, Tyler Gaffalione with a winner on Wednesday’s card, and they’re back together again here.
Race 10: Top Pick: 2
There’s many chances in this starter allowance for fillies and mares going 1 Mile and 1/16 on the turf.Silky Warrior (2) broke her maiden with maiden special weight company at Kentucky Downs two starts back. She ran here with N1X allowance foes on opening weekend, drawing wide and conceding a decent amount of ground on both turns that day. She gets a positive rider switch to Brian Hernandez, who rides this course very well, while also class and post relief. She has been steadily improving and I think she’ll run a better race this afternoon. James Graham will need to work out a trip, but to me,Dreamful (12) is one of the more intriguing longshots in the sequence and on the card. She made her first North American start at Indiana Grand with $30K maiden claimers in July after three tries at Dundalk in Ireland to start her career. She ran a credible third with first level allowance foes at Arlington in her next start. She looked like she was struggling in the one turn race at Kentucky Downs, maybe sitting a little too close to a faster pace for the one mile distance there. She finished 9th that day and was given a little extra time before dropping in class and making her next start here. She is more consistent than some of the others at shorter odds in this race, and I think this three year old filly is capable of taking a step forward that should put her right in the mix as long as she can avoid losing a lot of ground on the turns. Lucy’s Cakes Fly (5) is the morning line favorite after a narrow defeat at this level at Saratoga last month. She was almost able to overcome breaking from the 12 hole in that race, hitting the front in the stretch, only to lose by a head at the wire. She paired her Beyer from her maiden score two back at Indiana Grand, and she gets the services of the leading rider, Gaffalione, here. Ollie’s Gold (6) was a solid third in the same allowance race at Kentucky Downs that Dreamful is coming out of. That race was a career top effort for this three year old daughter of Goldencents. She went off form a bit this summer after a dominating maiden win in a sprint at Arlington. She was 4th in her only two turn try at Arlington, when Dreamful finished in front of her. She did have an excuse of stumbling at the break that day, so there’s reason to believe that she can do better here. All four of these fillies will be on my A line. On deeper tickets, I’ll add Time for Glory (11) to the C line, getting back on the turf after finishing up the track in an overnight stakes race on the dirt. She’s run solid efforts since being claimed by Norman Cash at Churchill this summer. She gets a little class relief while staying protected from being claimed.