Keeneland Late Pick-5 Preview – 4/16/22 – By Eric Solomon

The Late Pick-5 sequence on Saturday is excellent as there are three stakes races bookended by both divisions of a seven furlong, optional $62,500 claiming/N2X allowance race. The Giant’s Causeway has a huge field of female turf sprinters. The Grade 3 Stonestreet Lexington Stakes drew a large field of three year olds trying to earn enough points to sneak into the Derby. The Grade 1 Jenny Wiley drew a field of six, headed by a pair of very nice Chad Brown runners. After all of the stakes action concludes, last year’s Blue Grass runner-up, Highly Motivated, makes his first start since his off the board finish in the Kentucky Derby. It figures to be another great afternoon of racing at Keeneland.


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
7 4 4,6 9 PK5, PK3, DBL
8 5 5,11 14 3,9 PK4, PK3, DBL
9 11 2,11 8 3,9 PK3, DBL
10 3 3 4 DBL
11 4 4,8 2,5



Race 7:

This is the first division of an optional $62,500 claiming/N2X allowance race going seven furlongs. Since there are 22 horses entered, most will still be eligible for this condition in their next start. On paper the second division (Race 11) is significantly stronger than this division, which may be something to make note of moving forward. I landed on Candy Tycoon (#4) to rebound in this spot while cutting back to one turn. I’m willing to draw a line through his last effort, which was against a solid field at Oaklawn where he drew the outside post. He didn’t have the smoothest of trips that day, leading to him plummeting toward the back of the field. That was the first poor effort that he put in since being claimed by Norm Casse last year. I really liked his race at this level, back in November at Churchill. He won going away in a one turn mile, while entered for the tag, thus allowing him to be protected under the N2X condition today. Injunction (#6) is the morning line favorite and the one to beat in this spot. He made his first start of the year in the Gulfstream Park mIle last month, where he met a pair of next out graded stakes winners. Speaker’s Corner, who won that race, came back to win the Grade 1 Carter last weekend at Aqueduct. Runnerup, Fearless, handled his business in the Grade 3 Ghostzapper two weekends ago. Injunction was spectacular in his two races in Kentucky last year, including a monster win on this course and distance. He should be able to move forward off his latest effort to be a factor with these. One of the longer prices that was a little intriguing to me is Basquiat (#9). He raced in one of the greatest N1X races in recent memory, finishing 4th back in June of 2020 behind Tap It To Win, Mystic Guide, and Country Grammar. If that wasn’t enough, he lost to future Jockey Club Gold Cup winner, Happy Saver in his next start that season. He moved to the turf and ran okay in some decent races. Peter Brant moved him from Chad Brown to Lisa Lewis’ barn, and the horse responded with a win at this distance at Tampa in his most recent try. Umberto Rispoli gets the call here on a horse that is playable at 12-1 or higher. 


Race 8: The $200K Giant’s Causeway Stakes:

This stakes race for fillies and mares sprinting on the turf drew an overflow field of 15. As many as 14 will race here in a race that is more about who I’m not picking. Elle Z (#12) is an absolute play against for me. She has good gate speed, but she’s got 13 others to deal with . In addition, when you start crossing out some of the races from the Fair Grounds in her running lines, her form on other courses is rather ordinary. She’s a toss for me in this spot. I’m also not very keen on the morning line favorite, Campanelle (#3) for Wesley Ward. Her second place finish (put up first via DQ) in the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot, was very good. However, the three other races sandwiched around those efforts were not her best. I worry that she’s not as effective as she once was. I’ll cover with her on some of the deeper tickets. Change of Control (#5) feels like the one to beat in this race this afternoon. While Elle Z has gotten the better of her in her last two tries, both those races were at the Fair Grounds. I think the minute they step off that turf course and step on another one, the balance shifts to favor this mare. She’s third off the layoff today and she has run very well on this course. Goin’ Good (#11) was one of the more intriguing longer prices in this race. She was progressing nicely as a three year old filly last year, prior to showing up to race at Saratoga. She had trouble in the Coronation Cup when it was washed off the turf and she struggled to find her best footing in the Galway as well. She took the rest of the year off and resurfaced at the Fair Grounds last month on the grass in the Mardi Gras Stakes where she finished behind Elle Z but ahead of Change of Control. She could continue to move forward as a young four year old filly. A G Indy (#14) wasn’t done any favors by the post draw, however, she is getting back on her preferred surfaces after falling to a Grade 1 filly in her last try, She left Southern California in great form, while sprinting on the grass, If she can take to this surface, she could be dangerous. On the deeper tickets, perhaps consider giving a look to Headline Hunter (#9). She was getting good while racing on the synthetic surface. She has to prove she can run those races on the grass, but at 30-1 or better, she’s worth a chance. 


Race 9: The $400K  Grade 3 Stonestreet Lexington Stakes:

I wrote about this race more in depth over on the Kentucky Derby Blog at ITM, and I’ll have that linked below. I think this race comes down to value for me. I think Call Me Midnight (#11) progressed nicely this winter in New Orleans and could be dangerous in this spot if he can avoid dropping too far off the pace. In Due Time (#2) might be able to work out a better trip in a race where there is less speed signed on. He looked explosive on the racetrack in his last two starts in Florida. Strava (#8) is lightly raced and coming off a third place finish behind Arkansas Derby winner, Cyberknife in his two turn debut. He’s making his third race off the layoff and could be sitting on a bigger effort. On deeper tickets, I’ll cover with Tawny Port (#9) who seems like an odd fit in this race, especially as the morning line favorite. We All See It (#3) is another longshot that might add some value underneath after a strong win in N1X company last time out.


Race 10: The $500K Grade 1 Jenny Wiley Stakes:

Only as many as six will be competing in this Grade 1 race going 1 mile and 1/16 on the turf course here. Shantisara (#3) and Regal Glory (#4) should be making the headlines for Chad Brown. Shantisara is the top pick, in what could be a very short paying Chad Brown Late Double. She was absolutely breathtaking on this course, when dominating the Grass QEII Challenge in herlast start back in October. Chad Brown does a masterful job in getting horses ready to run fresh. She keeps improving and she has the potential to be the next great horse from this barn. Regal Glory  is no slouch though, winning two races in row, including the Grade 1 Matriarch in the fall and the Grade 3 Pegasus World Cup filly and mare race. She seems to be in the best form of her career, in this her six year old season. I think these will be the two that will decide this contest. 


Race 11:

The second division of the optional $62,500 claiming, features the return of the highly talented Highly Motivated (#4). He was a smashing winner on this course in the Nyquist Stakes as a two year old. He had a less than ideal trip in the Gotham last season before pushing Essential Quality to the limit in the Blue Grass on this track. He has gone unraced since finishing 10th in the Derby last year. I have always held this horse in high regard, and I’m interested to see how he’s campaigned this year. This is a logical spot to jump start his four year old season. Ducale (#8) is the other horse that will go on the A line for me. I really liked his maiden victory at Saratoga last summer. He’s another horse that raced in a monster N1X allowance race, finishing third behind Baby Yoda and future graded stakes winner, Olympiad. He’s another one that looks fit to fire.  On some deeper tickets, I’ll consider Escape Route (#2) and Soup and Sandwich (#5). I feel bad for both of these horses, as they have to face a much stronger field than their counterparts do in the first division of this race. I would likely have both of these runners on the A line in that heat. Soup and Sandwich is third off the layoff and could be sitting on a big effort this weekend. He was the runner up in last year’s Florida Derby when making only his third career start. He seems versatile enough to run from anywhere on the course. Escape Route was riding high in Southern California. He cleared the N1X condition at six furlongs in his last start at Santa Anita, following a flop on the grass two back. He does have some solid efforts at 6 and ½ and 7 furlongs. He needs to hope Highly Motivated doesn’t fire his best shot in order to give him a fighting chance here. 



In terms of ticket structure, I’m not sure how I’ll be putting my backup tickets together just yet. I do think this a sequence that could be a little light, as the last two legs figure to have heavy favorites. The All-A ticket for $16 (one dollar base wager) has already been punched. 

Race 7: 4,6

Race 8: 5,11

Race 9: 2,11

Race 10: 3

Race 11: 4,8

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