Keeneland Select #4: Sunday, April 14 (Sean Boarman)

It’s contest weekend at Keeneland and Sean Boarman is here to talk about the races in the late double on Sunday. After that, PTF drops a tale from the track about his first ever visit to Lexington that stars Seattle Slew and burgoo, and could very well get him in trouble with his wife.


Prefer to read it? See below.

***Please note this was done with AI and likely contains errors and inaccuracies. ***

Hey everybody. Peter Thomas Fornatale, and we’ve got a great show for you today, but before we get into it, just want to give you a word from the sponsor of this new podcast and select some great promos. You want to be aware of heading into this meet. There’s a signup bonus. If you bet $300 in the first 30 days, you will receive $100 back into your account.

And new for spring. If you sign up for Keelan select now and bet 500 on Caitlin racing during the spring meet you’ll receive $50 back into your account. Bet another 500 and get another 50 back maximum of 1000 wagered on the Keelan live meets still. That’s a nice kickback and a really good deal. We want you to use the promo code ITM 19 to sign up today.

Again, make sure you use the promo code ITM 19. When you sign up for Caitlin select for more information, go to Keeneland, The race is all in. It looks like.

Hello and welcome to the Keeneland select players podcast. This is show number four. We are here to talk about the races on Sunday. April 14th. I think it’s April 14th. I’ll double check and edit that out later. If it’s wrong. Peter Thomas, for to towel back with you. I am far from the Brooklyn bunker today.

I am coming to you from Graham cottage, where we did the old show on a comparable time of year, last year. But now I’m here did my guest lecturing stint at Rhodes college today. What fun that was with Marshall Graham Marshall. Is a guest on the Saturday show this week. Many of you have probably already listening to listened to that when you tuned into this, but hopefully we pick some winners there.

Hopefully we’re going to pick a couple of winners here. How we’re going to do today’s show it’s going to be a shorter one. We’ve been doing longer keen shows today. That will not be the case, but we’re going to give you plenty of good content. And the time we have special guests to talk about the late double on Sunday warning, there is weather supposedly heading to Lexington.

We are going to handicap these races with that in mind. And then we are going to wrap it up with a tale from the track. My story of going to Caitlin for the first time. Exactly. 20 years ago. But before we get to that, we’re going to bring in our special guests, he’s been featured on a number of these Caitlin select players podcast.

And we’re glad to have him back pro player, Sean Borman. What’s up, Sean? How you doing, man? Life is good. How’s your Meatmen going? Uh, so far so good. We had a pretty nice day Saturday. Um, So you’re looking to continue this week. You have that PTF good luck charm in tow last week, this weekend, you got to do it on your own.

Are you up to the challenge? Uh, you know, I don’t know. I was really motivated Saturday because I knew I was going home to a really well cooked meal and that just got me going and I was able to cash the nice tickets and then chow down afterwards. So. If that’s not on the horizon this week, but we’ll, uh, we’ll still try to cash the ticket.

Oh, I can always send you the lamb shank recipe. If that’s truly the key to success. We’ll see if we can get things going. Let me ask you this there’s weather in the forecast for Sunday. Does this make you a more likely or less likely to want to participate in the Caitlin contest? Well, um, I’m going to participate either way.

Um, I definitely don’t like the fact that there’s weather commented, you know, the forecast officer, better storms and heavy rain. So it’s going to have to prepare most likely. It looks like for off the turf racing. Um, so that’s not ideal, but I, you know, I’m going to play either way and just, you know, try if they come off the turf, just try to find some horses with proven slop or dirt form and go from there.

Betting strategy wise. What will be the biggest difference for you if you’re looking at off the turf grade one gamble versus on the turf? That’s a great question. And I don’t, you know, I don’t think I would change my strategy all that much. I think these contests are, you know, try to get yourself in position for a, for a big score late in the contest to try to win it.

So if they’re off the turf and it’s, you know, smaller fields, I guess you just have to try to, you know, play one or two combinations instead of four or five, trying to get that score, but it’s really not going to change the way I look at things strategy-wise that much. I don’t think. So on an earlier show, you said you don’t worry about giving away an edge, talking about your opinions on this show because there’s so many different ways to bet things.

We’re going to really put that to the test today because we’re going to talk about two races in the late double, these other races, where the players in the grade one gamble. We’ll be required to bet half their bank rolls at the time. So hopefully you’re willing to cough up your, your thoughts on these races before we get to them specifically.

What’s your thought on this rule of having to bet half your bank roll? Do you like it? I don’t know. I understand it. I understand it. They’re motivated by handle and want to get as much handle through as possible. But I just don’t think it’s a realistic way to determine who the best horseplayer is. Um, but you know, you gotta, you gotta play by the rules and whatever they lay out the way it’s gotta be.

So it’s, uh, I think, you know, the one thing I really disliked about it is if you have a big store early in the day, and you don’t like the later races, you’ve sorta got a manufacturing opinion, you wouldn’t normally be betting. And that just, I don’t think that’s a great way to determine. I think it’s a fair criticism.

There are ways around it. We talked about with JK ways of being conservative, Dutchess, some horses to win conservative show bet, something like that. You’ve done well in this contest in the past, what’s been your approach to getting this bank roll half minimum out of your way in the last two races, honestly.

I’ve really only tried to play this contest when I’ve got opinions, light in the cards. So I don’t have to make that decision. Gotcha. You know, if it’s a, if it’s a card that I don’t like at all, I’ll just skip the company best in bed, live money that day. Um, so I’ve just sort of dodged that as best I can.

You don’t hear a lot of people say that and yet it makes absolutely perfect sense. Let the races themselves dictate whether you’re going to play in the contest the same way you would in a pick four, pick five. All right. Now we don’t have you for very long today, Sean. So I want to pivot to get to talking about these races.

We’ll start off with the eighth race. We’re looking at a three and up allowance, a mile and a 16th on the dirt. I imagine with the concerns about the turf racing, you’re going to see. A whole lot of people making their stand here though. The last race does have a big full field and hopefully a lot of horses that are going to stay in, even if they come off.

But I do think this eighth race likely to be the key to the entire contest. How did you see it? This one on Sunday at Keeneland? Well, I think this race is very playable and narrows down nicely. I see really only two speeds. Um, Fox tail for John Sadler and end of now for George Weaver. And I sort of see foxtail making the lead with, with end of now, just sitting right outside, drawn to the outside and in a really good stalking spot.

And end of now has a nice improving figure pattern. And she’s second off a really long layoff with consistent works. I just love that in a horse. And I think she’ll offer a little more value than Fox pay at. So I’m going to play into now first and second in that race. And then. Probably just single or in doubles, leading into the ninth.

That’s right. The doubles are another option where you can, I believe the bank roll bet will, will count just the same. You’d just have to bet your bank, half the Bancroft, as of the eighth race. So that, uh, that is a viable option as well. I won’t make you deconstruct it too much. Cause it sounds like this will be the place you make your stand.

If you have something clever for underneath, we’ll let you, we’ll let you have that one. We appreciate you giving us the horse to key in on, in end of now in that eighth race at Keeneland, let’s move onto this ninth race. And I suppose we should look at it two ways. Or I guess I’ll ask you, will you have a different selection if this stays on the turf as opposed to going to the, over to the dark horse?

Um, absolutely. I, the horse I like on the turf doesn’t have much dirt form at all, so I would definitely have to pin it. If this thing comes off the dirt or off the tariff, I mean,

on the turf. It’s an interesting race because you’ve got voting control for Chad Brown. Who’s off well over 500 days as a run since the juveniles Philly turf in 2017 at Del bar. And she probably, I’m sorry, he’s probably gonna take a lot of money cause Chad Brown does no wrong, but I’m just averse to betting horses all that long lay off, no matter who the trainer is.

So if the race stays on, I’m going to go with St. Denman, Brendan walls. It’s been think he won two on today’s card, sort of heating up a little bit. And again, you know, I’m a big figure pattern guy and this horse has a nice improving pattern. And honestly, I just don’t feel much else in this race. I want to battle right.

Second off the lay off, essentially for St. Denman as well. When you see a race like St. Denman’s last on time, form us, the fractions are coded red. It looks like a very good trip. On one hand, on the other hand, he was moving into the fastest part of that race potentially too. How do you, how do you evaluate a trip like that?

Well, exactly how you said it really. I, you know, I think he, he was tucked in and saving ground and began his move and had to tip out to do so on a day when I thought you really wanted to stay tucked down a little longer. So he tipped out, got a three wide on the turn and moved into the fastest part of the race was still able to sustain it and finish.

Okay. It’s just a sign of a horse. It’s probably getting better in my opinion. And it’s going to certainly offer more value than the Chad Brown horse will now St. Denman’s last race on dirt, not too pretty. If this one comes off, which direction do you figure to be leaning? It sure does sound like this is going to end up a dirt race.

That’s a really good question. I think I would probably land on personal time. That’s some dirt form has a one on it, but it’s run well enough. And then. You know, not knowing what the shape of the race will be. I’m sure there’ll be plenty of scratches, you know, create again is a horse that has speed and has won on dirt before on off dirt before.

So, you know, those would be the two that I’d look at the heaviest. And maybe try to get alive in doubles. It sounds like going from what’s definitely sounds like a stronger selection in end of now in the eighth race into those two, and then looking at the shape of the race and maybe, uh, throwing another one in there or, uh, dialing down a heavier on one of the two that you’ve picked.

Sounds like that’s the plan as of now anyway. As of now. That’s right. All right, Sean. Thank you so much. I know you had a busy day today. We appreciate you taking time out. We wish you good luck in the contest. Hopefully when we talk for next week’s keen Lind Friday show, we’ll be talking to the grade one gamble champion.

Be it you or Mr. Kitchen. I should’ve said at the top of the show, JK running around today and not available, but Sean, thanks so much for making yourself available and spending a few minutes with us today. It’s my pleasure, Pete. Thank you. Cheers, Sean. So I teased on the last show that we might be bringing you some audio from the Bell’s event.

Last Friday, turns out DJ on stable. Even he couldn’t take that file that we recorded and make it into something listable there’s just too much background noise. It’s not going to sound good. So we are going to skip that one. Maybe we’ll return to those guests sooner rather than later. Jake Ballis and Mike Maloney both were excellent.

They brought the goods. Next time you have a chance to check out one of our live events. Please do so still sort of undecided. If we’re going to go more the seminar route. If we do that, we might go for a pre-race thing next time where maybe a cocktail party meet and greet that doesn’t have the show element.

I mean, Hey. You listened to the shows a couple of times a week, these days, four times a week next week, here’s a little hint. I’ll announce it on the early show. Next week, we’re going to have five shows, new partner coming on board. Maybe you hear enough of us. And that’s just a chance to see each other, uh, in real life as it were.

And that would be pretty fun as well. And with that, we are going to go to a tale from the track.

this one is about the ninth race at land on April 10th, 1999. You might know it better as that year’s bluegrass stakes. It was 20 years ago today. Sergeant pepper didn’t teach the boys to play, but the racing gods taught me a powerful lesson about staying humble and the importance of good karma this past weekend, Mark, the 20th anniversary of my first ever trip to Keeneland.

I really appreciated the wonderful city of Lexington, Kentucky, and my going that first journey was pure happenstance. I was 26 years old at the time working as an assistant editor at random house, the renowned book publisher in New York city. But this story really begins about three years earlier than that.

When I was working as an editorial assistant at another renowned book publisher in New York city, Simon and Schuster, my cubicle mate, and soon to become my good friend co author and bedding partner, Frank Scott, Tony, and I had just contracted the racing bug and it was a particularly virulent case. It started with deep search engine dives.

This is a good time to give a shout out. To Jeff from the racing corner and our old buddy rich Nilsson. And we progressed with bets on the 96 Preakness and which we made at the Rockefeller center OTB across the street that summer of 1996, we visited a good friend of mine and Saratoga, Sharon, who was kind enough to let me sleep on our couch.

I fell in love twice that weekend. The first time was with Sharon’s roommate, a Skidmore senior whose beauty in her gym clothes was only matched by how well-read she was. This lady could quote will a catheter and Dennis Johnson with equal aplomb, all withhold her name though, to protect the innocent. The second time I fell in love that weekend was with Saratoga itself.

A love affair that persists to this day. Frank and I started plotting a course to get back to the spa and other racetracks, as often as possible over the course of the next two decades, you can tell us how well we’ve succeeded back at that time. Caitlin was the next logical step for us and amazing and historic track, of course, in its own, right?

The seat of the breeding industry in America and a place where young people have been known to have a good time, especially those with an affinity for whiskey and horses. I left out the usual third element of that Trinity women, because at that time we were both in relationships and our fine ladies accompanied us that weekend on the trip.

In that respect. We brought our own sand to the beach. I’m afraid, Susan who became my wife about five years later, probably won’t dig that analogy, but I’m going to leave it in one of our friends and colleagues from SNS had recently departed the company and move to you. Guessed it. Lexington. Her husband got a gig as a local Cubs sports reporter.

We like this couple immensely and were thrilled to get the invite. With seats on the finish line on bluegrass data boot, the weekend was amazing. We toured three chimneys. I remember meeting Dinah former, and I was sure not to get too close to the ornery, stallion, his groom, who was missing part of his ear.

Coached me up quick on that one. We also met the legend Seattle slew that day. SLU was one of the first horses I ever remember hearing about when I was a kid. Now I was a kid in 99 too, but you know what I mean, a real actual kid back in the seventies for better or worse. My defining memory of slew is after that meeting, I finally understood the saying.

I’ve got to pee like a resource. Another memory. One of my pals from random house had a father in the Bloodstock business. She encouraged me to go to the paddock before the two year old race, the first on Friday to see their horse who was supposed to be okay. I can’t rightly claim any professional knowledge about horse flesh now.

And I certainly couldn’t back then, but this horse, a son of Southern halo looked great to me in the paddock. The vibes around the horse were clearly strong and we’d already had some success following his trainer who wasn’t that much older than us Todd Pletcher and his jockey, whom we just called Johnny V, who was basically our age was a guy we’d followed very closely since our first days at the New York tracks.

Best of all this horse was a decent price we made. What was a significant wager at the time at three to one, this horse took a bump early and we thought that was that. But the dark Bay Colt stayed on stride, went right to the front and powered away to win by seven. At least this was a secretariat like margin at 4.5 furlongs yep.

More than ready, turned out to be. Okay. The weekend paid for. We assumed we retreated to one of the upstairs dining rooms. I honestly can’t remember which one it was, but it was definitely in the clubhouse with its UK. That’s United Kingdom, not Wildcats inspired dress code. I ordered burgoo my first ever burgoo and I loved it.

This wasn’t a Benny South street level. Burgoo love, but it was somewhere in that zone. It was a warmish day and it was stuffy in the room. And the burgoo of course was piping hot. I removed my jacket as I ate. It was then that I had my first encounter of many with a keen green coat. It was the most well-mannered shanking I ever took, sir.

He said, as I sat spooning, delicious mouthfuls of beef and vegetables in my face, may I help you with your coat? We liked wonder Tross and the big one, the race I’m recapping the blue grass. As Italians with Brooklyn ties, I guess you could say we were genetically predisposed to like Nick Zito horses.

Honestly, I have no memory of why we like the horse, perhaps the two obvious trouble in the Florida Derby, but we plowed the remaining profit and then some for more than ready into the son of chief’s crown at what we thought was a still fair eight to five as a Mets fan. Part of me recoiled about backing one of the.

Steinbrenner owned kinsmen, stables runners, but hay business was business. The race did not go well for wonder Tross. He made a wide middle move and found nothing manifests who Susan liked on looks and bet in her own pocket, but we couldn’t find one it’s seven to one. We were flummoxed. And while we still had a great weekend in terms of entertainment, we’d frittered away, our profit, never a good thing.

If only we’d known about the tuck rule back then. Here’s the part of the story where I should resist being unkind, but there’s no punchline to the story without it. Our hosts as mentioned were, and I’m sure are great people, the Cub reporter, somebody that I’ve regretted since not getting to know better, because I really did like him so much, despite the story I’m about to tell.

Okay. With that credit given there was the wee element of the show off about this man. When we were out at the track, he made it very obvious to the point of slight awkwardness that he was on a first name basis with Nick Zito, for example. Let little show off bluegrass. We went to Dudley’s the four of us and our hosts conversation returned to wonder Tross and the mystery that was his poor performance.

Shortly thereafter, we noticed a little buzz in the room. The type you might hear when it bonafide movie star walks into a fancy restaurant in Manhattan, or when Nick Zito walks into Dudley’s in Lexington. Seizing the moment the Cub got right up and went over to Zito, not quite yet settled at his table.

They exchanged a few words. And if there was any annoyance, Zido the consummate pro certainly did not show it. The Cub came back to us with a smile, like the cat, the Canary guys. I know what happened with Nick’s horse. He whispered to us conspiratorially. He said the track was cuppy. Even then three years into our fandom, we knew that the track was CAPY was the de facto excuse from every trainer for every horse that misfired since time immemorial, I believe it was Andy buyer himself who once wrote that in the entire storied history of thoroughbred racing in the United States, there has never been a trainer who identified his horse as liking a cuppy track.

Ungrateful jerk that I can sometimes be. I relayed these lines to the others at our table getting a few chortles in retrospect, it’s kinda no wonder we were never invited back the last laugh. However, was on me. I recall saying to Frank, I might not know what happened to wonder trough, but I know this man, if he will not get another trip like that in the Derby, we’re going to make it all back, beating him out of the exact.

McAfee was second in the Derby. We would have missed anyway with charismatic winning, but my auntie tip running so huge, definitely added insult to injury, especially after I talked Susan out of playing back her horse across the board. Keep in mind. I had a little money in the bank on this account and our very first meeting back in 1997.

I insisted Susan, who was going to the Derby that year bet silver charm, but still that spring day in 99 was my first humid in a Kentucky Derby. It would not be the last. It was great being back in Lexington last weekend. And it took me a few days to realize that it was the 20th anniversary and the other day when it was the actual 20th anniversary of that bluegrass, couldn’t help.

But. Having some memories float out there. I’m very glad you folks stuck around to listen to them today. Some of the fun we like to have here on the let’s select players podcast and our sister show the end, the money players podcast from time to time with these tales from the track, and that’s going to do it.

I want to thank Sean Borman. Shout out to JK in absentia. He will be back next week. Tell y’all one more time about Caitlin Go there and use the promo code it M 19, lots of good bonuses. Bet. 300. Get a hundred bet. 500 get 50. And you can repeat that last one twice. One more time. Go to Caitlin to check it out.

This podcast has been a production of in the money media. Our business manager is drew Kotani. I’m Peter Thomas four and a towel. May you win all your photos? I need the dollar dollar, dollar

sand to the beach. Why do I think I’m going to regret that one? If not that definitely the girl in her gym clothes.

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