Maiden Focus for Keeneland (Sunday, April 18)

0-for-2 on Saturday, with DIFFERENTBUTOK and COFFEE BREAK each running poorly.

Keeneland – Race 4

#7 OVERBORE (3/1 ml)

The slightly shorter-priced of the two Wesley Ward entrants, this one has a few things to like. For starters, I listened to the Ward interview on the Steve Byk show recently, where of course they talked about his Keeneland 2yo’s (he only mentioned one by name, which I’ll get to in a moment). One interesting comment he made was that he sent “some of his more precocious 2yo’s” to Florida for their early training, so I’ve tried to keep that in mind (though Ward has already had a couple/few winners with no Florida workouts, so I’m not sure it makes a difference). Anyway, OVERBORE got an early start in Florida, with one of his drills coming in company with DREAM FLY, who went favored @ 4/5 odds in the first baby race of the meet, running second behind impressive winner BOHEMIAN FROST after a slow break. Also noteworthy is the fact that impressive winner KAUFYMAKER had worked with DREAM FLY a couple of times, so that should definitely be taken as a positive. Back to the Steve Byk interview, the one horse Ward mentioned as “one to watch” was HEADLINE REPORT, who had just worked a best-of-18 bullet from the gate on April 5. OVERBORE had the second-fastest workout from the gate that morning, then appeared to work heads-up with HEADLINE report in his following drill on April 12. Rider Joel Rosario picks up the mount here, and he has already won with a couple of Ward 2yo’s at the meet (NAKATOMI and AVERLY JANE), while also riding DREAM FLY. Seems like the one to beat here.

As far as the other Ward entrant GOLDEN BELL (7/2 ml), I couldn’t find much on her, other than a drill with unraced PAMMY’S READY who is entered next week, so keep that in mind should GOLDEN BELL run well today. Of greater interest is the fact that GOLDEN BELL is a filly entered vs. colts, which seems to be a decent angle with the Ward 2yo’s (KAUFYMAKER fit that description before flipping in the paddock and being scratched last week, as did his sharp second-place finisher HAPPY SOUL (second to NAKATOMI). Rider John Velazquez gets the call, and he’s been aboard Ward’s 2yo winners KAUFYMAKER and CHI TOWN LADY (as well as HAPPY SOUL).

Also of note here is the John Ennis trainee TREBBIANO (9/2 ml). He’s showing 3 drills with ASK THE UMPIRE (his coupled entrymate), during the last of which he showed “sharp speed” according to the Keeneland clocker. TREBBIANO also worked with recent winner SHESGOTATTITUDE back on March 21, and before that may have worked with one or both of BOHEMIAN FROST or DING DING back in February. Ennis’ go-to 2yo rider James Graham gets the call, so TREBIANNO indeed appears to be the stronger half of the entry, and should be expected to show speed here at the very least.

Of mild interest is the Bret Calhoun trainee TEJANO TWIST (9/2 ml), as I’ve heard that freshman sire Practical Joke’s progeny have generally looked pretty good at the sales, and Calhoun recently won the Ben Ali stakes here at Keeneland for these same connections (same rider aboard). This is Calhoun’s first 2yo entrant at the meet, but TEJANO TWIST has worked a couple of times (including the gate work at Keeneland) with unraced PROMPTLY DONE (who is entered next week), so bear that in mind should TEJANO TWIST run well here.

Maiden Focus record:
Win record: 31-for-126 (25% winners)
Total mutuels: $261.60 ($8.44 average win price)

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