Today we take on our first race at Keeneland. There are a lot of stakes races this weekend and as most know, I enjoy the turf the best. So I selected, The Shadwell Turf Mile (G1) for 3YO and upward going for a purse of $600,000. There is a field of eight and we get quite the variety today. There are horses coming in from all over the country and one import making his first start. What I like about this race is there is no clear cut winner, so plenty of value should be available.
#2 Sidney’s Candy ML 3/1
I’m going with him based on his four turf races which include two wins both at the G2 level. His Beyer’s are the highest of this bunch when he has been on grass, plus Pletcher puts Rosario back on board. That to me is a big sign, for Rosario was the key rider when John Sadler trained him. Other than Get Stormy, he is the speed of this group and has all the ability to go wire to wire. He’ll probably end up being the chalk here, unless Gio Ponti gets a big backing.
#4 Zoffany(IRE) ML 3/1
We know that imports that have done well overseas and come in have done exceedingly well. This 3YO is no exception, five wins in eleven starts and ITM eight of those eleven races. I have a strong biases to lightly raced 3YO’s, especially ones that have won at the G1 level. He has struggled of late in France and is more of sprinter. But the conditions today should play right to him, the big question does he go forward with Sidney’s Candy or rate off, history says he will lay off. I look for a strong finish.
#8 Get Stormy ML 5/1
I like that he has won two G1 races on turf, one being the Makers Mark here at Keeneland, has been posting consistent Beyer’s and a big switch to Gomez (who I think is the best on turf). If his Beyer’s were a smidge higher I would have him winning this race. He has the speed and cutting back in distance could be just what he needs to nail this one. For the price right now he is where my money will go. One more note, Bush, his trainer has a high win % on Graded Stakes (31%). Reminds me of Turallure in the Baruch.
#5 Gio Ponti ML 5/2
Most will look at him as the sentimental favorite, and I would be one of them. I would enjoy seeing him defend his title in this race. It was his last win last year in this race, and with so many near misses of late, it would be great to see him come back. Without Cape Blanco in this one, he might find his footing and make that late charge to the wire we have so enjoyed.
#3 Dance and Dance(IRE) ML 8/1
Made his first start in the Woodbine Mile, and never got out into the race, due to a rank start. Showed a decent Beyer of 98, and should be much better in his second start. So let’s give him one more look.
#7 Wise Dan ML 12/1
He won the Fircracker (G2) at Churchill Downs going a mile posting a soild 99, his only turf win. It will take a huge effort today, but he looks ready (winning a $250K stakes last out). One of those intuition plays.
2 – 4 – 8
Will be posting the Guaranteed Pick 4 Selections for Balmoral later today at http://the-clocker.blogspot.com/