Thursday at the track: Garrity picks four races at Keeneland, including the Grade 3 Sycamore Stakes
Keeneland is where the best action is today, and we have plays in four of the nine races there this afternoon, including a Grade 3 stakes. We expect fast dirt and firm turf, so let’s go.
Keeneland, Race 4, 2:45 pm ET
Maiden Special Weight, 1 1/16 miles, Turf, 2-Year-Old Fillies
A full field of twelve juvenile fillies lines up for this maiden turf race. The pick is 3-Let’s Skedaddle, who has one career start, a good third in a similar spot at Arlington Park on September 18. We think she ran quite well that day, settling early and making a late move to hit the board, and we think she is going to be better today with that race under her belt. We also think there will be enough early pace to favor her running style, and we also like that she has done well in her two published workouts since then. At 9/2, she is the pick; we will bet her to win. The bet: Keeneland, Race 4, $30 to win on 3-Let’s Skedaddle.
Keeneland, Race 6, 3:51 pm ET
Allowance, 5 ½ furlongs, Turf, Fillies & Mares 3 & Up
This race is a tough one, partly due to the second-level allowance conditions, and partly due to the deep, competitive field of thirteen. It’s wide open, which has us looking for a price, and we think we’ve found one in a new face, 11-Intuicao. She’s a South American-bred 4-year-old mare who won three of her five starts, including a graded stakes, in her native Brazil, and is trained by Paulo Lobo, who has already won at the Keeneland meeting with a horse in a similar first-start-in-North-America spot. This is probably a tougher field than she’s ever faced, but at 8-1, we are betting that she is up to the task. We will bet her to win and to place. The bets: Keeneland, Race 6, $20 to win/place on 11-Intuicao.
Keeneland, Race 7, 4:24 pm ET
Allowance, 1 3/16 miles, Dirt, 3 & Up
The good betting races keep coming at Keeneland, with ten going in this first-level allowance route race on the main track. We like 9-Spa City, a Godolphin homebred 3-year-old colt and Brad Cox trainee, who had a couple of very promising races, including a very fast maiden win, last winter at Gulfstream Park, but who found the waters of stakes company a bit too deep, with his last race a speed-and-fade in the Tampa Bay Derby on March 7.
Spa City has been away since, but Cox is very good with horses coming off the bench, winning at a 23% clip with horses coming off layoffs of more than six months, and like all Godolphin horses, he has a very good pedigree. He seems to have the most upside of any horse in the field, and we are taking that to the windows. We will bet him to win at 7/2. The bet: Keeneland, Race 7, $40 to win on 9-Spa City.
Keeneland, Race 8, 4:57 pm ET
Grade 3 Sycamore Stakes, 1 ½ miles, Turf, 3 & Up
Ten line up for the Sycamore, run at the classic turf distance of twelve furlongs. It’s a cracking good race, especially for a weekday, as a couple of these runners are truly top-shelf. We like 10-Ziyad, an English-bred 5-year-old gelding, who has been butting heads with some very, very tough horses: two back, he finished third in the Grand Prix de Saint Cloud, a Group 1 race in France, only a neck behind winner Way to Paris, who would probably be 1/5 against this group. When it comes to grass racing, we think the top horses in Europe are better than the top horses in North America, and we think that Ziyat will show that today. He’ll have to run well to win this, as the other horses are far from a bunch of pushovers, but he appears to us to be up to the task. Sometimes the game is as simple as identifying the best horse, and playing him to win; Ziyat looks to us to be the best horse here, so we will bet him to win at 5/2. The bet: Keeneland, Racd 8, $40 to win on 10-Ziyat.
That’s all for today. Until next time, enjoy the racing, be safe, and, as always, good luck at the windows.