Horse Racing: RT picks the Friday Early Pick 3 at Keeneland, pushes Keen on Keenan in the 3rd at Delta Downs
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Horse Racing: RT picks the Friday Early Pick 3 at Keeneland, pushes Keen on Keenan in the 3rd at Delta Downs

With rain in the forecast for Arkansas, RT heads north to Kentucky.

I completed the pick five at Oaklawn and Alexa just alerted the fact that it’s going to rain in Hot Springs starting at lunch time. I will toss those selections at the bottom. For today, we are going to do the early Pick Three at Keeneland, where the weather is going to be sunny, balmy, and in the high 50s.

By the way, if you read my April 2 article A View From The Bottom, I wrote about a filly named Keen On Keenan. She races today in the 3rd at Delta Downs. This filly debuted that week and enjoyed a seven length lead going into the stretch. She ended up bumping the rail footing which spooked her. Rearing herself up, the jockey managed to hang on, get her righted and went on to blaze up to the winner to only lose by a length and a half. Check it out. She’ll win today.

Race 1 – $30k Claimers NW2X

3yo’s going one mile

#2 Two Worlds (5/2) and #5 The Beat (2/1) appear to be the ones who are going to be tough to beat. Not to be one to lay chalk, I am going to take a shot with #6 Mobster Gun (9/2) who recently raced at Turfway in a $15K claimer. That race, a $15KL claimer had the same 84 Equibase rating as this, and he held the lead from the backstretch until the very end and got beat at the wire by a neck. I have used this angle before; a synthetic surface front runner, who lost the lead during the stretch and is now moving to a dirt track. Given the fractions he set in his last two races, he should be the lone speed in this race. Look for him to sustain.

Race 2 - $20K Starter Allowance N$6mo

Fillies and mares going seven furlongs

Numbers-wise, #2 Ginormous (10/1) comes to the forefront, yet she is the opposite of Mobster Gun in the previous race. She moves in from Turfway and has a closing style which will be stymied late on dirt surfaces. That brings us to #6 Bye Bye Bertie (7/2), #5 Keep Your Distance (8/5), #3 Jungle Juice (5/2), and #1 Lady Of Luxury (7/2). I am going to take a pass on Lady Of Luxury since Mitch Murrill passed on riding her at the Fair Grounds this winter, yet now is aboard. Mitch was the 3rd leading rider there and for him to pick her up today feels as if he is settling. Keep Your Distance put in two races here last fall and was the loan speed. She moved to Oaklawn and trainer Robertino Diodoro changed her style to closer, which made her a winner the last two in a row. Bye Bye Bertie is 8/5-1-0 on dirt for $144K or $18K per race, far and away greater than the rest of the field. Looking at her running lines, she is effective pressing or coming off the pace. The big question mark about her is that she has not had a race since Feb. 25, nor has she had a workout. She had one race at the track this past fall in a $78K allowance race and was an abject failure. Candidly, I am hard pressed to pull the trigger on her. The reason is primarily not one workout since her last, then a move to a different track, and now asked to run after almost two months. #3 Jungle Juice (5/2) has a ton of pissed off bettors from her last two races, going off at low odds and in a word, sucked. Interestingly, her lifetime record is 33/6-2-5 for $93K and deducting the 25/3-2-4 on turf, that makes her dirt record 8/3-0-1. This gives her $55K in dirt earnings, or $7K per race. Do you ever look at those numbers and think to yourself, “am I the only one who notices that she is worth $7K per race on dirt and $1.4K on turf?”. Seemingly, someone on that team has stubborn myopia. To add more fuel to that fire, her last two workouts at Keeneland were 1:01 and :47.6, more indications of her surface preference. Lastly, I am going to toss in #4 Foreign Exchange (15/1). Yesterday I mentioned a horse by the name of Hidden Ruler, who, in his previous race, posted a 0 score. I went on to write that horses who post a 0 score come back in their next race with a vengeance. Although Hidden Ruler did not win the race, he only lost by a little over two lengths and was a head bob from collecting a show check. Foreign Exchange has posted two solid workouts since his last race on Feb. 27 at Turfway. Jockey Crystal Conning is going to take this Giants Causeway filly and absolutely blast her out of the gate and give it the old college try to wire the field. In Hearts that’s called shooting the moon, where you damn the torpedoes and go for it all. My choices for this race are Foreign Exchange. and Keep Your Distance; one for the setup and the other for the close.

Race 3 - $40K Claimers NL3

Fillies and mares, 3yo↑ going 8.25 miles.

I am going to single #2 Graysonmachogal (8/5). The last time she raced for a tag was a one mile event here at Keeneland. That was on Oct. 22 and Gabriel Saez rode her straight to the winner's circle, smokin’ the field by nine and a half lengths. Since that race she competitively moved up in class and now gets Saez back in the irons. Her posted work from a week ago was a strong 1:01.

For the Oaklawn Early Pick 5

1st -Rock Ridge and Ship It Red

2nd – Hanks and Chrome Finish

3rd – Hug The Munny

4th – Vangilder and Shortlist.

5th – Ima Bling Cat, Lucky Break, Driver

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