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God's Tipster's Friday Keeneland Pick: The 9th is the Grade 1 Ashland for 3yo fillies, a Kentucky Oaks prep

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Thursday’s Race Recap from Aqueduct:

(All odds US)

Replays for Thursday’s races from Aqueduct can be found here:

Race Replays


Race 1: 4th@ 8.20/1

Race 7: 4th@ 3.45/1

Race 8: 8th@ 1.20/1

Woof… mama said there’d be days like this. In Race 1, we took a shot with Franca, who admittedly, didn’t show much in her debut effort on turf. I was hoping for a wake up call with the layoff and switch to dirt in her second start but she was last early and rallied mildly late missing third by 1/2 length. In Race 7, Celestial Moon went to the lead and set a soft early pace. He initially looked like he had put away favored Kuchar but as they hit midstretch he got a little leg-weary and allowed Añejo to get the lead. Kuchar and Tonal Impact then pressed on by as they hit the wire. In Race 8, Splashy chased a runaway leader named Shaman Princess early and her pace collapsed entering the stretch as she faded to last as the heavy favorite.

Turning the page…

It’s opening day at Keeneland! And with rain in the forecast Wednesday and Thursday I’m guessing there will be a little moisture in the track for Friday’s races. Let’s get to it!


Race 9: Punchbowl - 2 pts win - BEST BET (US Morning Line Odds: 2/1)

The Grade 1 Ashland at a mile and a sixteenth for three-year-old fillies serves as a major prep for the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks. Our 8/5 morning line favorite is Wonder Wheel, last year’s champion two-year-old filly and Grade 1 Breeder’s Cup winner over this very track at today’s distance. Last time out though at Tampa she didn’t impress me as she wasn’t able to run down 38/1 Dreaming of Snow, who would return to lose her next start by more than 17 lengths. 3/1 Morning Line choice Julia Shining finished behind Wonder Wheel and I feel similarly about her. I’m sure they weren’t fully cranked for that effort with the Kentucky Oaks being the main goal but this is a one-horse race to me. Punchbowl has only raced twice for 27% winning trainer Brad Cox but has impressed in both starts. In her debut effort Punchbowl broke slowly but proceeded five wide on the far turn and gradually wore down her rivals, finishing with a final 1/8th of a mile in 11.73 seconds. The second, third and eighth place finishers returned to win their subsequent start. On March 5, she ran in an optional claiming race where she set a strong pace early while well in hand and drew off late at today’s mile and a sixteenth distance. She’s been working well since and Daily Racing Form writer Marcus Hersh made an interesting point about this filly in his write-up. Trainer Brad Cox could have easily run this filly in the Grade 3 Fantasy at Oaklawn last weekend off her Oaklawn Park win. He ran current Kentucky Oaks favorite Wet Paint in that spot instead and I think that’s because Punchbowl is actually better than Wet Paint. This is a pretty weak juvenile filly division looking for a star and I think Punchbowl may be contending for Kentucky Oaks favoritism with her stablemate Wet Paint by the time the dust settles in the Grade 1 Ashland.

Best of luck to all our members playing Friday’s races from Keeneland!

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