God's Tipster's Saturday Keeneland Picks: 5 races, three with 2yos, plus Pumpkin Scone, First Mission
Friday’s Race Recap from Belmont at Aqueduct:
(All odds US)
Belmont at Aqueduct:
Race 2: 10th@ 52.75/1
Race 8: 4th@ 7.20/1
Race 9: 4th@ 7.60/1
In Race 2, debuting Jena’s Mercy broke well but faded in the drive. In Race 8, Iron Works battled for the lead but when it came time to go he flattened out and finished fourth. In Race 9, Highland Lord stalked the pace off the layoff and checked in fourth.
We’ve got rain in the afternoon on Saturday at Aqueduct so we’re gonna turn our attention to Keeneland where we’re only expecting some clouds.
Let’s get started !!
Race 2: Jilly’s West - 1 pt win (US Morning Line Odds: 9/2)
High-priced maiden claimers sprint six furlongs here in this race for two-year-olds with a full field of twelve. None of the five with experience have run well enough to get the pulse racing. Jilly’s West debuts for the typically hot (at Keeneland) barn of Wesley Ward, which is three for 10 at the meet thus far. Ward wins at a 29% clip with debut maiden claimers on a whole but over the last five years with two-year-olds debuting on dirt in maiden claiming events here at Keeneland at today’s six furlong distance he’s won three of five and has never missed the board at average odds of about 8/5. I don’t necessarily believe the 9/2 morning line so if our European members can lock in those odds they’ll probably be closer to 5/2 here in the US. As far as Jilly’s West - the actual filly is concerned, well her second dam is Judy the Beauty who won the Grade 1 Filly and Mare Breeders Cup Sprint a few years back among her many conquests. Looks live.
Race 3: Stretch Ride - 1 pt win (US Morning Line Odds: 6/1)
Two-year-old allowance runners who haven’t won a race other than a maiden, claiming or starter and nobody in this field has more than one win on their record. Three of them only have one start. The heavy favorite is Lightline off a blowout win vs. suspect company at Indiana Grand. He’s bred for turf and my pick here is Stretch Ride, who ran a pretty remarkable race first time out. With a fast early pace he dropped back on the turn and looked beaten. Most horses that look the way he did in mid-stretch would be waving the white flag but Stretch Ride battled on gamely to re-engage his rivals from the outside and win. I love a horse with fight. He stretches out today and he’s bred for the change in distance. I think he takes it to the favorite early and keeps on going.
Race 6: Lat Long - 1 pt win (US Morning Line Odds: 5/1)
Two-year-old maidens race a mile and a sixteenth and these are the types of races that give us a feel for who can navigate the longer and longer distances that next year’s Kentucky Derby contenders will need to navigate. Ken McPeek has an excellent record (24% wins) with two year old dirt runners starting at a route distance in their second career start. First time out, Lat Long sat off a decent enough pace, hooked six wide into the stretch and continued on well down to the wire while not being ridden out by jockey Brian Hernandez once he saw he wasn’t going to win. It’s possible they were just prepping him for a route of ground with that start and he’s had a strong five furlong work since that start. Looking for Lat Long to find the right coordinates for the winner’s circle this afternoon.
Race 8: Pumpkin Scone - 1 pt win (US Morning Line Odds: 9/2)
Fillies and mares sprint six and a half furlongs in this allowance race and the great Pumpkin Scone looks to make it back-to-back wins today after failing as the favorite in her first two starts. The 9/2 morning line isn’t happening here in the US. I’m guessing she’ll be closer to 2/1 but if our European members can lock in those odds I encourage you to do so. This $1.25 million dollar daughter of Into Mischief out of the Grade 1 winning mare Embellish the Lace, looked like she put it all together last time out, blowing away a maiden field at Ellis Park. This miss was highly thought of when she debuted and it took her a few starts to get it going. I think she takes these gate to wire.
Race 10: First Mission - 2 pts win - BEST BET (US Morning Line Odds: 1/1)
Just a few short months ago we were learning on the morning before the Grade 1 Preakness that this probable second choice would be scratching. Highly regarded from the start, First Mission finished just behind stablemate Bishops Bay, who would go on to finish second in the Grade 3 Peter Pan and Grade 3 Ohio Derby from there. First Mission torched a maiden field after that and beat a field that included future Grade 1 winner Arabian Lion and future Grade 1 Travers runner up Disarm. This guy will be 2/5 here in the US at best so lock in the 1/1 if you can and enjoy. He’s been working well and faces no monsters today.
Best of luck to all our members playing Saturday’s races from Keeneland!!