Free Picks & Analysis — Who Do Ya Like?
Friday, October 5, 2018
It’s opening day at Keeneland! The eyes of the racing world will shift over to Lexington, Kentucky, as Keeneland begins their excellent fall meeting. There’s 10 races today, including two stakes races. The opener will go off at 1:05 PM EDT.
We’re happy to have Ivan Lopez (@elguruhipico) providing FREE picks & analysis of the card! Ivan’s a big racing fan, and he wrote about Saratoga every Monday during their meet. You can find him writing about every Friday at Keeneland right here.
Good luck to everyone playing along out there!
Its Opening Day at beautiful Keeneland Race Course for this year’s Fall Meet, and we are going to be treated with a very challenging ten race card, highlighted by two graded stakes: The Grade II Phoenix Stakes, for three year olds and up sprinters and the Grade I Darley Alcibiades for two year old fillies, both on the main track. Thanks to Danonymous Racing and John Piassek for this new opportunity. Let’s get down to business.
1st race: 1 1/16 Mile. (Turf) Mdn 67k Purse $67,000 FOR MAIDENS, TWO YEARS OLD.
Quicksilver (#3) – Let us start rolling the dice from the beginning. This is a son of Orb, whose service is at $25,000, and this colt sells for $400,000, a 16X factor. Debuts on the turf for Larry Jones, which is not known to be a prolific grass trainer, so adding to the intrigue, and Gabriel Sáez, a favorite of Jones, gets the call on his debut run. 12/1 on the morning line seems like a very likely price when the spring the latch. That last work is good enough to make him very competitive here.
Noble Nebraskan (#4) – Had some trouble in his vow race but he ran well enough to be considered one of the strongest contenders in here. With no speed signed in, it’s probable that Saez takes him right to the front, and if he can get a clear cut edge, he will be dangerous. Speed figure wise, he is a clear cut choice.
Drilliant (#8) – With already two races under his belt, gets a nod on experience versus the majority of this field, and he was green as a frog in his last effort, in which he made a bold move on the turn only to falter in the stretch. I think this is why he gets a big boost in jockey to Julien Leparoux, who always does good here at Keeneland, having been leading jockey at least ten times between the spring and the fall meet.
2nd race: 6 Furlongs (Dirt). MC 30000 Purse $21,000 FOR MAIDENS, FILLIES AND MARES THREE YEARS OLD AND UPWARD.
Castle Ridge (#7) – Coming from an eleven month shelf stay, she drops from MSW to Maiden claimers, and seems to me like she is the speed of the speed in here. José Ortiz will put her on the lead, and in these Maiden claiming races, horses don’t come from far behind to win, so she stands a great chance to last the whole way. Worked a bullet first time she stepped on the Keeneland surface, so it’s clear she likes it.
Riesling (#6) – Another one making the drop from allowance maidens to claimers. She should be following my favorite closely, and there is a good chance that we have sort of a merry-go-round race with these two. Lanerie has ridden her before and it’s the third start after a long layoff, so she should be much more fit for today.
Pure Sugar (#4) – Has not raced in over four months, and if you look at her past performances, they don’t strike you at all, until you see that only race at Keeneland, by far her best. Has five works for her come back race, al, of them at this track ,and has two bullets to her credit, so there are signs that her preferred strip is this one, and if there is a hot enough pace, she will be right there at the end.
3rd race: 1 Mile (Dirt). Alw 69000n1x Purse $69,000 FOR FILLIES AND MARES THREE YEARS OLD AND UPWARD
Virginia Key (#4) – Anything close to her race in the Gazelle on April and she should win for fun in here. But in horse racing there is never a sure thing, and she is coming from a six month layoff. Has not missed a beat in training since August and Johnny V. rides for Pletcher. She should be forwardly placed from the start, another big advantage in a race depleted of speed.
Dessert Honeys (#8) – Had a rough trip on her last race, which was her first after a six-month layoff. I love the quick two-week turnaround, letting us know she came back fine from that effort. This is a stakes placed filly last year and she faced Monomoy Girl in the Golden Rod, so this group compares favorably for her. Jose Ortiz rides for Eddie Kenneally, if the price is right she can be the play in here.
Saracosa (#7) – Had some trouble at the stretch in her most recent race, in which she was much farther back than we expected. Lanerie still rides her, so expect her to be much more of a pace factor today. Takes a bit of a cut back in distance and I expect an improved effort on her part.
4th race: 6 Furlongs (Dirt). Clm 30000n2L Purse $23,000 FOR FILLIES AND MARES THREE YEARS OLD AND UPWARD
Dylan Did It (#7) – Extremely difficult race to try to come up with the winner. This gal is going for her second race after a ten month rest. She was gobbling up the ground against a group who compares very favorably, and the fact that her trainer brings her to a higher quality circle makes me think she is live today.
Mischievous Lass (#5) – Now dropping to a much more realistic spot, she ran nicely in her most recent versus a stronger group after a bit of a rough start. She should sit a comfortable garden spot trip and will make her presence felt from the three sixteenth pole on.
Emma Kate (#2) – I don’t think there is much doubt about she being the best filly in here, but there are looming question marks that come up. Her drop from Allowance Company is extremely suspect; maybe her work tab after that discreet last effort was not to her trainer’s liking and is sending her packing for this 30K tag. Anyway, she is dangerous if she can come up with a clear lead, and with Santana on the irons, we can expect that.
5th race: Mdn 67k 1 1/16 Mile (Turf) FOR MAIDENS, TWO YEARS OLD
Moon Colony (#11) – After Forty Under’s win in the Grade III Pilgrim this last weekend, this horse looms big in here. He was beat for all the marbles only five lengths after a bit of a troublesome start in her most recent effort, in which the winner was the aforementioned Forty Under. Just a repeat of that race and he will be a very tough pill to swallow.
Proud as Punch (#12) – Had some difficulties in her vow run and finished with good interest in a track like Kentucky Downs, which can be somewhat tricky. Mc Peek is very good second time around and the added distance should be of his liking.
He’s No Lemon (#10) – This colt’s dam was a stakes winner and entices José Ortiz to climb the saddle for his debut run. Has five bullet works as preparation for today, so he can get into the exotics.
6th race: 7 Furlongs (Dirt). Alw 10000s Purse $24,000 FOR THREE YEAR OLDS AND UPWARD
Mineyerownmalone (#8) – It has been a long time since this gelding has run in a sprint race, but he should get a nice set up for his late push to be effective. Corey Lanerie has won with him before and gets blinkers to be a little bit more alert in these seven furlongs.
Yes I See (#7) – The comment about the favorable set up applies with this horse also, as this one comes from way off the pace flying late. He is looking for his third win in a row and had no problem at all with the surface switch. Julien Leparoux repeats and he will be right there when all the marbles are counted.
Dan the Go To Man (#6) – Climbing up the ladder after a solid win, he has not missed a beat in the mornings. Too many seconds lifetime for my preference, but he may be in his best form lifetime and Beschizza keeps riding him.
7th race: 1 Mile. (Turf) Alw 71000n2x. FOR THREE YEAR OLDS AND UPWARD.
Almoreb (#5) – The light bulb angle is in full effect with this horse. After eleven starts, he broke his maiden and then improved to win his next start. James Graham, a veteran who always does well in Keeneland, retains the mount, and at 10/1 is worth a shot.
Majestic Eagle (#11) – No question he should be a clear favorite to win here. However, there are some question marks for him, namely how well he will adapt outside California. He worked slowly over the Keeneland’s grass strip, so the doubts remain. But when you lose a Grade II by two lengths and then drop to a conditioned allowance, you deserve to be the choice.
Convict Pike (#10) – After a slow start, he recovered nicely to score in Kentucky Downs, in a group of lesser quality. Lanerie keeps the ride and if he gets the right set up, he should be right in the mix on the stretch.
8th race: 6 Furlongs (Dirt). Phoenix-G2 – FOR THREE YEAR OLDS AND UPWARD
Whitmore (#2) – He just won his first Grade I, a much deserved accolade for such a gritty horse. I don’t think he will get such a nice set up as in the Forego, but at six furlongs he is at his best and can be peaking at the right time for a top effort in the Breeders Cup.
Promises Fulfilled (#1) – Probably will have to sit in the garden spot against this field and at this distance, a position in which he has won, but so far has not been as effective as when he can grab a clear lead. However, he likes to win races, a quality that not all horses have.
Distinctive B (#3) – Came back with a wow effort at Del Mar. It is true it was against much lesser company, but he made a mockery out of that field and I think he is the fastest here. Peter Miller will not ship this colt here if he does not believe he can win. Six furlongs is his preferred distance.
9th race: 1 1/16 Mile (Dirt). Darley Alcibiades S. Grade I – FOR FILLIES, TWO YEARS OLD.
Meadow Dance (#2) – I will draw a line over that last race; I don’t think she liked the All Weather Track at Arlington. Brad Cox is having a career year and he excels at 36% when sending a horse in a route after two sprints. Another fact to take into consideration is that her last race was too close to her debut, now she has a little more time between races.
Kim K (#5) – I loved what I saw of this filly at Los Alamitos. It is true her competition does not even resemble what she will face today, but she drew away powerfully, implying she will have no problem with the added distance.
Catherinethegreat (#9) – Casse puts blinkers on her after a dismal performance in the Spinaway. She sports two bullet drills since that last effort and Leparoux climbs aboard, a guarantee that she will get a quality ride here at Keeneland.
10th race: 1 Mile. (Turf): Mdn 67k. FOR MAIDENS, FILLIES TWO YEARS OLD
Full Swing (#8) – Returning to the lawn after her last race was taken off the turf, she gets the services of Johnny V and she will be forwardly placed from the gitgo. I don’t see that much speed here, so don’t be surprised that she takes them wire to wire.
Macabre (#7) – Good showing in her debut at Kentucky Downs, in a race in which she drew the rail. That may have served her as a nice tightener to run at a route today. Beschizza climbs back on her and her last work is good enough to corroborate her nice form.
Toast the Bulldogs (#10) – First time starter for Mike Maker and the Ramseys, who love to train their horses for this kind of boutique meeting. Works are not flashy, but we don’t have any world beaters in here.
DISCLAIMER: THIS IS NOT A GAMBLING SITE. PICKS & ANALYSIS FOUND ON THIS SITE ARE MERELY OPINIONS BASED ON SUBJECTIVE ANALYSIS. PICKS DO NOT GUARANTEE ANY SUCCESSFUL OUTCOMES WHATSOEVER. PICKS ARE PROVIDED TO GUIDE YOUR STRATEGY TO PLAYING THE RACES. MATERIALS FOUND ON THIS SITE ARE IN NO WAY INTENDED TO ENCOURAGE GAMBLING. WHERE LEGAL, ALL WAGERS SHOULD BE MADE RESPONSIBLY AND ARE DONE SO AT YOUR OWN RISK.