PAUL'S ANALYSIS FROM Keeneland races 1 to 7
Wednesday 7 October 2015
Keeneland Race 1 (6.05pm)
Maiden Special Weight - 2 year olds - 1 Mile - Turf
Tusk (10) has ran two nice races in his career so far. He was narrowly beaten when third at Saratoga on debut and then filled the same position when beaten under two lengths at Belmont. Graham Motion now runs him in blinkers so maybe the trainer thinks he's keeping something back.
Trainer Mark Casse has already had two more winners in the first three days of this meet than he had in the whole of The Spring Meet. If City Flyer (2) wins here, it will make it six winners from only a dozen starters. He may do as he's been placed in both his starts at Woodbine and may improve for the extra furlong of this event. He's not the only likely improver in here. Entertainer (11) makes his turf debut after shaping well in a couple of starts on dirt. In the latest, he was only beaten three lengths by a juvenile who won a Grade 1 here on Saturday.
Bill Mott's Solve (7) was unlikely to be fully cranked up when fourth at Kentucky Downs on debut. The stoutly bred Hand Of Power (9) stayed on nicely from the rear in a sprint at fist asking. Reserve Path Of David (14) ran second in a maiden at Arlington earning a very big speed figure in the process. The well bred Sir Dudley Digges (1) has worked forwardly for Mike Maker, a trainer who wins at a decent clip in these maidens with firsters. All four are worth a look.
Reversed Exacta (2 bets): Sir Dudley Digges (1) and Tusk (10)
Reversed Exacta (2 bets): City Flyer (2) and Tusk (10)
Reversed Exacta (2 bets): Hand Of Power (9) and Tusk (10)
Reversed Exacta (2 bets): Tusk (10) and Entertainer (11)
Keeneland Race 2 (6.39pm)
Claiming $20,000 - Fillies and Mares - 3 year olds and upwards - Non winners of 2 races lifetime - 6 Furlongs - Dirt
The speedy Hold Me Fast (2) was claimed off a decent fourth at Del Mar in August. She's unlikely to regress now running for savvy owner and trainer combo. The question with her is how much energy she has to use early on to keep Candy Cate (1) and possibly Cool Comfort (5) at bay.
This may be a race to look for a price with I Am Superior Too (7) getting the vote. She's unexposed on dirt and ran a decent third last time. She was a nose behind Hot Yankee (6) but that filly got it very easy on the front end. The selection may be seen to much better effect here closing in off fast splits.
Maziette (3) drops sharply in class. Less so Tiz Sexy Now (4). She's now back sprinting on the dirt. She broke her maiden here a year ago and is the only filly in this event to have even raced on the dirt here.
Candy Cate (1) runs first time for sale but does have a tough draw and a likely pace partner. Cool Comfort (5) is in form on the turf. She's ran well in the slop but is an unknown on a dry dirt track.
I Am Superior Too (7)
Reversed Exacta (2 bets): Tiz Sexy Now (4) and I Am Superior Too (7)
Keeneland Race 3 (7.12pm)
Claiming $30,000 - 3 year olds and upwards - Non winners of 2 races lifetime - 1 1/16 Miles - Dirt
The rail didn't seem the place to be on the dirt here on Saturday and Sunday. A few days later with drying conditions and it may be a different story. It could be a factor here as the class-dropping Bluegrass Beat (2) is a likely wire to wire contender from the inside. He's been on the fringes in allowance events in The Mid-Atlantic region since breaking his maiden in May. The selection looks quicker early on than any of his rivals, many of whom would have better prospects if this was a turf event.
I'mbetterthangood (7) has better form than the selection. The problem with him he doesn't always show it and comes off a pair of horrible efforts at Saratoga. He's been freshened up and is playable if the price is right.
Macho Gabacho (1) broke his maiden on the turf at Kentucky Downs last month. His only try on dirt came on his debut and he has the pedigree to handle the surface. He's been gelded since his last run.
Hidden Brook (8) drops himself out at the rear and makes late inroads. A fast pace and/or a track favouring closers may see him be a late player.
Bluegrass Beat (2)
Keeneland Race 4 (7.45pm)
Allowance (second level) -- Fillies and Mares - 3 year olds and upwards - 1 Mile - Turf
A typical competitive Keeneland turf allowance event. The California based Aguafria (6) has just about the best overall form. She's come close in a trio of stakes since she returned in August. The worry with her is she's often thereabouts but is winless in 10 starts Stateside. Her last victory came at Longchamp in September 2013.
The likely favourite is The Al Shaqab Racing owned Aljalela (9). She's won both her career starts. She debuted as a juvenile at Delaware and didn't look anything special at the time. She didn't reappear until July at Belmont and looked much improved. There is likely to be plenty more improvement to come. That said, she and the win shy Aguafria may be over 50% of the market and there are others in here worth a look.
The late running Maryanna Star (5) had Share The Sugar (12) only a length behind her when missing in a similar event at Kentucky Downs by a head. Recent winner Asperites (2) may be another shrewd claim by trainer Mike Maker. Robillard (4) and Rachel Wall (7) are three year olds who may have better races in them.
Meeting Waters (10) followed up a second in a stake at Santa Rosa with a similar finish in one at Louisiana Downs. She finished ahead of good yardstick Aguafria in California and may be the risks vs rewards play.
Meeting Waters (10)
Reversed Exacta (2 bets): Aljalela (9) and Meeting Waters (10)
Keeneland Race 5 (8.18pm)
Starter Allowance - 3 year olds and upwards - 6 ½ Furlongs - Dirt
The strength in this starter allowance event is in the four outside stalls. Only Hey Cuz (3) who won a similar event here in the spring when there was a pace meltdown seems to have a sniff of a chance of beating Big Legacy (7) and co.
Take out a below par effort after a bad start in a stake and Big Legacy (7) would be on a four timer here. He's been a killer on The Polytrack at Woodbine. His latest win came in a two other than allowance event was his best effort of the year. He's won similar starter allowance events on dirt and running big speed figures in the past. In short, his rivals need him to run below form for them to win.
Slan Abhaile (6) was claimed by Mike Maker for The Ramsey's at Saratoga. His best form at Delaware and Monmouth this year wasn't too far behind that of Big Legacy. He has back class too. The same connections lost Political Justice (5) for $20,000 a week later in New York. He won three starter allowance events in spring and early summer including one over course and distance. He's the second tier contender here along with his ex barn mate.
Lungs (8) is a cheap horse at the top of his game right now. He's won of his last three races including a starter allowance event at Churchill last month.
Big Legacy (7)
Keeneland Race 6 (8.51pm)
Allowance (entry level) - 2 year old fillies - 6 Furlongs - Dirt
Banree (8) has run two good races and a pair of poor ones in her short career. In fairness, she's had trouble at the break in both starts when running well below form. The latest came in Saratoga's Grade 1 Spinaway last month. Prior to that, she ran second in a Grade 3 at The Spa. Off that form, she's very playable here. Wes Ward is probably trying to get a confidence gaining victory by dropping her into an entry level allowance event.
It may not be plain sailing for Banree even if she returns to form. At least two of her rivals look potentially useful. Prairie Chick (5) beat maidens at Arlington by 11 lengths second time at the races. She stopped the teletimer in a fast time giving credence to what was visually very impressive. The two worries are that was on Polytrack and this will be her dirt debut. The other is he rider set a pace the filly was comfortable with in Chicago. She may find them going faster than her comfort zone here.
Midnight On Oconee (1) was all the rage on debut at Delaware in August. She soon assumed control and drew off to win by five lengths. Interestingly, trainer Larry Jones elects to run her in blinkers second time out. She may have the speed to outsprint Serenready (3) and Prairie Chick (5) early on. With the right sport of trip, she may be able to take her form up considerably from her first start.
Reversed Exacta (2 bets): Midnight On Oconee (1) and Banree (8)
Keeneland Race 7 (9.24pm)
The JPMorgan Chase Jessamine (Grade 3) - 2 year old fillies - 1 1/16 Miles - Turf
Harmonize (4) is difficult to get away from. Bill Mott's filly lost by a nose on debut at Saratoga in August. A month later, she broke her maiden in a stake at the same venue. It came by four lengths from the filly that beat her narrowly at first asking. There is a similar gap before today's event and she sets a high standard.
The other fillies that have turf form have to improve to beat Harmonize. Many haven't raced as far as this and have stout pedigrees. Moms Choice (12) ran second in a stake over seven furlongs at Kentucky Downs last month. She was only just ahead of the third and fourth Lilly's Dream (7) and Precious Love (3). Outsider Art (14) maintained her perfect record when beating Inconclusive (9) by a length at the same track.
Clare View (5) broke her maiden second time out at Arlington despite being behind a slow pace. Similarly Theory Of Change (8), who closed well to win at first asking for Mr Turf Stakes himself, trainer Chad Brown.
The most interesting of the rest are the two fillies that won on debut in sprints and the pair trying turf for the first time. Sapphire Kitten (6) and Family Tree (11) both are entitled to leave their form behind second time out now going over a trip. Delicate Lady (10) was Grade 3 placed on dirt last time. The switch to the grass looks to be by design by Todd Pletcher. She is playable. So too is Come To Mischief (13). She won a Polytrack stake at Woodbine on debut by six lengths in a fast time. In her only start since, she faded badly in a Grade 1 on dirt.
Reversed Exacta (2 bets): Harmonize (4) and Theory Of Change (8)
Reversed Exacta (2 bets): Harmonize (4) and Delicate Lady (10)
Combination Exacta (6 bets): Harmonize (4), Theory Of Change (8) and Delicate Lady (10)