There are ton of horizontal sequences worth taking a shot at on the first Saturday of the Keeneland fall meet, but the all-graded stakes Pick 5 that commences in Race 6 with the Woodford (G2) and concludes with the Shadwell Turf Mile (G1) has to be considered the sequence of the day.
Here are my thoughts and a suggested ticket for Keeneland:
Race 6: Woodford (G2)
#9 Leinster exits a third-place finish in the Turf Sprint (G3) at Kentucky Downs. The son of Majestic Warrior came from off the pace in a better than looks effort over a turf course that was extremely speed favoring. He should get a perfect outside stalking trip off of a likely speed duel between #7 Fareeq and #8 Satellite Storm. The Rusty Arnold trainee is a perfect 3 for 3 going five and a half panels over the lawn, including a victory over this course on April 18th.
Race 7: Thoroughbred Club of America (G2)
#8 Mia Mischief makes her first start since a pair off the board finishes at Saratoga for Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen. She should sit a great trip and has a win over this racetrack in her only try. #8 Chalon missed by a head in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1) last year and has finished in the top two in all four of her starts in 2019. Her outside draw only helps her chances. If they go fast early #3 Spiced Perfection is the one likeliest to take advantage in her first start since the Humana Distaff (G1) on May 4th at Churchill Downs.
Race 8: First Lady (G1)
#3 Juliet Foxtrot ran too well to lose in the John C. Mabee (G2) at Del Mar on August 31st. The Juddmonte Farms filly cuts back to a mile, draws favorably towards the inside, and offers great value in an awesome rendition of the First Lady. #11 Rushing Fall has a more challenging draw, but is the clear class of the field for E Five Racing Thoroughbreds. If Javier Castellano can avoid losing a lot of ground early she will be tough to get by late. Her stablemate #4 Uni lacks early zip, but has a huge late kick. If they fly early, she will be rolling late. #8 Mitchell Road makes her second start of the form cycle for trainer Bill Mott. At 12-1 she is worth including.
Race 9: Breeders’ Futurity (G1)
#10 Gouverneur Morris was backed heavily in his debut over the slop at Saratoga on September 2nd and dominated a field of 7 at five and a half furlongs winning by nine lengths in the end. The pricey son of Constitution should relish the stretch out to two turns. The value is not there, but the talent is.
Race 10: Shadwell Turf Mile (G1)
In an absolutely wide-open rendition of the Shadwell Turf Mile, I landed on #6 Admission Office as my top choice. Jose Ortiz will need to work out a trip from off the pace to get to the wire first, but I like the improving pattern of this Amerman Racing Stables colt. #4 Valid Point takes on older runners for the initial time for Chad Brown. He should get a lovely voyage under Javier Castellano. #2 Van Beethoven ran second to Valid Point in the Secretariat (G1) at Arlington Park. He offers great value. #3 Bandua should get the jump on his main rivals. He is dangerous on the turnback to eight panels for trainer Jack Sisterson.
Suggested Ticket for Keeneland:
- R6: #9
- R7: #3, #6, #8
- R8: #3, #4, #8, #11
- R9: #10
- R10: #2, #3, #4, #6
- Ticket Cost: $24
Keeneland photo by Coady Photography/Keeneland