The following are trip notes for horses who had sharp efforts or tough trips at Keeneland during the week of Oct. 9-13 and who figure to improve or run big in their next starts. Add these runners to your horses to watch list, and bet them back next time if they land in a reasonable spot at Churchill Downs, or elsewhere.
Racing was run under good weather conditions, on a fast main track and mostly firm turf. The less-then-firm turf exception was on Wednesday, when some rain during the dark days resulted in a course labeled “good” on Oct. 9. That was the first and only less-than-firm turf of the meet so far. Turf racing returned to firm conditions on Thursday.
Keeneland Racing Trip Notes (Oct. 9-13)
ALWAYS A SUSPECT: Shuffled back in tight quarters to last after the break, then had too much work to do to come from behind. Gained for third in a race ruled by a wire-to-wire repeat winner and just needs a better start.
CLUB CAR: Made a good move to the lead but lacked bottom in first race back from a three-month layoff and couldn’t hold off the 8-5 favorite late. Ready to graduate.
EXECUTIVE BRANCH: First starter ran a big closing effort from the inside post for second, and may have won if the rally didn’t hit a snag in traffic at the quarter pole. Won’t remain a maiden for long.
HE’S THE SOUPERWON: Could only make a small dent to close for fourth in six-furlong return race off a seven-money layoff. Needed the race. Prepped and ready now.
KARATE HOTTIE: Never gets bet, but continuously outruns her odds for competitive finishes, including a third at Keeneland, just a nose out of second behind a lone speed winner. Don’t ignore at a nice price.
KING OF FORTUNE: First starter broke slowly and then got basically no pace to chase from too far back, yet still managed to close for third in difficult turf mile career debut assignment. Finished a neck out of second. Stick with this one for Maker.
MO ZONE: Broke slowly and had to come from far back to close, then was unlucky to take the worst of a three-way photo for second and settle for fourth. Too early to give up.
ODIE: Hit the board again without graduating, holding third as the only speed horse and only inside horse in the race to make a dent. May offer value after getting claimed away from Ward, but will graduate soon in a short sprint.
PRETTI EXTREME: No one bets these Canterbury horses, but this one deserves a look back versus maiden claimers after chasing a lone speed even-money favorite who got clear on an easy pace. Finished best of the rest for second, and was eight lengths ahead of the rest of the field.
PROUDLY PACIFIC: Exited a runner-up finish at Ellis and perhaps isn’t as bad as the fifth-place finish at 24-1 indicates after needing to overcome getting bumped around at the break to start 12th, and then getting delayed in traffic at the quarter pole.
READY ORB NOT: Bothered by the horse next to her at the break to start last and ended up racing too far back in a race dominated up top by a wire-to-wire winner. Finished fourth, but actually closed to just miss second by a neck and a head and can make amends with a clean start.
ZIP DRIVE: Winner from Colonial Downs raced too close up to a very fast pace chasing a crazy front runner and faded in the stretch due to the early efforts. Finished fourth, but was just two necks behind second and can rebound.