Here are my thoughts and a suggested ticket on the races that make up the ever-popular reduced takeout wager:
Keeneland Race 6:
A non-winners of two event sprinting over the Keeneland main track gets things going. The pace should be honest in this one, so stealing it on the front end at the tricky seven-furlong distance is unlikely.
#6 Smile Bryan regressed off a career best 92 BRIS Speed rating when last seen at Saratoga on August 28th for trainer Graham Motion. The son of Goldencents has been gelded since that last start and the Motion barn is running well thus far at the meet, making Smile Bryan the likeliest to take advantage of the potential early battle upfront.
I will also include a couple of others: #4 Extra Medium, who looks to make it two straight after breaking his maiden over the Arlington Park all-weather surface last month; and #10 Montmartre, who is a logical contender making the drop into the claiming ranks for the initial time for trainer Brad Cox.
Keeneland Race 7:
This maiden special weight event for two-year-olds features the half-brother to 2018 Kentucky Oaks and Breeders’ Cup Distaff winner Monomoy Girl, #10 Mr. Monomoy. The son of Palace Malice attracts the services of Mike Smith and could be a good one, but is likely to get over bet based on connections and pedigree. I will toss him, as well as the co-morning line choice #7 Gold Street, who has not taken any support at the windows thus far for one of the best trainers in the state of Kentucky.
#3 Hansens Mischief dueled with the eventual winner in his second career start at Churchill Downs on September 29th before fading to fourth. He should appreciate the slight turnback to six panels. #9 Marvin could get overlooked, but has the pedigree to win early and is conditioned by a trainer that is very successful with debut runners. I will lean on these two.
Keeneland Race 8:
I respect the chances of 5-2-morning line favorite #12 Kallio for a barn that is having a great meet, but think the event is far too wide-open to lean on this one as a potential single after a fifth-place effort in the Ladies Turf (G3) at Kentucky Downs. I will use several others, including a trio of late runners (#1 Valentine Wish, #4 Tough Irma and #6 Cascanueces) that exit the September 27 race at Churchill Downs that was dominated by front-runners.
Keeneland Race 9:
A field of 11 is assembled for this year’s Raven Run, but there is not much early zip signed on considering the class and distance. This will make #3 Indian Pride tough to beat despite this being her first start versus winners. The daughter of Proud Citizen won for fun when loose on the lead in a special weight event at Saratoga back in late August. She should once again be able to make the top without much work. I will build my ticket around this late starting three-year-old gal on Saturday afternoon.
Keeneland Race 10:
I am not creative in the finale. Hope to beat the favorites I am against on the way and close things out without much issue in this 5 1/2-furlong sprint over the Keeneland lawn.
Suggested Keeneland Pick 5 Ticket:
- R6: 4+6+10
- R7: 3+9
- R8: 1+2+4+5+6+12
- R9: 3
- R10: 4+5+7+10
- Ticket Cost: $72