Betting With, and Against, Elm Drive in the Giant’s Causeway Stakes

April 11th, 2024

Las Cienegas S. (G3) second #11 Elm Drive (7-2) has been installed as the morning-line choice for Saturday’s $300,000 Giant’s Causeway S. (G3) at Keeneland. The 5 1/2-furlong dash attracted an overflow field of 13 talented fillies and mares and will be a competitive contest without question. 

Elm Drive – With

  • $2 trifecta key 11 with 2,5,8,9,12 ($40)
  • 50-cent trifecta 11 with 2,5,8,9,12 with all ($25)

Elm Drive – Against

  • $1 trifecta 5,9 with 2,5,8,9,11,12 with 2,5,8,9,11,12 ($40)
  • 20-cent superfecta 5,9 with 2,5,8,9,11,12 with 2,5,8,9,11,12 with 2,5,8,9,11,12 ($24)

Trained by Phil D’Amato, the daughter of Mohaymen has put in a trio of very good runs from three lifetime sprints on the turf, but each of those occurred down the hill on the unique Santa Anita sod. The bay is surely a very talented mare and comes in with a pair of swift half-mile drills at this venue as of late, but it will be difficult for me to have a ton of confidence in her at a short price with so many major contenders in the field. I can’t argue with anyone backing her, of course, but the value is not ideal for me. 

The race has two confirmed front runners and not much else pace which makes it a tricky one for me to decipher. I’m going to key both of the speedsters on top in hopes that they do not duel each other into submission early on. 

#5 B G Warrior (12-1) is just 1-for-3 on the green in her lifetime but has been flashing huge speed at Turfway as of late and is well drawn to take command early on. Conditioned by Hugo Andrade, I view the Run Away and Hide filly as an all-or-nothing candidate who can win at a big price with the right voyage. Albin Jimenez retains the ride. 

California import #9 Kissed by Fire (10-1) tired late behind the favorite at Santa Anita last time out, but the Friesan Fire lass had gone wire-to-wire in three straight prior to that performance. This Peter Eurton pupil makes just her second run of the season and should be ready to roll while coming in fresh with regular pilot Mike Smith retaining the ride. 

As for the lower rungs of the exotics, in addition to the morning-line choice, I feel that #2 Bling (6-1)#8 Roses for Debra (4-1), and #12 Love Reigns (8-1), must be included.