Keeneland expert picks: Friday, April 19, 2024

April 19th, 2024

The Grade 3 Doubledogdare is the main feature on Friday’s 10-race card at Keeneland. We’ve got a 68% chance of rain early in the day, but it should be clear by the afternoon. Let’s get to handicapping all 10 races.

Race 1: 7 furlongs, maiden claimer, fillies and mares 3yo and up

#3 Oh Macarena (3-1) — Early pacesetter had the lead in the stretch but was beaten to second when racing a mile and 70 yards; posted a 72 Brisnet Speed figure. Trainer Brian Williamson is a 21% winner going from a sprint to a route and an 11% winner with shippers. Mitchell Murrill will retain the mount and wins at an 18% rate with sprints. Bullet three-furlong workout at Keeneland April 13.

#8 Greyhound Station (2-1) — Goldencents filly was beaten a neck when racing six furlongs in second career start; recorded 79 Brisnet Speed rating, the best dirt speed figure among today’s field. Stretched out to a mile and 70 yards and 1 1/16 miles in last two. Should improve on the cutback in distance. Al Stall Jr. is a 19% winner at the maiden claiming level and a 14% winner going from a sprint to a route. Jaime Torres will pick up the mount and is a 16% winner with sprints.

#6 Xtra Extraordinary (12-1) — Violence filly finished fourth in both career starts when racing a mile at Turfway, then six furlongs on the same all-weather track. Could improve trying dirt in first start for Rick Hiles, who’s 4-for-8 with a +8.99 ROI first start off the claim. Bullet three-furlong workout April 9 at Churchill. James Graham picks up the mount.

Race 2: 5 1/2 furlongs (turf), maiden special weight, 3yo and up

#8 Bolt Action (5-1) — Bolt d’Oro colt makes third start for Al Stall Jr. and second on turf. Was beaten just three-quarters of a length when racing today’s distance over yielding turf at Fair Grounds in March; recorded 80 BRIS figure. Jaime Torres will retain the mount.

#9 Beer Run (2-1) — City of Light gelding is 0-for-4 lifetime, all on turf. Drops in class after finishing fifth in a 6 1/2-furlong maiden special weight at Kentucky Downs in September. Can improve with the shorter distance and will return off a more than seven-month layoff for Wesley Ward, a 29% winner this meet and a 26% winner at the maiden special weight level. John Velazquez will retain the mount and is 3-for-8 paired with Ward the last 14 days. Career-best 86 BRIS figure came in third career start when the colt got the early lead but was beaten three-quarters of a length at six furlongs.

#1 Royal Carol (12-1) — First-time starter for Paulo Lobo is by Speightstown out of a mare who has one winner from one starter. Sharp four-furlong workout on April 14. Lobo is a 22% winner with a +1.56 ROI with first-time starters. Joel Rosario (18% on turf) named to ride.

#11 Cowboy Cache (8-1) — Weakened to fifth on debut in a seven-furlong maiden special weight at Aqueduct and will try turf for the first time while also racing on Lasix. Speightstown colt is out of a dam who has three winners from four starters, including two turf winners. Rick Dutrow is 3-1-0-1 to start the meet and a 17% winner (from a small sample size) with second career starts. Bullet four-furlong workout at Keeneland April 14. Flavien Prat (21% on turf) named to ride.

AE of note: #16 Side Eye (9-2) — Mike Maker trainee returns to dirt after racing on all-weather in last two. Joel Rosario (18% on turf) picks up the mount. Bullet four-furlong workout.

Race 3: 6 furlongs, claimer, fillies and mares 4yo and up

#1 Wupkar (6-5) — Early speed and the rail post are winning at an overwhelming rate, and the morning line favorite has both of those factors in her corner. Viable single. Five-year-old mare owns an 8-2-1-2 record at today’s distance and will drop down in class today for Bret Calhoun, a 27% winner first time claiming. Bullet four-furlong workout at Keeneland April1. Brian Hernandez will retain the mount.

#2 Atlantic Strike (6-1) — Another class-dropper, the six-year-old mare will make her second start off the claim for Steve Asmussen, a 19% winner at the claiming level. Florent Geroux will pick up the mount and is winning at a 36% clip this meet and a 34% clip with sprints. Atlantic Strike is 7-2-1-1 from today’s distance and will return to dirt after racing on all-weather and turf in last 11 starts.

#4 Abitibi (3-1) — Five-year-old won three back on Turfway’s all-weather when racing at today’s distance. Speed figures dropped off in last two but may improve returning to dirt and dropping in class. Trainer Jesus Esquivel is a 20% winner with sprints and a 21% winner at the claiming level. Luan Machado will pick up the mount.

Race 4: 6 furlongs, maiden special weight, 3yos

#1 Hold My Bourbon (10-1) — Gray colt was a fourth on debut in a six-furlong maiden special weight on Turfway’s all-weather. Will switch to dirt, a winning move 24% of the time for Eric Reed, who’s a 19% winner at the maiden special weight level. Fastest work of the day at Keeneland running four furlongs on April 13. Charle Oliveros, who’s winning at a 20% clip paired with Reed the last two months, will retain the mount.

#8 Run Jalen Run (9-5) — Runhappy colt is 0-for-7 lifetime with three second-place finishes and three third-place finishes. Recorded an 81 BRIS figure last out when a three-length third racing six furlongs in a $120K maiden special weight. Drops in class and keeps rider Tyler Gaffalione. Joe Sharp is 8-2-1-0 this meet and a 19% winner with beaten favorites. Career-best 86 BRIS figure is the fastest speed figure on dirt among today’s field.

#6 Save the Trees (15-1) — First-time starter for Wayne Mackey, who’s 2-for-8 with a +13.98 ROI with first-time starters and a 14% winner at the maiden special weight level. Three-year-old gelding is out of a dam with one winner from one starter. Luan Machado (18% winner with sprints) named to ride. Bullet four-furlong workout April 9.

AE #13 Talbingo (4-1) — First-time starter for Brian Lynch, a 29% winner this meet and a 10% winner with first-time starters. Classic Empire colt is out of a dam who has two winners from two starters. Sharp works at Keeneland. Jose Ortiz (24% with sprints) named to ride.

AE #14 Casa Limon (8-1) — Mor Spirit colt makes debut for Tanner Tracy, a 24% winner with horses making their first start at the maiden special weight level. Dam has produced three winners from four starters, and breeding is suited for today’s distance. Orlando Mojica, a 20% winner with sprints, will ride.

Race 5: one mile, allowance, 4yo and up

#1 Escape Artist (8-1) — Michael McCarthy trainee drops in class after facing stakes company in last two. Three back, the Good Magic four-year-old won by four lengths in a one-mile allowance optional claimer at Santa Anita and will ship to Keeneland off a more than seven-month layoff. McCarthy is an 18% winner off layoffs of 90-plus days and at the allowance level. John Velazquez will retain the mount. Best turf speed figure (95) is the fastest among today’s field.

#10 Greek Order (7-2) — European shipper makes first start for Bill Mott, a 16% winner with horses making their first start with the trainer. Returns off a more than five-month layoff after finishing third in a 1 1/4-mile stake at Newmarket. Has a win from lone try at today’s distance. Irad Ortiz Jr. (22% with turf) picks up the mount.

#9 Dude N Colorado (4-1) — Makes first start for Mike Maker and races on Lasix a second time while coming back from a more than five-month layoff. Drops in class after facing stakes company in last four while conditioned by Todd Pletcher. Won one-mile Colonel Liam S. last March. Joel Rosario picks up the mount with Prat aboard #5 Judge Davis, who’s been racing in turf sprints the last five.

Race 6: 6 furlongs, allowance optional claimer, 3yo fillies

#3 Emery (4-5) — More Than Ready filly should be tough to beat in third career start for Brad Cox. Broke maiden on debut when winning by 5 3/4 lengths in a six-furlong maiden special weight over a muddy Saratoga track last August. Then jumped to graded stakes company and weakened late to finish fourth to Kentucky Oaks contender Just F Y I in the one-mile Frizette (G1). Emery’s 94 BRIS figure on debut is by far the best speed figure at today’s distance among the field. Comes off a more than six-month layoff and races on Lasix the first time (winning move 34% of the time for Cox). Tyler Gaffalione, who won with Emery on debut, will regain the mount. Bullet four-furlong workout on April 5.

#1 Calle Amada (7-2) — Todd Pletcher trainee graduated at second asking when racing in a six-furlong maiden special weight on a sloppy Parx track; recorded 85 BRIS figure. Street Sense filly moves up in class and retains the services of John Velazquez. May improve racing on Lasix the first time and off a long layoff.

#6 Rhapsody (8-1) — Goldencents filly has raced exclusively on turf in four career starts. She’ll make her first start for Jonathan Thomas and races on Lasix the first time. Frankie Dettori (29% winner this meet) picks up the mount. Three-year-old posted an 88 BRIS figure last out when a length second in a five-furlong turf stake at Woodbine. Returns off a more than six-month layoff but has looked sharp in workouts at Keeneland.

Race 7: 5 1/2 furlongs (turf), allowance, 4yo and up

#7 Axthelm (4-1) — Won last out in a five-furlong allowance optional claimer at Gulfstream and returns off a 49-day layoff. Saffie Joseph is a 21% winner with horses that won their last race, and Jose Ortiz (20% on turf) will pick up the mount. Into Mischief five-year-old is 6-2-0-1 from 5 1/2 furlongs but has finished third in all three starts at Keeneland.

#6 Outlaw Kid (7-2) — George Weaver trainee is 2-for-4 at the distance and 4-for-8 on turf. Drops in class after finishing last of eight in a Grade 3 on all-weather in September. Won two back in a five-furlong turf stake at Woodbine. Weaver is a 19% winner off layoffs of more than 90 days, and Tyler Gaffalione picks up the mount.

#2 Winfromwithin (10-1) — Into Mischief six-year-old makes fourth career start since transferring to the barn of William Morey and comes off a nearly two-month layoff. Had the lead in the stretch but was beaten to second by more than three lengths when racing a mile last out. Shorter distance can help. Gerardo Corrales picks up the mount. Bullet three-furlong workout April 14.

#11 Just Might (9-2) — Set the early pace but was overtaken in the stretch in the 5 1/2-furlong Colonel Power, which was taken off Fair Grounds’ turf, last out. Two back, the eight-year-old gelding was beaten a nose at today’s distance in a stake but won three back at the distance. Gelding posted 98 BRIS figures in last two, good for the highest last race speed rating on either dirt or turf among the field. Michelle Lovell is a 15% winner with shippers. Jaime Torres will retain the mount. Just Might has six wins from today’s distance but is 0-for-7 at Keeneland.

AE of note: #14 Cherubic Factor (4-1) — Six-year-old gelding owns 5-2-3-0 record at today’s distance. Won two back at five furlongs in an allowance optional claimer, then finished second in the five-furlong Green Flash Handicap (G3). Peter Eurton is an 18% winner with turf starts. Flavien Prat picks up the mount. Sharp recent workouts at Keeneland.

Race 8: 1 1/16 miles, allowance, 4yo and up

#2 Hurry Hurry (10-1) — Top two choices on the morning line are tough, but let’s try to beat them with a longshot who won at today’s distance in lone start at Keeneland three back. Will keep the same rider, Luan Machado, from that win, and stalked the early pace before drawing away to win by 3 1/2 lengths. A similar ride can get the Accelerate four-year-old to the winner’s circle. Will come back off a more than three-month layoff and return to dirt after finishing a head second in a 1 1/4-mile allowance optional claimer at Turfway. Owns 2-1-0-1 record at 1 1/16 miles. Bullet five-furlong workout at Keeneland on March 30.

#10 Cagliostro (7-2) — Upstart colt will drop in class after finishing fifth in the 1 1/8-mile Oklahoma Derby (G3) in September; was right near the lead in upper stretch, bumped with a rival and came up empty in deep stretch. Recorded 104 BRIS figure in the effort with a 103 Late Pace rating. Will cut back to 1 1/16 miles, a distance from which he’s 4-1-2-1 lifetime. Trainer Cherie DeVaux is a 20% winner off layoffs of 90 or more days and a 30% winner this meet. Jose Ortiz will pick up the mount. Will add blinkers for the first time. Outside post is winning at a low percentage, though.

#3 Dreamlike (4-5) —Todd Pletcher trainee will drop in class after facing Grade 1 company. Was beaten a half-length in 1 1/8-mile Pennsylvania Derby (G1) two starts back after the Gun Runner colt broke his maiden at 1 1/8 miles in his fourth career start. Posted a 98 BRIS figure last out, and his career-best 108 is the best dirt speed figure among the field. Pletcher is a 22% winner at the allowance level, and Irad Ortiz Jr. is a 25% winner with routes. But pace may not favor the late runner here. He’s also returning off a more than five-month layoff.

#6 Brigade Commander (6-1) — Likely to get the early lead here, the Hard Spun colt has two second-place finishes from two starts at today’s distance. Crossed the wire first racing a mile and 70 yards in an allowance at Fair Grounds but was placed second via DQ; clocked a 91 BRIS figure. Will keep Corey Lanerie in the saddle (18% with routes). Dallas Stewart is a 15% winner at the allowance level. 

Race 9: 1 1/16 miles, Doubledogdare S. (G3), fillies and mares 4yo and up

#1 Raging Sea (5-2) — With a ton of early speed in the field, the Curlin filly can close late on a track where she won two back in an allowance at 1 1/8 miles. The four-year-old returns off a more than four-month layoff for Chad Brown, and she won her last start, the Grade 3 Comely, at 1 1/8 miles in November. She’s 0-for-2 at today’s distance but was beaten just a neck in the 1/16-mile Alcibiades (G1) here in October 2022. Flavien Prat will regain the mount and has hit the board in every start with Raging Sea. Brown is a 26% winner off layoffs of 90-plus days and he’s winning at a 27% clip this meet.

#5 Saddle Up Jessie (6-1) — More Than Ready mare was last of eight last out when facing graded stakes company for the first time in the 1 1/16-mile Azeri (G2) over an Oaklawn track labeled good. Previously, she had never finished worse than second from four tries at today’s distance. Brittany Russell is a 26% winner with shippers and a 17% winner in graded stakes. Irad Ortiz Jr. picks up the mount. Bullet workout April 13.

#4 Loved (3-1) — Graduated at second asking when stretching out to 1 1/16 miles at Keeneland and won by 11 lengths. Regular rider Tyler Gaffalione will retain the mount, but Medaglia d’Oro mare is coming off a nine-month layoff for Brendan Walsh, who’s 1-for-6 to start the meet and a 13% winner in graded stakes. Likely to get the early lead and could go gate to wire.

#3 Scylla (8-5) — Suffered first loss from three starts last out when beaten a neck in a one-mile allowance optional claimer at Gulfstream; recorded a 98 BRIS figure, the highest last race speed rating among the field. Stretches out to 8 1/2 furlongs for the first time and is eligible to improve second start off the layoff. Has never faced stakes company. Bill Mott is a 27% winner this meet and a 22% winner in graded stakes. Sharp workout April 12. Javier Castellano retains the mount and is 0-for-10 to start the meet.

Race 10: one mile (turf), allowance, 4yo and up

#11 Northern Invader (9-5) — With the field mostly made up of late runners, Collected colt has a chance to go gate to wire. He won four back in that fashion in the one-mile Gio Ponti S. at Aqueduct. Failed as the favorite in next three starts, one of which was taken off the turf. Beaten a neck and three-quarters of a length in last two at a mile. Can improve second start off the layoff and with high-percentage jockey Jose Ortiz (20% on turf). Cherie DeVaux is a 36% winner with beaten favorites.

#6 Loyal Company (10-1) — Came home a three-length sixth in a 7 1/2-furlong allowance optional claimer; the third-place finisher won their next start. Will make second start on turf for Brendan Walsh, an 18% winner at the allowance level, and the Frosted gelding can improve off the 48-day layoff. Tyler Gaffalione will pick up the mount. Won on Keeneland’s main track with the rider back in April of 2023 in a seven-furlong maiden special weight over an off track. Four-year-old’s 89 BRIS figure last out is tied for the highest last race speed figure among the field.

#1 Belouni (9-2) — The other runner who clocked a last-out 89 BRIS figure is Belouni, who was also racing at 7 1/2 furlongs and finished fifth by more than two lengths when rallying late in an allowance optional claimer at Gulfstream. Chad Brown trainee owns a 6-2-1-0 record at a mile and may improve while racing on Lasix a second time. Irad Ortiz Jr. (22% on turf) will pick up the mount.

#10 Noises Off (10-1) — Longshot broke maiden three back when racing a mile on turf and posted a 90 BRIS figure. Then faced stakes company at the same distance and was an even fifth. Ran a mile on all-weather last out and led most of the way until drawing away by 1 1/4 lengths. Paulo Lobo is a 17% winner with horses that won their last race and a 25% winner off layoffs of more than 90 days. Joel Rosario (18% on turf) will pick up the mount.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT