Keeneland expert picks: Wednesday, April 24, 2024

April 23rd, 2024

We kick off the final week of the Keeneland Spring Meet with an eight-race card on Wednesday.

Below we’ve got top picks for the final five races, along with a pair of Doubles to play with our TwinSpires Daily Double Down promo, in which you’ll get a 25% boost on all winning Daily Double wagers at Keeneland every Wednesday through Friday in April if you hit two Daily Doubles on a given promotional day. See Ts &Cs for more info.

$3 Double, Races 4 and 5: 8 with 5, 6, 8 ($9)

$2 Double, Races 6 and 7: 4, 5 with 2, 8 ($8)

Race 4: one mile (turf), maiden special weight, 3yo and up

#8 Coinvest (3-1) — City of Light three-year-old makes third start for Todd Pletcher and will stretch back out to a route after he was beaten three-quarters of a length in a 7 1/2-furlong maiden special weight at Gulfstream. Had the lead through the stretch but was nailed at the wire in a 1 1/16-mile maiden special weight on debut. Pletcher is a 22% winner off layoffs of 46-90 days and a 20% winner with first-time blinkers. Irad Ortiz Jr. (22% on turf) will stay in the saddle.

#7 Unit Economics (9-5) — Four-year-old gelding makes third career start for Chad Brown after he was beaten by a neck as the favorite in a 1 1/16-mile maiden special weight on Gulfstream’s turf; recorded 80 BRIS figure. Closer will cut back to a mile here, and Brown strikes at a 34% rate with second career route races. He’s also a 25% winner with shippers, and regular rider Tyler Gaffalione will retain the mount.

#10 Surf City (8-1) — Mendelssohn colt was second in lone turf start, a one-mile maiden special weight at Churchill in November. Raced on dirt in his third career start and was close up to the lead through the second call but tired to finish seventh to next-out stakes winner Track Phantom. Will race on Lasix for the first time. Vicki Oliver is a 10% winner going dirt to turf but a 9% winner off layoffs of more than 90 days. Luis Saez will regain the mount. Bullet four-furlong workout April 14.

#12 Mohtafil (8-1) — Kitten’s Joy colt was second on debut in a 6 1/2-furlong maiden special weight on Turfway’s all-weather. May improve with the added distance. Will make first turf start for Andrew McKeever, and four-year-old’s dam has one winner from four starters, but no turf winners. Kitten’s Joy’s progeny win at a 12% rate first time on turf. Axel Concepcion will retain the mount.

AE #14 Drobny (12-1) — Three-year-old gelding is 0-for-7 lifetime with one second and one third from four turf starts. Had the lead through the first call but finished a four-length second over yielding turf in a 1 1/16-mile maiden optional claimer last out. Shorter distance should help Chris Hartman trainee, who returns off a 48-day layoff. Florent Geroux will retain the mount, and he’s winning at a 29% clip this meet.

#3 Uno Mas Bourbon (15-1) — Interesting longshot for Ian Wilkes, who’s 10-2-2-0 this meet. Macho Uno colt tried turf in his third career start and was a one-length third in a 1 1/16-mile maiden special weight at Churchill in September. Comes off a more than seven-month layoff and will race on Lasix for the first time. Joe Talamo picks up the mount. Gray colt clocked an 80 BRIS figure last out.

Race 5: 6 furlongs, maiden claimer, 3yo and up

#6 Grand Rapids (7-2) — Into Mischief gelding makes debut for Rodolphe Brisset, a 26% winner at the maiden claiming level and a 15% winner with first-time starters. Into Mischief’s progeny win at a 15% rate with their first career starts, and Grand Rapids’ dam has a stakes winner from one starter. Flavien Prat (33% winner with sprints) is named to ride. Bullet four-furlong workout at Keeneland April 14.

#5 Hero Worship (8-5) — Morning line favorite is 0-for-4 for his career and raced on turf in his last two. Was beaten a head two back in a 5 1/2-furlong maiden special weight on Fair Grounds’ turf and clocked an 89 BRIS figure. The Uncle Mo colt posted a 79 BRIS figure on debut when racing six furlongs at Fair Grounds and finishing third. Brad Cox is a 34% winner dropping from a maiden special weight to a maiden claimer, and Axel Concepcion (16% winner this meet) will pick up the mount. He’s also got two wins and a second from four starts when paired up with Cox the last 14 days.

#8 Air Force Cruising (12-1) —  Three-year-old gelding recorded triple-digit E1 and E2 Brisnet Speed figures on debut when racing 5 1/2 furlongs on Fair Grounds’ turf. Gave way to finish fifth of nine; Hero Worship was second in the race. Eddie Kenneally gelding posted a 79 BRIS figure in his lone start and may improve off a more-than-two-month layoff. Luis Saez (18% winner with sprints) will pick up the mount. Kenneally is a 23% winner with shippers and an 18% winner off layoffs of 46-90 days.

#11 Oy Vey (5-1) — Constitution colt is 0-for-5 but has just one start on dirt when making his debut. Transferred to Cherie DeVaux’s barn in the winter and has failed to finish in the money in three starts, all on all-weather. Drops from maiden special weight to maiden claiming level (winning move 21% of the time for DeVaux) and will get Irad Ortiz Jr. aboard. DeVaux is 11-3-2-0 this meet, and Oy Vey put in the fastest work of 75 runners on April 6 at Turfway.

#7 Tiger’s Legacy (8-1) — Into Mischief gelding is 0-for-4 but raced on turf and all-weather in his last three. Had a poor debut when trying 1 1/16 miles and finished last of seven by 41 lengths. Last out, he stalked the early pace but faltered back through the stretch run and finished eighth. May improve second off the layoff and while dropping in class. Bullet four-furlong workout April 18. Joel Rosario (17% winner with sprints) picks up the mount. One to consider underneath for exotics.

Race 6: 1 1/2 miles (turf), allowance, fillies and mares 4yo and up

#5 I’m a Sure Thing (3-1) — Four-year-old filly moves up in class after breaking her maiden in eighth career start when racing 1 1/2 miles on Gulfstream’s all-weather track; clocked an 85 Brisnet Speed figure. Two back, she finished a neck second racing near today’s distance on turf. Christophe Clement is a 17% winner coming off a maiden win and a 20% winner with shippers. Tyler Gaffalione will retain the mount. May improve off the more than two-month layoff.

#4 Awasef (6-1) — Cairo Prince filly has not raced in more than a year, but she’s looked ultra fast in recent workouts at Keeneland. Awasef has raced exclusively on dirt in her first five starts and graduated on debut in a six-furlong sprint in Dubai. She placed in the U.A.E. One Thousand Guineas Trial at seven furlongs and the one-mile One Thousand Guineas, then stretched out to 1 3/16 miles in the U.A.E. Oaks (G3) and was far back in fifth. Trainer Brian Lynch is a 26% winner first start with the trainer and 3-for-5 with shippers to the U.S. Luis Saez (12% on turf) will ride. Will race on Lasix today.

#9 Holy Foley (6-1) — Point of Entry filly will stretch out to 1 1/2 miles for the first time and may excel with the added distance. Closer broke her maiden in a one-mile maiden special weight on Ellis Park’s turf in July and stuck with the distance until stretching out to 1 1/16 miles in an allowance at Keeneland and rallied to finish a two-length sixth over a track labeled good. She tried 1 1/8 miles on all-weather two back and was third, then cut back to a mile last out and finished fifth in an allowance at Keeneland on April 7. Brian Lynch is a 20% winner third off the layoff and a 20% winner at the allowance level. John Velazquez (10% on turf) will retain the mount.

#1 Let’s Duet (8-1) — Keen Ice mare has been racing on dirt in her last 14 starts, but has one win from four turf starts, which she accomplished back in September of 2022. Was last seen finishing a half-length second in a one-mile allowance on Oaklawn’s main track and will drop in class today. Brian Hernandez Jr. will retain the mount. Kenny McPeek is a 31% winner this meet and a 15% winner with shippers but just a 9% winner with turf starts (from 375 starts). Sharp four-furlong workout April 13.

* Will stand against Viva La Red (7-5) — six-year-old mare has just one win in 22 career starts, and that came back in January of 2022 when she broke her maiden racing 1 1/16 miles on the dirt. Trainer is 0-for-33 with shippers and an 8% winner on the turf (from 135 starters). Finished far back in 11th in her lone start at Keeneland in October 2023 when racing near today’s distance on turf. She’s also 0-for-6 on the grass.

Race 7: 6 furlongs, allowance optional claimer, fillies and mares 4yo and up

#8 Amaretti (4-1) — Bernardini mare is 2-for-4 lifetime and 4-2-1-0 from today’s distance. Last out, she clocked a 98 BRIS figure, the highest last race speed figure among the field, when wiring a six-furlong allowance at Aqueduct in February. Moves up in class and comes off a two-month layoff for Bill Mott, a 27% winner with horses that won their last race and a 25% winner this meet. Jose Ortiz will ride and strikes at a 25% rate with sprints. Bullet four-furlong workout April 14.

#2 Accede (7-2) — Late runner clocked a 95 BRIS figure last out when winning a 6 1/2-furlong allowance at Keeneland in October. Returns off a more than six-month layoff for Chad Brown, a 26% winner off layoffs of 90-plus days and a 25% winner at the allowance level. Won on debut at today’s distance at Gulfstream. Irad Ortiz Jr. (25% winner paired with Brown the last two months) will retain the mount.

#1 Unsung Melody (3-1) — Maclean’s Music filly yielded late to finish second by three-quarters of a length after setting the early pace in a six-furlong allowance optional claimer; recorded 95 BRIS figure. Comes back off a more than seven-month layoff for John Ortiz and will regain rider Reylu Gutierrez, who has two wins at today’s distance from four starts with the filly.

Will try to beat #3 Howl (9-5), who was far back in eighth in the seven-furlong La Brea (G1) last out and drops in class. Career-best 91 BRIS figure is light compared to some of today’s rivals. Will race on Lasix a second time for Brad Cox, a 36% winner this meet, and comes off a more than four-month layoff.

Race 8: one mile, maiden special weight, 3yo and up

#10 John the Beer Man (5-2) — Chad Brown runner was fifth by 1 1/4 lengths on debut in a 7 1/2-furlong maiden special weight. Can improve in his second career start and first at a route distance, a 30% winning move for Brown. Tyler Gaffalione will pick up the mount and is 6-2-0-1 paired with Brown the last 14 days. More Than Ready colt’s 85 BRIS figure last out is the highest last race speed figure among the field.

#1 Thermoscope (10-1) — Justify colt makes debut for Todd Pletcher, an 18% winner with first-time starters and a 10% winner when debuting on turf. Sire’s progeny win at a 12% rate first time on the turf. Flavien Prat (21% on turf) is named to ride. Sharp recent workouts at Palm Beach Downs.

#9 St. Neots (7-2) — Vicky Oliver trainee is 0-for-7 lifetime on turf but has raced primarily at 8 1/2 furlongs. May succeed with the cutback in distance and in his second start off the layoff. Flintshire gelding clocked an 82 BRIS figure three back when he had the lead in the stretch but was outkicked to finish second by 1 3/4 lengths in a 1 1/16-mile maiden special weight. Luis Saez will regain the mount. Bullet four-furlong workout April 7.

#5 Rebel Red (6-1) — Frankel colt was beaten three-quarters of a length on debut racing a mile overseas. Faced Class 2 company last out and led against the far rail but was pushed along and headed under three furlongs out, then weakened. May prefer soft turf. Returns to racing after a year off and makes debut for Cherie DeVaux, a 20% winner off layoffs of 90 or more days and a 14% winner first time with Lasix. Irad Ortiz Jr. will ride.

#12 Special Dispatch (8-1) — Mendelssohn colt finished a length second last out in fourth career start and first turf try; rallied late and recorded a 76 BRIS figure. Kenny McPeek is a 29% winner with second turf starts and will add blinkers here. Brian Hernandez Jr. will retain the mount. Sharp workout April 13 at Churchill.

* AE of note #14 My Boy Tony (6-1) — Eddie Kenneally-trained gelding will return to turf after racing on all-weather in his last two. Four-year-old will return off a nearly two-month layoff, and Kenneally is 3-for-4 when moving from maiden claiming to maiden special weight company. Declan Cannon will retain the mount.

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