Betting With, and Against, Chop Chop in the Keertana Stakes

May 24th, 2024

A total of seven fillies and mares will vie in Saturday’s $250,000 Keertana S. at Churchill Downs. The 12-furlong affair on the lawn is led by recent Bewitch (G3) heroine #2 Chop Chop (9-5) for conditioner Brad Cox. By City of Light, the four-year-old has been in superb form since December and comes in with five top-two finishes in succession overall, with the last trio coming in the black-type ranks.

Chop Chop – With

Chop Chop – Against

  • $25 exacta: 1 with 2,4 ($50)
  • $10 exacta: 1 with 5 ($10) 

Chop Chop is 3-for-4 with a third on the sod in her career and possesses a powerful turn of foot. I expect the pace to be average in the very least, so the late runner will not likely be left with too much to do at the top of the lane with Axel Concepcion in the controls.

The most interesting contender after the favorite to me is #1 Heavenly Appointed (8-1), who will make her stakes debut in the race. One of two in the affair for trainer Graham Motion, the Point of Entry chestnut ripped off a trio of wins in succession after adding blinkers, prior to a solid allowance fourth at Keeneland last time out. The Kentucky-bred four-year-old has ascending Brisnet Speed figures in advance of her first try at 1 1/2 miles, and she has some very good turf stayers on her catalog page to hint that the trip will be to her liking, as well. Kevin Gomez will be in the stirrups.

Group 3 victress #4 Atomic Blonde (3-1) is a logical top-three contender for Christophe Clement, but she is winless in eight tries since arriving in the states. The Grey Gatsby mare was a clear second behind Chop Chop in the Bewitch in her first assignment since November, and improvement will make her dangerous, obviously, in this endeavor. Tyler Gaffalione will have her making one run late.

Motion’s #5 Vergara (5-2) is an obvious contender in the group in her local debut. The five-year-old daughter of Noble Mission has won or placed in eight of her last 10 turf races coming in, and she was third in the Bewitch most recently. The mare has good tactical speed and could be sitting just off of the early leaders leading up to the turn for home. Jose Ortiz has the call.