How to bet the 2024 Maker’s Mark Mile

April 10th, 2024

A fantastic field of eight will vie in Friday’s $600,000 Maker’s Mark Mile (G1) on the Keeneland turf. Defending Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) star #4 Master of the Seas (4-5) will make his six-year-old debut in this one for Charlie Appleby, but I will aim to upset the morning-line choice in a field lacking pace. 

Maker’s Mark Wagers

$10 win/place/show #3 Naval Power ($30)
$5 exacta key box 3 with 4,8 ($20)

Godolphin homebred #3 Naval Power (10-1), also from the Appleby shedrow, was a visually impressive winner of the Singspiel S. (G2) at Meydan in his first assignment off the 13-month layoff, and the son of Teofilo could be sitting on a big one in his North American debut. The once-beaten British-bred has been forwardly placed in the majority of his lifetime runs to date, and that trait will help him get the jump on the bevy of stout late runners in this particular field. I’m not sure why the four-year-old will race as a gelding coming off of a fine display in the desert most recently, but I’ve learned to never question the judgment of these connections. Tyler Gaffalione will be in the irons and I expect him to put the bay into the race early on. 

I will only use a pair of horses with my top pick, led by his superb stablemate. Master of the Seas is among the top milers in the world, in my opinion, and he has a lot of things to like about him heading into Saturday. The son of Dubawi runs some of his best races when fresh, he came home a fine second to Up To The Mark in his lone try on the course in the fall, and the bay also boasts arguably the best turn of foot in the field, as well. In addition to all of that, I find it to be a major positive that regular pilot William Buick will come in to ride the star. 

Shug McGaughey’s #8 Integration (9-2) suffered his first setback when falling 1 3/4 lengths short in the Pegasus World Cup Turf (G1) last time out. The bay son of Quality Road ran three fields off of their respective feet prior to that showing, and he has obvious room for growth being so lightly raced. I’ll be very interested to see if Frankie Dettori asks the colt for speed in the early going to avoid being hung wide from the outside post, and if he does, I fully believe that it will aid the mega-talented four-year-old. The cutback to a one-mile distance seems like a wise move, as well.