Keeneland: Analyzing the $11,895 Super High 5 carryover

April 21st, 2024

The Sunday card at Keeneland doesn’t offer any stakes races, but it does feature an enticing non-jackpot $11,895 carryover in the $1 Super High 5.

The prize pool is up for grabs in Race 9 (post time 5:16 p.m. ET), a maiden special weight for fillies and mares racing one mile on turf. A large field has turned out: 12 horses in the main body of the field, plus four on the also-eligible list.

It’s a tough field to handicap. #4 Risk Threshold (6-5) is the clear-cut morning line favorite after finishing third in her debut racing 7 1/2 furlongs against maiden special weight company at Gulfstream Park. But Risk Threshold was beaten 4 1/4 lengths that day, and she was actually losing ground down the homestretch while earning a modest 76 Brisnet Speed rating six points slower than the par winning number (82) for Sunday’s conditions at Keeneland.

On the bright side, Risk Threshold is trained by Chad Brown, a 25% winner with second-time starters and a 23% winner with horses racing over the Keeneland turf since 2019. Plus, hot jockey Tyler Gaffalione (a 20% winner at Keeneland this meet) is named to ride. Risk Threshold is certainly a logical candidate to finish in the top three on Sunday, but victory isn’t guaranteed.

Who can challenge the favorite? There are plenty of possible contenders offering a variety of prices. #1 Day Dawning (9-2) has been cranking out fast workouts at Keeneland and Turfway Park, including a quartet of bullet half-mile workouts in the last two months. She’s a half-sibling to a pair of turf winners (including Christiana S. heroine Out of Sorts) and has Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez aboard, so there are plenty of reasons to believe this promising three-year-old filly can factor on debut.

#14 Coco Crush (4-1) is second on the also-eligible list, but if she draws in she can’t be dismissed. The four-year-old daughter of War Front is making her U.S. debut after a pair of midfield finishes over soft and yielding turf in Ireland. She’s been training on turf at Palm Meadows and is adding Lasix for trainer Brendan Walsh, who has gone 5-for-15 (33%) at Keeneland this meet, so there are lots of positives in Coco Crush’s corner.

At double-digit odds, #8 Sister Honey (10-1) is intriguing. After a couple of tries sprinting on dirt, she switched to turf for a one-mile maiden special weight at Gulfstream three weeks ago, where she finished fifth by 3 1/2 lengths. That effort earned a 76 Brisnet Speed rating equal to Risk Threshold’s debut figure.

#7 Semantics (20-1) might be worth a try too. The former Irish campaigner is 0-for-11, but she’s only run once in the U.S., finishing second in a 1 1/16-mile maiden special weight on Tapeta at Turfway Park last month. Who’s to say she won’t move forward in a big way while switching to turf for her second stateside start?

By mixing these fillies with a few others in the Super High 5, we should have every chance to assemble a winning ticket, particularly if we cover the possibility of Risk Threshold settling for second place.

Good luck!