Keeneland: Analyzing the $9,927 Super High 5 carryover

April 14th, 2024

The Super High 5 carryover up for grabs on Sunday at Keeneland isn’t quite in the five-figure range, But it’s close, coming in at $9,927.

The $1 wager is available to play in Race 9 (post time 5:16 p.m. ET), a 1 1/2-mile grass allowance for older horses. A large field has turned out, with 11 horses in the main body of the field and another one entered as a main-track-only runner.

Upon reviewing the past performances, the lack of pace in Race 9 is striking. Speed horses are practically nonexistent among the entries, which should make #7 Foreign Relations (7-2) a formidable contender.

A six-year-old gelded son of Karakontie, Foreign Relations has crossed the wire first or second in three of his four starts over 1 1/2 miles. In an April 2023 allowance at Keeneland, he settled two lengths off the pace before proving best by 4 1/4 lengths, though he was disqualified to last place for lugging in and causing a rival to clip heels and fall. Then Foreign Relations employed virtually identical tactics to win the Louisville (G3) at Churchill Downs by 1 1/2 lengths.

After a couple of defeats running shorter—including a three-length loss in the 1 3/8-mile United Nations (G1)—Foreign Relations misfired when returning to 1 1/2 miles for the Kentucky Turf Cup (G2) over the tricky turf course at Kentucky Downs, finishing 10th. But he bounced back in his final run of 2023, carving out the pace in a 1 1/2-mile allowance at Keeneland before battling on to finish second by a nose.

Foreign Relations was ridden on that occasion by jockey Tyler Gaffalione, who is back aboard for Sunday’s contest. Foreign Relations hasn’t run since last October, but trainer Conor Murphy wins at a respectable 11% rate with horses returning from layoffs of 90 days or more, so the layoff shouldn’t be a concern. If Foreign Relations shakes loose on an uncontested lead through slow fractions, he may prove very difficult to catch down the Keeneland homestretch.

For these reasons, we recommend building Super High 5 tickets around Foreign Relations, counting on him to finish either first or second.

Other runners we’ll emphasize include the price horses #8 Beuys (8-1) and #10 King Curlin (15-1). Beuys has shown decent form over shorter trips, but has the pedigree to stretch out in distance for trainer Mike Maker, who has enjoyed great success taking ordinary middle-distance turf runners and turning them into stakes stars over longer distances. Meanwhile, King Curlin is already proven over 1 1/2 miles, having successfully stretched out to win a $35,000 allowance optional claimer over the Gulfstream Park grass on New Year’s Day.

Good luck!