Keeneland expert picks: Pick 5 ticket for Sunday, April 7, 2024

April 6th, 2024

We're closing out opening weekend with a Late Pick 5 ticket to play Sunday at Keeneland, beginning in Race 5.

50-cent Pick 5 ticket, Races 5-9

  • 4, 5 with 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, (13 AE) with 4 with 1, 2 with 2, 7, (14 AE), (16AE) = $48
  • [add #8 to final leg if AEs do not draw in R9]

Race 5: 5 1/2 furlongs (turf), allowance, fillies and mares 4yo and up

Taking a stand against the morning-line favorite to kick off the Pick 5. Outside posts won at a low rate during the fall meet in 5 1/2-furlong turf sprints. That remained the case on opening day of the 2024 spring meet. 

#4 Run for the Hills (7-2) — Recorded a 90 BRIS figure last out when a two-length third as the post-time favorite. Owns a 4-1-2-1 record at the distance. Trainer Mark Casse is a 25% winner with beaten favorites and a 15% winner with shippers. Jose Ortiz regains the mount and strikes at a 19% rate on turf. Runhappy mare has been running at 5F in last four, beaten a half-length in two of those starts. Added distance can help the late runner.

#5 Hideki (12-1) — Won two back at today’s distance in an allowance at Churchill in October, then switched to all-weather at Turfway and finished seventh of eight. Trainer Ryan Walsh is a 25% winner on turf (from a small sample size) with a +10.05 ROI, and he’s a 16% winner second off the layoff. Luan Machado is back in the saddle and won with Hideki two back.

#6 Peacock Lass (8-1) — Just one try on turf, back in May of 2023. Raced on all-weather in last three at Turfway with Alex Achard aboard. Keeps the same rider and switches back to turf (a 17% winning move for Rodolphe Brisset, who’s a 22% winner at allowance level). American Pharoah filly posted an 87 BRIS figure last out when a two-length second.

Race 6: 1 1/16 miles, maiden special weight, 3yo fillies

#6 Restless Dreamer (4-1) — Street Sense filly finished a four-length second on debut when racing a mile over a sloppy track. Late runner can improve off layoff for Chad Brown, who’s a 25% winner with second career starts. Tyler Gaffalione picks up the mount.

#5 Sidamara (2-1) – Arrogate filly finished second by 1 1/4 lengths in a one-mile maiden special weight over a sloppy track at Gulfstream. Posted sharp pair of workouts since. Bill Mott is a 19% winner with shippers but just a 9% winner in second career starts (from a sample size of 183). Jose Ortiz retains the mount. Sidamara’s 90 BRIS figure is 10 points higher than the next-best speed figure among the field.

#2 Claire’s Jete (12-1) — Malibu Moon filly makes first start for Phil Bauer, a 24% winner with debut runners in maiden special weights. Dam has five winners from seven starters. Super sharp workouts in March. Julien Leparoux named to ride.

#7 Jessamine Hill (8-1) — Second on debut, then third when racing 1 1/16 miles, both times on Gulfstream’s all-weather. Was beaten as the favorite last out when weakening to third. Mark Casse is a 25% winner with beaten favorites, and Javier Castellano will inherit the ride (17% winner with routes). Bullet four-furlong workout March 26.

#3 Sicilian Princess (6-1) — Ran well on Lasix in debut at 6 1/2 furlongs on Turfway’s all-weather. Posted a 79 BRIS figure when second by 1 3/4 lengths. Came off Lasix in second start while jumping up to stakes company and was far back in sixth. Drops in class and Will Walden removes the blinkers. Races on Lasix a second time. Luis Saez is up (19% winner with routes). Bullet four-furlong workout at Keeneland.

AE #13 Mystical Chant (12-1) — Intriguing longshot if she makes the field. Posted 80 BRIS figure last out in first start since transferring to Ben Colebrook’s barn — was her first try at a route and made the switch to all-weather. Set the early pace and led in the stretch but was no match for the winner, who rallied late. Can improve second off the layoff and racing on Lasix a second time. Flavien Prat named to ride. Bullet four-furlong workout on March 23.

Race 7: 5 1/2 furlongs (turf), Palisades S., 3yos

Grew up a Yankees fan but never miss a chance to back No Nay Mets. Plus a chance to single in the middle leg of the Pick 5.

#4 No Nay Mets (5-2) — Finished fourth as the favorite to European shipper Big Evs last out in the five-furlong Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint (G1). Will drop in class and get an extra half-furlong here, and he’s 3-for-5 from today’s distance. Flashed a 100 BRIS figure last out, by far the highest last-out speed figure among the field. It’s also the fastest speed figure among the field at today’s distance (two points higher than Shards’ 98, recorded in the same Breeders’ Cup race). Trainer George Weaver is a 19% winner with shippers and an 18% winner off layoffs of more than 90 days. Irad Ortiz Jr., who’s 8-3-1-0 to start the meet, will retain the mount.

Pick 5 alternatives if standing against favorite

#3 Mansa Musa (15-1) — Irish-bred colt shipping to U.S. for first time and making first start with Bill Mott, who’s 3-for-10 with shippers to the U.S. Mansa Musa comes off a more than six-month layoff, but put in a sharp 3F workout March 30, and Mott wins at a 24% rate off layoffs of 90 or more days. Junior Alvarado will pick up the mount. Three-year-old owns 4-1-2-0 record on turf, and has raced exclusively at six furlongs for his career thus far.

#6 Fandom (12-1) — Lightly raced Wesley Ward trainee who graduated at first asking when wiring a 5 1/2-furlong maiden special weight at Keeneland by 6 3/4 lengths last April. Raced in the six-furlong Coventry S. (G2) at Ascot in June and weakened to 11th in a 20-horse field. Now comes off a nine-month layoff for Ward, who’s 3-1-1-0 to start the meet, and Jose Ortiz (19% winner on turf) is up.

Race 8: 7 furlongs, Beaumont S. (G2), 3yo fillies

A small field and a potential to single in the fourth leg of the Late Pick 5 if you like the even-money favorite. The race should go to a Brad Cox runner — so either go for the heavy favorite or the price with Denim and Pearls.

#1 Denim and Pearls (7-2) — Had the lead in the stretch but was beaten to second in last two when racing a mile and 1 1/16 miles in stakes. Flashed a 92 BRIS figure three back when winning by 3 1/2 lengths in a one-mile allowance optional claimer at Churchill. Won on debut in a 6 1/2-furlong maiden special weight at Keeneland last October. Comes off two-month layoff. Flavien Prat regains the mount (33% winner with sprints).

#6 Youalmosthadme (1-1) — Posted a pair of Speed figures in the 90s in last two, both victories. By Oxbow, the Brad Cox trainee romped to a seven-length win in the six-furlong Myrtlewood S. at Keeneland two back, then scored a three-quarter-length victory in the 6 1/2-furlong Fern Creek S. at Churchill in November. Cox is a 28% winner off layoffs of more than 90 days and a 28% winner with horses that won their last race. Tyler Gaffalione retains the mount. Sharp workouts in March. Only concern is her record beyond 6 1/2 furlongs (0-for-2).

#2 Harbor Springs (6-1) — If you’re going against Brad Cox’s contingent, this Lookin At Lucky filly broke her maiden by six lengths last out over a sloppy track in her second career start. Greg Foley is a 15% winner with shippers. Irad Ortiz Jr. inherits the mount. Bullet four-furlong workout on March 29.

Race 9: one mile, allowance, fillies and mares 3yo and up

AE #14 Hola Gata (2-1) — The one to beat if she makes the field. Kitten’s Joy filly was beaten a neck as the favorite last out in a one-mile allowance optional claimer at Gulfstream. Late runner with three straight losses by a head or neck. Her last-out 88 Brisnet Speed figure is a point higher than the par winning figure for today’s race conditions. Chad Brown a 30% winner with beaten favorites and a 25% winner at allowance level. Tyler Gaffalione (2-for-7 to start the meet) regains the mount.

AE #16 Excellent Question (4-1) — Broke maiden at Keeneland racing a mile in second turf try. Stretched out to 1 1/16 miles in next two grass starts and finished fourth and seventh. Comes off a more than two-month layoff for Brendan Walsh. Irad Ortiz Jr. (22%) in the saddle.

#7 Holy Foley (6-1) — Broke maiden at the distance on Ellis Park’s turf last July while recording an 84 BRIS figure. Went 0-for-4 in next four starts between a mile and 1 1/8 miles. Raced on all-weather last out. Brian Lynch an 18% winner second off the layoff and 20% winner at allowance level. John Velazquez picks up mount. Bullet 5F workout March 27. Has the late kick (101 Late Pace rating two back) to rally for a win.

#2 Tituba (4-1) — Good Magic filly is 0-for-3 in turf starts racing between seven furlongs and 1 1/2 miles. Rallied to finish second in a seven-furlong allowance at Kentucky Downs last September with an 84 BRIS figure. Recorded an 85 BRIS figure most recently in a one-mile allowance optional claimer at Turfway. Raced at a mile on all-weather in last two and had the lead in the stretch before being beaten. Michael Maker is a 21% winner third off the layoff and 15% winner at allowance level. Frankie Dettori picks up the mount.

Play if also-eligibles do not make field — #8 Cadencia (3-1) — 90 BRIS figure three back when beaten a neck at a mile. Cut back to sprint distances in last two. William Morey a 24% winner off layoffs of 46-90 days and a 23% winner with shippers. Gerardo Corrales a 27% winner paired up with the trainer the last two months.

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