Keeneland selections and analysis for Thursday, April 20

April 20th, 2023

Back for another day at Keeneland!

Yesterday, we were on a hot streak races 2 through 5, with our top choice winning in each — and the 50-cent Pick 4 paying $331.50.

Let's look ahead to Thursday racing!

Race 1

This should come down between these two:

Top choice: #1 Dialherup (1-1): The one to beat in the six-horse field. Placed a length second on debut in a six-furlong maiden claimer Feb. 23, then came home third at today’s distance in a $75K maiden special weight while recording a 78 Brisnet Speed rating. Michael Stidham is a 28% winner with horses running their second route race and a 24% winner with horses dropping from maiden special weight to maiden claiming. Irad Ortiz (27% winner with routes) will pick up the mount on the Dialed In filly. The rail post is winning at a 20% clip.

#2 Lady With a Cause (5-2): Beaten a nose as the favorite in a one-mile maiden claimer at Oaklawn March 16 when racing on sloppy ground. Two back, the Creative Cause filly finished second by 2 3/4 lengths when facing a similarly small field in a $35K maiden special weight at Fair Grounds. Trainer Kenny McPeek is a 27% winner with beaten favorites and a 15% winner with shippers. Will switch back to rider Brian Hernandez, a 13% winner this meet.

To play underneath:
#4 Honor Hallaren (8-1): Honor Code four-year-old never factored on debut in a six-furlong maiden special weight on Turfway’s all-weather. Will try a route distance for the first time, a winning move 17% of the time for Cherie DeVaux, and the filly will get a rider switch to hot jockey Luis Saez in her second career race. Put in sharp workout March 28 at Keeneland and may improve with first-time blinkers.

#3 La Village Lumiere (12-1): The City of Light filly was far back in both starts racing a mile on Turfway’s all-weather in $70K maiden special weights under Luan Machado. Nacho Correas is a 22% winner with horses dropping from maiden special weight to maiden claiming and a 15% winner at the maiden claiming level. Vincent Cheminaud will pick up the mount and strikes at a 20% rate with routes. The three-year-old can improve in first dirt start.

Race 2

#8 American Rascal (6-5): Wesley Ward runner who’s looked good in morning moves. By Curlin out of a Scat Daddy mare, the two-year-old will be guided by Joel Rosario (7-3-0-3 paired with Ward the last seven days). Ward is also a 30% winner with first-time starters.

#4 Frosty the Giant (8-1): Frosted colt will get Irad Ortiz in his first career start for Anthony Farrior, a 16% winner with first-time starters. The two-year-old is out of a City Zip mare responsible for one winner from one starter.

#5 Kore Kinetic (6-1): By Nyquist (15% sire win rate with first-time starters) and out of a dam who has two winners from two starters. Trainer Luis Mendez is a 13% winner with horses debuting at maiden special weight level. Pair of bullet three-furlong workouts April 11 and April 15 at Keeneland. Declan Cannon named to ride.

#1 Cowes (9-2): Outwork colt makes first start for Wayne Catalano, a 16% winner at maiden special weight level, and is out of a mare who has produced a winner from two starters. Jareth Loveberry is named to ride, and the two-year-old put in a bullet 46-second four-furlong workout April 11.

AE of note:

#13 Prints Money (6-1): Steve Asmussen is a 14% winner with horses debuting at maiden special weight level, and the Munnings two-year-old will get Florent Geroux, a 33% winner in sprints.

#15 Loudermilk (8-1): Bernardini two-year-old makes first start for Will Walden, a 25% winner at maiden special weight level. Bullet four-furlong workout at Keeneland April 14. Luis Saez (23% winner in sprints) named to ride.

Race 3

#5 Write Off Jerry (5-2): Recorded 83 Brisnet Speed rating in third career race when third in a one-mile maiden special weight on Turfway’s all-weather. Makes first start on grass for Brendan Walsh, a 14% winner with turf starts, and Irad Ortiz will pick up the mount. Sharp five-furlong workout April 13.

#8 Camilo (7-2): More Than Ready gelding settled up close but yielded inside final furlong when fifth by 3 1/2 lengths on debut in a 1 1/8-mile maiden special weight on Gulfstream’s turf. Will get a rider switch to John Velazquez in second career start for Jonathan Thomas, a 29% winner with second starts.

#7 Highest Rated (15-1): Frankel colt makes debut for Kenny McPeek, a 10% winner with horses making first start on turf. Brian Hernandez, a 13% winner this meet, is named to ride, and the three-year-old is out of a dam who has five turf winners and two stakes winners. Solid works ahead of debut.

#2 Pearse (8-1): No factor on debut when racing six furlongs on Turfway’s all-weather but will try a route for the first time for Paulo Lobo, an 18% winner this meet who wins at a 21% clip with horses making second career start. Joe Talamo will stick with the Into Mischief colt and is 15-2-1-0 this meet. Sharp four-furlong workout April 3.

MTO:

#16 Midnight Pranks (4-1): Into Mischief colt led through the first call but was outkicked in upper stretch and placed third in 1 1/16-mile maiden special weight on Fair Grounds’ main track. Bret Calhoun an 18% winner with horses coming off a layoff of 46-90 days. Reylu Gutierrez will pick up the mount. Sharp five-furlong workout at Keeneland April 11.

Race 4

#9 Jeeper (5-2): Four-year-old drops in class after finishing seventh in an allowance optional claimer at Fair Grounds March 26. Two back, he finished fourth against the same class class level following a maiden win at a mile and 70 yards in which he recorded a career-best 88 BRIS figure Feb. 3. Keith Desormeaux is a 20% winner with shippers and a 17% winner at the claiming level. Regular rider Colby Hernandez will retain the mount and is 1-for-3 at Keeneland this meet. Overanalyze colt owns 7-1-2-1 record at today’s distance.

#7 Hoku (9-5): Four-year-old gelding came home second when switching from turf to dirt in one-mile and 40-yard allowance optional claimer at Tampa Bay Downs last out while matching his career-best 82 BRIS figure. Will make second dirt start for Kelsey Danner, a 19% winner with horses running at the claiming level first time. Tiznow grandson will pick up hot jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. and posted a bullet four-furlong workout April 11 at Churchill.

#8 Sailor’s Return (8-1): Intriguing longshot from barn of Donald Habeeb, a 14% winner at the claiming level. The Declaration of War five-year-old comes off a win at today’s distance in a maiden claimer at Fair Grounds in which he flashed an 84 BRIS figure with a 90 Late Pace rating. Edgar Morales (20% winner with routes) will retain the mount, and the gelding posted a pair of fast workouts April 5 and April 13 at Churchill Downs.

#6 Harold’s Cloud (10-1): Cloud Computing colt makes first start for Jason Barkley and drops in class off a distant fourth in a 1 1/16-mile claimer at Fair Grounds March 18. Has a win at today’s distance and put in a bullet four-furlong workout April 5 at Keeneland. Will remove blinkers, a winning move 13% of the time for Barkley, and gets James Graham, a 14% winner with routes who strikes at a 20% rate with pacesetter types.

Race 5

#11 Daring Do (5-2): Into Mischief three-year-old wired a six-furlong maiden special weight in second career start on Turfway’s all-weather and will cut back in distance while trying turf the first time. Wesley Ward is a 22% winner with horses coming off a maiden win and an 18% winner first time on turf. Walter Rodriguez will retain the mount.

#12 Funny Money Honey (15-1): Gave way in the stretch in first U.S. start when racing in a six-furlong allowance optional claimer on Turfway’s all-weather. Makes second start for Paulo Lobo and races on Lasix a second time. Eligible to improve in second start off a layoff and with the cutback in distance. Vincent Cheminaud (17% winner on turf) will pick up the mount. Stakes placed when racing five furlongs overseas.

#1 Lost My Sock (4-1): Fourth last out in the 5 1/2-furlong Stormy Blues Stakes at Laurel in June. The four-year-old will return off a more than 10-month layoff for Derek Ryan and will race on Lasix a second time. Clocked best turf speed among the field when recording a 92 Brisnet Speed rating in the Limestone at Keeneland last April. John Velazquez, a 15% winner on turf, will pick up the mount.

Also consider for horizontals:

#9 Peach Cobbler (7-2): Won two back in a five-furlong claimer at Gulfstream while posting a 78 Brisnet Speed rating, then finished fourth by just three-quarters of a length in an allowance optional claimer at the same track March 15. Makes third start off the layoff for Cheryl Winebaugh and will pick up jockey Jareth Loveberry, a 23% winner on turf. Speightstown filly is 1-for-3 at today’s distance.

#6 Retail Therapist (20-1): Makes first start since December, when the four-year-old finished far back in a seven-furlong allowance optional claimer on Woodbine’s all-weather. A return to turf can trigger improvement in first start off a long layoff. Three back, the filly dominated in a seven-furlong turf sprint while clocking an 89 BRIS figure. Makes first start for Eric Reed, an 18% winner with horses coming off a layoff of 90 days or more, and Florent Geroux in the saddle is a plus.

AE of note:

#16 Georgees Spirit (3-1): Win contender if the Mor Spirit three-year-old draws in. Third last out in a six-furlong stakes at Aqueduct in November. Broke maiden at today’s distance on turf. Races on Lasix the first time for Jorge Abreu in first start in more than five months. Flavien Prat (20% winner this meet) named to ride.

Race 6

#4 Devil’s Tower (7-5): Into Mischief five-year-old has won three straight at six furlongs while racing at Oaklawn this season, including a length victory last out in a $35K allowance while recording a 94 Brisnet Speed rating. Won lone start at Keeneland back in 2021. Trainer Chris Hartman is a 26% winner with horses that won their last race and a 22% winner in sprints. Gelding should not skip a beat with a rider switch to Irad Ortiz.

#8 Tilted Towers (9-2): Will look to set early pace while breaking from the outside. Seven-year-old gelding took over past half-mile marker and held safe to win by 2 1/4 lengths in five-furlong claimer at Hawthorne. Second in lone try at 6 1/2 furlongs when nailed at the wire on Turfway’s all-weather three back. Brittany Vanden Berg is a 33% winner with dirt starts and a 32% winner with horses that won their last race. Regular rider Chris Emigh will retain the mount. Bullet four-furlong workout April 12.

#3 Nifty (3-1): Ghostzapper seven-year-old comes off back-to-back victories in allowance optional claimers at Sam Houston and will make his third start off a layoff, a winning move 20% of the time for Bret Calhoun. Moves up in class in second career start at Keeneland. Will get Reylu Gutierrez (19% winner in sprints), but inside post may pose a challenge here.

Race 7

#11 Royal Patronage (9-2): Drops in class in third start for Graham Motion. Was a good sixth to Nations Pride in Saratoga Derby (G1) last August, then came home seventh in Grade 3 Virginia Derby. Comes off more than seven-month layoff and put in sharp works ahead of four-year-old debut. Joel Rosario will retain the mount.

#2 Kupuna (5-1): Flashed 98 BRIS figure last out when beaten a half-length in 1 1/16-mile allowance optional claimer at Oaklawn March 18. Bret Calhoun a 16% winner dirt to turf and a 13% winner with first-time turf starters. Reylu Gutierrez will regain the mount.

#1 Dominican Pioneer (12-1): Won last out in 1 1/16-mile allowance last October. Returns off six-month layoff for Wesley Ward, a 22% winner on turf. John Velazquez named to ride.

Also consider:

#10 Fenwick Station (8-1): Returned off long layoff and finished fifth on Fair Grounds’ main track when racing 1 1/16 miles. Owns 12-3-2-2 record on turf and wired 1 1/2-mile allowance on Keeneland’s lawn two back in April 2022. Luis Saez will regain the mount.

#6 Kittansett (10-1): Switches from dirt to turf after finishing three-quarters of a length in sixth in 1 1/16-mile allowance optional claimer last November. Paulo Lobo a 14% winner in turf starts and a 22% winner at allowance level. Walter Rodriguez will pick up the mount.

AE of note:

#14 Vintage Print (4-1), #15 Burning Bright (9-2)

Race 8

#1 Vittorio (6-5): Ghostzapper five-year-old came home fourth by 3 3/4 lengths in 1 1/16-mile Essex (G3) while recording a 101 Late Pace rating and can benefit from added distance today. Two back, the Bill Mott pupil placed second at the same distance in his first start with the trainer and is eligible to improve in his third start off a layoff. Irad Ortiz, a 27% winner with routes, will pick up the mount. Sharp pair of recent workouts.

#8 Curbstone (8-1): Romped to 4 1/4-length win in allowance optional claimer at Aqueduct last out while posting a 100 BRIS figure, the highest last race speed figure among the field. Moves up in class and makes second career start at Keeneland, where he placed in lone start in 2021. Street Sense gelding picks up Florent Geroux, an 18% winner this meet and 22% winner with routes, and trainer Tom Morley is a 23% winner with horses that won their last race plus a 15% winner at the allowance level. Four-year-old is 3-for-4 at today’s distance.

#2 Time for Trouble (20-1): Raced at 1 3/8 and 1 1/2 miles on turf when facing graded stakes company in last two but will get some class relief and can improve with a return to dirt. Three back, the English Channel gelding won at 1 1/16 miles in a restricted allowance at Churchill in November and posted a 95 Brisnet Speed rating. Jeff Hiles is a 20% winner with horses switching from turf to dirt and a 19% winner with horses coming off a layoff of 46-90 days. Will regain rider Joe Talamo, who guided six-year-old in most recent win.

#7 Creative Minister (15-1): Creative Cause four-year-old may improve second off the layoff for Kenny McPeek and will get Brian Hernandez Jr. back in the saddle. Last out, he returned off a five-month layoff and finished fourth in allowance optional claimer at Oaklawn while recording a 97 Brisnet Speed rating with a 101 Late Pace figure over sloppy ground. Looked sharp in workout April 14.

Race 9

#7 Sherlock’s Jewel (12-1): Lea colt was second last out in a $150K maiden special weight run at a mile at Kentucky Downs in September. Will make first start in more than seven months for Shug McGaughey, a 17% winner with horses coming off a layoff of 90 days or more and a 19% winner in turf starts. Three-year-old will race on Lasix the first time and will pick up Luis Saez, a 20% winner this meet. Put in pair of sharp recent workouts.

#8 Just So (7-2): Justify colt led in the stretch but was caught by surging outer foe to place second by 1 1/2 lengths on debut in one-mile and 70-yard maiden special weight taken off the turf at Gulfstream. Chad Brown (4-for-10 this meet) is a 25% winner with horses running their second career race and a 23% winner with first-time turf runners. The three-year-old is also out of a Congrats mare who has produced a turf winner. Joel Rosario will pick up the mount. Sharp works ahead of first start in more than two months.

#9 Balthazar (4-1): Clocked an 88 Brisnet Speed rating last out when a half-length second in one-mile maiden special weight at Santa Anita. John Velazquez will inherit the mount and strikes at a 15% rate on turf. Sharp four-furlong workout April 5. Neil Drysdale is a 19% winner with shippers.

Also consider for horizontals:

#6 Royal Sandrin (8-1): Raced on Turfway’s all-weather in three career starts. Beaten a neck last out at 1 1/16 miles in a $70K maiden special weight. Rodolphe Brisset a 17% winner first race on turf and a 23% winner with first-time blinkers. Hot jockey Flavien Prat will pick up the mount on the Speightstown colt. Sharp three-furlong workout April 15.

#2 Shamanic (20-1): First-time starter for Joe Sharp, a 16% winner with turf starts. The longshot is by Shaman Ghost out of a Tiznow mare who has produced three winners from three starters, including two turf winners. Sharp workouts ahead of debut, and Florent Geroux (18% winner this meet) is named to ride.

*Will take a stand against #10 Cyber Ninja (5-2): Flashed 88 BRIS figure when far back in third in 1 1/16-mile maiden special weight on dirt. Bill Mott is just a 7% winner with first-time turf starters and a 12% winner with horses running second career race.

AE of note:

#13 Quality Art (8-1): Quality Road colt makes first start for Andrew McKeever, a 29% winner with horses debuting on turf. Dam has five winners from five starters, including a turf winner and a stakes winner. Adam Beschizza is named to ride. Bullet four-furlong April 4 at Keeneland.

#15 Composer’s Dream (8-1): Mendelssohn colt was ninth in both career starts, at 7 1/2 furlongs and 1 1/8 miles. Comes off a more than two-month layoff for Mike Maker, a 17% winner on turf, and Flavien Prat will get the call. Sharp five-furlong workout April 15.

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