Keeneland selections and analysis for Wednesday, April 19
Let's get to Wednesday's eight-race card.
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#11 Late Nite Mistress (3-1): Wesley Ward is winning at a 29% clip this meet and strikes at a 26% rate with horses debuting at maiden special weight level. Late Nite Mistress is by Into Mischief (16% sire win rate with first-time starters), and her pedigree indicates she should excel at today’s distance. Filly will get Irad Ortiz Jr., who’s 2-for-3 paired with Ward the last 14 days and wins at a 25% rate in sprints. Drew a favorable outside post.
#6 Baraye (5-2): The other Ward runner in the field, the Midshipman filly will race under Joel Rosario, who’s 7-3-0-3 paired with Ward the last seven days. Dam has produced two winners from three starters, and the dark bay two-year-old put in a fast three-furlong workout at Keeneland April 8.
#9 Youalmosthadme (6-1): First-time starter for John Hancock, a 13% winner with horses debuting at maiden special weight level, who put in a bullet four-furlong workout April 12 at Keeneland and will get hot jockey Tyler Gaffalione in first career start. By Oxbow out of a dam who has produced two winners from three starters.
Also consider for horizontals:
#10 Too Fast for You (10-1): By Twirling Candy (18% sire win rate with first-time starters), the filly put in a sharp four-furlong workout April 15 at Keeneland and has Luis Saez (23% in sprints) in the saddle. Eddie Kenneally a 13% winner at maiden special weight level and a 10% winner with first-time starters.
#12 Sapphire Nights (9-2): By Mitole out of an Into Mischief mare. Sharp workout April 11 at Keeneland. Steve Asmussen is a 13% winner with first-time starters, and Florent Geroux is a 33% winner in sprints.
#1 Aim Higher (30-1): Longshot has looked sharp in morning workouts ahead of debut for Michelle Elliott, a 15% winner debut maiden special weight. Filly is by Catalina Cruiser out of a Medaglia d’Oro mare. James Graham (13% winner in sprints) named to ride.
#1 Call of Honor (6-1): Won at today’s distance three back, in April 2022 at Oaklawn. Hit the bench after and returned to finish second as the favorite to a next-out winner in a one-mile allowance optional claimer, then finished far back in eighth as the favorite in an allowance last out in October at Mahoning Valley. Tom Van Berg is a 20% winner with horses coming off a more than three-month layoff and a 24% winner with beaten favorites. Tyler Gaffalione (24% winner this meet) will pick up the mount, and the Honor Code gelding has posted a number of sharp workouts in lead-up to season debut. Five-year-old is 3-for-6 from today’s distance, including maiden win at Keeneland. Rail post is also winning at a 20% clip.
#6 Carom (3-1): Broke slowly but rallied to finish a two-length fourth when sent off as the favorite in a one-mile claimer on Turfway’s all-weather on April 1 while posting an 86 Brisnet Speed rating, the highest last race speed figure among the field, and a 94 Late Pace rating. Will make second start for Jonathan Wong, who’s a 28% winner with beaten favorites.
#5 Hard Love (7-2): Kitten’s Joy gelding drops in class in third start for Eddie Kenneally and second off the layoff. Switches from turf to make first career dirt start after fading to finish seventh at today’s distance on Fair Grounds’ lawn. Will pick up Luis Saez, a 28% winner with routes and a 21% winner this meet.
*Will take a stand against morning line favorite #6 Cartier Cat (5-2), who tired to finish a distant ninth at today’s distance at Fair Grounds March 10. Two back, the Animal Kingdom gelding won at a mile and 70 yards in a $15K claimer while posting a 79 BRIS figure under Jareth Loveberry, who will ride #2 Ottothelegend instead. Carlos Silva is an 11% winner in last 167 routes, and Rafael Bejarano (1-for-18 this meet) will pick up the mount.
#12 I’mherefortheparty (12-1): Blame filly was far back in both career starts, most recently finishing sixth in a $30K maiden claimer on AW. Will return off a nearly two-month layoff and has posted a trio of sharp recent workouts. Luis Saez, 23% winner in sprints, will pick up the mount. Eddie Kenneally is a 19% winner at maiden claiming level and a 16% winner with horses coming off a layoff of 46 to 90 days. Will race on Lasix a second time.
#9 Get By (5-2): Can improve in second start off a layoff after finishing fourth by 2 1/2 lengths on Turfway’s all-weather in 5 1/2-furlong maiden optional claimer. Drops in class for Ian Wilkes, who is 12-3-4-1 to start the meet and wins at a 13% rate at maiden claiming level. Julien Leparoux will retain the mount.
#5 Carmel Sunrise (30-1): Third in a 6 1/2-furlong maiden claimer last out on Turfway’s all-weather. Will switch to dirt in third start for Eric Reed, who strikes at a 21% rate with horses transitioning from synthetic to dirt and a 13% rate at maiden claiming level. Florent Geroux, a 33% winner in sprints, will pick up the mount.
Also consider for horizontals:
#2 Freeform (6-1): Posted a 68 Brisnet Speed figure on debut in lone dirt start when far back in fourth in a $50K maiden special weight Aug. 26. Tried turf last out in 1 1/16-mile maiden special weight at Keeneland and was last of 11. Drops to maiden claiming level for Michelle Nihei and races on Lasix the first time in first start in more than six months. Sharp four-furlong workout April 13. Jack Gilligan will pick up the mount.
#3 Icy Stare (4-1): Sped to the front and stayed to deep stretch before faltering to finish fifth by 3 1/2 lengths in $15K maiden claimer on Turfway’s all-weather. Return to dirt can trigger improvement as well as a rider switch to hot jockey Tyler Gaffalione, but trainer John Hancock is just an 8% winner with horses coming off a layoff of 46-90 days and is 0-for-7 when adding blinkers the first time. Pair of bullet four-furlong workouts at Keeneland April 2 and April 8.
#7 Up and Down (7-2): Was a step slow but rallied to finish fourth on debut in $105K maiden special weight run at 5 1/2 furlongs at Saratoga last September. Recorded an 83 Brisnet Speed rating — highest last race speed figure among the field and best turf speed figure. Comes off more than seven-month layoff for Chad Brown and will try a route distance for the first time. Irad Ortiz Jr. (29% on turf) will pick up the mount, and the Creative Cause filly will race on Lasix the first time.
#8 Make the Boys Wink (5-2): Recorded 82 BRIS figure when second as the favorite in $84K maiden special weight run at today’s distance on March 16. Brendan Walsh is a 20% winner with beaten favorites and 2-for-4 paired with Tyler Gaffalione the last 14 days. More Than Ready filly owns 2-0-1-1 record at today’s distance.
#6 Fancy Caber Neigh (6-1): Distant fourth last out when racing at today’s distance on Turfway’s all-weather in $70K maiden special weight. Will try grass for the first time, and the Mendelssohn filly’s dam has produced four turf winners. Joe Sharp is a 14% winner first time on turf and a 17% winner with horses racing a route the second time. Joel Rosario will pick up the mount. Sharp four-furlong workout April 8.
Also consider for horizontals:
#9 Just Say So (9-2): Second to a next-out winner when racing 1 1/16 miles on turf in third career start. Comes off a more than three-month layoff and races on Lasix a second time for Eddie Kenneally. Will get rider switch to hot jockey Luis Saez.
#2 Okay Fine (20-1): Far back in fifth last out when racing a mile on Gulfstream’s main track. Will try grass for the first time, a winning move 21% of the time for Brian Lynch. Empire Maker filly is out of a Bernardini mare who has a winner from two starters but no turf winners.
AE of note:
#14 Boltoro (9-2): Bolt d’Oro filly flashed 81 BRIS figure when second at a mile and 70 yards on Fair Grounds’ main track. Mark Casse a 16% winner at maiden special weight level and 14% winner dirt to turf. Regular rider Adam Beschizza will retain the mount.
#4 The Honorable One (6-1): Makes fourth start off the claim for Jonathan Wong, a 25% winner at claiming level and 23% winner in sprints. In last two dirt starts, Honor Code gelding won and placed a length second when racing in one-mile allowances under Jose Nava-Marin, who retains the mount. Posted 83 BRIS figure last out on Feb. 28 at Mahoning Valley. Put in sharp workouts ahead of first start off a nearly two-month layoff.
#1 Invisible War (2-1): Exaggerator gelding posted a pair of 80 Brisnet Speed figures when third in a six-furlong claimer two back at Fair Grounds and fourth as the favorite in a one-mile and 40-yard allowance optional claimer at Tampa Bay Downs March 26. Mark Casse is a 15% winner with horses going short to long and 11-2-1-2 this meet. Irad Ortiz Jr. will get second straight ride with the five-year-old, who posted a sharp four-furlong workout April 13.
#7 Longshadow (3-1): Tapiture four-year-old came home fourth at today’s distance last out at Tampa Bay Downs March 17. Will add blinkers for first time, a winning move for trainer Kelsey Danner 15% of the time, and will race on Lasix a second time. Makes a rider switch to Adam Beschizza and may improve second start off the layoff.
Longshots to watch:
#5 Sail at Sunrise (15-1): Recorded 85 BRIS figure in 6 1/2-furlong sprint when a good fourth in a $25K claimer on Woodbine’s all-weather last out in November. Makes first start for trainer Jon Jazdzewski, a 17% winner with horses coming off a long layoff, and posted a fast workout April 13. Walter Rodriguez, a 20% winner in sprints, will pick up the mount on Midshipman six-year-old.
#6 Group Eighteen (10-1): Four-year-old gelding got up to win by a nose in 6 1/2-furlong claimer two back on Turfway’s all-weather, then finished third when cutting back to six furlongs at the same track March 18. A rider switch to hot jockey Florent Geroux (33% winner in sprints) makes the longshot appealing.
#3 Evan Harlan (9-5): Weakened to finish ninth in the 1 1/4-mile San Marcos (G3) last out at Santa Anita Feb. 5. Class relief can help Temple City four-year-old get back to winner’s circle, and a switch back to Joel Rosario, who guided the gelding to a win four back, is a plus. Will remove blinkers in first start in more than two months for Graham Motion, who is 5-1-1-1 this meet.
#11 Master of the Ring (4-1): Bodemeister gelding crossed the wire second last out but was placed fifth via DQ for interference in the stretch in 1 1/4-mile allowance optional claimer at Turfway. Gets a rider switch to Tyler Gaffalione, a 20% winner on turf, and trainer Mike Maker is a 16% winner at allowance level and a 14% winner with horses switching from AW to turf. Bullet four-furlong workout April 1.
#10 Always Above (3-1): One of two runners for Michelle Nihei, the Honor Code colt will drop in class today in his first start since Nov. 4 at Keeneland, where he finished far back in sixth in a Grade 2 dirt event. Nihei is a 13% winner with horses coming off a layoff of 90 days or more, and the four-year-old posted a sharp five-furlong workout at Keeneland April 4. Will keep regular rider Joe Talamo, who is 15-2-1-0 to start the meet.
Longshot to watch:
#2 Solid Country Gold (20-1): Came home fourth by 3 1/2 lengths when racing against this class level at 1 1/8 miles just one week ago at Keeneland. Short turnaround may be tough, but the War Front grandson has the late speed to succeed on the stretch-out in distance. Jareth Loveberry (a 23% winner on turf) will retain the mount. Wayne Catalano a 15% winner at allowance level.
#1 Chileno (5-1): Gun Runner four-year-old owns 8-1-2-2 record at today’s distance and will drop in class following a distant seventh in a 1 1/8-mile allowance in which the colt pressed the pace but gave way in the stretch; recorded an 88 Brisnet Speed rating. Steve Asmussen is a 16% winner third off the layoff and first time at the claiming level. Rail post winning at a 20% clip, and a rider switch to Tyler Gaffalione is a plus.
#2 Film Star (5-2): Struggled in lone start at today’s distance when racing over sloppy ground in an allowance at Oaklawn. Brad Cox a 27% winner at the claiming level and a 22% winner with horses making first start in 46-90 days. Flatter colt has looked sharp in morning moves leading up to second start at Keeneland. Flavien Prat (30% winner with routes and 33% winner paired with Cox the last two months) will inherit the mount.
#3 Lil Bro Coop (3-1): Moves up in class off a dominant six-length win at today’s distance on a muddy Oaklawn track. Chris Hartman a 29% winner at claiming level and a 16% winner with horses coming off a maiden win. Irad Ortiz Jr. (27% routes) will pick up the mount on the War Front grandson, who owns a 2-1-1-0 record at today’s distance. Pair of bullet workouts April 1 and April 8.
#6 Group Hug (9-2): Goes from turf to dirt in second start off the layoff for Mike Maker, a 24% winner at claiming level. Speightster five-year-old will get a rider switch to Luis Saez, a 28% winner in routes, and can improve with added distance after racing a mile in last six. Sharp workout April 9.
#2 Callie’s Grit (6-1): Failed as favorite in one-mile Juvenile Fillies Stakes at Kentucky Downs last out in September. Two back, the Maclean’s Music filly was second to a next-out winner on debut in $105K maiden special weight at 1 1/16 miles. Returns off a more than seven-month layoff but has put in a number of sharp workouts. Trainer Joe Sharp is a 16% winner with horses racing on Lasix the first time, and Tyler Gaffalione will stick with the three-year-old, who drops in class today.
#9 Reconsider Me (4-1): European shipper who finished second in seven-furlong Class 4 stakes at Newmarket on debut in October. Comes off a more than five-month layoff in first try at a route for Graham Motion and races on Lasix the first time. John Velazquez named to ride the No Nay Never filly.
#8 Frontal Attack (3-1): First-time starter for Chad Brown (10-4-1-1 this meet). The War Front filly is by a Smart Strike mare who has not produced any winners from two starters. Irad Ortiz Jr. (29% winner on turf) is up, and the filly has put in decent workouts ahead of debut.
Longshot to watch:
#1 Stay Lost (15-1): Closed 2022 season with a distant 10th in 1 1/16-mile maiden special weight on dirt. Two back, at Keeneland in October, the Bernardini filly led in the stretch but yielded to outer rivals to finish fourth. Will race on Lasix the first time in first start for Norm Casse off four-month layoff. Reylu Gutierrez will pick up the mount. Sharp four-furlong workout April 12.
AE of note:
#15 Shesasmalltowngirl (6-1): Oscar Performance filly has raced on dirt at six furlongs in two career starts. Mike Maker a 16% winner first at a route and 11% winner first time on turf. Flavien Prat named to ride.
#16 Tactical Joke (3-1): Wesley Ward runner finished third by 1 1/4 lengths on debut in five-furlong maiden special weight Jan. 27 while posting an 85 BRIS figure. Can improve with stretch-out in distance. Irad Ortiz Jr. will retain the mount.
#13 Astrila (20-1): Mendelssohn filly eligible to improve third off the layoff for Bill Mott and while stretching out in distance after racing at five furlongs in last two. Joel Rosario will pick up the mount.