Race Preview: Transylvania Stakes - Keeneland, April 5, 2013

Matt Carter

April 5th, 2013

Friday is opening day for the spring meet at Keeneland in Lexington and that means the running of the traditional opening day stakes, the Grade 3 Transylvania. This year's turf stakes drew a field of 10 led by morning line favorite Up With the Birds.

Up With the Birds ships into Keeneland from Fair Grounds where he won the Black Gold Stakes last month. It was the third career win in four starts for the son of Stormy Atlantic, who won two of his first three on the synthetic surface at Woodbine. He is the favorite, but definitely not a slam dunk.

Next on the morning line, between 4-1 and 6-1, are Jack Milton, Fire Guard, Bambazonki and Redwood Kitten. Jack Milton won his debut then was second, beaten just over a length, to Fire Guard, who two starts back was fifth behind Bambazonki and Redwood Kitten. These four horses, along with the favorite, are all evenly matched and must all be used on multi-race exotics.

Brown Almighty and Holiday Star are the long shot plays. Brown Almighty will improve on the return to turf while Holiday Star will hope this group is not as tough as the one he ran against in the Grade 3 Palm Beach.

First post at Keeneland on Friday is 1:05 ET with the Transylvania scheduled to break from the gate at 5:13.