All-Stakes Pick 5 play at Keeneland Saturday
With five graded events scheduled, Keeneland will offer an All-Stakes Pick 5 on its 11-race program Saturday. I will build a ticket around a couple of strong opinions in the sequence.
Race 6 – Woodford (G2) 3:45 p.m. ET
Nine are set for the 5 1/2-furlong turf sprint, and I will try to get through with three horses.
#8 Leinster has been freshened since a fine win in the July 11 Shakertown (G2) at Keeneland, and the Rusty Arnold-trained 5-year-old loves this course. #5 Chaos Theory, a rallying fourth in the Shakertown, returns to Keeneland after posting a sharp score in the Aug. 22 Green Flash (G3) at Del Mar in his first start for John Sadler. He’s eligible to carry his form forward.
#4 Just Might is my top choice. There doesn’t appear to be a preponderance of early speed present, and the 4-year-old can take advantage following a respectable third in the Sept. 4 Twin Spires Turf Sprint (G2).
Race 7 – Thoroughbred Club of America (G2)
Seven will compete in a competitive edition of the 6-furlong race, and I will be three-deep.
#5 Palace Avenger makes her stakes debut on the upswing for Wesley Ward, winning a pair of conditioned allowances at Saratoga, and she rates a slight edge with Luis Saez. #7 Lady’s Island merits respect following a front-running second in the Sept. 6 Honorable Miss (G2) at Saratoga. I am not fond of the innermost post, but #1 Sneaking Out will be included given her recent strong form in California.
Race 8 – First Lady (G1)
Six distaffers will square off in a mile turf affair lacking pace, and the expected lone speed will be singled.
It’s encouraging to see #4 Newspaperofrecord come right back four weeks later after surrendering a clear lead in the stretch of the Sept. 5 Distaff Turf Mile (G2). The winner that afternoon, Beau Recall, loves the Churchill turf, and Newspaperofrecord didn’t disgrace herself finishing second in the first start since June. The Chad Brown-trained filly should be fitter this time around, and Newspaperofrecord can capitalize upon her pace advantage Saturday.
Race 9 – Breeders’ Futurity (G1)
The 1 1/16-mile test for 2-year-olds features nine youngsters, and I am keen on a debut winner from the Sept. 5 Kentucky Derby undercard.
#4 Essential Quality advanced into contention on the far turn, bulled his way out of close quarters in midstretch, and drew off to win stylishly by a four-length margin at Churchill Downs. His 84 Brisnet Speed rating was solid, and Luis Saez picks up the mount for Brad Cox. By Tapit and out of an Elusive Quality mare, the gray colt should find the stretch out to his liking.
Race 10 – Shadwell Turf Mile (G1)
The prestigious race has attracted 11 turf horses. It looks ripe for an upset, but I won’t let the logical contenders beat me.
#1 Casa Creed is an upset pick. Listed as 12-1 on the morning line, the 4-year-old colt concluded last year with an encouraging win in the Hall of Fame (G2), and I like how he’s progressed in three starts this season for Bill Mott, rallying to be a good third most recently in the Aug. 22 Fourstardave (G1). He’s registered triple-digit BRIS Pace numbers in that last two starts, and Martin Garcia should work out a ground-saving trip. I will look for further improvement on Saturday.
#2 Halladay must be respected following a wire-to-wire win in the Fourstardave, but he’s eligible to catch more early pressure. #4 Bowies Hero didn’t fire last time out, but he showed his affinity for the course winning last year’s Shadwell. #6 Raging Bull, #7 Flavius, and #8 Analyze It will all be included from the Chad Brown barn, and #9 Parlor finished a nose second in the Maker’s Mark Mile (G1) over the course in July.
All-Stakes Pick 5 ticket
4,5,8 with 1,5,7 with 4 with 4 with 1,2,4,6,7,8,9
Total cost: $31.50