Analyzing the $51,297 Pick 6 carryover at Keeneland
Heavy rain fell on Friday at Keeneland, leaving the main track sloppy and the turf course soft. The forecast for Saturday afternoon is clear, so there’s a chance the main track will be fast by the time the Pick 6 gets started. But the condition of the turf course is another matter entirely, and it’s possible some of the day’s grass events will be transferred to dirt.
Here’s an overview of Saturday’s carryover races, highlighting horses of note, and instances where Friday’s rainfall might have an impact:
Race 5: $50,000 Claiming (1 1/16 miles, 3:08 p.m. ET)
The Pick 6 kickoff leg drew nine entries, with #6 Fighting Seabee (3-1) the slim favorite for hot trainer Kenny McPeek. But Fighting Seabee has campaigned primarily on turf and is 0-for-3 on dirt, suggesting veteran stakes winners #4 Pioneer Spirit (7-2) and #1 Lord Dragon (7-2) have upset potential in this deep field.
Race 6: Maiden Special Weight (1 1/16 miles on turf, 3:40 p.m. ET)
#4 Curbstone finished second over this distance and class level at Belmont Park last month and could be a viable single if this race stays on the turf. Otherwise, #11 Wicked Genius (3-1) is worth a look after hitting the board in his first tree starts on dirt for McPeek.
Race 7: Maiden Special Weight (1 1/16 miles, 4:12 p.m. ET)
#2 Sovereign Appeal (8-5) looks like a potential standout after placing in three straight maiden special weight routes on the Kentucky circuit, including a neck defeat over this distance at Keeneland last fall. #1 Big City Momma (2-1), shipping in from New York for Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey, is the other key contender.
Race 8: Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1, 4:44 p.m. ET)
If any race is going to remain on turf this Saturday, it’s probably the Queen Elizabeth, the final Grade 1 race of the Keeneland fall meet. #4 Empress Josephine (3-1) won the Irish 1,000 Guineas (G1) over heavy ground during the spring and handled Keeneland just fine when finishing third against older rivals in last week’s First Lady S. (G1). She’ll be tough to deny while adding blinkers for her second local start.
Race 9: Allowance (one mile, 5:16 p.m. ET)
#5 Ducale (8-5) was a fast maiden winner at Saratoga before finishing third in a tough allowance over the same track. He’s a logical win threat while stretching out in distance for hot trainer Brad Cox, who strikes at a 28% rate with horses running long for the first time. But former claimer #4 Winter Pool (7-2) brings a bevy of competitive Brisnet Speed ratings to the mix, and might be able to give the favorite a tussle.
Race 10: Allowance (5 1/2 furlongs on turf, 5:48 p.m. ET)
The finale of the Pick 6 is also the event in which the Super High 5 carryover will be dispersed. Until we see whether the race stays on turf, it’s hard to plot a wagering strategy. If it’s run on grass, #4 Chili Petin (3-1) is the filly to beat for ultra-hot trainer Wesley Ward, with consistent allowance competitor #6 Signify (5-1) a logical threat. But if the race transfers to dirt, main-track only entrant #15 Song River (2-1)—fresh off a pacesetting allowance score at Saratoga—is surely the one to beat.