Attacking Late Pick 5 on Keeneland opening day

Profile Picture: Vance Hanson

October 6th, 2017

Happy Opening Day at Keeneland! The weather is summer-like in Lexington for Friday's 10-race card, and fast/firm conditions prevail.

The Late Pick 5, which commences in Race 6, includes two graded stakes plus three allowances. Here's how my 50-cent ticket is going to look:

Race 6

#2 MOIETY (3-1) owns a big win over this track at the last fall meet, but has only run sporadically since. While not an encouraging sign, she tends to fire big off layoffs and has been knocking on the door at this level. #3 BLIP N' TH BYE (4-1) returns to her preferred surface after below-par efforts on Tapeta and turf. She's another that's run well over this track in the past, including a runner-up placing versus similar at the spring meet. #6 READY TO CONFESS (5-1) is multiple Grade 3-placed and was in no position to run down a loose-on-the-lead Terra Promessa in a pair of stakes at Oaklawn last winter. Fires fresh? #7 ALWAYS ON MY MIND (5-1) is yet another coming off an extended break and debuts here for the potent Brad Cox barn, a plus.

Race 7

Just two deep in this first-level allowance on the turf. #4 SURPRISE TWIST (4-1) didn't have the best of trips in a longer race at Saratoga, proving rank early behind a very slow early pace. Lightly-raced three-year-old still has room for improvement. #12 HARLAN STRONG (8-1), third in a Monmouth stakes after a stumbling at the start, can be forgiven for his no-show in an off-the-turf allowance in the Saratoga mud last time.

Race 8 (Phoenix [G2])

Taking a stand against Whitmore, who arguably should have fared better in a soft renewal of the Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash (G3) last time. #2 THREEFIVEINDIA (6-1) has held his own in graded company in the past and has finally rounded into his best form of the season with a recent three-length allowance tally at Saratoga. #5 LIMOUSINE LIBERAL (#5-2) tends to be sharper second off the layoff rather than immediately after one, but nearly upset A. P. Indian in this race a year ago and can get an ideal stalking trip here. #7 FAVORITE TALE (6-1) figures to improve second time back from a layoff that stretched nearly 18 months. A strong third behind Runhappy and Private Zone in the 2015 Breeders' Cup Sprint (G1) in his only other start here.

Race 9 (Alcibiades [G1])

#1 PRINCESS WARRIOR (4-1) looked like a filly with potential when taking her debut at Churchill Downs last month going six furlongs. By juvenile champion Midshipman, she's from the female family of Kentucky Derby (G1) winner and champion Unbridled. #6 BET SHE WINS (7-2) tries dirt after a blowout victory in the $75,000 Arlington-Washington Lassie. Experienced and dangerous. #9 HEAVENLY LOVE (4-1), troubled in her Gulfstream debut, rebounded nicely to win going away in a Kentucky Downs maiden. Her dam is Darling My Darling, who loved Keeneland winning the Doubledogdare and Raven Run on the main track.

Race 10

#8 ST. LOUIE (5-2) generally looks like single material following close placings in the Kentucky Turf Cup (G3) and $100,000 John's Call, but I'm also going to use #12 PATRICK'S DAY (6-1), who just missed to eventual Bowling Green (G2) winner Hunter O'Riley over this course, distance, and condition in late April.

The 50-cent ticket: 2,3,6,7 with 4,12 with 2,5,7 with 1,6,9 with 8,12 = $72.

Good luck!

(Limousine Liberal photo: Coady Photography)