Best exotics to bet in the Keertana Stakes

Profile Picture: John Mucciolo

May 20th, 2021

A well-matched field of 10 fillies and mares will travel 1 1/2 miles over the Churchill Downs turf in Saturday’s $110,000 Keertana S. The grassy affair lacks a standout and appears to be a very good betting opportunity, with extra emphasis on the exotics.

I will base many of my plays around #4 Temple City Terror for conditioner Brendan Walsh. The five-year-old dark bay has progressed nicely in her lifetime and dons a solid 3-2-1-0 mark on the Churchill green. By Temple City, the dark Kentucky-bred mare has been in useful form this campaign and has a lot of intrigue to me in her first attempt going a marathon trip for the initial time.

Temple City Terror had a sharp prep for the race when a close third in a deep allowance test traveling 1 1/16 miles on the Keeneland lawn last time out. She has posted a pair of solid morning drills in the interim, and I envision the mare to be much closer to the pace on Saturday than she has been in recent performances. Adam Beschizza has the assignment.

2020 Pago Hops S. queen #5 Pass the Plate will be one of the main dangers to the top pick for Paul McGee. Also by Temple City, the four-year-old filly is mostly consistent and proved capable of handling the distance when a solid third in the Bewitch S. (G3) at Keeneland in her most recent endeavor, finishing four lengths behind the stellar War Like Goddess.

The Silverton Hill homebred is a stakes-placed winner on the course and has improved her Brisnet Speed figure in five straight assignments in total, as well. The Kentucky-bred will be moving late with Rafael Bejarano up.

Proven stayer #8 Delta’s Kingdom rallied to be runner-up in the Bewitch last time for Bill Mott. The five-year-old Animal Kingdom mare has not come out victorious since 2019, but she almost always fires, and the dark bay is an obvious top-three inclusion beneath Geroux.

Three-time stakes heroine #10 Dalika might be the one to catch and beat despite her outside post slot, although I am not totally convinced that she wants to be running at 12 furlongs. A decent fifth in the Bewitch, the German-bred sports a 4-2-1-0 local mark beneath the Twin Spires, and a positive finish from her would not be a surprise. Regular pilot Miguel Mena has the call.

Keertana Wagers

  • $3 exacta key box: 4 with 5,8,10 ($18)
  • $.50-cent trifecta 4 with 5,8,10 with all ($12)
  • $.20-cent superfecta 4 with 5,8,10 with 5,8,10 with all ($8.40)