Hanson: Handicapping the Keeneland Turf Pick 3 for Oct. 8

Profile Picture: Vance Hanson

October 8th, 2021

New to the wagering menu at the Keeneland fall meet, which begins Friday, is the $3 Keeneland Turf Pick 3. The wager will cover the last three grass races on every card, and is offered at an attractively low 15 percent takeout rate.

Bettors should take note that if the second and/or third legs of the Keeneland Turf Pick 3 are taken off the turf after the the first leg has been run, than those races affected by the surface switch will be considered an "ALL" for payout purposes.

Friday's opener has just three scheduled grass events, with the first leg of the Turf Pick 3 occurring early in the card. There's been frequent rain in Central Kentucky for much of the week, so conditions are likely to be less than firm to start.

Here's how we see the sequence:

Race 2 - Maiden (1:35 p.m. ET)

The trickiest read of the sequence is this maiden heat for largely untested two-year-olds. The urge to spread is there, of course, but for most players the $3 minimum requires that it be kept within reason.

An interesting second-time starter is #4 STAR SHOPPING (10-1), a half-brother to G3 turf winner Golden Brown who ran a solid fourth on debut at Ellis Park behind Ready to Purrform, subsequently an easy winner of the Laurel Futurity.

#3 OVERANALYTICAL (12-1), a distant third first out on the Arlington main track, is out of a Kitten's Joy mare and hails from a strong first-turf barn (Catalano). #8 MINNESOTA READY (12-1) has shown speed in several works in recent months leading up to this debut. By More Than Ready, he's out of the multiple stakes-winning grass mare Eden Prairie.

Race 7 - Allowance (4:30 p.m. ET)

Despite having run longer of late, this third-level allowance over a mile might still be a good fit for the stakes-placed #5 DYNADRIVE (4-1), who is 2-for-3 at the distance. No-show in the Kentucky Turf Cup (G2) last time is certainly forgivable, given the competition he was facing.

#3CROSSFIREHURRICANE (10-1), a Group 3 winner in Ireland last season, takes a much needed drop and perhaps will perk up with Lasix added for the first time. #4 KENTUCKY GHOST (5-2) enters off back-to-back stakes placings, and he just missed in his last try over this surface.

Race 10 - Allowance (6:20 p.m. ET)

Our single in the sequence, #8 NEWS BREAK (5-1), unnecessarily dueled himself into submission as a mild favorite against similar at Kentucky Downs last time. Gaffalione is back aboard, having guided this gelding to an off-the-pace win in a reasonably tough starter allowance over this course last April.


3,4,8 with 3,4,5 with 8 = $27