Hanson: How I'm playing the Blue Grass Day All-Stakes Pick 5
Now that we know the Keeneland main track is beginning to dry out after overnight rain/snow and that the turf (labeled soft) will be used for two races, here's how we'll be attacking the all-stakes Pick 5 on Blue Grass Saturday.
Race 6 -- Commonwealth (G3)
#5 CONQUEST WINDYCITY (4-1) has won two of three over this track and comes off a 16-1 upset of Mind Your Biscuits, subsequent winner of the Dubai Golden Shaheen (G1), in a rare one-turn appearance. #6 LIMOUSINE LIBERAL (1-1) perhaps more partial to Churchill than Keeneland, but has run some big races here including two photo-finish losses in the Phoenix (G2).
Race 7 -- Shakertown (G2)
#7 WILL CALL (8-1) was the best save Holding Gold in the Colonel Power at Fair Grounds last time for Brad Cox. Perhaps more effective coming from off the pace rather than leading, and there should be plenty of other pace up front. #9 BIG HANDSOME (6-1) proved a natural one-turn turf specialist last summer and picks up Geroux here. #13 DISCO PARTNER (5-2) immensely talented and the one to beat, though distance might be a tad short for him.
Race 8 -- Madison (G1)
#2 LEWIS BAY (7-2) came back from a long break to run well in two Gulfstream outings, taking the Rampart (G3) and then finishing second to Grade 3 repeater Martini Glass in the Royal Delta (G3). #10 AMI'S MESA (6-1) an upset second in the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1) may indeed be as good on dirt as she is on synthetic. #11 AMERICAN GAL (4-1) is perfect around one turn and was good enough to finish within a length of Abel Tasman in the 1 1/16-mile Starlet (G1) at two.
Race 9 -- Ashland (G1)
#1 MONOMOY GIRL (1-1) is the most accomplished in the field and the one to catch, but wouldn't put it past the quickly developing #2 ESKIMO KISSES (2-1) to run her down even in the short stretch of this Kentucky Oaks (G1) prep.
Race 10 -- Blue Grass (G2)
Juvenile champion #11 GOOD MAGIC (2-1) figures much sharper than he apparently was in last month's Fountain of Youth (G2). #6 MARCONI (15-1) goes for Pletcher, who's been winning Derby preps left and right. Tapit half to Breeders' Cup Classic (G1) winner Mucho Macho Man still has significant upside.
Here's the 50-cent ticket:
5,6 with 7,9,13 with 2,10,11 with 1,2 with 6,11 = $36.
(Disco Partner photo: Adam Coglianese Photography)