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Homeracing

How to bet the 2019 Elkhorn Stakes

Profile Picture: Dick Powell

April 19th, 2019

The $250,000 Elkhorn (G2) will be run as race 9 at Keeneland on Saturday afternoon. Contested at 1 1/2 miles, it attracted a field of 10 with the youngest being age 5 and the oldest being age 8. The over/under on the first six furlongs is 1:16 as the pace is expected to be glacial. Mike Maker has three in here and they all fit the same pattern. He claims them for decent money and keeps them sound by running long on the turf. #1 VETTORI KIN won a Grade 3 race at Churchill Downs going this distance last May but his recent races have not been much. The Brazilian-bred hasn’t done much in two starts and even saving ground will not get him into the mix. #2 HUNTER O'RILEY hasn’t won since 2017 at Saratoga but his two starts this year were not bad. He has no gate speed at all so I expect Joel Rosario to drop him way back and then make the widest rally to stay out of traffic. #3 LEITONE has yet to win in five starts in America but at least he can be a pace factor. The Chilean-bred won a Group 1 going this distance in his turf debut and he will be a pace factor in here. #4 SOGLIO was claimed by Mike Maker for $50,000 in December 2017 and has done well going long since then. He won an allowance race here last October going this distance when stuck behind a slow pace and began this year with a close second on yielding turf at Gulfstream Park against Grade 3 company. Florent Geroux picks up the mount – 19% with his turf rides. #5 CANESSAR is a French-bred that showed some real talent going long on the turf there and won his American turf debut going this distance on firm ground in fast time. He weakened some last out when the field kicked to the wire behind a slow pace and will have to be ridden cleverly by Feargal Lynch. #6 TIZ A SLAM won a Grade 3 race going this distance at Woodbine last July then came back there to run second as the odds-on favorite in a Grade 2. Canadian-bred son of Tiznow had an even effort at the Fair Grounds going nine furlongs last out and will be dangerous if Julien Leparoux lets him run early. #7 BIGGER PICTURE was claimed by Mike Maker for $32,000 in November 2015 and has won three races going this distance. He won the John Connally Turf Cup (G3) for the second  time two starts back going this distance then was outkicked in a wide trip from post nine last out. Eight-year-old son of Badge of Silver can work out a mid-pack trip with Tyler Gaffalione. #8 RED KNIGHT is a New York-bred that won a two-mile turf stakes race at Gulfstream Park last out. Not sure why he is only 5-1 on the morning line but Bill Mott will probably have him ready for his best effort today – I just don’t think it will be enough. #9 FINAL COPY has been relatively close in stakes races going long on the turf but his only meaningful recent win came against allowance foes up at Woodbine eleven months ago. #10 ZULU ALPHA was claimed for $80,000 last September by Mike Maker and has won two Grade 3 races going this distance since then. The son of Street Cry can handle any kind of ground and has Jose Ortiz to try to overcome post 10. ANALYSIS #4 SOGLIO has enough gate speed to get decent position and allow Florent Geroux to make the first turn on the far turn. He will have to  hold off stablemates #7 BIGGER PICTURE and #10 ZULU ALPHA as well as try to catch lone speed #6 TIZ A SLAM. WAGER Win #4 Exacta Box #4 with #6, #7 and #10   (c) Coady Photography

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