How to bet the Late Pick 4 on QEII Day at Keeneland
Keeneland (c) Coady Photography
by Scott Shapiro
The second Saturday card of the Keeneland fall meeting is headlined by the Queen Elizabeth Challenge Cup Stakes (G1). The 1 1/8-mile event over the sod is the third leg of a late Pick 4 sequence that commences with a maiden special weight event in Race 7.
Here are my thoughts:
A six-furlong dash over the main track for two-year-olds gets things rolling.
I will use several in this spot, including Bourbon Calling (#10) (9-2). The $120,000 Keeneland September purchase moved between rivals professionally on the backstretch at odds of 29-1 in his first start for trainer Ian Wilkes. The son of Dialed In tired a bit late to finish third, but he should move forward with the racing experience under his belt for a barn that rarely has their runners cranked on first asking.
I also give a shot to Declined (#7) (10-1). The first-time starter out of the Mike Maker barn commanded $190,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Two-Year-Olds in Training Sale in May and is a half-brother to Storymeister, who won her debut in 2017 at Gulfstream Park by six lengths. The son of Will Take Charge comes into the race off of three works over the Churchill Downs training track, including a bullet five-furlong drill on October 4 in 1:00. At 10-1 on the line I will include.
The second leg is a non-winners of two allowance event for fillies and mares. I will take a shot against the top two choices on the morning line, Upset Brewing (#7) (7-2) and Treasure in Heaven (#10) (3-1).
Upset Brewing has not been seen since mid-July and is a consistent sort, having hit the board in 11-of-14 starts, but the fact she has only gotten to the wire first once illustrates she lacks a desire to win. Treasure in Heaven won nicely at Gulfstream Park in December, but something must have gone wrong since the daughter of Street Sense was on the sidelines until a poor eighth-place effort at Saratoga on August 31. Perhaps she can get back to the effort in Florida last year, but at a relatively short price I am willing to let her beat me.
My top choice is Trace (#6) (5-1). The Cheyenne Stables runner makes her second start of the form cycle after a slow start, but solid finish over the lawn at Kentucky Downs last month. With a better start she has a big shot to run this group down in the lane.
I will also include Trust (#8) (10-1) and Quick Quick Quick (#11) (5-1).
RACE 9: QEII Challenge Cup
The $500,000 feature is led by 7-5 favorite Rushing Fall (#8). The winner of last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) is a neck away in the Edgewood (G3) from being a perfect six-for-six to start her career for trainer Chad Brown. Last out in the Lake Placid (G2) at Saratoga, she put forth a career-best 98 BRIS Speed rating in an impressive effort off the bench. The bay miss should be able to work out an equally comfortable trip either on the lead or right off the early pace in this spot, which will make her extremely tough to beat. I will single the daughter of More Than Ready.
The Saturday finale is a full-field, two-turn allowance race over the lawn. I will use three horses to hopefully close the late Pick 4 out.
Now Power (#5) (9-2) moves up in class after a nose defeat at Ellis Park on August 31. The six-year-old mare has not won in two starts at Keeneland, but enters this spot in fine form for trainer Rodolphe Brisset. If she can avoid an early battle on the front end, she has a chance at 9-2 on the morning line.
I will also include You Cheated (#6) (5-1). The daughter of Colonel John makes her third start off the claim for trainer John Ortiz. She has just one win on the lawn in 12 career tries, but if they go at it early on she should be rolling late. So, should Na Pali Spirit (#7) (8-1), who comes in off of eight straight top-two finishes for trainer Ignacio Correas IV. She meets tougher on Saturday, but is not without a chance at 8-1 on odds-maker Mike Battaglia’s morning line.
TICKET ($1 Pick 4)
Race 7: 2+5+7+10+11
Race 8: 6+8+11
Race 9: 8
Race 10: 5+6+7
TICKET COST: $45