Keeneland selections and analysis for Saturday, April 15
The final Kentucky Derby prep race — the Lexington (G3) in Race 9 — headline's today's 11-race card.
Let's get to Saturday's pick!
#3 Oglethorpe (9-5): Arrogate colt has two second-place finishes and a third from three career starts, all between a mile and today’s distance. Was a half-length second on debut in one-mile maiden special weight taken off the turf. Finished a length second last out at today’s distance on turf when sent off as the favorite. Trainer Danny Gargan is an 18% winner second off the layoff and 22% winner with horses wearing blinkers the first time. Luis Saez (28% winner with routes) will retain the mount. Sharp workout April 7.
#7 Magical Power (6-5): Outrun by an outer foe in final furlong to place second on debut in one-mile maiden special weight. Posted a 93 Brisnet Speed rating – highest last race speed figure among the field – and should improve in second career race for Todd Pletcher. Irad Ortiz Jr. will retain the mount. Bullet four-furlong workout April 7.
#2 Covet (6-1): Recorded a 79 Brisnet Speed rating when sixth on debut in a 1 1/16-mile maiden special weight on Gulfstream’s turf. Jose Ortiz will pick up the mount.
Longshot to watch:
#5 Artwell (20-1): Street Sense colt fourth in lone start when racing a mile and 40 yards at Tampa Bay Downs. Posted a pair of sharp workouts in leadup to second career race, and Kelsey Danner is a 16% winner with first-time blinkers. Reylu Gutierrez (17% winner this meet) will pick up the mount on the pacesetter.
#7 Unified Decision (20-1): Recorded 67 Brisnet Speed rating last out when third in six-furlong maiden claimer in third career start. Candy Ride granddaughter showed good early speed last out and may improve with Lasix. Ian Wilkes is 7-2-3-0 to start the Keeneland meet and a 13% winner at the maiden claiming level. Chris Landeros will pick up the mount in three-year-old’s first start since September.
#6 Please Be Kind (8-5): Clocked 81 BRIS figure two back when second in a six-furlong maiden special weight. Speed figure dipped to 71 last out when racing same distance against same class level. Will return off nearly two-month layoff for Paul McGee, a 33% winner with horses dropping from maiden special weight to maiden claiming. Violence filly is 0-for-14 in career and will get a rider switch from Jareth Loveberry to Joe Talamo, just a 9% winner in last 53 sprint rides.
#5 Good Tohave Around (30-1): Distant sixth in lone start when trained by Whit Beckman. Makes first start for Nacho Correas, a 14% winner with horses running second career race, and the three-year-old comes off a more than five-month layoff. Bullet four-furlong workout April 2 at Keeneland. Vincent Cheminaud named to ride.
#2 Zippin Pippin (7-2): Runnhappy filly has a second and two fourth-place finishes in three career starts. Makes first start with trainer Jason Barkley, an 11% winner with horses dropping from maiden special weight to maiden claiming. Adam Beschizza named to ride. Sharp workout April 8.
#11 Portfolio Company (8-5): Kitten’s Joy gelding clocked a 91 Brisnet Speed rating last out when three-quarters of a length second in a one-mile allowance optional claimer on Gulfstream’s turf on Jan. 1. Chad Brown is a 26% winner at the allowance level and a 27% winner with horses coming off layoffs of more than 90 days. Irad Ortiz Jr. will pick up the mount. Sharp workout April 1. Four-year-olds owns 5-1-2-1 record at today’s distance.
#12 Eyes on Target (8-1): Exaggerator five-year-old had a troubled trip when finishing a distant eighth at today’s distance last out. Three back, he flashed a 92 BRIS figure in a 1 1/16-mile allowance optional claimer in December, good for the highest speed figure at today’s distance among the field. Can improve second start off a layoff and will get a rider switch to Flavien Prat. Sharp works ahead of return to Keeneland, where he’s 1-for-2.
#3 James Aloysius (4-1): More Than Ready colt has two wins and a second from three career starts. Lone loss was on debut when three-quarters of a length second to Portfolio Company in a $100K maiden special weight back in July 2021. Moves up in class off one-length win at a mile on March 8. Danny Gargan is a 22% winner with horses that won their last race and an 18% winner second off the layoff. Luis Saez will retain the mount.
#6 Easy Time (6-1): Finished less than a length in second two back in a Keeneland allowance last October. Shortened up to a mile and finished seventh in an allowance optional claimer at Gulfstream Jan. 1. The stretch back out in distance can trigger improvement in first start in more than three months. Brian Hernandez will regain the mount on the five-year-old. Cherie DeVaux is a 19% winner at allowance level.
AE of note: #13 Bless the Kitten (12-1): Kitten’s Joy six-year-old raced on all-weather in last four, finishing 4-1-1-2 in Turfway allowances. Jamie Grubbs a 30% winner in turf starts, and the gelding is 3-for-6 at today’s distance.
#7 Implementation (8-5): Took command entering the far turn to win by six lengths in a 1 1/16-mile claimer at Keeneland last out in October. Turned in a sharp five-furlong workout ahead of first start in more than five months for Wesley Ward, a 24% winner with horses that won their last race and a 29% winner this meet. Walter Rodriguez will pick up the mount and has won 7 of 15 races paired with Ward the last two months.
#6 C’Mon Man (3-1): Makes second start off the claim for Jonathan Wong (25% winner with horses making second start with the trainer) after posting an 85 Brisnet Speed rating when fourth in a 5 1/2-furlong allowance optional claimer on Golden Gate’s all-weather track. Clocked a 90 Late Pace Speed figure and should improve with stretch-out in distance. Will get Jose Ortiz in the saddle. Bullet five-furlong workout at Keeneland April 8.
#2 Geaux Yoshka (12-1): Three back, the Lord Nelson colt was beaten a nose at today’s distance at Keeneland. Next out, he finished far back in a six-furlong allowance in December, then stretched out to a mile and came home a distant eighth. Will return off two-month layoff for McLean Robertson (20% winner claiming level) and will gain services of Jareth Loveberry, a 15% winner in sprints. Solid works leading up to return to Keeneland. Four-year-old owns 3-1-1-1 record at today’s distance.
#4 Magnolia Midnight (6-1): Failed as favorite last out when 2 1/2 lengths in fourth in six-furlong claimer at Fair Grounds. Makes third start off layoff for Dallas Stewart and posted trio of bullet works in lead-up to event. Reylu Gutierrez (17% winner this meet) will get second consecutive ride with Pioneerof the Nile grandson.
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#4 Emperor’s Appeal (9-2): Empire Maker colt clocked a 90 Brisnet Speed rating in first turf start last out when third in an allowance optional claimer at Gulfstream. Trainer Brian Lynch is 3-for-7 with horses running second grass race. Adam Beschizza will inherit the mount. Solid works leading up to Keeneland debut.
#6 Baby Billy (10-1): Won by a head two back when racing at today’s distance in a maiden special weight on turf. Tried Turfway’s all-weather last out and was a distant seventh in Jeff Ruby Steaks (G3). Will remove blinkers in second turf start for the Gormley gelding. Flavien Prat picks up the mount.
#12 Dark Side (15-1): Makes second U.S. start after winning by a neck in 1 1/16-mile maiden special weight on Turfway’s all-weather. Finished a half-length second in 1 1/16-mile stakes in Ireland last October. Brendan Walsh (3-for-3 this meet) is a 20% winner second off the layoff and a 16% winner with first-time blinkers. Frankie Dettori (18% winner on turf) will pick up the mount.
Also consider for horizontals:
#1 Myredwhiteandblue (4-1): Won by a nose over today’s race rival Desert Duke when racing at today’s distance in a maiden special weight. Faced stakes company and was beaten a neck second in 1 1/16-mile Black Gold Stakes at Fair Grounds. Trainer Louie Roussel a 15% winner at allowance level, and Jareth Loveberry (25% winner turf) will regain the mount. Races on Lasix a second time.
#8 Clever Thought (3-1): Morning line favorite who got up to win by a head at today’s distance in an $84K maiden special weight last out while posting a 75 Brisnet Speed rating. Todd Pletcher a 23% winner in second grass race and a 25% winner with horses coming off a maiden win. Irad Ortiz Jr. will stick with the Quality Road colt.
#9 Really Good (6-1): Finished third in 1 1/16-mile Bourbon Stakes (G2) two back at Keeneland in October. Came home 6 1/2 lengths in 12th to Victoria Road in Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) last out on Nov. 4 at same track. Will race on Lasix for first time. Rider switch to Umberto Rispoli, a 12% winner on turf.
#7 Escapologist (12-1): Another Jeff Ruby also-ran, the Good Magic colt drops in class and switches to turf for Kenny McPeek, a 41% winner with horses making second grass start and a 15% winner at allowance level. Brian Hernandez (21% winner on turf) will regain the mount and won two back with the three-year-old in a 1 1/16-mile maiden special weight on turf.
AE of note: #15 Battle of Normandy (5-2): Drops in class off good fifth in Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1). Beaten a neck in 1 1/16-mile With Anticipation Stakes (G3) three back. First start in more than five months for Shug McGaughey, a 19% winner with turf starts. Races on Lasix the first time (17% winning move for trainer). Frankie Dettori named to ride if he draws in.
#1 Hurry Up Hannah (10-1): Daughter of Jack Milton (13% sire win rate) out of a mare who has one winner from one starter. Trainer William Cowans is a 29% winner with horses debuting at maiden special weight level, and the War Front granddaughter clocked a bullet four-furlong workout April 5. Luan Machado (16% winner sprints) named to ride.
#10 Zeitlos (7-2): Last seen getting up late to finish second in a one-mile maiden special weight at Churchill in September. Returns off a long layoff for Steve Asmussen and will race on Lasix for the first time (24% winning move for Asmussen). Irad Ortiz Jr. (28% winner with closer types) will pick up the mount for the Curlin filly.
#12 Watch This Birdie (6-1): Nailed at the wire in a six-furlong sprint two back at Oaklawn when facing state-restricted company. Faltered at the wire to finish fifth last out when sent off as the favorite. Nacho Correas is a 26% winner with beaten favorites and a 17% winner with horses coming off a layoff of 46-90 days. Vincent Cheminaud will regain the mount.
#9 Scylla (5-2): By Tapit out of a mare who has produced two winners from two starters and a stakes winner. Will make first start for Bill Mott, a 14% winner at maiden special weight level.
Longshot to watch: #11 Brenda (20-1): By Curlin out of a Menifee mare who has four winners from eight starters, including a stakes winner. Trainer John Ennis is a 16% winner with horses making debut in maiden special weight, and Tyler Heard is a 16% winner with sprints. Pair of bullet workouts in last month.
AE of note:
#14 Hidewright Away (30-1): May improve with cutback in distance after beaten a head at the finish in a seven-furlong maiden special weight. Reylu Gutierrez (20% with pacesetter types) is up.
#1 Barber Road (5-2): Kentucky Derby also-ran was nailed at the finish last out when sent off as the favorite in a 1 1/8-mile allowance at Oaklawn March 11. The cutback in distance can help the Race Day colt, who returns to Keeneland, where he broke his maiden at today’s distance. John Ortiz is a 22% winner with beaten favorites and a 19% winner at allowance level. Reylu Gutierrez retains the mount. Trio of sharp workouts ahead of event. Rail post winning at 18% clip.
#4 Principe d’Oro (6-1): Set the early pace last out in a one-mile allowance optional claimer before yielding inside the final furlong to show. Will return off 49-day layoff for Todd Pletcher, a 21% winner with horses coming off a layoff of 46-90 days, and a rider switch to Irad Ortiz Jr. is a huge plus.
#7 Tepeu (9-2): Tapit gelding beaten as the favorite in last two when racing in 1 1/16-mile and 1 1/8-mile allowances at Churchill. Makes first start in more than six months for Brendan Walsh, a 16% winner at allowance level. John Velazquez (21% winner with routes) named to ride. Fast workout April 2.
#8 Master Game (7-2): Flashed 98 Brisnet Speed rating two back when beaten a neck second in Fair Grounds allowance at today’s distance on Jan. 19. Rebounded to win at the same track when cutting back to a mile. Grant Forster is a 16% winner with horses that won their last race, and Luis Saez (28% winner in routes) will pick up the mount. Sharp workout April 8.
#4 Oeuvre (9-2): Shackleford filly has won five straight, including last two on turf at today’s distance. Will make first start in nearly two months for Chris Block, a 22% winner in non-graded stakes. Last seen winning the $100K Mardi Gras Stakes at Fair Grounds Feb. 21 while recording a 95 Brisnet Speed rating — tied for highest last race speed figure among field. Regular rider Jareth Loveberry is a 25% winner on turf, and the four-year-old posted a sharp four-furlong workout April 9. 4-for-4 at today’s distance.
#10 Twilight Gleaming (9-2): Recorded triple-digit E1 and E2 figures last out when setting the early pace in the Franklin (G3) before outkicked to finish fourth at today’s distance at Keeneland. Returns off a more than six-month layoff for Wesley Ward and will regain Irad Ortiz Jr., a 29% winner on turf. Four-year-old owns 8-5-2-0 record at today’s distance.
#3 Happy Soul (4-1): Makes first start since finishing a distant second in Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes (G2) in October on Keeneland’s main track. Lone turf start was two back when a head second in 6 1/2-furlong Music City Stakes at Kentucky Downs in September. Trainer Wesley Ward is a 28% winner in non-graded stakes and a 16% winner with horses switching from dirt to turf. John Velazquez will retain the mount.
#11 Arabian Lion (7-2): Makes first start since placing fourth in the Robert B. Lewis (G3) at Santa Anita in February while posting a 94 Brisnet Speed rating. Bob Baffert is a 29% winner in graded stakes and a 31% winner with horses coming off a layoff of 46-90 days, and the switch to Irad Ortiz Jr. can trigger improvement for the pacesetter who will break from the far outside. Justify colt put in a sharp six-furlong workout April 9.
#8 Empirestrikesfast (4-1): Empire Maker gelding flashed a 99 Brisnet Speed rating in lone start, a three-quarter-length win in a maiden special weight at today’s distance. Bill Mott is a 21% winner with horses coming off a maiden victory and an 18% winner in graded stakes. Frankie Dettori picks up the mount.
#6 Disarm (7-2): Second in the Louisiana Derby (G2), the Gun Runner colt will get a rider switch to Jose Ortiz and can improve in third start off a layoff for Steve Asmussen.
#3 Demolition Duke (6-1): A neck shy of an undefeated record in two starts. Last out, the Good Magic colt was denied by Bishops Bay at a mile and 70 yards. Will pick up hot jockey Flavien Prat (10-3-2-1 last seven days), and Brad Cox is a 29% winner with horses running their second route race and a 26% winner in graded stakes.
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#2 In Italian (7-5): Winner of the Diana (G1) and First Lady (G1), the Dubawi mare closed out the 2022 season with a length second in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1). She’ll return off a more than five-month layoff for Chad Brown, who’s 2-for-5 to start the Keeneland meet, and Irad Ortiz Jr. will regain the mount (45% winner paired with Brown the last two months). In Italian’s 112 Brisnet Speed rating is the highest last race speed rating among the field by 12 points.
#3 Queen Goddess (4-1): Back-to-back winner of the 1 1/8-mile Robert J. Frankel (G3) and 1 1/16-mile Pegasus World Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G3). Empire Maker mare will return off a more than two-month layoff for Mike McCarthy, a 15% winner in graded stakes. Luis Saez will get a second consecutive ride with the five-year-old, who recorded a 100 BRIS figure last out with a 108 Late Pace rating.
#5 With The Moonlight (5-2): Last seen scoring a 4 1/2-length victory in the Balanchine (G2) at Meydan, the Frankel filly will ship overseas for her fourth U.S. start. Last seen in North America in August when three-quarters of a length in second in the 1 1/16-mile Lake Placid (G2) at Saratoga. Charlie Appleby is 16-for-32 in graded stakes. William Buick will retain the mount.
#2 Top Gun Girl (9-2): Recorded a 94 Brisnet Speed rating when wiring a five-furlong allowance last out in first career dirt start, at Churchill Nov. 20. Will return off a more than four-month layoff for Wesley Ward, a 24% winner at allowance level and with horses that won their last race. John Velazquez (30% winner in sprints) named to ride. Posted bullet five-furlong workout on April 7.
#3 Radio Days (7-2): Flashed 88 BRIS figure last out when third at today’s distance at Gulfstream following troubled trip when sent off as the favorite. Can improve off the layoff for Shug McGaughey, a 21% winner with beaten favorites. Irad Ortiz Jr. will get second straight ride with Gun Runner filly. Sharp workout April 8.
#7 Ova Charged (15-1): Failed as favorite last out in six-furlong allowance at Fair Grounds. Two back, the Star Guitar mare flashed a 90 BRIS figure when winning the LA Bred Premier Matron Stakes and recorded a 96 BRIS figure three back in her victory in the six-furlong Louisiana Champions Day Ladies Sprint Stakes. Trainer Jose Camejo a 29% winner with beaten favorites and a 19% winner at allowance level. Jose Ortiz will pick up the mount.
Consider for horizontals:
#4 Ironic Twist (15-1): Lightly raced mare who has a pair of victories and a third from three starts. Bumped at the start last out when third in a Santa Anita allowance optional claimer. Rider switch to Flavien Prat (30% winner this meet) can trigger improvement. Trainer Mark Glatt an 18% winner at allowance level. Fast workouts ahead of Keeneland debut.
#9 My Kentucky Girl (10-1): American Pharoah filly romped to five-length win in allowance at Keeneland last October then placed in the six-furlong Youngstown Oaks. Ran on all-weather last out and finished behind two of today’s race rivals, but the four-year-old can improve in second start off a layoff and a return to dirt, plus first-time blinkers. Jonathan Wong is a 20% winner at allowance level and 23% winner with horses wearing blinkers the first time.