Keeneland selections and analysis for Saturday, April 22
The Elkhorn (G2) and Ben Ali (G3) highlight Saturday's 10-race card at Keeneland!
#5 She’s Gone d’Wild (7-2): Raced at a mile in two starts since joining barn of Jason Barkley, a 21% winner with horses racing first time claiming. Showed good early speed two back and can improve with cutback in distance. James Graham will retain the mount. Sharp workout April 12.
#3 Why Behave (9-2): Wicked Strong filly failed as the favorite last out in a six-furlong claimer at Fair Grounds while posting a 74 BRIS figure. Transferred to barn of Joel Delacruz Mejia, an 11% winner first off the claim, and will get jockey Edgar Morales, a 12% winner in sprints. Bullet four-furlong workout April 10.
#1 High Speed (2-1): Clocked a 75 Brisnet Speed rating last out in a 5 1/2-furlong sprint at Fair Grounds. Will return to dirt for Grant Forster, a 24% winner at claiming level and a 15% winner with horses switching from turf to dirt. Corey Lanerie, a 16% winner in sprints, will pick up the mount on Dialed In filly.
#4 Lucy’s Lookin Left (4-1): Came home third as the favorite in six-furlong starter optional claimer at Hawthorne March 26. May improve with blinkers back on and a rider switch to Jareth Loveberry.
Longshot to watch: #8 Risata (20-1): Won last out at today’s distance on all-weather while posting a 75 BRIS figure. Ethan West is a 13% winner with horses that won their last race, and Alex Achard (17% winner this meet) will retain the mount on the Palace Malice filly.
#4 Deck of Cards (2-1): Nyquist filly will make first start for Jonathan Wong, a 30% winner first off the claim and a 25% winner with horses that won their last race. The four-year-old comes off back-to-back wire-to-wire victories in one-mile claimers on Turfway’s all-weather. Has never raced beyond a mile, but last out, she recorded a 79 Brisnet Speed figure with a 96 Late Pace rating, indicating she has the late kick to enjoy the stretch-out in distance. Sharp workouts ahead of first start in more than two months. Reylu Gutierrez, a 17% winner with routes, will pick up the mount.
#1 Ghostly Girl (5-2): Was outkicked to the wire to finish a length second at today’s distance last out against this class level at Oaklawn March 30 while recording an 80 Brisnet Speed figure. Kenny McPeek is a 17% winner with routes and a 15% winner with shippers. Shaman Ghost filly will regain Brian Hernandez Jr., and rail post is winning at a 22% clip.
#3 The Club (8-5): Clocked an 81 BRIS figure last out when a three-length fourth against similar when racing a mile and 70 yards on Gulfstream’s all-weather. Will make first dirt start since transferring to barn of Dale Romans, a 15% winner with horses switching from AW to dirt, and an 11% winner second off the layoff. Hot jockey Tyler Gaffalione will pick up the mount.
#1 Off the Cuff (2-1): Led in the stretch but was beaten less than a length in last two at a mile while racing on Turfway’s all-weather. Can improve with cutback in distance — Mike Maker is a 21% winner with horses going from a route to a sprint and a 20% winner at maiden claiming level. Tyler Gaffalione will pick up the mount on Bernardini four-year-old who drops in class today.
#8 Kislovodsk (7-2): Gio Ponti four-year-old makes first start for Greg Foley, a 14% winner first off the claim. Recorded 80 BRIS figure last out when third in 1 1/16-mile maiden claimer. Can improve with cutback in distance. Irad Ortiz Jr. will pick up the mount.
#3 Lucky Smile (10-1): Eligible to improve second start off the claim for trainer Michael Tomlinson in Tapit colt’s second start off a layoff. Drops in class after finishing far back in a six-furlong maiden special weight March 11. Sharp workout April 2 at Churchill. Joe Rocco Jr. (25% winner sprints) will pick up the mount.
#6 Couth (10-1): Poor speed figure in lone start back in July at Saratoga on turf. War Front gelding makes first start for Tom Drury, a 14% winner with horses running second career race, and a 19% winner with horses racing on Lasix the first time. Joe Talamo (15% winner this meet) will pick up the mount. Bullet four-furlong workout April 14.
#12 Hail Allen (30-1): Will cut back in distance after tracking the pace then weakening to finish fourth in one-mile maiden claimer on Turfway’s all-weather. Jordan Blair is a 19% winner with horses going long to short and Reylu Gutierrez (18% winner in sprints) will pick up the mount). Sharp workouts April 2 and 12.
AE of note:
#14 Mister Kitty (15-1): Bullet four-furlong workout April 11. Makes second start for Jonathan Wong (33% winner this meet and 22% winner second career race). Can improve off two-month layoff and a surface switch from AW to dirt.
#4 Market Analysis (9-2): Won Spangled Jimmy Handicap at today’s distance last out in July and returns off a more than nine-month layoff. Robertino Diodoro is a 23% winner at claiming level and 22% winner with horses coming off a long layoff. Tyler Gaffalione will pick up the mount and is 22-6-1-3 the last seven days. Honor Code gelding is 2-for-3 from today’s distance. Solid works leading up to six-year-old debut.
#1 Gun It (7-2): Came home seventh by 4 1/4 lengths in six-furlong Big Daddy Stakes on Turfway’s all-weather March 11. Will drop in class for Steve Asmussen, a 16% winner first-time claiming and a 25% winner with horses going from AW to dirt. Tapit seven-year-old switches to high percentage jockey Flavien Prat, a 25% winner in sprints. Gelding is 6-1-3-1 from today’s distance.
#2 Silk Trade (9-5): Moves up in class off a 1 1/4-length win with a 92 BRIS figure in a $40K claimer at Oaklawn in February. Will cutback to seven furlongs in first start in more than two months for Norm Casse, a 24% winner with horses that won their last race. Bullet four-furlong workout April 14. Irad Ortiz Jr., a 25% winner in sprints, will pick up the mount on the Into Mischief five-year-old.
On the final Saturday of the Keeneland spring meet, a pair of graded stakes headline the card. 🏇— TwinSpires Racing 🏇 (@TwinSpires) April 21, 2023
Vance Hanson goes over the fields for tomorrow's G3 Ben Ali and G2 Elkhorn. ✍️https://t.co/nRPHeLZI4y
#3 Mise En Scene (7-5): Sixth in U.S. debut in Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1) at Keeneland last November. Moved to barn of Brendan Walsh after and came home far back in 10th in first start with the trainer in Grade 1 American Oaks last December. Makes second start for Walsh off a more than three-month layoff and will race on Lasix the first time. Tyler Gaffalione will get second consecutive ride with the four-year-old, who was a stakes winner overseas.
#4 Lovely Princess (9-2): Twirling Candy four-year-old drops in class off a good fourth in Mrs. Revere (G2) last out in November. Two back, the filly won at today’s distance at this track with today’s rider Brian Hernandez. Kenny McPeek is a 15% winner at allowance level and a 12% winner with horses coming off long layoffs.
#8 Beechnut Trophy (4-1): May benefit from rider change back to Irad Ortiz Jr. Kitten’s Joy granddaughter finished a length third last out in one-mile allowance optional claimer at Gulfstream. Owns 7-2-0-2 record on turf. Saffie Joseph a 22% winner at allowance level and 17% winner second off the layoff.
#7 Myriskyaffair (7-2): Verrazano four-year-old makes first start since November, when she came home fifth in $135K Winter Memories Stakes at Aqueduct. Christophe Clement is a 20% winner with horses coming off a layoff of 90 days or more and a 20% winner with turf starts. Filly is 2-0-1-1 from today’s distance and placed second in lone start at Keeneland. Will switch to rider Flavien Prat, 12% winner on turf.
#6 Billy Jack (4-1): Uncle Mo colt recorded an 84 Brisnet Speed figure when crossing the wire third on debut in six-furlong maiden special weight at Fair Grounds. Steve Asmussen is a 19% winner with horses running second career race and an 18% winner at maiden special weight level. Brian Hernandez Jr. will retain the mount.
#7 Class Actor (5-2): Ghostzapper three-year-old is by a Distorted Humor mare who has produced three winners from four starters. Brad Cox is a 24% winner at maiden special weight level and a 19% winner with first-time starters. Florent Geroux will guide the colt, who posted a sharp five-furlong workout April 17.
#4 Mr. Keating (9-2): By Carpe Diem out of a Bernardini mare. Has looked sharp in workouts leading up to debut. Norm Casse is a 20% winner at maiden special weight level but a 10% winner with first-time starters. Irad Ortiz Jr. will guide the colt.
#5 Moreau (8-1): By Speightstown (15% sire win rate) out of a Tapit mare, the three-year-old will make first start for Andrew McKeever, a 21% winner in horses debuting at maiden special weight level. Joe Talamo, a 12% winner this meet, is named to ride. Sharp works ahead of debut.
#11 Cigarette Boat (10-1): Eligible to improve in second start with trainer Mike Maker. Placed third last out in six-furlong maiden special weight on all-weather. Will race on Lasix a second time and picks up Tyler Gaffalione (16% winner in sprints).
#7 Socially Selective (1-1): Speightster filly is the one to beat. Won on debut at today’s distance in $105K maiden special weight while recording 94 Brisnet Speed rating, then finished second to next-out graded stakes winner Key of Life in the Purple Martin Stakes at Oaklawn March 25. Bill Mott is a 20% winner second off the layoff and a 22% winner with horses racing on Lasix a second time. Three-year-old pacesetter will pick up Irad Ortiz Jr. and break from the outside. Viable single. Key on top in exotics.
#2 Unsung Melody (3-1): Maclean’s Music daughter came home three-quarters of a length in second to Punchbowl in six-furlong maiden special weight two back while recording 91 BRIS figure, then broke her maiden at today’s distance on March 11, winning by 1 3/4 lengths at Oaklawn. John Ortiz is a 21% winner with horses coming off a maiden win and a 19% winner at allowance level. Reylu Gutierrez will retain the mount.
#4 Devious Stares (4-1): Practical Joke filly romped to five-length win on debut in $70K maiden special weight at Turfway while posting an 81 BRIS figure. Wesley Ward is a 24% winner at allowance level and 26% winner with horses coming off a layoff of 90 days or more. John Velazquez (27% winner in sprints but 1-for-26 this meet) will pick up the mount.
#1 Aunt Becca (15-1): Won by a nose on debut at today’s distance at Turfway, then came home fourth in allowance optional claimer at same track and distance. Will switch from AW to dirt and posted a sharp four-furlong workout at Keeneland April 12. Cherie DeVaux is a 20% winner this meet and a 20% winner at allowance level. Brian Hernandez (17% winner in sprints) will pick up the mount.
#2 Value Engineering (7-2): Was beaten a length by today’s race rival Red Knight two back in the William L. McKnight S. (G3) in January at Gulfstream, then rebounded to win 1 3/8-mile Mac Diarmida (G2) in March under Irad Ortiz Jr. Switches to high-percentage jockey Tyler Gaffalione in first start in 49 days for Mike Maker. Lemon Drop Kid seven-year-old clocked highest last race speed figure (99).
#8 Highest Honors (5-1): Failed as favorite in Mac Diarmida, and the Tapit seven-year-old is 0-for-4 at today’s distance. Can improve off nearly two-month layoff for Chad Brown, a 23% winner in turf starts and a 20% winner in graded stakes. Irad Ortiz Jr. has gone 8-3-1-2 paired with Brown the last 14 days. Sharp four-furlong workout April 15 at Keeneland.
#4 Another Mystery (15-1): The Temple City seven-year-old came home three-quarters of a length in second at today’s distance in a Grade 3 event Jan. 28 while recording a 104 BRIS figure, then came home fourth in Muniz Memorial under Flavien Prat. Will regain rider Jareth Loveberry, who was aboard two back.
#3 Rising Empire (6-1): Set the pace along the inside in 1 1/8-mile Muniz Memorial (G2) but was collared by an outer rival at the sixteenth pole and gave way to finish second by half a length. Florent Geroux will retain the mount. Five-year-old Empire Maker son posted sharp workout at Keeneland April 8.
* Will take a stand against #5 Red Knight (5-2) —Won last out in William McKnight Stakes Jan. 28 under Irad Ortiz Jr., who opted to ride Highest Honors in this race. Will get Gerardo Corrales aboard. Nine-year-old is 1-for-5 at Keeneland.
#1 Pioneer of Medina (7-2): Got up to win by a head in 1 1/16-mile Mineshaft (G3) two back, then came home sixth in 1 1/8-mile New Orleans Classic last out when breaking from the outside and yielding four wide and between horses entering the lane. Will get the rail post here, which is winning at a 30% clip. Pioneerof the Nile colt has posted Brisnet Speed figures of 101, 99, and 99 in last three when racing against graded stakes company. Todd Pletcher is a 19% winner in graded stakes, and the four-year-old switches to high-percentage jockey Tyler Gaffalione (25% winner this meet).
#4 Skippylongstocking (7-5): Won two of last three, scoring a pair of Grade 3 victories at 1 1/16 miles. Stretched out to 1 1/8 miles two back in Pegasus World Cup (G1) and came home seventh by 9 3/4 lengths. Saffie Joseph is a 22% winner with horses that won their last race and a 12% winner in graded stakes. Irad Ortiz Jr. will retain the mount.
#5 Rattle N Roll (3-1): Three back, the Connect colt won the 1 1/8-mile Oklahoma Derby (G3) while recording a 109 BRIS figure, then came home fourth in last two in Grade 2 events. Has posted six straight triple-digit Late Pace figures. Kenny McPeek is a 20% winner second off the layoff and a 13% winner in graded stakes. Brian Hernandez will retain the mount.
#2 Smokin’ Jay (4-1): Won by a length last out in five-furlong allowance optional claimer on Gulfstream’s turf March 4 while posting 96 BRIS figure — highest last race speed rating. Returns off 49-day layoff and will keep Tyler Gaffalione (20% winner turf) in the saddle.
#6 Nobals (8-1): Set the early pace but was beaten a length in six-furlong allowance optional claimer on Turfway’s all-weather March 23. Larry Rivelli is a 27% winner in turf starts and strikes at a 34% rate second off the layoff, as well as a 30% rate in allowances. Gerardo Corrales will regain the mount and guided Noble Mission four-year-old to a win last time they paired up when wiring an allowance at today’s distance at Churchill June 5.
#3 Beer Can Man (5-1): Failed as favorite last two when racing 6 1/2 furlongs in graded stakes. Will return off a more than year-long layoff for Phil D’Amato, a 22% winner with horses coming off a long layoff and a 21% winner second start with the trainer. Can the Man gelding will keep rider Flavien Prat and has looked sharp in recent workouts.
#11 Nobody Listens (8-1): Posted trio of BRIS figures in 92-96 range in three starts since transferring to barn of Tim Eggleston. Will switch to turf after racing on dirt or all-weather in last three. Eggleston is a 32% winner with horses that won their last race and a 15% winner with turf starts. Joseph Ramos will retain the mount. Five-year-old is 1-for-2 at today’s distance and owns a 3-1-1-0 record on turf.
#1 Ice Chocolat (12-1): Fifth in Colonel Power Stakes at today’s distance on Feb. 18. May improve off a two-month layoff and will get a rider switch to Irad Ortiz Jr. Sharp workout April 14.
AE of note: #13 Spicy Marg (15-1)