Keeneland Spot Plays for April 17
A 10-race Saturday card will be hosted by Keeneland on Saturday, led by the $200,000 Elkhorn S. (G2).
Race 1 -- Starter Allowance
#2 Hole Me Black (3-1) has been outrun in two tries against much better this campaign, but the Shirer re-claim is a great fit in this field. Hold Me Back gelding has speed and some back class, and I expect him to peak third off the bench.
Race 3 -- Maiden Special Weight
Fillies and mares will dash on the lawn in a tricky race. #2 Nota Bene (15-1) is a bit of a stab for Wilkes, but she is intriguing at a big number nonetheless. Bay filly showed little on debut in a race that was washed off the green in the fall, but she is bred top and bottom for the lawn and could run big coming off some nice morning moves. Leparoux rides.
Race 6 -- Maiden Special Weight
#1 Diamond State (5-1) ran well at first asking prior to failing to fire when switching to the turf second time out. Hamm pupil returns to the main strip off the bench, and the gelding could lead at every call if he breaks well beneath Corrales. Gemologist four-year-old is a possible single to start the late Pick 5.
Race 7 -- Allowance
If #2 Brooke Marie (9-2) runs to something resembling her 2019 form, then I expect the Lemon Drop Kid mare to drive home first under Saez. Jonathan Thomas trainee is stakes quality and worth the investment at her morning-line number.
Race 9 -- Elkhorn S.
A fine field has been assembled for the 1 1/2-mile turf test. I will be using #7 North Dakota (10-1) in my exotics and multi-race wagers as a fine value option. Dark bay came to hand well last season, and the lightly raced five-year-old comes in fresh with the right running style for the race. Johnny V. has the assignment.
Race 10 -- Optional Claiming
A big group will go postward in the get-out race. #3 Loopallu (7-2) impressed with a fine tally at Keeneland in October, and he exits a smart score in his latest showing as well. Hartman trainee is an excellent fit for the level, and the son of Curlin has excuses for his two subpar showings this season, too. I like his chances quite a bit with Murrill riding.