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Homeracing

Keeneland Spot Plays for Sunday, October 7

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TwinSpires Staff

October 6th, 2018

Keeneland (c) Coady Photography

by Dick Powell

Keeneland’s Sunday 10-race card can get off to a good start in RACE 1.

Portal (#2) (9-2) looked like he might have a future last year when he broke his maiden going two turns on the dirt at Churchill Downs in June 2017. Unfortunately, he did nothing on the turf next out 12 months later, then raced indifferently in two allowance races at Ellis Park. Last out at Churchill, the Arch gelding turned back to seven furlongs against this conditioned claiming level and just missed after being bumped around at the start. He meets the same class level, draws better and should be along in time for Ian Wilkes.

Win: #2
Exacta: #5, #6 with #2
Daily Double: #2 with #1, #2

RACE 7 is a maiden special weight event for two-year-old fillies going seven furlongs on the main track. I am going with a price horse to pull off the upset or at least get into the gimmicks at a price.

Cloud Charmer (#10) (12-1) rallied wide for third in her well-bet career debut at Presque Isle Downs seven weeks ago. Since then, trainer Tim Hamm has drilled her with three breezes on the Tapeta track there before shipping down and working the Flatter filly a :46 bullet half-mile on the muddy track at Keeneland Tuesday. She’s out of a dam by Dixieland Band who has produced six winners from six other foals to race, including a stakes winner, and James Graham should be able to work out a stalking trip while clear on the outside.

Into Mystic (#9) (8-5) is the morning-line favorite off a second to the speedy Lady T N T, who came back to win her next start, but her time for the 5 1/2 furlongs was uninspiring. A lot of the money bet on Into Mystic will be because of trainer Todd Pletcher and rider Jose Ortiz.

Win/Place: #10
Exacta Box: #9, #10
Trifecta Box: $4, #9, #10, #12

RACE 9 is the historic Spinster Stakes (G1) for fillies and mares going 1 1/8 miles on the main track. This year’s renewal has drawn a field of 11 and even with the widest draw, I like Blue Prize (#11) (7-2). The five sophomore fillies who showed up do not impress me. None of them are named Monomoy Girl or Midnight Bisou. And there is no Abel Tasman or Vale Dori among the mares. They are an evenly matched group going a distance of ground that clearly favors Blue Prize.

Blue Prize was third in this race last year before coming back at Churchill Downs to capture the Falls City Handicap (G2) by more than eight lengths going this distance. She began this year with a poor seventh-place effort in the Azeri Stakes (G2) at Oaklawn Park but came back to win three of her next four starts. The Pure Prize mare’s lone loss came as a half-length second over a sloppy track at Pimlico in the Allaire duPont Distaff (G3), but she returned at Churchill to again win going this distance in the Fleur de Lis Handicap (G2). She won the Locust Grove Stakes (G3) under the Twin Spires by a nose last out carrying 123 pounds and only has to pick up a pound for this. The five-year-old chestnut has three triple-digit BRIS Speed ratings, which is equal to the rest of the field combined. Others have run as fast but have not been able to repeat it.

Joe Bravo picks up the mount and Blue Prize has enough gate speed to get decent position going into the clubhouse turn.

Looch Racing has a pair entered in here and one of them, Southernperfection (#5) (50-1), could be used on the front end to help set up Fuhriously Kissed (#3) (20-1). This would give Bravo a target to stalk and make first run.

Underneath Blue Prize, I like Skeptic (#9) (15-1) for Rusty Arnold. She looks like she’s on the improve with a good win at Monmouth Park last out. She broke her maiden here on a sloppy track back in April and Arnold is always tough in stakes races at Keeneland.

Eskimo Kisses (#4) (5-2) upset the Alabama Stakes (G1) at Saratoga going 10 furlongs last out and was a distant second behind Monomoy Girl here last April in the Ashland Stakes (G1). She took advantage of a fast pace last out at Saratoga but has a big, late kick no matter what the circumstances.

Talk Veuve to Me (#7) (7-2) was toasted in the fast pace of the Alabama last out but has trained like a demon here since then for Rodolphe Brisset.

Win: #11
Exacta Key Box: #11 with #4, #7, #9

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