Keeneland undercard stakes selections for April 3

Profile Picture: John Mucciolo

April 2nd, 2021

A total of six graded stakes races will lead the way during a spectacular Saturday of racing during the opening weekend at Keeneland. The Blue Grass S. (G2) for sophomores has major implications towards the Kentucky Derby (G1) and will attract plenty of attention, but the big events on the undercard are superb and can’t be overlooked either.

Ashland S. (G1)

A small field of three-year-old fillies will go postward with hopes of making the upcoming Kentucky Oaks (G1). #5 Malathaat (9-5) went unblemished as a juvenile, capped by a tally in the Demoiselle S. (G2) in the slop that I think she struggled with some. Well-bred Curlin filly is training like a horse sitting on a big one, and I think that the Pletcher will have her ready to roll off the shelf. Shadwell color bearer will never be far back under Rosario.

Madison S. (G1)

The seven-furlong dash for fillies and mares brought out an accomplished cast of seven, but I am on #5 Kimari (5-2). Munnings filly is one of my favorite horses in training, and her lone local appearance resulted in a 15-length debut win on the course. The bay comes off a lifetime best when blitzing the Spring Fever S. at Oaklawn, and I expect her to take over in the lane on Saturday.

#3 Mundaye Call (8-1) is lone speed in a cast lacking early foot and is dangerous for Brad Cox. Into Mischief filly comes in fresh and could surely hang on for second after establishing the splits from the start. She will finish my exacta.

Shakertown S. (G2)

Out of pure respect, I will base my wagers around #13 Bound for Nowhere (3-1) for Wesley Ward. The seven-year-old captured this race with authority in 2018, and he was runner-up by a neck in 2019 prior to finishing third by a neck in 2020. The son of The Factor always brings his A-game to Keeneland, and the outside post might actually benefit the bay under Rosario.

Appalachian S. (G2)

A compact but excellent field of six sophomore fillies will vie in this turf affair. Miss Grillo S. (G2) queen #4 Plum Ali (5-2) flashed a world of potential during her juvenile campaign which concluded with a solid fifth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) on the course. Clement trainee has posted six morning drills in preparation of her three-year-old debut, and I am excited to see her return.

Commonwealth S. (G3)

The inner two runners appear tough in this spot, but for value #4 Special Reserve (12-1) has the most appeal for Maker. Midshipman gelding was an allowance winner off the claim last time out at Oaklawn while moving his line to two-for-two since removing blinkers. The five-year-old could sit a perfect trip forcing the tempo from the break under Corrales.