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Homeracing

Late Pick 4 analysis for closing day at Keeneland

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TwinSpires Staff

October 26th, 2018

Keeneland's fall meet is coming to a close (c) Keeneland/Coady Photography

by Scott Shapiro

The final Pick 4 of the Keeneland fall meeting is upon us as the circuit moves west to Churchill Downs on Sunday afternoon.

The sequence commences and concludes with a two-turn turf allowance event and includes the featured $200,000 Fayette (G2), headlined by Juddmonte Farms’ colt Hofburg.

Here are my thoughts on Saturday’s late Pick 4:

RACE 7

Junkanoo (#10) (5-2) looks like a legitimate favorite to get things started. The E Five Racing Thoroughbreds colt barely got up to win by a neck in his debut effort at Belmont Park on September 22 for trainer Chad Brown, but has the look of a runner who should move forward on Saturday. The races were taken off the lawn on Friday, and with more rain in the forecast it remains to be seen whether this one will be run over the sod. If it does, I like the chances of this son of Scat Daddy to kick things off.

I will single Junkanoo on one ticket and then spread a few deep on the other with Credit Swap (#3) (6-1), who goes two sprints to a route for trainer Michael Stidham off of a midpack finish in the $200,000 Indian Summer Stakes 20 days ago, and Ready to Forgive (#6) (12-1), who was impressive last time out in a 2 3/4-length win at legendary Churchill Downs.

If the race comes off the lawn it becomes much trickier, but I would play against Most Mischief (#11) (15-1) since I expect him to get over bet if this one is conducted over the main track.

RACE 8

There should be a somewhat contentious pace in this seven-furlong dash over the main track, which could set things up for a runner from off the lead if the track is playing fair.

The likely raceshape should benefit Amiral (#6) (3-1) for trainer Ignacio Correas IV. The son of Curlin was slow out of the gate in his initial start last month in Louisville, but made up ground quickly with little urging on the backstretch and showed a strong turn of foot putting away a group of seven by 4 1/4 lengths in the end. He takes on winners for the first time on Saturday, but a similar effort should be good enough to run this bunch down.

If Amiral regresses off of the strong debut performance Mac Jagger (#7) (7-2) and Extricate (#8) (15-1) appear the likeliest to take advantage. I will single Amiral on my second ticket and use all three on Ticket 1.

RACE 9: Fayette Stakes

The final graded stakes race of the 2018 fall meeting drew a field of seven led by three runners who are 5-2 or lower on oddsmaker Mike Battaglia’s morning line.

Prime Attraction (#1) is listed as the 2-1 chalk, but I am dubious that he will go off the favorite in this spot. The DP Racing runner has taken on the best horses on the West Coast in 2018, but has zero wins to show for it. His tactical speed and inside draw should have him in a prominent spot early on, but an underneath finish seems the more likely outcome.

Hofburg (#6) (5-2) is more likely to go off the public choice in the Fayette. The son of Tapit has just two wins in seven starts for Hall of Fame Bill Mott, but he has four triple-digit BRIS Speed ratings over his last five tries and has hit the board in both the Florida Derby (G1) and Belmont Stakes (G1).

Hofburg certainly merits serious consideration, but I prefer the chances of Leofric (#5) (5-2). The winner of six of 12 career races has been freshened up since a third-place finish in the Woodward (G1) at Saratoga. The son of Candy Ride should sit a comfortable trip right off the early pace under Florent Geroux and has shown an affinity for getting to the wire first, unlike his main rivals on Saturday. If he goes off above his morning-line price, I will strongly consider a win wager as well.

RACE 10

The meet concludes with the second of two 1 1/16-mile events scheduled for the grass. I Remember Mama (#6) (2-1) is the clear one to beat for trainer Thomas Drury Jr., but consecutive runner-up efforts are a bit concerning at a short price. I will use several in hopes of closing things out.

If the 10TH Race comes off the green, be sure to include main-track only runner Backintheacademy (#10) (6-1). The eight-year-old mare has won seven of 60 lifetime and is very live despite the outside draw.

TICKET 1 ($1)

Race 7: 10
Race 8: 6+7+8
Race 9: 5
Race 10: 1+6+7+8+9

Ticket Cost: $15

TICKET 2: ($1)

Race 7: 3+6+10
Race 8: 6
Race 9: 5
Race 10: 1+6+7+8+9

Ticket Cost: $15

TOTAL BUDGET: $30

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