McCraken the back key to Keeneland's All-Stakes Pick 5

Profile Picture: Vance Hanson

April 8th, 2017

Saturday's All-Stakes Pick 5 at Keeneland obviously has contentious fields, and whittling them down to form a manageable ticket is the goal. Here's where I'm leaning:

Race 6 - Commonwealth (G3) -- Limousine Liberal (#3, 9-2) and A. P. Indian (#8, 8-5) were separated by a nose in last October's Phoenix (G2), with Ami's Flatter (#7, 4-1) 3 1/2 lengths back in third. These three are the classiest horses in the field. Limousine Liberal and A. P. Indian are proven capable fresh, while Ami's Flatter beat a softer bunch in this race a year ago but loves seven furlongs.

Race 7 - Shakertown (G3) -- Rainbow Heir (#2, 3-1) was unlucky not to win the photo in the Gulfstream Park Turf Sprint when last seen in January, while Hogy (#7, 4-1) was unlucky not to rally in the Woodford (G3) here in October after falling too far off the pace. Justin Squared (#4, 12-1) looks like the primary speed and has been training up a storm for new conditioner Wesley Ward.

Race 8 - Madison (G1) -- The two new editions to the Chad Brown barn, Paid Up Subscriber (#1, 5-1) and Paulassilverlining (#6, 3-1) merit respect on last year's form. Constellation (#4, 4-1) beat the talented filly Finley'sluckycharm in the La Brea (G1) and can probably improve off her comeback second in the Las Flores (G3).

Race 9 - Ashland (G1) -- Tough race to get a handle on, for sure. Elate (#2, 7-2) endured a rough start and fell too far off a moderate pace in the Honeybee (G3) last time. She's capable of better. Summer Luck (#5, 4-1) narrowly lost her debut here and has been pretty solid in her two tries at a mile. She stretches out to two turns for the first time here. Daddys Lil Darling (#6, 5-2) has a tendency to fall too far back, but probably got a lot out of her turf prep. Tapped (#8, 4-1) brings generally good form from California and is a speed threat.

Race 10 - Blue Grass (G1) -- You have to take a stand somewhere, and that will be with early favorite McCraken (#2, 7-5).

Here's the 50-cent ticket: 3/7/8 - 2/4/7 - 1/4/6 - 2/5/6/8 - 2 = $54.

(Coady Photography)