Multi-race play for Keeneland's opening day
The weather at Keeneland for Friday's opener is acceptable with a fast main track and yielding turf, but is expected to turn nasty later today and into tomorrow as Old Man Winter takes a (hopefully) last belated shot at everyone.
A contentious Pick 3 sequence in the latter half of the card will be among my focused plays as we look for early trends at the 16-day spring stand.
#3 BUSINESS EXPENSE probably the horse to beat at a short price, but we'll take a shot with three others to start the ticket. #7 DEVAMANI (5-1) goes first time for Christophe Clement after competing in his native France. Found more success in the provinces than on the main Parisian circuit, but should appreciate the soft conditions here. #8 GENERAL KITTEN (12-1) has the potential to improve returning to turf. He's a Kitten's Joy half-brother to a Grade 3-winning turf filly and is better than he was at the start of his career. #10 SOGLIO (4-1) has placed at this level over this course in the past and won't be as strongly bet off recent loss at Gulfstream.
Only two deep in this maiden. #2 ALMITHMAAR (8-5) is the one to catch after narrowly missing in his debut last month at Gulfstream, but #3 COROT looks dangerous for Mark Casse. A solid third in his debut over the Woodbine Polytrack last fall to Aheadbyacentury, subsequent winner of the Coronation Futurity, and shows a strong Palm Meadows worktab ahead of his return.
#2 SWEET LEGACY ran one of her best races when a long-priced third in the $50,000 Wayward Lass at Tampa Bay Downs last time for Keeneland specialist Rusty Arnold. Perhaps more effective at two turns than one, though. #7 ASTROLLINTHEPARK fared well in her return from a layoff March 16 at Oaklawn over a track where she ran a little wide and the inside was more favorable. #8 MISS KENTUCKY (5-1) and #9 SHAR RAN (8-1) are solid open-company allowance types that can win on their best form.
Here's the $1 ticket:
7,8,10 with 2,3, with 2,7,8,9 = $24