Plotting an early Pick 4 at Keeneland for Saturday

Profile Picture: John Mucciolo

April 9th, 2021

Keeneland will play host to a fine day of racing on Saturday, with black-type races on the slate led by the Jenny Wiley S. (G1). While the bigger tussles come later in the card, the early portion of racing has plenty to offer, as well.

I will be taking aim at the early pick 4 that begins in Race 2, as it seems like a logical way to build my bankroll for later in the afternoon. And while the payoff doesn’t seem likely to be astronomical, the potential for a healthy return is always possible due to the unpredictable nature of racing Keeneland.

Race 2 -- Optional Claiming

A 1 1/16-mile test on the dirt attracted eight in a tricky start to the sequence. #5 Walkoff (5-2) posted a sharp winner on the oval in October and is a must use for Gargan. Street Sense gelding might need one off the bench in his yearly debut, but he was too consistent in 2020 to leave off of the ticket.

#7 Baby I’m Perfect (2-1) is controlling speed with Saez. #4 Tez (5-1) possesses the best late burst in the field. I will go three-deep.

Race 3 -- Maiden Special Weight

Unique distance to be contested on the course makes this one difficult to decipher. The race lacks pace for the most part, which makes #7 Atoka (4-1) viable for Lukas. Speedy Union Rags colt has placed just twice from eight outings, but he will control things early, and he also isn’t facing the deepest of fields.

#5 Call it Love (8-1) has to be on my ticket for Motion, who always has his runners cranked up for Keeneland. And #6 Turnagain Tide (8-5), a $750,000 son of Into Mischief, is also very obvious to have in the play for Brad Cox.

Race 4 -- Allowance

The 1 1/16-mile turf allowance endeavor for three-year-olds features contenders from a few powerful barns. I will use a trio in the first-level allowance tilt. The Mott entry, especially 1A Floriform (5-2); Brendan Walsh’s #2 Ethical Judgement (3-1); and the Todd Pletcher-trained #4 Aviano (2-1) should get me to the closing leg.

Race 5 -- Maiden Claiming

A nine-furlong test for the boys caps the sequence, and I have it pegged as a two-horse contest. My upset pick is #7 Midlaner (9-2) for Eddie Kenneally. By Flatter, the gray has flashed speed while facing a few strong fields, and he adds blinkers off the bench on the big class drop. The Green Lantern homebred shows a strong half-mile drill on the course most recently, as well.

#1 Bold Victory (7-5) drops down in for a tag for the initial time, draws the rail, and the well-bred sort also races as a gelding in his debut for Walsh. Flatter gelding has run well in both tries on dirt and gets Irad, too. Obvious inclusion.

Pick 4 Wager

$.50-cent pick 4: 4,5,7 with 5,6,7 with 1,2,4 with 1,7 ($27)