Scott Shapiro's Keeneland Late Pick 4 for Oct. 7
The first full week of racing at the Keeneland fall meet gets rolling on Wednesday afternoon with an eight-race card headlined by the Jessamine S. (G2). The 1 1/16 miles event for 2-year-old fillies is part of a late Pick 4 sequence that has a vulnerable favorite in the final leg.
Suggested Wager: (50-cent Pick 4)
- 1,2,4,5,6,9 with 1,5 with 7 with 1,2,4,6,7,10,11
- Ticket Cost: $42
Shap's Pick 4 Handicapping Analysis
There is not a lot of early zip signed on in this 9-furlong event over the Keeneland grass. Therefore, I will lean on a number of runners that are likely to be prominently placed in this first-level allowance event.
3-1-morning line favorite #9 Spanish Kingdom makes his second start of the form cycle after a disappointing third place finish on Derby Day for Joe Sharp. The son of Animal Kingdom should find a perfect stalking spot making him hard to toss, but he is hard to fully trust after the last effort as the 9-5-top choice. #4 Churn N Burn is an intriguing price option. The Lothenbach Stables gelding is out of a mare that won her only start on the lawn. The $255,000 FTS August 2018 purchase ran a solid second in his first try over the sod last month at Kentucky Downs and should move forward on the stretch out to two turns.
The pace should be honest in this starter allowance over the main track, given the presence of #3 Honey Parade and #6 La Femme Royale. The likely contention up front should set things up for a gal who does her best running late.
#1 Queen Nekia is the likeliest winner, but the drop out of stakes company into this spot makes you wonder how well the daughter of Harlington is doing after posting her second consecutive 89 Brisnet Speed rating in late August in West Virginia. If she is right, she should be able to save ground early and handle this field with ease. However, I do not fully trust her, so I will also include #5 Clever Tale. The Kelsey Danner trainee has been freshened up since rattling off consecutive victories at Tampa. If she is ready to fire off the layoff, she is capable of springing the upset.
Race 7: Jessamine S. (G2)
I am “all in” on #7 Aunt Pearl in the Thursday feature. The Lope De Vega filly could not have been more impressive in breaking her maiden on debut on Opening Day of the September meeting at Churchill Downs. Look for the Brad Cox trainee to take this field gate-to-wire and cement herself as one of the top contenders for next month’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1).
I am willing to let 7-5-morning line favorite #8 Long Term Thinking beat me in the finale. The son of Quality Road has failed as the public choice in three consecutive starts after hitting the wire first, but being disqualified in his debut at Monmouth Park last August. Perhaps Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen can move him forward off of Chad Brown, but the price is too short for me to swallow.
I will use a number of class droppers in hopes of beating the chalk, including #1 Fugitive who moves from turf-to-dirt and attracts Tyler Gaffalione; #2 Vedder who makes his second start off the lengthy layoff for Eddie Kenneally; and #11 Englander who draws favorably to the outside in his first start since January of 2019.