Scully: Handicapping the Keeneland Turf Pick 3 for Oct. 16

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October 15th, 2021

The $500,000 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1) highlights Saturday’s turf fare at Keeneland, and it is one of three challenging races in the unique Turf Pick 3 sequence. The new wager has a $3 minimum and 15% takeout.

Here are the horses for my ticket.

Race 6: Maiden special weight

Two-year-old fillies will square off in the first leg, a 1 1/16-mile route, and #4 Curbstone will take some beating, following a good second against maiden special weight foes at Belmont Park on Sept. 23. She will be forwardly placed with jockey Ricardo Santana Jr.

Two other runners will be added to the ticket.

#1 Hashtag No Wonder rallied boldly past rivals, after a troubled start last time time out, and #11 Wicked Genius is eligible to improve for trainer Kenny McPeek, following a solid effort at Kentucky Downs in her first turf outing.

Race 8: Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1)

Irish 1000 Guineas (G1) winner #4 Empress Josephine got on track too late in the First Lady S. (G1) seven days ago, but the Coolmore-owned Galileo filly closed well to finish third, behind a pair of quality older rivals.

Trainer Aidan O’Brien will add blinkers to keep her focused, and Empress Josephine should relish the drop in class against three-year-old rivals.

O’Brien pulled off this move a decade ago, when he brought Together back from a placing in the First Lady to win the Queen Elizabeth a week later, and Empress Josephine will be my single.

Race 10: Allowance

There is plenty of speed signed on for this 5 1/2-furlong allowance, and #3 Ghosting Kim rates top billing from off the pace.

A sharp allowance winner over the course and distance during the spring, the four-year-old filly exits a close third at Kentucky Downs and will make her third start off the layoff for trainer Ignacio Correas.

#4 Chili Petin, who appears to be the speed of the speed, will be included, along with #7 Lemos Cunha and #11 Recoded.

The ticket

$3 Keeneland Turf Pick 3: 1,4,11 with 4 with 3,4,7,11 ($36)