Tipsheet: The Blue Grass Stakes 2021
A cast of nine sophomores will travel 1 1/8 miles in Saturday’s $800,000 Blue Grass S. (G2) at Keeneland. The feature of the opening weekend is a 2021 Road to the Kentucky Derby challenge series event, with 170 points (100-40-20-10) on the line for the top-four finishers.
Blue Grass Stakes Picks
- #4 Essential Quality
- #3 Highly Motivated
- #9 Keepmeinmind
- #2 Untreated
Blue Grass Stakes Wagers
- $20 Win 4
- $3 Exacta Key Box 4 with 2,3,9
- $1 Superfecta Key 4 with 1,2,3,9
Blue Grass Stakes Contenders
#1 HIDDEN STASH has rallied in the stretch to place in consecutive graded races for Oliver. Consistent Constitution colt has developed well since stretching out to route racing, and he is an obvious exotics contender with continued improvement.
#2 UNTREATED is a wildcard coming off a sharp maiden victory at Tampa Bay Downs in his debut for Pletcher. $300,000 Nyquist colt has been training in swift fashion all season and could evolve into a really nice one with additional experience. Kentucky-bred bay will have Joel Rosario in the stirrups.
#3 HIGHLY MOTIVATED finished a solid third in the Gotham S. (G3) in his 2021 bow and will be tough with a forward move second off the shelf. Chad Brown pupil is a question mark going long in his two-turn debut, but he has a fine turn of foot and will challenge for the win if he handles nine furlongs on Saturday. Regular pilot Castellano will be aboard.
#4 ESSENTIAL QUALITY ran arguably his most visually impressive race to date when dominating in the Southwest S. (G3) while making his three-year-old debut. The champion son of Tapit exited his last outing with a trio of excellent morning drills in preparation of his return to Keeneland, where the colt owns two Grade 1 tallies from a pair of local tries. Brad Cox pupil will have Saez in the silks once again.
#5 ROMBAUER made a last-to-first move to annex the El Camino Real Derby in his sophomore bow for McCarthy. Late-running son of Twirling Candy put in a decent effort in his prior race over the strip, and a top-three finish is not out of the question in his second run of the campaign.
#6 LEBLON graduated at the trip in his juvenile finale prior to finishing fourth in an allowance test at Oaklawn Park last time out. Broken Vow colt will need a big step forward to make the frame in his initial stakes try.
#7 HUSH OF A STORM aced the John Battaglia Memorial at Turfway Park to move his win streak to three. Creative Cause colt showed little in his lone previous run on dirt, but the bay smoked a five-furlong bullet locally in anticipation of his first try with graded company. Gonzalez retains the mount.
#8 SITTIN ON GO bagged the 2020 Iroquois S. (G3), but he has yet to finish better than sixth in four subsequent offerings for Romans. Brody’s Cause chestnut is hard to endorse in his current form cycle.
#9 KEEPMEINMIND makes his second attempt of 2021 and will improve off of his sixth-place result in the Rebel S. (G2) most recently. Son of Laoban had an excellent two-year-old season, which included a third at Keeneland in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1), and I expect the bay to arrive on the scene late to grab a piece under the wire. David Cohen comes in for the ride.