Thoughts on the All-Turf Pick 4 at Keeneland and Woodbine

Profile Picture: Vance Hanson

October 13th, 2018

It shouldn't surprise anyone that Chad Brown could be the most significant factor in Saturday's All-Turf Pick 4 (comprising two races each at Keeneland and Woodbine) as he's entered major contenders in the trio of Grade 1s that comprise 75% of the sequence. The action starts at Keeneland.

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Keeneland Race 9 -- Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1)

#8 RUSHING FALL (7-5) will be a popular single as the most talented specialist of her sex and generation seen thus far. The once-beaten filly has otherwise dominated her peers, including twice over the Keeneland turf. This is not to say there aren't concerns. She's been limited to just one start since May, and coming near the end of the season this race has produced some upsets of late. Indeed, the post-time favorite has won the QEII just once in the last seven runnings. Like many others, we'll sink or swim with her as the alternatives are hard to split.

Woodbine Race 9 -- Canadian International (G1)

Among Brown's duo in this 1 1/2-mile event is the improving #11 FOCUS GROUP (10-1), who's left little margin for error of late but handles some give in the ground as well as the distance. This isn't the strongest field for the class level and he figures with modest progress and an honest pace up front, perhaps supplied by stablemate #4 FUNTASTIC (8-1). Morning-line favorite #2 THUNDERING BLUE (2-1) is much better now than he was at the beginning of the year, and his third to Roaring Lion and Poet's Word in the Juddmonte International (G1) two back is a strong piece of form.

Keeneland Race 10 -- N3X Allowance

A tough race to decipher, especially if #13 LAST PROMISE KEPT (3-1) does not draw in from the also-eligible list. That one would appear difficult to handle based on current form. #8 VAGABOND PRINCESS (6-1) placed in impossible spot in her return from a long spell last time. Obviously merits consideration with anything close to her best Fair Grounds form. #10 SMART EMMA (6-1), game in victory last out at Ellis Park, is two-for-four on the lawn and posted a nice work at Churchill Downs last week for her return. #4 BLUE COLLAR's (20-1) definitely a spotty type. She's blown up the tote board twice here in the past, including in her debut on the turf. Produced best race all season in recent comeback and perhaps can improve on that here at a price.

Woodbine Race 10 -- E.P. Taylor (G1)

The Brown-trained #2 SANTA MONICA (5-2) won the course-and-distance Dance Smartly (G2) back in June and then was stuck behind a ridiculously false pace in the Glens Falls (G3) last time. Brown also aggressively spots the lightly-raced three-year-old #3 POLLARA (6-1), who won a Group 3 at Chantilly when last seen in June. In that she defeated Waldlied, subsequent winner of the Prix de Malleret (G2). #4 SHEIKA REIKA (12-1) enters off an impressive Listed stakes win at Yarmouth and has been a consistent player throughout her career.

Here's the pre-scratch $1 ticket:

8 with 2,11 with 4,8,10,13 with 2,3,4 = $24

Good luck!