The Player’s Edge – October 18th, 2013: Keeneland's Saturday Pick 4

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Matt Carter

October 18th, 2013

Keeneland - Raven Run Stakes


Keeneland - Maiden Special Weight


Keeneland - Allowance


Keeneland - Maiden Special Weight




Keeneland - Raven Run Stakes Fillies Sprint Seven

The feature race on Saturday at Keeneland is the Grade 2 Raven Run Stakes for three-year-old fillies. The seven furlong race drew a full field of 14 with Silsita the lukewarm 7-2 morning line favorite.

Silsita has not run in two months after a sixth place finish in the Grade 2 Lake Placid on the turf at Saratoga, but two starts back was a nose winner in a restricted stakes and won the Grade 3 Bourbonette Oaks over a synthetic surface in March.

At 4-1 on the morning line are both Lighthouse Bay and Ciao Bella Luna and both have a shot to upset the favorite.

Lighthouse Bay is a Grade 1 winner having won the Prioress at Saratoga in July. This will be her first start on a synthetic surface; however, but must be respected for trainer George Weaver. Once again Joe Rocco Jr has the mount.

Ciao Bella Luna is making her first start since June, a fourth place finish in the Grade 2 Hollywood Oaks at Hollywood Park. Prior to that she was second in the Railbird Stakes and won the Grade 2 Beaumont. The Railbird and Beaumont were both seven furlongs sprints over synthetic tracks with the Beaumont coming over the Keeneland course. She will be running late for her new trainer, Wayne Catalano.

After those three the race opens up with every other horse at 8-1 or higher on the morning line. Some of the long shot hopes are Sittin At the Bar, Turn by Turn, My Option, Irish Lute and Primed for Passion.

Sittin At the Bar comes into the Raven Run having won four straight and five of her last six. Overall, the Into Mischief filly has won eight of 13 with two seconds and one third. This will be her first start on any surface other than dirt.

Turn by Turn is undefeated in her two career starts with wins at Arlington Park and on the turf at Indiana Downs. She is likely to be on or near the pace under jockey Kent Desormeaux.

My Option has run third in her last two races, but those were on turf. On synthetic, My Option has a win and two seconds including the Grade 3 Arlington Park Oaks in July. She may be a sneaky good play at 8-1.

Irish Lute is making her first start on a synthetic surface off her second place finish in the Grade 3 Dogwood at Churchill Downs last month. Three starts back she was third, beaten two and one-quarter lengths by Lighthouse Bay.

Primed for Passion is 10-1 on the morning line and could go off at higher odds. The Jonathan Sheppard trained Flatter filly just had her four race win streak snapped in the HBPA Stakes at Presque Isle Downs and comes into the race on Saturday with a bullet five furlong drill over the Keeneland course. She gets an outside post, can stalk and mow them down late.

Scheduled as race nine on the ten-race card, post time for the Raven Run is 5:23 pm ET.


Keeneland - Maiden Special Weight Two-Year-Old Fillies Kick off the Pick 4

The first leg of the late pick-4 on Saturday at Keeneland is a maiden special weight race for two-year-old fillies. The race is tough with Easy Chair, a first-time-starter, the 3-1 morning line favorite.

Easy Chair may be the morning line favorite, but whether she goes off the post-time favorite remains to be seen. The daughter of Tiznow does not seem to have been working fast in the mornings and another debut runner for trainer Todd Pletcher on Friday ran poor.

Azha drops back in distance after a fifth place finish over the track two weeks ago. The daughter of Tapit is 8-1 and may be worth including on the ticket if she is bet.

Lelanda is a second-time-starter for Jonathan Sheppard and the Augustin Stable. She was not bet in her debut and ran a decent fifth of 12. She cost $390,000 earlier this year and she is another one that is live if bet down.

Altagracia is a second-time-starter for Darrin Miller, who can get them ready to roll on the Keeneland surface. She ran fifth in her debut and has the right to improve.

Tiz Windy is another to consider if bet for trainer Carl Nafzger. The Tiznow filly was dead last early in her debut before passing some horses late. She gets first-time Lasix on Saturday and is bred to handle the surface switch.

Lemon do Oro has finished nowhere in her first two starts on the turf at Saratoga and Belmont Park and may just be 5-1 on the morning line due to the field and her bullet five furlong work over the track a week ago. She get's first-time Lasix and will break from post 11.

Auriferous, Party Now and Poppy's Dream are three debutantes for top connections and worth a look if they take money. Poppy's Dream may be worth including even if ignored on the board. Her trainer, Ken McPeek, always seems to pop with a price at these short Keeneland meets, especially in maiden races.

Watch the toteboard and play the pick-4 accordingly.

Post time for race seven is 4:17 pm ET.


Keeneland - Allowance Marathoners on the Turf

Keeneland's late pick-4 on Saturday moves from two-year-olds going seven furlongs to older horses running 12 furlongs on the turf. The allowance race looks like it comes down to One Golden Road and Global Express.

One Golden Road has one win in eight career starts and that win came in an off-the-turf race at Calder back in May. Since then he has run six times with two thirds and one second. This will be the third race for his current connections, trainer Mike Maker and owners Ken and Sarah Ramsey.

One Golden Road was far back early in his last race and came running late only to have some trouble. New jockey David Flores is in the irons and he could have the gelding closer in the early stages.

Global Express started his career at seven furlongs, but the son of Street Sense was just getting going. He was fourth in a eight and one-half furlong race before winning with ease in a race at 11 furlongs over the Polytrack at Woodbine. He is coming off a fourth place finish in a nine furlong race on the Woodbine turf and will love the added distance.

The pace of this race should be slow as there is no confirmed front-runner in the field. One Golden Road could make the lead, but is likely to be sitting behind Sporting Holiday.

If there is any jockey who can put them to sleep early and power home late, it's James Graham and he will be aboard Sporting Holliday on Saturday. The five-year-old gelding was just claimed by Larry Rivelli, who wins with 20% of his new claims.

Paroled is the third choice on the line at 9-2, but is likely to go much higher than that. The four-year-old gelding has one win in 19 career starts. He is best used underneath with his eight second and thirds. The one positive is that he has experience over the Keeneland turf course and that can never be dismissed.

Check out the double probable's from race seven to eight to see if anyone other than One Golden Road or Global Express is taking money. If not, use those two and move on.

Post time for race eight is 4:50 pm ET.


Keeneland - Maiden Special Weight Two Turns on the Turf

The Saturday finale is a maiden special weight for three-year-olds and upward going eight and one-half furlongs on the turf course. Cosmic Karma is 7-2 on the morning line for trainer Jonathan Sheppard.

The Pennsylvania bred Cosmic Karma has finished second in his last two starts over the Tapeta surface at Presque Isle Downs and is bred to handle the surface switch. Sheppard keeps Mario Pino in the irons; look for him to be running on strong late.

Mutasaawy is 4-1 on the line and is a must use. The Daniel Peitz trained, Shadwell Stable owned colt ran a good third in August over the turf at Arlington Park and now gets Lasix for the first time. Peitz has won with two of his six starters at the meet including Najjaar in the off-the-turf Sycamore on Thursday.

Mt Tronador has run twice on the turf, one over this track in April and one at Kentucky Downs last month. James Graham, who ride a lot for Peitz and was aboard Najjaar, has the mount on Mt Tronador. When given a good mount, James Graham can ride with the best of them.

This is another race with a muddled pace scenario. None of the top three horses will be close to the early pace, so it could go at a walk.

Skilltopaythebills is hard to trust still looking for his first win after having three seconds and three thirds in 14 career starts. He was 167-1 in the Indiana Derby last out as a maiden, but two starts back ran a respectable third in a maiden special weight race at Ellis Park. Second in that race was March Reward, who is on the AE-list for this race. If March Reward does draw in, he may be a single.

A runner that could press the pace is Came to Believe, who is going from the main track at Keeneland to the turf course. Came to Believe does not have the best breeding for turf, but should run well. He does not have a workout since his fifth place finish two weeks ago.

Two long shot looks are Forty Four North and Civility Pledge, both coming off extended layoffs.

Forty Four North doesn't exactly have the form to be worth using, but that is why he is worth a look. Trainer George Arnold is due to win a race at the meet and he is hitting at 16% with his horses off of 61-180 days layoffs and with 21% of his synthetic to turf runners.

Civility Pledge is a filly running against the boys has not run since January and may be best in his next start; however, she looks to have been working well in the mornings and could surprise at a price. If she does not win, but runs well, make sure to bet her coming back.

Not an easy way to end the card or the pick-4; one that looks like it's going to pay very well.

First post at Keeneland on Satuday is 1:05 pm ET with the last scheduled to break from the gate at 5:55.


Thoroughbred Racing Action

Great racing action from across the country this weekend. Watch these races all on

Saturday– October 19
  • Keeneland:  Raven Run Stakes - G2, $250,000, 3yo f, 7f
  • Santa Anita:  California Flag Handicap, $100,000, 3yo & up, 6.5f turf
  • Golden Gate Fields:  Miss America Stakes, $50,000, 3yo & up f&m, 8.5f turf
  • Indiana Downs:  Frances Slocum Stakes, $150,000, 3yo & up, 8.5f
  • Indiana Downs:  Too Much Coffee Stakes, $150,000, 3yo & up, 8.5f
  • Indiana Downs:  Miss Indiana Stakes, $85,000, 2yo f, 8f
  • Indiana Downs:  Indiana Futurity Stakes, $85,000, 2yo, 8f
  • Laurel Park:  Maryland Million Day, 10 Races, $700,000 Total Purses
  • Charles Town:  West Virginia Breeders' Day, 9 Races, over $1-million Total Purses
  • Woodbine:  Labeeb Stakes, $100,000, 3yo & up f&m, 8f turf
  • Woodbine:  River Memories Stakes, $100,000, 3yo & up, 8f turf
Sunday – October 20
  • Woodbine:  Cup and Saucer Stakes, $250,000, 2yo, 8.5f turf
  • Woodbine:  Bunty Lawless Stakes, $125,000, 3yo & up, 8f turf
  • Keeneland:  Rood & Riddle Dowager Stakes, $125,000, 3y0 & up f&m, 12f turf