What’s On Tap:
There were only three Grades stakes this weekend – the Elkhorn at Keeneland, the Charles Town Classic from Charles Town, and the Great Lady M from Los Al. That’s not nearly enough action, so Rich Nilsen asked me to throw in a late pick 4 and I said sure! We will cover the Pick 4 first (including the Elkhorn), and then I will will finish with the Charles Town Classic and and the Great Lady M.
Pick 4 – races 7 through 10 – Method – I make my pick 4 selections “A’s,” (strong selections) and “B’s” (sneaky horses that will be above 5/1 odds). The goal is to try to get A’s home in three of the four pick 4 races.
Keeneland Race 7 (4:24 Eastern, 5.5f Turf sprint)
A’s: #2 Shadow Rock (3/1) loves this trip. #7 Cat’s in the Mood (12/1) looks ready to run a big one. B’s: #6 Ray’swarrior is very fast but is not bred for grass at all. #9 Tacoma Park and #10 Platinum Prince are well bred for the grass.
Keeneland Race 8 (4:57 Eastern, 7 furlong MSW))
A’s: #8 Dear Elaine (4/1) and #2 Lady Soul (5/2) have the early speed. #6 Linda is first Lasix for an exceptional “second out” trainer.
Keeneland Race 9 (5:30 Eastern, Grade 2 Elkhorn, 12 furlongs on turf)
A’s: #1 Da Big Hoss (7/2) was just flat last time and I am expecting a rebound. #7 Kaigun (5/2) is fairly reliable, but he lost to the top pick at Sam Houston. B’s: #5 Royal Albert Hall and #8 St. Albans Boy have sneaky-good turf pedigrees.
Keeneland Race 10 (6:03 Eastern, 7f Mdn. Clm. $20,000)
A’s: #1 Brilliant Belle (2/1) and #6 Count the Storm (8/1) appear to be the class horses in here. B’s: None
Older Males Clash in the Rich Charles Town Classic Stakes (Grade 2, Race 12, 6:05 Eastern, purse = $1.25 Million)
This race is run on a bullring (five-eighths of a mile in circumference, compared to 8 furlongs or 9 furlongs), and some horses like it and others don’t fare well (Shared Belief wound up getting injured in last year’s race).
#3 S’maverlous (10/1) is really getting good and I am sticking with the hot hand. #7 Stanford (9/2) is the speed if Donworth (who appears to be going the wrong way) doesn’t pester him. Great human connections in Pletcher and Castellano. #9 Page McKenney (6/1) is in world class form right now, but has yet to tackle horses of this level. #6 International Star (8/1 ML) doesn’t seem to be as sharp as last year but he has a very good closing kick and I think he would be a great horse to use in the super.
Mares meet at Los AL For Black Type (Los Alamitos Thoroughbred Meeting, Grade 2, Race 8, 8:28 Eastern)
#2 Fantastic Style (7/5) has all the speed and looks a logical favorite from post 2. #3 Lost Bus (7/2) is on a 2-race winning streak and the speed figures from her last two races make her competitive. #5 Ben’s Duchess (4/1) has races in her PPs that says she can contend but she needs to improve here.