By Ryan Dickey:
Keeneland Bail-out Special
For every live race day of the Keeneland Spring meet, I will be analyzing the finale for each card. We’ll call it the “Bail-Out Special” — in case you had a bad day at the track and you need JUST ONE WINNER to right the ship. We are going to try our best to give you that advice and counsel and hope that we all can get some “dinner money” for the night.
But the selection can be used for more than just stemming losses from a bad day. Maybe you’d like to get aggressive and single a horse in multi-race bets. Maybe you’ve had a GREAT day at the track and you want to “let it ride.”
No matter how you use it, it’s my goal to pick THE WINNING HORSE in the finale — I won’t be too concerned about the morning line odds. I’ll actually be handicapping the race before the odds are announced. So my selection may not be the “value play” in the finale — just my opinion on who I think will be, can be, may be the WINNER. At the least, we are “all in” together.
OPENING DAY–Thursday, April 4
Race 8: $20,000 Claiming race ($23,000 purse) for fillies and mares, 3-years-old and up going 7 furlongs on the main track. Post Time approximately 6:51 pm ET
This seven furlong dirt sprint for $20,000 claimers that have never won two races closes out the card on opening day at Keeneland, which opens on a Thursday with a late first post time.
After the races, the party beings in the paddock. So stick around and enjoy the scene, the music, the libations, and, hopefully, your winnings.
There are 12 fillies and mares entered in the main body of the race, with three also-eligibles. Of the three AEs, the only one worth keeping an eye on, IMO, is #14 Faith Healer, trained by Tim Glyshaw. If she were to get in the race, she’s useable underneath in a trifecta.
Half of the runners have at least one start at Keeneland under their belts. Only #12 Nautia has found the winners circle in Lexington, but that was in a 11/16-mile route in a $15k maiden claimer event in the Fall of 2017.
There are some horses making the short trek down I-75 from Turfway Park in this race. Of those horses, only #8 Tolly Ho can be used underneath in trifectas and superfectas. The rest can be tossed.
The main contenders in this race appear to be #4 Trophy Doll, #6 Five Star Factor, #7 Miss Harry and #9 Ipanema Beach.
Timeform US rates the early pace as “fast” with #8 Tolly Ho, #5 Channing Road and #6 Five Star Factor out front.
My pick for the first “Bail-out Special” for the Keeneland Spring meet is #4 TROPHY DOLL, who will be making her career debut on the dirt. An Irish-bred by Dream Ahead, this 4-year-old was claimed from e5 Racing and trainer Michael Stidham last out — when she finished a disappointing fifth in a 1-mile, turf , $15k claiming race. She has an excuse in the race, as she was pinballed at the break, but did not run anywhere close to her near 2-to-1 odds.
Currently trained by Bernard Flint, Trophy Doll will be ridden by Corey Lanerie. The filly started her career as a 2-year-old racing in Ireland, where her best finish in two starts was second in a 7-furlong sprint on synthetic at Dundalk.
She didn’t race again until October of last year, when she made her U.S. debut at Presque Isle Downs, finishing second in a $33k maiden special weight race going six furlongs on the all-weather track. She broke her maiden next out at Tampa Bay Downs, going a mile on the turf.
Expect local trainer Ken McPeek’s #7 Miss Harry to be the post-time favorite. She’ll be making her third sprinting start on the Keeneland main track–having finished sixth in her previous two tries.
Ipanema Beach, the #9, is interesting as she broke her maiden in a $76k MSW race at Churchill Downs last November, but hasn’t raced well in her last two starts since. She’ll be getting some class relief today.
The biggest wildcard in the race is the #6 Five Star Factor, who also drops in class here. She runs some clunkers, and then is competitive, with no discernable pattern.
So, I bet #4 TROPHY DOLL as the “Bail-out Special” on Thursday. For a decent trifecta that will cost $15 for a $1.00 base bet, try: 4 over 6,7,9 over 2,6,7,8,9,11.