By Ryan Dickey:
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.
Friday, April 26
Race 10 $40k Maiden Claiming ($25,000 purse) fillies and mares years old and up 6 furlongs on dirt approx 6:03 pm ET
As always, the Keeneland Spring meet seems to have arrived and departed in the blink of an eye. It seems like it was just yesterday that the new opening day Thursday card was available to be handicapped and the Blue Grass Stakes was yet to be drawn.
But now, 16 race dates later we find ourselves on closing day of the boutique Spring meet. I’ve provided my “Bail-out Special” thirteen times (had two scratches) this meet and have seen six of those hit the wire first.
Yesterday, there was quite a finish as the winner through the bottom of the Superfecta all hit the wire so closely you could have thrown a blanket over them. My pick was fourth but I was probably more glad that BAIL OUT didn’t win the race or I would have forever kicked myself for not choosing Bail Out as my bail out.
Today I have a chance to be .500 on the meet in the finale. But I’ll have to contend with maiden claimer fillies and the weather. As I write this piece from my cell phone in a foaling barn on a horse Farm in Versailles, KY it is raining buckets.
The final card of the Keeneland meet features four of the ten races slated for the turf. That may be in jeopardy. Half of the races only have six betting interests, so scratches could result in very small fields.
While the quality of racing at Keeneland has been its normal excellent self, the results have been extraordinarily chalky—few big prices have lit up the toteboard of late. Today could be a ho-hum anti-climactic final day of the meet.
The finale has eleven entries and will be contested at six furlongs on the what at 5:30 am has to be a very sloppy track (it rained on and off all night—I should know!). Whether it gets a chance to dry out or not is anyone’s guess, as it looks like we’ll get rain up until about noon.
So I’m assuming we’ll have an off track—muddy or sloppy.
While #11 MISS HANNAH finished fourth, twelve lengths back in her debut on a wet track at Gulfstream in March, she looked much better last out here at Keeneland, leading most of the way until faltering late.
But that race included an additional furlong as she will only tackle six panels here instead of seven. She does lose jockey Brian Hernandez Jr. to #10 ELLA BROWN but gets the services of Corey Lanerie today.
I feel that her speed on this wet track, with experience racing on this strip while cutting back a furlong is the winning recipe for this Ken McPeek Trappe Shot filly.
I could get into the merits of the other horses I see as contenders, but let’s face it, you just skim the article to see who the play is, don’t you, fair reader?
Play #11 MISS HANNAH as the final “Bail-out Special” of the Keeneland Spring meet. Play her over #3 BESS, #5 LOOL BEH, #6 SHARPIN and #10 ELLA BROWN in exactas and trifectas.
I may have to do this again in the Fall.