But today is the centerpiece of the Keeneland meet, the Grade 1 Blue Grass, a pivotal Kentucky Derby prep. Pre-Poly, anyway.
Even though he’s automatically in, Euro shipper Mafaaz is prepping again for the Derby, John Gosden electing for two preps instead of one. However, why no Lasix today? Saving it for Louisville?
And how about this spot for a 3-year-old debut? That’s what Kiaran McLaughlin is doing with Charitable Man (4-1), an undefeated Grade 2 winner as a juvenile and working lights out for this. One certainly can leg up on Polytrack, it’s three weeks from the dance, and he’s 2-for-2 on dirt. McLaughlin is first rate off lengthy layups, this colt is fast, and attracts stable rider Alan Garcia.
Favorite Hold Me Back (3-1) was very impressive winning the Lane’s End in his season’s debut and is now 3-for-4 on three different synthetic surfaces. To come from far back on the cupping out Turfway Polytrack is not easy. He is, however, likely to regress off a big lifetime top Equiform figure, although 3-year-olds are known to pair tops in the spring. But at the price and wide draw, we’ll play against.
Theregoesjojo (7-2) has been terrific this season and is the only colt to finish ahead of Quality Road. Interestingly, if he wants a Derby run, his earnings are on the bubble. He doesn’t have to win this, but needs a healthy slice. He’s worked well for his synthetic debut.
Terrain (6-1) is second off the layup for Al Stall, a good percentage move in and of itself. He finished very well late when third in the G2 Louisiana Derby behind the streaking Friesan Fire, was second in a G1 on this track at 2 and was beaten less than three lengths after a tough first turn in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile on Pro-Ride. He has two sharp works over the surface and attracts Keeneland’s hottest rider not named Johnny Velazquez in Julien Leparoux.
Betting Terrain to win at 5-1 or greater and keying him in exacta and trifecta money positions with Charitable Man, Hold Me Back and Theregoesjojo, adding General Quarters (15-1), on the bounce-rebound and switching to Eibar Coa with a sharp recent work, to the trifecta mix.
Running Totals: (403) 124-85-53 Total Dollar Return: $849.00 [win selections only]
There will be no selections in this space tomorrow. Happy Easter, Happy Passover to all our loyal readers