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The Conscience of Thoroughbred Racing

THE PARADE OF GRADED STAKES AT KEENELAND BEGINS FRIDAY WITH STAKES DOUBLE

The big stakes glut won’t happen until Saturday, of course, with six consecutive graded events–a $1 Pick Six for you horizontal-phobes.

But Friday is not a bad start at all with the G3 Beaumont for three-year-old fillies at seven furlongs and the day’s headliner, the Grade 1 Makers Mark Mile.

At first, I couldn’t believe my good fortune when one of my favorite juvenile fillies of 2019, Wicked Whisper, who is making her sophomore debut in the Beaumont, was to provide a parimutuel means for upsetting a 7-5 early line favorite.

But that filly, Speech, is also cross-entered in Saturday’s Ashland, and with divisional leading Swiss Skywalker opting for history in the stored Blue Grass, who could blame Michael McCarthy if wishes to re-route his speedy filly to the prestigious Ashland.

Of course, Steve Asmussen’s filly still needs to be set to get all the Beaumont furlongs. And you know that since she’s already at Grade 1 winner, having taken Belmont’s Frizette in her second lifetime start, this race is being used as a launch pad.

But then there’s the matter of regaining confidence after the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies debacle. That should have provide sufficient incentive for her return.

The Liam’s Map filly has had nine workouts since May 15, five of them at five-eighths of a mile, including a gate bullet of 59 1/5 at her Churchill base before shipping to Lexington for her last two finishing-touch trials.

We love this filly because she’s an absolute bullet away from the barrier, and stays in the bridle, except for that one time at Santa Anita. Was it an aberration? We’re betting it was. Joel Rosario takes the return call so even with Speech in the lineup, 3-1 will not be available ante post.

Whatever Asmussen is pointing for, Saratoga’s G1 Test perhaps, we’re using her as a bridge to the Maker’s Mark mid-card double, taking Raging Bull (9-5) and stablemate Without Parole (5-2).

The former spots five pounds to all except Next Shores, who will be in receipt of three. The second choice completes the uncoupled pair for Chad Brown.

Without Parole was a very troubled third behind his mate when third in the G1 Shoemaker Mile, and neither has missed a beat in the mornings since they competed in that highly rated race.

Rosario will try to complete the stakes double on the favorite; Irad Ortiz Jr., winning pretty much every graded turf stakes of late, takes the call on the second choice. A 1-2 finish wouldn’t be anything we haven’t seen before.

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2 Responses

  1. Happy for you Denny, and for Mark Casse, a standup guy who speaks his mind, a rare thing in this industry. And he’s been wanting to win a G1 on both surfaces with War of Will. Good for him and happy for the horse. We were on him all last year as you may recall…

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