By Jude “Pontiff of the Pick Four” Feld
Mike Penna and I will be hosting LEXUS, the sponsors of our popular “Equine Forum” radio show, at Keeneland this afternoon as they also sponsor the Raven Run (G2) at the Lexington track. Here is a copy of the selection sheet that the guests will receive:
1st Race) Trainer Mike Maker is having a fabulous fall meeting. He saddles #6 BRANDYS SECRET. She has been improving all summer long and could move forward once again in the Keeneland opener. #1 DARLING DELILAH exits a nice victory at this level in Canada. She drops back in distance for this race but has run well sprinting in the past. #3 SKY GLOW is well-spotted for a victory. She blew out in :34 3/5 for this race and has a red-hot jockey and trainer.
2nd Race) With the benefit of a recent start, a fantastic Keeneland gate work, a slight dip in class and an excellent trainer, #4 MY NATIVE BLUES should give a good account of himself in this spot. #12 LUCKY TIZ has solid works for perennial top two-year-old trainer Wesley Ward. He should be in the mix. #6 COUNTING DAYS hails from a clever stable. He tries the polytrack after two fourth-place efforts on the grass.
3rd Race) #5 SHUN has run well in both of his starts and has trained well at Keeneland for his third one. His trainer Al Stall, Jr. is among the nation’s best. #1 VILLANDRY has been improving leaps and bounds for trainer Chuck Lopresti. He should fire again today. #6 STREET SERENADE has run well fresh before and has breezed in good fashion for this contest.
4th Race) #6 ROSEE IS COZEE has flashed ability in both of her starts. She got acquainted with polytrack at Turfway in her last start and finds a pretty easy field today. #5 CYPRESS POND has a modicum of talent but has yet to find her niche. She gets her best chance today. #9 GET REAL gets blinkers added to her equipment today. If they help her to focus in the early running she could be effective.
5th Race) A magnificent turf pedigree, two good starts and top connections, #6 I O Ireland looks like the filly to beat here. #2 STORM OF ENERGY should appreciate the added distance of this event. Her jockey, Robby Albarado, is one of the best on the Keeneland turf course. #7 PURE FUN has the credentials to win this race although her barn has been ice-cold at the current meeting.
6th Race) #10 BERNSTEIN’S STAR has trained magnificently for excellent debut trainer Tom Amoss. #3 MINOTAUR has been working well at Fair Hill for his first trip to the post for a top international stable. #5 SISTERN BAY has been breezing with Villandry (in today’s third race) indicating he has some ability.
7th Race) #10 O T B BOB ran a good fourth here October 7 when sent a mile and a sixteenth. Dropping back to seven furlongs and adding blinkers today could get him to the winners’ circle. #2 HOLD ON was scratched from a tougher test this week for this spot. He’s run two seconds in his last two starts and would only need slight improvement to get home on top. #6 FORWARD THINKER ran well in his debut and should benefit from the experience.
8th Race) Turf sprints can sometimes be like a roulette wheel – unpredictable. #3 CAT LORE is very consistent. She has a good pressing running style for this race and should perform well for sharp trainer Michael Stidham. #7 SYMPATHY ACT is on an improving pattern and bred to adore the grass. Her 10-1 morning line price is very generous. #5 STANDING BY won big in the slop at Ellis Park but has run well on the turf before. She could have a say in the outcome.
9th Race – The Lexus Raven Run (G2) With two wins in two starts, there is no doubt the #11 GYPSY ROBIN loves Keeneland. She ran a bang-up second to the ultra-talented Contested in the Test (G1) at Saratoga and has trained well for this event. #14 SACRISTY attempted to stretch out during the spring with no success. She’s always had ability and showed it when she returned from a freshening to score a nice sprint victory at Arlington Park. #10 VIA VILLAGGIO has been facing top fillies in California and ships in for Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer. Her lone start at seven furlongs resulted in a victory in the Railbird (G3) at Hollywood Park. Talented jockey Martin Pedroza, who was aboard for that race, ships in with her.
10th Race) #9 KID GALAHAD opened up at the eighth pole only to tire late on a dull Keeneland track on October 5. No mistakes today. #8 READY SET GO ships in from Presque Isle Downs with excellent form. He is a major contender. #12 CODOY has some back class and could be tough if he gets a patient ride.
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