• Crazy Over Keeneland

    POSTED Apr 11, 2014

    Don’t look now (well, you can if you want to), but there’s some big races coming up at Keeneland this weekend. Located in the heart of Bluegrass Country in Lexington, Kentucky, Keeneland Racecourse is among the most beautiful thoroughbred facilities in the country — perhaps the world.

    So what better place to watch the 2014 debut of two-time Horse of the Year Wise Dan or the most prolific Kentucky Derby prep in history?

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    On Friday, Morton Fink’s six-year-old gelded son of Wiseman’s Ferry will take on six rivals in an attempt to win the Maker’s Mile for the second year in a row, while, on Saturday, Bobby’s Kitten heads a full field of 15 entered in the Blue Grass Stakes, a race which has produced a record 23 Kentucky Derby winners.

    Below is a look at each event, along with the Arkansas Derby, another great Derby prep scheduled for Saturday:

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    Suggested Play(s): 3-WISE DAN is clearly the horse to beat, but his probable price — and the short field — have me hunting for potential value in the show pool. Simply put, I expect “Danny Boy” to generate a (large) negative show pool and I think, given his age and recent workout pattern (I’m not a fan of the three-furlong breeze on April 8), the defending champ may be vulnerable.

    Plus, negative pools give one a shot at a huge payday with very little risk. Hence, I’m looking at show bets on 4-GENTLEMAN'S KITTEN, who has a pace advantage, and 7-KAIGUN, who ran a bang-up race at Gulfstream Park in his latest.

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    Suggested Play(s): Print out the past performances, buy a dart and fire away.

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    Suggested Play(s): Primarily, I’m looking to beat 8-BAYERN, who had things all his way last time and makes his stakes debut following a 58-day layoff. 3-TAPITURE and 9-STRONG MANDATE are the logical alternatives, but I’m really intrigued by 2-KNOCK EM FLAT. Not only has the son Flatter shown tremendous improvement in recent weeks, his speed and pace figures are among the best in the field.

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