Once again we are setting our sights on Keeneland this weekend, as they have routinely offered the best racing product in the country in the buildup to the Kentucky Derby. Keeneland has another great card today, boasting ten races with very large and full fields full of competitive racing. I personally felt like there were strong arguments to be made for a lot of long shot winners today, especially in some of the maiden races. However, those events are often unpredictable and difficult races to approach from a StableDuel perspective. With a high score likely required to bring home the top prize, I think today’s card requires taking some risks. Let’s take a look at a few interesting contenders below.
If you’ve been following along with us here at DFS Karma, you already know the gig. You have a mythical $50k budget to pick 10 horses racing today. Each horse has a price, based on it’s morning line odds. Horses who are heavy favorites will cost you more salary to use, but they also generally bring more upside. Longshot horses will be cheaper but do carry some risk. You will either earn or lose points for each horse you’ve selected based on where they finish. The short version is that finishing in the top 5 earns you 10-60 points from 5th to 1st, respectively, plus or minus some points based on the margin of victory. If you finish worse than 5th, however, you lose points based on how much you lost by, so be careful with taking longshots!
Below, I’ve outlined a few horses at varying price tiers who I feel are compelling horses to include in some StableDuel stables.
If you need a refresher on scoring, please refer back to our debut article that goes a little more in-depth, located here.
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High Price Favorites
Malathaat $11,000 – Race 9
I’m not exactly giving out any top secret information here with Malathaat, but I do believe she is easily the most likely winner on the entire card. She has been exclusively been facing Grade 1 company in her last five starts, and she now drops into a relatively soft spot for her return to action as a four-year-old. She is a half length away from being your Breeders Cup Distaff winner, although she did get a dream pace setup that day. She simply has too much class for this field to be able to hold her at bay. Bonny South is probably the biggest threat, but at 8/5 she’s no bargain. Malathaat should be good enough to overcome any type of trip or bias today assuming she is even 80% fit off of the layoff.
Mid Price Plays
Salvaje $6.000 – Race 5
This turf sprint race has come up surprisingly light on pace despite the large and contentious field. Salvaje is unlikely to be the pacesetter, but she should be able to secure good forward position in a race that doesn’t have a ton of other early speed signed on. Her races at Fairgrounds are nearly good enough to win this event already, as this field has come up relatively soft given the level. The cheaper speeds of Dynamite Gift and Iron Lady Away will likely fade in the stretch, and I think Salvaje is talented enough to hold off the deep closers as they turn for home.
Always Above $750 – Race 7
Always Above is likely to get dismissed in this race given the low profile connections and the fact he was beaten by double digit lengths in each start, but I think it would be a mistake to overlook him too quickly. His last race at Tampa was much better than it appears. He broke slowly and was trailing the field while chasing after very talented horses Fenwick and Commandperformance, both of whom competed in the Lexington Stakes last weekend. Always Above made a strong wide run to pass the rest of the field, finishing over six lengths clear of the fourth place finisher. In fact, Always Above has been racing against a negative race flow while trying to close into slow paced races in each of his four career starts. While there doesn’t appear to be an abundance of early speed in today’s race, there are enough horses in here to keep the leaders honest, and Keeneland has played kindly towards off the pace runners so far this meet. Always Above has a good chance to significantly outrun his odds.