Good morning Karma Nation! Happy Easter and Passover holidays to you and your family. Due to Easter on 4/17, Keeneland will have a ‘dark’ day on Sunday so that makes today the official midpoint of the spring Keeneland meet. Blink and you’ll miss it! Today at Keeneland is the FINAL Kentucky Derby points prep race. This is more of a last ditch effort for some of the horses since points are awarded as 20-8-4-2 to the top 4 finishers. To go along with the Grade 3 Lexington Stakes, there are some other fantastic stakes races on the card and StableDuel has contests for every budget. They are offering a $10 contest with a starting pool of $1,500 as well as a $50 contest with a $12,000 prize pool. One new concept they are trying is a Feeder Series that awards the winner of that contest a $1,000 paid entry into their Preakness contest next month with a prize pool of $50,000. That contest is also $50 to jump in. Below, I will share some horses I am high on at the different valuations! Signing up for StableDuel is FREE and there is NO BETTER TIME than NOW to SIGN UP!
If you’re new to StableDuel, the idea is simple. Select 10 horses to build your “stable” while staying within the salary cap of $50,000. Horses are assigned prices based on their morning line odds, so you cannot use all favorites in your stable. StableDuel awards points for horses that come 1st – 5th and subtracts horses that finish outside of the top 5. This is why it is crucial to make sure you’re reading our content to narrow in on value horses that we think can get points. Don’t forget, you can get ALL of my picks by jumping in our chat room!
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High Price Favorites
#4 Highly Motivated $9,400 – Race 11
I’ll preface this by saying that there are a lot of vulnerable favorites on today’s card. Just because they are vulnerable, doesn’t mean they all can’t win. Such is the case with Highly Motivated. This horse hasn’t had a race in nearly a FULL YEAR. This horse was regarded high in the Kentucky Derby last year with respectable odds of 10/1, but just didn’t have the speed necessary to take on the best of the best. I normally think horses need a race or two to get their legs back, but this horse has been training lights out. If he’s even half ready to fire, I think he beats this field pretty handily. The 7F cutback from the routes he ran last year should help get his legs.
Mid Price Plays
#6 Lady Speightspeare $3,000 – Race 10
Race 10 is the Grade 1 Jenny Wiley on the turf. Small field of 6 in this race. Chad Brown normally owns this race, but I’m slightly puzzled why he is sending two horses in here. Regal Glory is one of his aces and she was a really good horse last year. Shantisara has been off for 200 days, but won a grade 1 here last year. They make sense, but to me, they dont make sense together. So instead I will look toward the 6, which should have the speed. She is also recently ran, which should only help her case here. For only $3,000 getting 3rd place or better would pay off her salary.
#8 Strava $250 – Race 9
The featured race at Keeneland today is the Grade 3 Lexington Stakes, awarding Kentucky Derby points to the top 4 finishers. Really quickly, I’ll share the horses that are fringe horses that can propel themselves into the Derby with a win, and possibly second place finish. In Due Time and Ethereal Road have 20 points and would be in with a win. Major General and Dash Attack have 10 points and would be alternates (outside fringe horses) with a win. Tawny Port has 40 points as is currently in at the 20th spot. With all of that being said, I landed on a horse that has no derby points and would not get into the derby with a win here unless MANY horses concede. I know the price tag is 20/1 and I know this horse is lightly raced and comes from Fair Grounds, but I think he fits extremely well based on his last races. He broke his maiden on this track at 6F with Tyler in the saddle. In his second start, it was a sloppy track and he stumbled at the start, recovered and still finished a strong second, eating slop in his face. Last time out, he broke through the gate and had to be put back in and lost to Cyberknife (#6 on the Derby Leaderboard). I’m hoping (praying) that Strava gets a clean break and no gate issues. I think this horse will be found somewhere near the front of the pack in a race that has literally 0 speed signed on. Distance doesn’t seem to be an issue and the track is good. I have more questions than answers on most of the other horses in this race, so I think Strava could be a pleasant surprise.