04/10/2014 8:46AM

Byron King's Keeneland handicapping notebook April 10


Wednesday, April 9 review

Rosie Napravnik’s jockey career got an early boost from trainer Dickie Small, and she took off her six mounts Wednesday to attend a memorial service for Small, who died last week. She gave up a live mount in the first race on favored Kiss Me Perfect, and with Julien Leparoux subbing in the saddling, Kiss Me Perfect proved a nose winner over Shakesperian.

She's Coal Fired completed a chalky double by winning the second race for Dylan Davis and Wesley Ward, who teamed for their second win at the meet. As in her previous race, her first without blinkers, She’s Coal Fired finished well.

Trainer Mike Maker, off to a slow start by his high standards at Keeneland, got his second win of the meet in race 3 with State Flag. He teamed with jockey Javier Castellano. They have has won over 40 percent of their races together this year.

The fourth race kicked off the pick five, and with a carryover of over $73,000 going into the day, horseplayers responded by betting over $521,000 on the wager. That was over $400,000 more than was wagered on it Sunday.

The pick five got started with Four More, who had a history of fading in the stretch and did it again after building up a five-length lead at the eighth pole. But he was able to last for a nose decision over Margin. Both the winner and runner-up were making their first starts for a tag, and were claimed for $30,000 from the maiden contest.

Speaking of fading, Purely Hot did just that when seeming on her way to victory in midstretch of the fifth race, a starter $7,500 race, weakening to third and eliminating a lot of pick five tickets. She was the shortest priced-favorite throughout the entire sequence, and a single on many tickets.

The 6-1 Gettem Up Girl finished with a flourish to edge 24-1 shot Mizzilli for the win, notching her fourth straight victory, with all of them coming in photo finishes.

Heart to Heart, bred for the turf, showed a clear affinity for grass in defeating a nice group of 3-year-olds in race 6, leading throughout under Leparoux and winning by 6 1/4 lengths. It marked her first start since November. An Ontario foal, he figures to be a dominant force in Canadian-bred stakes this year at Woodbine.

The Susan and Jim Hill-owned entry of Lofty Heart and Sky Over Flats ran one-two in race 7, with the former bailing out a lot of bettors – as the latter appeared the more likely winner. George Weaver trained Lofty Heart, and Davis was up for his second win on the day.

The afternoon closed out with the largest-priced winner of the pick five sequence, with Jane Peterson taking the nightcap at 7-1 odds for trainer Graham Motion and jockey Alan Garcia. She broke sharply, was astutely rated by Garcia off a 104-1 shot that ran off to the lead, and then Jane Peterson kicked clear and was never threatened by the closers.

Thursday, April 10 preview

Morpheus is 10-1 on the morning line in the featured eighth race. Fat chance of that. Look for him to be bet down 3-1 or so. Making his first start in America after racing in Britain, he comes off five straight races in which he was favored.

Why is he so popular? He just happens to be a 4-year-old half-brother to Juddmonte Farms’ retired European superstar Frankel. Now trained by Bill Mott, Morpheus will be treated with Lasix for the first time after going 3 for 8 for Henry Cecil in Britain.

The advice here is to take a stand against him, because he is making his first start on Polytrack and is sure to get overbet due to the accomplishments of his half-brother.

Bull Dozer is the choice despite having been fourth at Oaklawn recently as the favorite. He has won 15 of 39 races and has a win and a second in two starts on the Keeneland main track in similar optional claimers. Plus, his stalking style suits the makeup of the race.

Dynamic Sky is another worthy of attention, despite not having run since finishing a distant third in the Queen’s Plate last year. Under usual circumstances, horseplayers might want to see a comeback race from him, but trainer Mark Casse’s horses have been consistently performing at a high level this meet.

Occasional View also figures to play a major role if he competes, though he is also entered Saturday in the Grade 3 Commonwealth at Keeneland, and his connections might opt for that race.

The third race, another rich allowance, is another intriguing race, though it drew a shorter field and won’t offer as much wagering value as the eighth race.

Leinan is the third-race choice, coming off a career-best Beyer Speed Figure, an 88, in finishing a close fourth on soft turf at Fair Grounds Jan. 4. She shows steady works leading up to her return, including a fast local gate work, and has three wins, two seconds, and a third in six starts on synthetic tracks. That includes a first-out win at age 2 over the Keeneland main track.

Her primary foe will likely prove to be Triple Charm, who moves from turf to Polytrack after a close fourth in the Grade 2 Honey Fox at Gulfstream behind Centre Court. She ran well on synthetic tracks overseas before being imported to the U.S.

Early Keeneland scratches

Race 1 - No. 2 Beach Master

Race 6 - No. 6 Chalice

Race 7 - No. 11 Anna Pavlova

Race 9 - No. 3 Douro