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Updated on 09/15/2011 2:10PM
Keeneland analysis for 10/06
Best Bet: Snow Ridge (6th Race)
1. FLICK 2. VOLUPTUOUS GIRL 3. ICE CREAM LADY
FLICK dueled, then held on well to finish a competitive third in her debut at Arlington. She looks best of those with experience, and should get the job done at an ordinary price. VOLUPTUOUS GIRL breezed in :48 at Keeneland, and should offer a square price in the exotics. ICE CREAM LADY finished second in both of her starts, but needed her last race, and should take a step forward today.
1. SOUTHERN DREAM 2. FASHION PLANNER 3. CLEVER GERI
SOUTHERN DREAM is on the upswing, and should continue her progress as she makes her third career start. Her early zip makes her a better fit for the winning pace profile at this seven furlong distance than deep closers FASHION PLANNER and CLEVER GERI. The former gained 9 1/2 lengths when she rallied from 10th to finish fifth in a 5 1/2 furlong sprint in her debut at Churchill. Part of that gain was an illusion, as her field came home slower than par, but she still figures to enjoy the added distance. CLEVER GERI trailed by as many as 17 lengths first time out at Arlington, but lost by only 4 1/2 lengths. The extra furlong will help, but I'd like her better if she was able to stay as close as mid-pack in the early going.
1. SUPREMO SECRET 2. LABAMTA BABE 3. SUPER STRIKER
With tons of early speed in this field, you might want to look for a contender who can rate just behind the dueling leaders. SUPREMO SECRET rated 1 1/2 lengths off the pace, then came home faster than par to win by 7 1/2 lengths at Ellis. That same running style would make him very dangerous if the fractions are too aggressive in this race. LABAMTA BABE has speed and the rail, usually a potent combination at this track. But he isn't quite as quick as a couple of others here, and it remains to be seen whether he'll rate kindly, or cave in if he doesn't make the lead. Even though Arlington was playing faster than usual on Sept. 8, SUPER STRIKER still carved out a pace that was too swift, and paid the price down the lane. The class drop will help, but the pace scenario will hinder him.
1. CONFESSIONAL 2. FOUR PLUS FOUR 3. VENUSBERG
CONFESSIONAL will set up camp a length or two behind the leader, an excellent style for this distance on this course. She's the class of this race, is proven over this lawn, and loves to win races with a 22-11-4-1 record. Key her on top if you like something that will add value to the equation in the exotics. FOUR PLUS FOUR showed more early speed than usual when she led throughout at Kentucky Downs. That might translate into the preferred just-off-the-pace trip against the faster splits she'll find in this sprint. VENUSBERG has the talent to hit the board against this type, but is a deep closer who will need some racing luck to prevail.
1. WESTERN POWER 2. MAESTRO'S DEBUT 3. BLUE JAY
WESTERN POWER led most of the way, but couldn't hold off the winner in a highly-rated race at Turfway in his debut. Note that he finished 13 lengths clear of third-place horse CAP in that race. He won't have to run much better to graduate today. MAESTRO'S DEBUT set a much faster-than-par pace before fading at Churchill. The concern is that he needed a few months off following that race, and might not perform as well in his return. Given some credit for added maturity, BLUE JAY would be no surprise in his first start since November. His works aren't bad, but Nafzger shows only two winners from his last 25 runners returning from breaks of six months and longer, with a modest $0.54 ROI.
1. SNOW RIDGE 2. BET ON SUNSHINE 3. ROBIN DE NEST
I'll be pulling hard for BET ON SUNSHINE here, as I have him at a large price in the World Thoroughbred Championship Sprint. But for today's race, with some possible help from a speed bias, SNOW RIDGE may be the betting value. Whether or not ERLTON is sent early, SNOW RIDGE should be able to dispose of him, and figures to be clear turning for home. If so, he might not stop. BET ON SUNSHINE didn't run his best race, but still displayed courage while getting up in the last jump to win a desperate photo at Arlington. A return to his best form wins this, but low odds are unappealing. ROBIN DE NEST was only a half-length behind BET ON SUNSHINE last time, and figures to be in the mix again. But he seems less likely to overcome a disadvantageous pace scenario than BET ON SUNSHINE is. The Bet: $40 win on Snow Ridge.
1. KENZIE GIRL 2. BETTY'S PET 3. PHAT
KENZIE GIRL dueled, then faded back to finish third in a race she needed after a long layoff. She'll be tougher in the second start of her form cycle, and would be the one to beat with a return to something resembling her best Fair Grounds form. BETTY'S PET graduated with speed to spare at Ellis, but grabbed a clear lead that day, and probably won't enjoy that luxury this time. A patient ride would boost her chances. PHAT would benefit from a strong pace if she continues to use deep-closing tactics. But she's capable of staying closer than that if she is asked to, and sitting third or fourth during the opening quarter would make her task easier down the stretch.
1. KAMSACK 2. SIPHONIC 3. HARLAN'S HOLIDAY
I like the Californians here. KAMSACK finished only 1 1/2 lengths behind Officer in the Del Mar Futurity, an impressive feat, despite the fact that Officer wasn't asked for his best. His pace figure from that race suggests that he might not mind the added distance. SIPHONIC came home a little faster than par when he won a highly-rated maiden sprint at first asking, and might be this good. HARLAN'S HOLIDAY is proven at the distance, and although he won by the Cradle by only a neck, there was a 10 length gap back to the third horse.
1. SZCZERBIAK 2. NORTHERN FANTASY 3. SEEK SMARTLY
SZCZERBIAK is consistent, and has a good style for this distance on this course. His Saratoga form gives him a narrow edge in the nightcap. NORTHERN FANTASY was unable to make the required late progress behind a slow pace at Belmont. The fractions won't be any slower this time, and might even be closer to par. If so, he'll be a factor in the exotics. SEEK SMARTLY had traffic trouble, but finished third, and was moved up to second at Woodbine. He'll be within striking distance, and might parlay the comfortable trip into an in-the-money finish.
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