10/26/2006 11:00PM

Keeneland Babies for Friday

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Welcome to Keeneland Babies! This meet should be a challenge for the 2-year-olds as many will race over Polytrack for the first time. I'll break down the numbers for every juvenile contest at the meet, and hopefully will improve on the profits made with "Spa Babies." Good luck!Statistical recap and handicapping results will return for Saturday's card.

Race 3
1 1/16 Miles (Polytrack)
Maiden Special Weight
2-year-olds
Purse $50,000

Analysis:
TRUE COMPETITOR's dam, a half-sister to $5.6M earner Best Pal, sold for $1.5M as a yearling, and won her debut at two before placing in a pair of juvenile stakes. Owner-trainer combination sent out debut winner Grand Alibi earlier in the meet, and this Point Given colt is certainly bred to handle two turns in his first start. RHAPSODYBOHEMIAN just missed as a "Keeneland Baby" selection in career debut at this distance. He made a big move from the back of the pack only to race a bit greenly in the final stages. That was the faster division of maiden special weights at 8 1/2 furlongs that day, and he should benefit greatly from the experience. RIGHTEOUS should save valuable ground from inside post position, and the son of multiple stakes-winner Hitch (425K) raced against the grain of a speed-favoring track at Saratoga last time out. Should receive a more aggressive ride switching to Bejarano. HOLY ARMENIA made premature midrace move over closer-friendly Turfway track before understandably tiring late. He's stuck in the far outside post, but is slowly improving.

The Bet: True Competitor to Win and Place (9-2 odds or more)

Race 5
1 1/16 Miles (Polytrack)
Maiden Special Weight
2-year-olds
Purse $50,000

Analysis:
GRAPELLI may have moved a bit too soon in first start off layoff, and now Pletcher goes to his main rider Velazquez. By Thunder Gulch out of Grade 2 juvenile winner Bella Bellucci, Grapelli is bred to be classy, precocious, and distance-loving. He'll get another chance here. RUTLEDGE CAT looks to be the horse to beat based on his improving Beyers, and the fact that he's never been off the board. The addition of blinkers may improve his speed and focus. Bill Mott does well when adding blinkers to second-time juveniles, and SACRIFICE BUNT made up some ground in the slower division of maiden special weights in his debut. The full brother to Vision and Verse draws a tough outside post. CURRENT CASE makes the turf to Polytrack move that has been so successful at the meet. Shows improved works for this, and gets major rider switch from apprentice to Bejarano. PEGASUS POWER's workmate is the top selection in the first division. If that one runs well, then upgrade this $1M yearling's chances.

The Bet: Grapelli to Win (5-2 odds or more)

Race 9
1 1/16 Miles (Turf)
Woodford Reserve Bourbon Stakes
2-year-olds
Purse $125,000

Analysis:
TWILIGHT METEOR missed the break in Keeneland debut, and that might have cost him the win. He still was only beaten a nose by ADMIRAL BIRD, and now reunites with Johnny V. ADMIRAL BIRD is a nose away from being a perfect 3-3 in his career, and he should get a solid pace to attack in this spot. Connections have liked this one from the start. ROYAL WAR ACADEMY has strong turf breeding, but is a maiden taking on winners. Like the two sprints to a route move, and he'll be a big price. MARCAVELLY looked good winning first two starts, then ran into Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies contender Dreaming of Anna in the Grade 3 Summer at Woodbine. He may get the jump on the top two picks from stalking range, but will likely take loads of money.

The Bet: Twilight Meteor - Admiral Bird Exacta - Twilight Meteor - Royal War Academy Exacta