From Cory Hodskins:

Huge day of racing at Keeneland Saturday or should I say “Caturday.” Bluegrass double header if you have the energy to do both. I am too old to pull that so I will be watching racing from my cell phone and ipad from Commonwealth Stadium Parking Lot.

Here’s my picks:

Race 1: Extremely tough race as these starter allowances always seem to come up tough. The (#2) Rebecca’s Sunrise is the horse to beat but at her morning line odds I can’t take her. I am going with (#7) Defoe Street, she closed into a fairly slow pace in her last at this same distance to win by more than 5. The second place came back to win in her next race, a similar affair at Churchill. This is a strong play at 5-2 or higher. Single in a pick 3 and spread in the next two races as they are difficult.

Race 2: Absolutely wide open race. I think almost all of these colts can win. I will take a shot with (#6) Escalate who ran better than it looks on paper in his first start at Saratoga. I absolutely love his sire and connections. He should be on or near the lead and has a big shot at winning.

Race 3: The race goes through (#5) Got Lucky. She is a really nice filly. But her lack of speed early in the race makes her an extremely vulnerable favorite. She was able to overcome that in her maiden race and in a 9 furlong allowance at Saratoga.  The horses in this race that could be forwardly placed should have a big pace advantage over Got Lucky are (#1) Make A Toast, (#2) Courageous Julie, (#4) Impetuous Youth. My pick is (#4) Impetuous Youth. I liked her last two starts. This will be her first time going two turns and I believe she will improve again and beat this group at a nice price.

Race 4: Another 2-year-old colt two turn race that can be very unpredictable. But I absolutely loved the way the (#9) Starbound ran last time out. He has tremendous connections and she be on or near the lead throughout. I believe he is an early pick 4 single.

Race 5: Turf sprints are the toughest races to handicap in all of racing to me. I just look at this field and a horse that is 30-1 morning line just worked 5 furlongs in :57 flat, he also got beat a nose in a stakes at Saratoga. I think every single horse can win. But I am going to play (#2) Choctaw Chuck in a few supers and I would definitely not leave him out of any multi race wagers.

Race 6: I think there are four different fillies that can win this race, (#2) Leigh Court, (#3) R Free Roll, (#5) Stonetastic, and (#6) Southern Honey. I think R Free Roll is the speed of the speed and gets  a top jock in Mike Smith and might not look back. I will take her at 5/2 or higher.

Race 7: A solid First Lady this year. There are 6 fillies that can win the race to me. (#1) Filimbi, (#5) Better Lucky, (#6) Discreet Marq, (#7) Dayatthespa, (#8) Somali Lemonade, and (#9) Centre Court all have a shot at winning. There’s several fillies that want to be on or near the lead so I am looking for a filly that can sit just off the speed. I like (#1) Filimbi and (#8) Somali Lemonade the most because of their tactical speed and the way both have run this year.

Race 8: This year’s Breeder’s Futurity I think comes down to two colts, the second and third place finishers in the Iroquois at Churchill Downs, (#6)  Bold Conquest and (#10) Hashtag Bourbon. I think both have excuses, (#6) Bold Conquest was extremely wide that day and (#10) Hashtag Bourbon never got running room until late in the race.

Race 9: The Shadwell Turf Mile this year might be the toughest field Wise Dan has ever faced. I absolutely love the colt but am scared that (#4) Silver Max will set an extremely quick pace and make Johnny Velazquez’s job much more difficult than it has been lately on Dan. If he does get beat it is getting passed late by either (#5) Kaigun or (#8) Seek Again.

Race 10: The first time starter for Todd Pletcher, (#7) Enchantress shows tremendous works and should be extremely tough to beat. I think she is a single in Pick 4/5s.


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