Keeneland, Race 1 – 04/07/2023
By 2YO EdgeMan
Finally, we are on the eve of the big day! Before we dive in and breakdown this first 2YO MSW race of 2023, as a reminder, we are not tipsters. Rather, we strive to bring you compelling and detailed information that would typically take you countless hours to extrapolate, if you were to fly solo. However, it wouldn’t be much fun – and we wouldn’t have any skin in the game – if we didn’t take a stand and make a pick. So, we’ll go deep with info on four or five of the horses that we find the most interesting in each race that we cover and then we’ll list our ‘pick’ (or a ‘play’, if one horse really stands out). For the Spring Meet at Keeneland only, it would be too easy to simply pick Wesley Ward, so we will never pick his runner – instead, we’ll try to beat him. This will drive our win rate down, but hopefully it will increase our ROI. Alright now, let’s get this train rollin!
KEE1:040723 4 1/2f on the Dirt – The entry box overflowed Tuesday for this first race of 2023 at KEE. 16 horses were entered, including 11 colts and one gelding in the main field, along with four Also Eligibles (AEs). John A. Hancock has two entered (uncoupled). Let’s analyze five of these guys…
- #1 – Who’s Snow Trouble (15/1) – This colt’s sire has only been bred to a handful of mares since he began his stud duties in 2018 (2023 fee = $500). Although he’s by Tapit, he barely earned $100,000 in his racing days going a less than stellar 3 for 23. However, this entry’s dam is a ½ sister to the uber-talented Jackie’s Warrior. Picked up for $27,000 as a yearling by his trainer, John Ennis, this runner has put up five solid workouts at the local Thoroughbred Center, including a bullet, 35.6 second effort from the gate for three panels (1/17) back on March 15.
- #3 – Bledsoe (2/1) – Wesley Ward wastes no time (per usual) getting one of his homebred, speed burners into this race. This gelding, by Iqbaal, has worked briskly, putting up three bullets in the six times that he’s been out in the morning. His dam – who banked north of $500,000 on track (going 8/24) – has one other baby that did win early, as a First Time Stater (FTS) capturing a MSW at BEL in late May of his 2YO campaign while earning a swift Equibase Speed Figure (EBSF) of 88. Joel Rosario gets the call to ride.
- #4 Baytown Admiral (9/2) – Conditioner Paul McEntee is no stranger to these KEE Spring 2YO races as he’s started 30 babies going back to the 2018 meet. Although he has only visited the winners circle with 2 of the 30 in that stretch (including once last year), that is tied for the third most, only one shy of John A. Hancock, yet miles behind Mr. Ward. (Note: McEntee does have a positive ROI of $2.26 in these 30 events). Dblsecretprobation, this horse’s dam, has thrown two offspring that won at first asking as a 2YO, one at SA in the month of December while putting up a blazing EBSF of 93. The other 2YO MSW, FTS victor got it done at Churchill Downs in the month of September with a 77 EBSF. Not to be outdone by the WW competitor immediately to his inside, this dude has four bullet works in his eight ‘breezes’, including his last on 3/30/23 going 35 flat for three furlongs (1/16) over this same KEE strip. McEntee only forked over $2,000 for this Lord Nelson colt at Fasig Tipton’s (FT) Fall Yearling Sale. Jack Gilligan is schedule to be the pilot.
- #6 Early Munny (8/1) – Arguably the best-bred horse in the field, this Munning’s offspring hammered down for $60,000 as a short yearling last year, which was higher than only 13 of the 91 Munning’s yearlings that sold in 2022 as a yearling. But again, remember he sold in January. He was again offered for sale last month at the 2YO Ocala Breeders Sale (OBS), but did not meet his reserve of $55,000. Under tack, he looked good finishing in a time of 10 flat and his gallop out was solid. His mama was 5/37 in her racing years, earning north of $150,000. He has one ½ sibling that was 8 for 31 and brought home $224,000 and another ½ that won as a 2YO FTS at Finger Lakes. The aforementioned John A. Hancock has only officially put this one through his paces in the morning twice, both times going in 36 and change for 3f, each work starting from the gate. His most recent move was here at KEE. The call has gone out to Gerardo Corrales to ride.
- #12 Nurcan (7/2) – Starting from the dreaded outside post, this fella represents the first First-Crop Sire of 2023 – Copper Bullet. He sold for $28,000 last year as a yearling at FT Kentucky in October – good for sixth highest from his sire out of the 21 yearlings that found new homes that year. His trainer, Luis Mendez, saddled one of the nine 2YO MSW winners at KEE last April. Mom was a solid performer on the race track earning almost $150,000 going an overall 4/19. He’s shown some potential talent in his morning works, his last was here at KEE going 3f in an impressive 35.2 from the gate (3/43). A win would give his owner, L.N.M. Three Company only their second victory, ever. Hoping to steer him for a good trip is jockey Ferrin Peterson.
- Pick – #6 Early Munny – It feels like this colt is flying under the radar a bit at Morning Line (M/L) odds of 8/1. Corrales is really good with these youngsters and we like this guy’s breeding. John A. Hancock, although significantly overshadowed by Ward, does a terrific job getting these 2YOs to run early in the calendar. His two published works were strong and it’s likely that his team was working hard to drill some speed into him so he would shine down in Ocala a few weeks ago.
OK, let’s get a win right out of the gate, my little Edgies! More soon….